Uh Oh!!

In the course of human events. . . 

The Windlass. Rope pulley on the left, chain gypsy on the right

When we started this adventure, the biggest argument against it from our families was – what if you get hurt??  How will you get help? Legit points for sure. Lots of things can happen.  A slip, a fall, machinery, ropes, motors and more.  But we are careful. We think things through and we stay safe. . .

Until now.  Anchored out for a few days in Roosevelt Channel alongside Captiva Island we’d been buffeted the entire time by high winds.  One day we decide we will move to the coast, up near Venice, FL, and continue on our way to Clearwater.  We’ve already made the 3 day trip across the state, through the 5 locks of the Okeechobee Waterway to Captiva. We’re pros.  We got this.

Early on the morning of Sunday, February 26 we were going to make our way out of the channel and head north.  The wind is over 30 knots and the water in the channel has blown out, leaving a lower than low tide.  We call a tow service to confirm we can safely exit the channel and head out into the waterway separating Captiva from the mainland.  “No problem, they keep that channel dredged.”  30 minutes later we are at the final marker indicating the entrance / exit of the channel.  And we’re stuck.  Back away, try another path.  Nothing.  We keep stubbing our toe trying to get over the sand bar.  We have no choice.  We fall back into the bay alongside another trawler, also waiting to get out. Continue reading “Uh Oh!!”

The Sounds – Noises

Rigging

Living in the ‘dirt house’ as long-term boaters refer to conventional homes, we get used to the noises.  That creak in the hallway floor.  The whine of the air conditioner.  That vinyl siding creeping on nail heads as it warms in the spring sun after a cold night.  Dozens of sounds.  The way the wind rattles the porch light and makes the cover on the grill flap against the metal lid.  We get used to them.  We know them by heart.

And now – new noises.  I’ve slept in my runabout before.  Heard the creaking of the dock lines.  Barely, but it sounded ‘shippy’ to me so it was pretty cool.  Our first night in Coinjock I heard a different sound coming from the dock lines.  That noise they use in movies featuring old wooden ships.  A base level creaking, not some wimpy screech but rather a creak with smoker’s cough.  Low, slow, more like a growl.  The movies do a good job on it – or else they recorded real ships pulling against the dock piling and cleats.   Continue reading “The Sounds – Noises”