Home is where the birds play or the boat lays
07 February 2009 | Ft Lauderdale, FL
72, cloudy, winds ENE 20mph
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Coffee, juice, French toast and sausage for breakfast and then we caught the trolley into Ft. Lauderdale to the Publix store. I made a lemon chicken last night for dinner using lemon jello. It turned out really well so I decided that I'd better get some more so that I can make it again in the future! We picked up a pot roast for me to experiment with for dinner tonight using the pressure cooker. I wasn't to sure about this - all I could think of were my mom's pot roasts on Sunday's. She used to use a pressure cooker and the meat never had a taste to it. I was pleased with the results though - so will try other pressure cooker recipes in the future too. From what I've read, the pressure cooker is a great help in the nautical environment and with an alcohol stove and heading into a warmer (???) clime; I'll take the help!
There was a couple on the beach today feeding the pigeons and gulls. It reminded me of when I used to run out to the store to buy loaves of bread to feed the birds - only you could tell the woman did this a lot. The birds would line up on her arms taking the bread from her hands. I thought it was pretty cool until I started thinking about all the birds that surrounded her. That was a lot of poop and a possible gift of lice from the birds (in her hair, clothes, etc.). I figured I'd just take pictures this time and not join in on feeding the birds. That's all I need - bring lice into the boat.
Later, I was sitting in the cockpit (strange name - wonder who first came up with that) watching another sailboat come in at sundown. While the man was picking up the mooring, the woman was at the wheel nervously looking all around her - at the depth sounder, the neighboring boats and her general position in the mooring field. As I continued to watch her, I could see myself in her and read her thoughts - she was nervous as far as depth and position; I could visualize the thoughts running through her head - the same or similar to mine: It looks really tight in here... are we going to swing into the other boats? When the tide goes out, do we have enough water under us, or, are we going to accidentally careen the boat (lay it on it's side)? I could see all these thoughts going through her head, and as nervous as she seemed, I was comforted in the thought that I'm not the only one that goes through all the thoughts and emotions when coming into a new harbor that's unfamiliar. We've done a lot of that this year. Each place is new, with new bottom contours and compositions. Each anchoring dance, even though I have the same partner, feels like a new dance and I never seem to lose the apprehensions "will the anchor hold? Do we have the right set? Is there enough scope? Are we going to snag something and not be able to retrieve the anchor?" "Is that other boat going to drag into us?" I wonder if the apprehensions will ever leave me? How long before I feel totally at home. Home... At home, in our homeport, I never really thought about most of those things. We always came into the same territories, and you pretty much knew what to expect. Here I find that the charts aren't always right, and anchorages aren't always readily available or if they are, they aren't always accessible. While the anchorage on the chart shows 8-15 ft available for you to anchor in, it doesn't show the shoaling or tell you that the depth to get into the anchorage is only 4 ft - bump, oops, sorry hon - didn't see that shallow area on the chart... wait - there is no shallow area on the chart... sigh... The good news is, that the bumps here are relatively soft - mud, sand, etc... As we head into the coral areas though I can see where Wayne might become more apprehensive too. Coral heads can do a great deal of damage to the boat... The good news is - I hear the water is crystal clear so we should be able to see where the coral is?
It's looking like the trough that swung down with the jet stream bringing all the cold weather with it, is going to be pushed back up north and the winds are supposed to lose their northerly component by early to midweek. Once they swing to the east, we'll watch for them to start to turn from the south and we'll head out from Miami to Bimini (Alice town). We keep watching the weather patterns. If we head out into the east winds we'll be fighting them, so a southerly component will give us a boost with the wind as well as the current from the Gulf Stream. I'm a little apprehensive in crossing the Gulf Stream. It'll be interesting to see if we can hit our destination. A little vector analysis is needed - point the boat further south than the destination we want and let the Gulf Stream move us (or crab us) northerly again across our rhumbline. Speed, distance, time, current, tides, winds...sigh 60 D ST