02 December 2014 | Port Aransas, Texas
December 2, 2014
Today is Bear's birthday and we decided that even though it is cold and windy, we would spend it aboard. In these conditions, it is not uncommon for the crew of Why Knot to retire very early in the evening which makes it inevitable that I get up early. In this case at 0400. That's it, I am done sleeping for the night. As mentioned before, such hours provide a special perspective on the boating experience. Except for the crews that make a living from the sea, there are few others up. The night belongs to us, the early risers. We get a special reward by watching first light and first awakening of the sea creatures and birds. That first bugle call of the seagull starts the chorus of the birds who own the air above the water.
I guess we are fully settled into home port boating now. Why Knot has enough dings to keep me busy at least until the next urge to clear the jetties and see what's out there. There are those that shove off this time of year heading to warmer waters even from the Gulf. We had the pleasure of meeting one such fellow that shared the finger pier between us. He and his boat
are seasoned. By that I mean lots of sea miles and many ports. Best I can tell, he arrived here about the time we sailed away. Soon after getting here, he told others that this was to be just a quick stop. Four years later, he is still here but making progress toward departure. It is common for a boat to sort of sneak away lest others make a big deal of it. We arrived yesterday to find his slip empty. He will spend a few days at the transient docks since it is the new billing cycle and he will leave very soon. So, where is he going? He said he has a skippers job at one of the sailing charter companies in the windward islands of the Caribbean-said he might just have to stop by Cuba on the way. So, there you have it: a plan, a destination but no schedule.
Speaking of the departing skipper, another old sailor said that twenty years ago he might have been excited by such plans but no longer. Time and sea miles have taken a toll and it shows in his face and his boat. That is the way it goes with cruising. One has just so many sea miles in them and age limits how long most can tolerate being cold, wet and bruised. Of course, there are some that start earlier and stay longer such as a fellow we met who has seen 88 full trips around the sun and is still sneaking away from his kids for weeks on end. As for us, we might have one or two shorter cruises left, even a Caribbean charter or two on top of that. For now, we will take it easy on Why Knot and continue on the to do list.
Photo: can you spot the leaning mast? Not a good thing.