Missed the Boat

 

S/V Seamore.  Boot key harbor, Florida Keys.

S/V Seamore. Boot key harbor, Florida Keys. ~1999

“I miss the smell of teak,” said Captain Chameleon.

It was 2006.  I should have known that Captain Chameleon was missing our boat from the Florida Keys when he brought home 4 teak benches, 2 teak steamer lounge chairs, 3 teak chairs, and a teak table. Our Phoenix home is just shy of 1500 Square feet.  Where were we going to fit 10 pieces of teak furniture?  Without doing the math, I knew we were headed for heeby-jeebby-vill.  Seriously, how many pieces of teak can fit into an urban desert dwelling?  Not ten.  In hindsight, Captain Chameleon was missing his boat, Seamore.

14 years earlier, I almost missed the boat, so to speak. 1992, it was a blustery February day in Missouri when I accepted a job in Homestead, Florida.  Finalizing the details went something like this…

“When can you start?

“Hmm.  Well.  When is a good time?”

“Yesterday.”

Not the answer I was counting on.  Smack dab in the middle of the semester, I had imagined the phone-hiring process for a nurse (traveler) position would take another few weeks.  Torn between a job in Florida or obtaining a degree in art/design, I opted to withdraw at mid-term and not tarry getting to Florida.  This was my chance to live by the ocean and nothing else mattered.  Certainly not a still life painting of stacked boxes placed a top a velvet cloth. The timing wasn’t great, but it was ok.  It was time to leave behind my studies of light, dark, form, function, and perspective.  Else, I’d miss the boat.

Now, the Captain and I are pretty much back into a routine of balancing work and play.  When people ask about why we took 6 months off from our jobs to go sailing, the question invariably comes up;  “Do you miss the boat?”  Certainly.

It will be several dozen weeks before we return to Seamore Pacific and sail to the eastern shore of the Baja. Until then, I don’t want to miss the boat on urban composting (new experiment), beach glass art, sewing linen halter dresses, family, friends, and work.  Regret would be to return to the boat, untie the dock lines- then realize that we had not spent our time on land wisely; instead of being mindful about the present, we were stuck thinking about the past and the future.

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Beach Glass from Sea of Cortez

 

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Pleasure Boat

 

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Work Boat

 

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Sunset/Full Moon

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Smiled with the risin’ sun…

097_crop…from Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.

My runs these days are short on distance but long on scenery.  The usual is a comfortable pace from Bali Hai to Kona Kai, then a walk through the city dock marina (Police Docks) where boats are either clearing customs or hanging for a night or two, then over to the docked super yachts to view each’s name and hailing port, and finally a sprint home; passing a string of sprawling marinas.  It’s twenty-five minutes of nosing around the perimeter of Shelter Island that affords both a cardio-workout and a feeling of being part of the community.   Like the first crisp morning that signals Halloween is just around the corner, boats from as far north as Canada were arriving in San Diego Harbor this morning with their Ha-Ha flags flying! For a novice, it was exciting and spectacular.  I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Captain Chameleon. Super charged with ten days left to go or wanting to please me, by the time I’d finished my shower, Captain Chameleon had hoisted up our very own Ha-Ha issued flag.  Texas, here I come.

094Not everybody aboard Seamore Pacific is eager to be on a boat. Francis, our seven month old cat has taken to jumping ship.  He especially likes to get off the boat at night time making it very difficult to see him. Worried for his safety at sea, we have decided he will winter in Missouri with Maw and Pa.  It has been another lesson, as I have come to recognize that Francis is his own little being and not like the two content cats that I once had living on a boat in the Florida Keys.  I’m happy that Francis is making his wants known and that my parents are gracious enough to meet me in Texas for the quick exchange.  I’m really, really happy that it will give us a chance to hang out together for an evening.  Like Bob sings, “Don’t worry ’bout a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

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If it wasn’t today’s morning run, or my upcoming Texas road trip, it has to be our Shelter Island Boatyard experience that also has me smiling.  The crew at Shelter Island Boatyard exceeded our expectations.  Last year when we were looking to purchase the boat, we used them to haul her for the out of water survey.  Pleased with their professional service we became repeat customers. Staying on a boat while it is in the yard is not everyone’s cup of tea.  But, we started each day working with cheerful, courteous, and professional yard employees and ended the day by ‘talking shop’ with another couple staying aboard their boat. If it wasn’t for having to climb down a ladder and walk a half a block to the ladies room in the wee hours of the night, I just might opt to stay there instead of doing the Baja Ha-Ha.  Ha ha.

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Launch Time for Seamore Pacific.

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Painting the bottom of Seamore Pacific’s keel

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Preparing her for the sling.

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Reggie driving the lift.  Wish this was a better picture of Reggie…

Before and after

Before and after

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Saved from Seamore- our 44ft Thompson Trawler we lived aboard in Boot Key Harbor (Florida Keys).