Friday, May 29, 2015

Back to Cape Cod, but worrying about the mooring.

After Stewart departed I needed to get ready to take off: after all, I am not planning to be back much (if at all) before November. This means that I need to get Dorado safely and securely settled.

So... I talked to various folks: Peter, Alan, etc. Peter says put the boat in a hurricane anchorage near shore, right up near the mangroves. Only problem is that it is illegal to have the boat there (even though enforcement is unlikely: boats have been there for years). Another problem is that I don't want to damage the mangroves and worry I might. Other folks might have claims on "their" illegal spot and get pissed at me... and I am a conciliator, not someone who enjoys conflict. Finally, I was told that rats and cockroaches infest any boats that are left by the mangroves for long. This final one really pushed Cynthia and me to look hard at other options.

The other option is to leave it on a mooring. Mine is .... questionable. The chain is secured around an old bulldozer track (or some big sharpish piece of steel mostly buried in the mud), and I fear that it is getting dragged back toward Gigi. I do not want Gigi bashing a hole in my stern in a hurricane! So, I designed a much better setup that would use my extra anchors to help secure the mooring chain farther away and help prevent dragging. But... I talked to Dickie, the local mooring guy, and he said he could take care of it. I pulled the one anchor I had down there, preferring to leave things cleaner for him. On the last day he came boating by and said he had hurt his back, but would be better soon. I've talked since, but he does not sound happy with his healing.

So.... I've set up two big anchors with nice long lines and arranged with a friend to place them if a hurricane comes. I'll cross fingers that it does not, that Dickie heals and installs my mooring, and that all is well. I'm kind of tempted to get a scuba certification, fly down, rent some scuba stuff, and spend a day setting up the mooring. Peace of mind is good...

I'm enjoying the cold here on Cape Cod. The heat in the islands enervates me, leaving me feeling weak and confused. Perhaps heat exhaustion? Whatever, ice water helps and so does swimming, but I don't want to need to keep ice at all times. Then again, perhaps I could beef-up one of my coolers so it holds ice longer.... and I have a long-term plan to get my refrigeration unit running again... but that will probably take another $1000 or so! "Boat"="bring over another thousand".

Leaving is not easy. I found myself mourning, perhaps sad at leaving this simple life on the water that I love so well. I took one final sail at the crack of dawn,
 sailed out to Leduck Island, and dropped anchor on a patch of sand among the coral heads. Wearing mask, snorkel, dive socks, and fins; I swam around the south side of the island, the ocean swell sweeping me back and forth even in 20' of water, enjoying new vistas. Not the most interesting dive, but I enjoyed the adventure and the time in the water. Then back to the mooring where I dropped my jib, folded it, and stowed it away. I struggled with the main, but ended up with a neat roll of sail that fits well below. Any stale nuts or other stuff went ashore to the chickens who flocked in excitement. And I sat outside eating my usual weird mixed rice/lentils/peas/onions and enjoyed a final sunset over the hills.

I showered on the last morning, then soaked all my clothes and squeezed them well, leaving me nice cool damp clothes to counteract the heat of the day.

And here I am in (mostly) gray, chilly, windy Cape Cod. I've been here for a bit over a week so far. Sometimes, when the sun emerges and the air warms, I can smell the inchworms devouring the young oak leaves. Life bursting forth fills the air with rich, interesting, sometimes spicy smells as it tries to pack a year of living into the few months of warm weather. Golden pine pollen coats the leeward side of ponds. Poison ivy spreads its reddish glossy leaves and ticks are busy hitching rides.... and meals. Stewart and Alex found an awesome place to dig steamers,
 although enough other folks are digging there to wipe it out in weeks. Being up here gives me a chance to be with Cynthia and friends and family: I like it!

Now, what to do about the mooring? Hmmm....

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