Posted by: adventuressetravels | June 26, 2010

Salty Seadogs

I pulled the sheet over my head trying to block out some of the brilliant Florida light that streamed through my cabin windows.  “Painkillers,” may be tasty drinks but coconut milk really did mask the alcohol.   Ah well, that first get-to-know you night had been fun. 

Still, it was a good thing we had another day at the marina.  Speaking of which, I was looking forward to trying out the gym and taking a last shower on dry land.  Sweat the alcohol out of my system and I’d be good to go, I thought already finishing my second huge glass of water. 

The empty marina was still a little unsettling.  Evidently they had just opened and most of the boats were heading north to safer harbors during hurricane season.  Never the less, the empty clubhouse, the un-manned bar, the rows of untouched ellipticals, exercise bikes, and weight machines standing sentinel in the gym;  it was just a bit eerie. 

By the time I got back to the boat a crew was already in full swing cleaning, waxing, and getting her ship shape, so to speak.  I had barely enough time to put my things down before X and B, the other crew member, headed out.  They needed to go West Marine and pick up some things for the boat.  Did I want to come?

I was on the dock almost faster than them.  New to the nautical world I wanted to absorb every scrap of information I could.  Much to my chagrin we were really only popping in and out to pick up a few cleaning supplies.  To top it off, as it turned out, boat supplies are significantly more exciting when you are more familiar with how they are used.  I should have known better, the same is true across the board – who but a chef is excited about exotic spices or fine ingredients?  Still, it was fun to see how excited B got about the nautical gadgets.

B was the very definition of a salty old seadog.  Having sailed all his life he had done everything from chartering and instruction, to running supplies in the “oil patch,” the oil-rich area in the Gulf of Mexico.  Everything so long as it was on a boat.  He had a thousand and one stories and I loved listening to him.  The ocean was in his blood.  His current project was building a small boat called a Tiki; and he was always researching what parts worked the best, and thinking of how to make her the perfect boat.  After all, this was the vessel that was going to sail him away into the sunset.

One of the most easygoing men I had ever met, I sat back and soaked up everything he had to say.  It was a pleasure listening to him talk.  He was the perfect person to sail with; a born teacher, the kind of person you almost couldn’t help learning from.  I was ecstatic.  A great captain and a former sailing instructor; I couldn’t have asked for better people to sail with on my first voyage.

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