Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sea Gypsies

     This morning with decisions cast in jello we lifted the outboard from the dinghy, hoisted the dinghy onto the davits and called into our weather router Chris Parker for verification that today would be a good day to head north. Chris advised us to head toward Miami, but to make certain to be tucked in somewhere safe by Sunday night. With numerous squalls accompanied by thunderstorms and high winds in excess of 40 knots due to an approaching cold front from the Carolina's a long offshore passage was not advised. But, we would make some progress and there might be a longer weather window coming up next week.

      It was time to leave Boot Key Harbor and head toward our summer destination in New England. I'm hesitant to say home because we are home regardless of where Simple Life may be anchored. I felt a twinge of sadness as we called in to the net controller to announce our departure. Joe and I have enjoyed a wonderful winter meeting those who call Boot Key home and for now it feels like our home too.

Bobby the Viking sailing Beastie

Pat and Bob of Chanticleer

     We've made a few good friends, enjoyed numerous activities and settled in to a comfortable life aboard. Life here was relatively simple. Our bikes which we bought used when we arrived were our only mode of transportation on the island. We grocery shopped, made trips to West Marine, Home Depot, restaurants and bars. I was sad leaving my old beach cruiser bike behind.

     My friend Nancy who lives in the harbor aboard Flying Dogs expressed an interest in the bike and at least now I feel that my old bike went to a good home. Nancy also promised that we could use the bikes if we return next winter. Our only other transportation was our dinghy to and from the City Marina, the beach and a few restaurants. We had no television so we read lots of books. Hopefully, we're smarter after the winter.


     Cruisers from the marina offered several activities during the season. Yoga classes, medical emergency classes, splicing classes, jewelry making, pine needle basketry, music jams were a few examples of our daily choices. But, things have been winding down for a few weeks. Cruisers have been leaving the harbor and moving on each day. Some were heading south, but most had northern destinations. All promised to return next year. Boot Key Harbor was a special place and I'm certain that next year we'll once again return "home."

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