Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It has happened. I can't even smell or remember the salty aroma of the sea. So long at shore now. The fog has rolled in and I can no longer utilize my sense of sight to find my way. These last two (2) days have been spent stumbling about, angry, unfocused, and not getting any closer to open waters. I have been here before.

Long ago in a land called Florida a friend and I spent a day at sea. We made portage in a small bay on one (1) of the most beautiful barrier islands and for hours we did battle with other vessels until, with clouded minds, darkness falling, fog rolling in, and stormy weather moving out; we set sail for home. Navigating out of portage, despite several wounded vessels strewn about the tiny bay, was a relatively easy affair and out into a large inter-coastal water-way we sailed. Jib and mainsail hoisted, a nice steady wind coming from the south across the Gulf of Mexico, and we easily tacked, beam reach to broad reach. Through the wide channel we sailed and made good time. The inter-coastal deposited us into the wide open waters of Pensacola Bay, and using what few lights were visible as a navigable landmark, we set into a run; reefing the mainsail and using only the jib for propulsion, choosing to err on the side of caution, knowing too much speed can put us into harm's-way at a directly exponential rate. As we crept across the dark effluvium, towards what we thought must be the shoreline inching closer, our eyes strained to find the channel markers. Standing between us and safe harbour within our rented bayou portage, was a narrow channel garrisoned on both sides by hull-shredding oyster beds. A bright and musical note rung out from a shipping channel marker to our port side, not being where you thought is common, not quite mid-bay yet. The tune of our merry vessel had become anxious, as we continued our search for the dim green and red lights that would illuminate our safe passage. Finally, directly in front of our bowsprit, a green light. Where its red mate? There, to starboard! Too late. With the sound of bones crushing, we ran aground on the aforementioned oyster beds. Jib sheets were freed from their rope clutches and an assessment of our situation was being undertaken. No hull trimming was to save us this night. Over the gunwale my friend did go, kicker motor positioned into the brine, and now it's just push the bow while the kicker pulls on the stern. Another concern was getting my friend back aboard the boat once the oysters surrendered their grip. The waters into to the channel move swiftly and during our sojourn with our delicious bivalve friends the winds too had increased their voracity. I threw the bowline into the water and instructed my friend to hold the line whilst extricating the bow. With much noise and hullabaloo the hull again became buoyant, and using the kicker I eased us back away from the channel's vacuous opening. All hands back on deck, the hull having obviously withstood her thrashing, and we were ready to put the bow between the lights! Having not lost sight our destination we tensioned the jib sheets and headed into the protected waters of our beloved bayou. The journey took hours to complete; worried spouses waited at home, but we decided to share one last drink and recount the tale to one another, and laugh.

Counter tops are now scheduled for Thursday, so maybe a Saturday opening. Perhaps then we can relax in the companionway, share a drink, recount this journey, and laugh.

"...well I feel so broke up, I wanna go home..."

1 comment:

"snomonkey" said...

Every day we wake up feeling that familiar tug at our head that says feed your addition. Every day we load up the car and travel from Thomas to Davis where we pull in to the new Hypno lot only to find it empty and lonely. We stumble out of the car and press our cheeks against the storefront glass. Inside it is still, quiet, almost like no coffee shop is coming at all. The counters are missing and we don't see a single bag of coffee beans. Dejected, we return to Thomas where we brew up yet another pot of Maxwell House. Please, Hypno, hurry. You are our only hope.