Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas On Board

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, FL
34 42.54 N 081 05.58 W

We wish Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, and (next August) good Ramadan to all our faithful blog readers.  May your own cruising ambitions be realized.

In fact, Christmas is one of the main inhibitions to the cruising life.  In the USA, Christmas and Thanksgiving are the days when we most want to be with our families.   Cruising away to exotic locations makes it difficult to do that.   To be sure, many cruisers fly home for the holidays.   They however, have deeper pockets than we do, and they may have their families concentrated in the same place.  The reality we've experienced is not so harsh.   We get to see our children and grandchildren in the summer months.  We've adjusted to that and we adjusted our ambitions to cruiser still further to preserve that.   We find that even if it is not Christmas, it is just as joyful to see our children and grandchildren at any time of year.

Our very first Christmas Day on Tarwathie in 2005 was a bit bizarre.   On Christmas Eve, we anchored in the Indian River in Florida.  Early on Christmas morning, we pulled up the hook and set off for what looked like a very nice anchorage on our charts -- Vero Beach.   We had no idea what Vero was really like, nor did we know that the anchorage was now a mooring field.  [p.s. We departed Vero the next morning and never did learn what a great place it is for another year.]  Approaching Vero, Libby made the error of cutting the corner when making a left turn into another channel (I'll write about that specific error some day).  Bang, we hit bottom, lifted about a foot out of water and were hard aground.   

Our usual remedy was to launch the dinghy and take the anchor out to kedge off.   Before we could do that however, some very nice people came along in an inflatable dinghy to help us.  They carried our anchor 150 feet out into the channel.   Given that, and with the use of our manual windlass, we soon had Tarwathie afloat again.   To our surprise, those same people invited us to raft up with them on their mooring, and then invited us to join the cruiser's Christmas pot luck dinner.  What started out as a potentially nasty day turned into a wonderful time, thanks to the kndness of strangers.  What Christmas story could be better than that? 

1 comment:

  1. Merry Christmas to the crew of Tarwathie. Its 10F here in Northern NY - boat is on the hard. We spent Christmas in Vero on the boat 2 years ago. We're retired so I guess we stayed in the north country by choice - not sure what we're thinking!

    Nice Christmas Story.

    Fair winds,
    Loren and Betsy


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