Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sailing and Camping

Sailing aboard Arden is alot like camping - relatively primitive accommodations - she has a diesel fired stove and oven, much like a camp stove but with an oven, a diesel fired heater, and a head that uses a hand pump to flush. In order to have hot water of any type for any use, I have to heat it on the stove, not a huge task, because right now it serves to heat the cabin, but not nearly as convenient as having hot water at the turn of a faucet. To bathe I pretty much do a bucket bath - boil water on the stove, dump it and some cold water in a bucket, and wash down with soap and a hand cloth. I pretty much do the same to wash hair, but as it is so cold I have been washing hair every 3 days or so. I suppose in ways it is good that it is so cold, I am not sweating and really not getting dirty, so this type of washing up seems to be ok for now. Once I get to Florida I do have one of those hang up solar shower bags, so I will have the luxury of daily hot showers. And of course, once in Florida the water will hopefully be warm enough to swim in, so mother ocean just may be my bathtub.

Cooking is much the same as camping, with the added benefit of the oven, most folks dont have an oven when they camp. I have baked bread, potatoes and I even twice baked the potatoes once, although I will admit, most of my cooking on the trip so far has been extremely rudimentary - potato soup and spaghetti is about as adventurous as I have gotten so far. Traveling with Clay and Mary has definitely spoiled me though, not having to cook and having meals that are more than one dish will just be one more reason I will miss them when we part ways.

Sleeping in the cold weather on the boat is not as bad as most folks would imagine, I have 2 great sleeping bags aboard, and after running the diesel heater and getting the cabin warm I just pile into a sleeping bag and settle in for the night, I am usually quite toasty in my government issue sleeping bag, the new ones are much warmer than the ones I had so long ago in the Marine Corps.

I have racked up a total of 702 miles to date, not as far as I could have gone, and more miles on the engine than I would like, but I have definitely made good progress, despite all the delays that I created while visiting. I will say though that we - Clay, Mary and I - are not the last of the snow birds though, despite our respective late starts. Today I was passed by a really nice sail boat out of Annapolis - The S/V Truant - homeport Vail Colorado. Yesterday was the S/V Firewater, also out of Annapolis. So far I am the only one single handing it, yes, it would be nice to have a human companion to share the sailing with - no offense Spook, but you aren't that good at the tiller - but I am not sure I would want to share my boat with anyone, unless it was someone I knew well and trusted. I can't imagine making this trip with a pick-up crew, such as the ones on, only to find that I can't stand to be in that close proximity to them.

So alone I go, as I have with most of my sailing so far. This morning I woke up in Murrell's Inlet, SC, and later today will find our 2 boats in Georgetown, SC, from what we have seen on the net and read, it is a very nice little town, I will update when I get there.

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