Monday, February 8, 2010

Time for decisions....

Last night I dinghied over to the bar and watched Superbowl 44 (I am not sure I can do 44 in roman numerals, I won't even attempt it) and after watching the underdog New Orleans Saints have a great victory, I headed back out to Arden. Unfortunately in my haste to get back to the boat and get warm (it did get quite cool here last night) I ran aground on the same shoal that I had warned another sailor of the day before. The dinghy ground to a halt, and I tried to push off with one of the oars, and SNAP, the plastic blade broke right in half. Talk about having nothing but bad luck. So this morning Spook and I set out to Surplus Unlimited to see if they had oars in stock, and I soon found that their surplus supplies were limited - no dinghy oars. I did get a replacement ampmeter, and then I headed down to West Marine, where I found a set of oars just like the one I broke. They come as a pair, so I had to get two, but I suppose now if I ever pull a no brainer like that I will at least have a spare oar. Like I really need more stuff aboard this boat. The upside to this is that Spook and I did get a really long walk in, at least 4 miles, so I can't say I am lacking for exercise.

I have found myself at kind of a cross roads today, there really is no work here in Daytona, and it seems that the longer I stay shore bound, the more I spend, the more I spend the less I can do, etc, etc, etc. I know I need to get moving, but the question is - in which direction?

I have been in this same position a few times along this trip, most notably with my decision to leave Manteo. In hind sight, which according to urban lore is always crystal clear, it occurs to me that I probably should have stayed, and tried to work on things that were there. And it occurs to me that the reasons I did leave, and the prompting I got to get my butt back in gear and to go south, may have been advice given for reasons that I didn't understand until I had already weighed anchor and moved on. I was definitely on the fence about leaving, and, to be honest, with the oncoming cold, and the terrible weather that had set in after I left, I would have been physically miserable, but just perhaps my mind might have been a bit more at ease then than it is now. I wavered several times about continuing, and came close to turning back more than once. I think if I had, I most certainly would not be where I am geographicly, but I would also not be where I am inside myself.

I think in the eyes of some, and at times in my own eyes, I have done what I set out to do, and that was to reach Florida. I have done that, and I have gotten to warmer weather and warmer waters, but I have not yet made it to the Abacos, or to the Keys, and I am thinking at this point that those goals may be unattainable with my current state of affairs. I have seen and experienced a lot so far in this trip - I have seen dolphins and quite possibly whales, I have seen amazing sunrises and sunsets. I have seen great flocks of water fowl and birds that I have never seen before. I have sailed by some really interesting boats, and stopped in some very interesting places. I have met nice folks along the way and have been helped out by some really great people, and I have made some new friends. But I think in the end, if I was trying to find a slice of paradise, and peace in my own mind, I think I might just have passed it somewhere around Statute Mile Marker 115 on the ICW.

So what to do now. I can weigh anchor, and head south again, get a few more miles under the keel, get to a bit warmer water and hang out for just a few more weeks before I head back. Or I can begin the journey north again, taking my time, trying to wait out the worst of the cold that I know is up north, and make it back to the place where I think I should be. I am going to take a day or so mulling this over, get a few more boat projects done, and then I will leave, in one direction or another. No matter what, on Wednesday I will be leaving Daytona. I would be interested to hear reactions to this post, and to get a different perspective or views on where the readership thinks I should go. If you have an idea or comment, please send it my way at Perhaps I will get out the dart board and hang the chart there....

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