Two nights ago when I got home I saw leaves scattered all over the water in the marina. It's early August yet and the air conditioning is still cranking pretty much 24/7, but leaves on the water made me feel fall is right around the corner. And then winter. And the terribly low tides that trap me in the slip and make it exceedingly difficult for the pup dog to get on and off the boat.
Where has the year gone? A year ago I was just beginning my boat shopping and was about to start this blog. I've survived winter aboard and a variety of challenges, but feel so behind on boat projects, boat handling, and sailing. I'm planning on taking a five-day basic keelboat course and certification in September, which should go a long way toward increasing my confidence in hoisting the sails and casting off the lines. But in the meantime, the poor boat hasn't been out in five months! The last cruise aboard was a windy, snowy day in March when friends helped me motor across the creek to get the holding tank pumped out.
So I lit a fire under myself and organized a group of friends to take the boat out this weekend. I had hoped to get some running rigging replaced in time for us to make it a sail, but it looks like that will take a little longer. (I really ought to have someone climb the mast and check that the sheave for the halyard is smooth and in good condition so the new halyard won't get hung up or chafed.) But I need to burn through all the old, stale diesel in the tank, so a motoring cruise serves a very useful purpose, too. Fingers crossed for good weather tomorrow and a high enough tide to get into the slip when we return.
Yesterday marked yet another addition to the fleet: a liquid logic kayak.
I saw the post on craigslist and was skeptical because I hadn't seen any kayaks listed for less than $400, and usually more. The sellers were a family who just finished a two-year cruise beginning in San Francisco and ending here in Annapolis. It was just one less thing they'd have to worry about taking home on the plane, so they decided to go ahead and sell it. At $150 it was an amazing deal! Included with the kayak (about $800 new) was a carbon-fiber paddle, helmet, PFD, spray skirt, and flotation bags. It's really designed for white water river kayaking, but will be great for me to bar- and marina-hop around. It's shorter, only weighs 39 pounds, and has enough room that I can stow a bag with eats and drinks by my feet. Thanks DoolittleCruising! For this gal on a serious budget, this was such a great find, will be put to good use, and proof to me that good boat karma counts.