View from the Masthead

1/9 Wednesday, 73/43, partly cloudy, NW10-15 - At 5am, I crawled out of bed and walked up to the bathroom. On my return, I noticed that Grace had slipped off her fender. I mentioned this to Dobbs and he got up and adjusted our lines. I wrote for a while before making breakfast - when I can get it, I like time to sip hot coffee and let my brain slowly welcome the day. By 6:30am, the cabin was smelling of bacon and kale, eggs and toast. After breakfast, I took Murphy for a walk through Sand Point Park and Dobbs bicycled out to the Staples (14 miles round-trip on a gearless beach cruiser!) to print out new Walden Rigging flyers. I spotted a Loggerhead Shrike - no photo though - I had to choose between memorizing all the details I could to I.D. it later or trying to raise my camera and get a picture. Back at Grace, I filled our water tanks and rinsed down the boat. Then, while stepping off to disconnect the hose, I was startled to see two massive manatees enjoying the freshwater runoff. They are shameless freshwater hedonists, but I don’t give them any extra - just what they come by by happenstance. Dobbs returned mid-morning and we snacked on clementines. I wrote a continuation on the vagrant situation described in “Eau Gallie, FL” and then picked up where I’d left off weeks ago on an estimate. At 11am, Dobbs took care of a small aloft job for one of our dock neighbors. The owners of this Jeanneau had a new Garmin wireless wind instrument they wanted installed.


Office work filled my afternoon. By 3pm, I’d finished with part one of the estimate (finally!). Murphy and I took a walk along the bike path on the east side of town, following Indian River Avenue. This offered a nice view of the water and set us up for making a loop up Pine Street to North US1, then east through a courtyard over to Mariners Way which runs along the backs of the buildings downtown. Between Main Street and Broad Street, there’s a cute little vintage RV park. A man was sitting out front of his trailer, in a shady grove of trees, looking out at the river - we exchanged waves as I walked by.

I like having Murphy to walk with - I feel like his presence offers me a bit more security than walking alone, and friendly strangers warm up to him and then interact with me more readily that I think they would just me by myself. While I walked, Dobbs played a modified version of Sails of Glory, testing out two “artificially intelligent” ships against each other - a British ship sailing under a system devised by a fellow from the UK, and an American ship sailing under a system Dobbs created.

There’s a cool air blowing in from the NW today. I wore terry pants and a flannel button-down, and by late afternoon I was reaching for my cotton knit fisherman’s sweater.

We’re making a habit of happy hour in the cockpit because our neighbors stop by to talk when we’re sitting out there. We’re the only sailboat docked stern-to. We like this orientation because it’s easier for getting on-and-off the boat, the V-berth is slightly quieter and darker away from the dock, and also the “porch effect” mentioned earlier. Our neighbor across the way is having the second round of hernia surgery tomorrow, and he and his wife are a bit nervous about it. Another dock neighbor (with a car here) will drive them to Orlando first thing in the morning. I hope he heals well so that they can continue learning about sailing. They only got their Hunter 31 a couple months ago, in Fort Myers.

At sunset we buttoned in down below and I made fried tilapia (yes, Nora, I’m one of those Marylanders that travel with a can of Old Bay), macaroni and cheese, and red beets - soothing comfort food.


I’ve felt a touch under the weather all day - scratchy throat and very tired, like my body’s fighting off a cold. Shortly after dinner, I went forward to read in bed and Dobbs washed the dishes, walked Murphy one last time, and stayed up playing Sails of Glory until 11pm. As I drifted off to sleep, I liked hearing the clatter of dice on the table.