Date: 8 December 2016. Anchor Down by
Noon (policy vs. practice)
First, I apologize. It's not that I haven't had lots of guilt about
the lack of new articles being posted. I could give you any number
of Excuses. All would be true and none would encompass the whole.
Thus, I'm starting fresh.
meantime I've had a Wish since forever installed. This is HUGE and
will be detailed once I get a bit more caught up.
Pete Boat Show was marvelous. I was fortunate enough to spend two
days there and have lots to share. There are pictures galore to
process and upload.
And now, back to our semi-regularly scheduled words. Trawler
life on a nickel budget is both fabulous and frugal. Cruising requires finding
your own footing while underway. Expecting perfection is a recipe
for disappointment. Things that work for me may not suit you at all. Also
I've learned something: what was the perfect policy in years past
simply doesn't fit me and my lifestyle now.
I'm on a soapbox today. Here's a
picture of mine:
"Anchor down by noontime" is a policy aboard Seaweed.
Whenever I say something along the lines of "It has always been my
policy" it may be time to pull on the boots. Policy and practice
differ. Things change and life happens. Being adaptable is a
necessity in my view. My cruising style is evolving. I like it
better than ever now.
For instance when chatting with a neighbor we came to the
conclusion that it would be smart to always have the anchor down by
noontime. That sounds wonderful when you hear the words. Reality is
a bit different.
I get tired.
Being rested means
I am less likely to make mistakes.
Boating is fabulous. I love life afloat. Getting an early start when
heading out seems to be a good idea on the surface. It was the
policy that worked well for me until a couple years back. Nowadays I am not
always and up-and-at-'em gal. I tend to wake up slowly. Civility
arrives with the second infusion of caffeine.
several boaters nearby who are or were active cruisers. We have long
chats on the aft deck. All of us remember the O-dark thirty
departures. Now I'm past the half-century mark and am slowing down
somewhat. I find the
get-up-and-go of my youth has left without me.
Aboard Seaweed I wake at a leisurely pace. First I have a cup of
coffee or tea and relax while rousing my brain cells. Mornings are
wonderful at anchor.
I watch the
gulls and pelicans. Scanning for dolphins and manatees is another
early morning activity. Pondering life while nature puts on a show
just for me is a true delight.
retirement thing is awesome. I don't have to be anywhere.
Boaters should realize schedules are guidelines for the future
rather than carved in stone. My life is written in beach sand.
I move about as fast as a sand turtle
until I've ingested a couple cups of
The reality of "Anchor down by noontime" is far different than the
words. What I actually mean is that before noon I'd like to get
underway. Of course there are days of sitting tight and reading on
my Kindle appeals more, so that's exactly what I do. Have I
mentioned how wonderful retirement is?!?
realization of boating style and timing did not come while relaxing in the cockpit of Seaweed.
Nope. I took a jaunt for a few days intending to head south and cross Tampa Bay.
The plan was to meet with some other Schucker owners near Egmont
Key. Cheryl of Island Time had planned a get-together and I was
disappointed to miss it.
This is Cheryl on the bow of
her Schucker named Island Time.
The Tampa Bay weather forecast predicted moderately choppy to choppy
waters. I opted to stay on the north side of the bay. I'm a wimp
when it comes to wind, waves and open water. Protected places suit
long for blue water boats should make sure they like that sort of
thing. I'm a decadent loving woman. For me appreciating wildlife in
protected waters works best. I do like remote areas.
and tranquility are tangible the further away from "civilization" I
get. Of course I also want wifi. There is a dichotomy involved
without a doubt.
is south of the entrance
to Tampa Bay, which is a major seaport.
For me staying at anchor in a safe harbor is always a better idea
than taking a chance on a crossing. Weather windows do happen in
coastal waters if one has patience.
I've got my
Kindle and life is certainly wonderful afloat. I anchored just north
of the bay off a little town called Gulfport. It's quite nice too.
boats need to be aware of the weather and waves. I listen to the
NOAA WX (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather
station) reports on the radio morning and night. When anything more
than light chop is forecast I stay put. There is no reason to rough
it in less than stellar conditions. At this point in my life I have
nothing to prove. I'm into decadence.
people such as myself on small boats need to be careful about
is wind and waves. My boat is effected more by waves than a larger
and heavier boat would be. I take Small Craft Warnings seriously and
Being safe is
paramount. I'd rather wait.
Besides, I'm already where I want to be.
This is the fishing pier at Gulfport.
Two fishermen and a Great Blue Heron are
on the dock. All are hoping for fresh fish.
I'm at anchor just a bit to the right of this photo...
Gulfport I ended up anchoring in three separate spots. Having a
Lewmar windlass sure did make moving my home a snap. I'm a lucky
regarding anchoring in Gulfport:
The sand bottom makes this a good holding ground. Anchor close to
the dock for easy dinghy landings. There are numerous restaurants
along the waterfront business district. It's an artsy town. I had
fun meandering around.
off on a short five day adventure I did not rouse self and move boat
until after lunch. The "Anchor down by noon" policy of yesteryear is
not me... not now anyway.
I'm back at a private dock for the next two months. Departure date,
give or take with weather the determining factor, is 1 February. I'm
if you see Seaweed on the waters be sure to give a call on Channel
16. I'm always listening.
Comments welcome and encouraged on
Anchor Down by Noon (policy vs.
Announcement: I did start a few months ago emailing notices
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VHF aboard Seaweed
Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life
Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)
For years I've been collecting short
pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy
the weird, go ahead and
These are previously posted at the
bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.
Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.
The above chart (#411) can be a
wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go
next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for
download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!
The Writer's Block
It's my belief that other folks who
boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater
is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or
even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near
the water. Suggested topics include:
1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing
For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend
you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory
from years ago that you still recall.
Life has changed so much on the
water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories
of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much
slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have
become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:
Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of
Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads
and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to
Do you want to help
Often an article for the website
will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am
looking for some for up-coming pieces:
Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels
across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized
for emailing -- I'd prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd
like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And
My email address is