Ahoy from the “Poop” Deck

It’s a cool, clear evening. The wind is calm and the water is so glassy that you can see the reflections of the stars and the clouds on the surface. There is no moon yet. I’m in the cockpit listening to the sound track from “Legends of the Fall” on the stereo. Suzy’s below getting ready for bed. It’s good to relax. I spent most of the day repairing a leak in the water heater. Next I have to figure out why the engine isn’t heating the water. It’s too cold to try to get by without hot water.  Whatever. Cruising is all about fixing your boat in exotic places.

l went forward a few minutes ago to check the anchor.  I surprised a cormorant sitting on the bowsprit. It splashed into the water while squawking at me for the interruption. The foredeck is a mess. I guess we’ll be washing poop off the deck tomorrow. The dew is falling. The sail cover is soaking wet.

We’re getting into our onboard routine.  We rise with the sun at about 7 am and have a casual breakfast while half-listening to the news on NPR. By mid-morning we’re at work on our projects. Suzy is trying to whip the galley into shape and figure out the storage and menu rotation. I’m doing maintenance on the engine (and trying to get the water heater working). We squeeze in a light lunch between tasks. We might take the dinghy ashore to go to the grocery or hardware store. By 4 pm, the sun is getting low and we’re wrapping up our work. We have Happy Hour as the sun sets. The sun is down by 5:30, and we’re putting supper together. Everything is cleaned up by around 7, and we’re just about done for the day. Not long ago, we heard some friends referring to “Marathon Midnight.” This is Marathon in the FL Keys. Apparently, Marathon Midnight is about 9 pm. That must be right, because by 9 we’re ready for bed.

The last several evenings, I’ve been going over charts trying to plan our trips. I’m taking a break tonight. I can hear voices from ashore carrying over the water. Other people are having a good time. It’s a great night to be out. It’s a great night to be still. I’m enjoying doing nothing.