Well, we thought we would be heading to the Dry Tortugas by now, and the weather has been mighty fine for it, but we are learning that plans are “fluid” when you are living on a boat. Cap’t K. has had the good fortune to get some consulting work that he is doing on the computer, and the job is extending into next week, so we decided to postpone our trip so he can focus on the job in a place with a reliable internet connection. So we are still in Marathon. I’m getting a bit ansy here and needed a little change of scenery, so when my friends Hilary and Charles invited me to go with them to the Miami boat show, I decided to hop in their car and go with them to the big city.
Hillary and Charles
For those readers who are not boaters, let me explain what a boat show is. Once a year several major boating cities around the country host boat shows, where the latest and greatest boats and products relating to boats come together in a huge boat shopping party. Boat people from around the world come to gawk at boats, talk about boats, and spend money on boat stuff. I had never been to a boat show before, so I thought it would be a learning experience to check it out.
Sailboats all dressed up in flags for the show
At the Miami boat show the entire downtown marina is devoted as the “Strictly Sail” section, and is the exclusive domain of sailors. Powerboats and fishing boats are in another part of town. Of course we are strictly sailors and went to stroll the docks, which were mostly full of very large and very fancy sailboats that K. and I can only dream about. So I went on all the dreamiest sailboats there — 60 foot sailboats with pristine teak decks, 3 bathrooms, and enough room for me to have an entire weaving studio on board. Sailboats so big our cats would get lost for days exploring them. Sailboats with million dollar price tags.
60 feet of teak decks
And then there was all the high end, high tech stuff to put on these huge sailboats. Complicated gadgets galore. Winches that are bigger than our galley. The newest innovations on anchors and life jackets and ropes. It was all pretty overwhelming.
It was an interesting contrast to the book I’ve been reading: Cruising in Seraffyn
by Lin and Larry Pardey. This couple has been cruising the world for 40 years in very small and simple sailboats. Their motto is “Go small, go simple, go now”. Their first boat Seraffyn
, was a 24 foot handmade wooden boat without an engine, and they sailed very happily around the world in it for years. Not only did they sail successfully without an engine, they also did not have any electronic equipment other than a radio. Again and again they emphasized that all the extra equipment and gadgets cost money upfront and down the road for maintenance that could be better spent traveling. Of course it must also be mentioned that they are excellent sailors with amazing navigational skills which allowed them to travel this way. Their story has inspired me to pursue more aggressively a better knowledge of navigation and sailing, and I have now begun to work my way through the American Sailing Association’s “Coastal Navigation and Piloting” Course. So far on our trip it has been too easy to rely on the GPS.
Anyway, back to Miami.
After the boat show we went back to our 5 STAR HOTEL ROOM at the Doral Resort and Golf Club to relax in the hot tub. What was I, an unemployed budget conscious sailor, doing at an exclusive, fancy 5 star hotel, might you ask? Well, the other reason I decided to jump ship and go to Miami is that my friends had managed to score a free hotel room at this resort through a business deal with their company, and so I got to enjoy it as well. And enjoy it we did! The hot tub and pool were AMAZING, with giant waterfalls cascading over fake but very convincingly real looking cliffs into both the swimming pool and hot tub. The waterfall over the hot tub was positioned so you could sit under it and enjoy the pounding hot water on your shoulders as a massage. Excellent!! Oh, and a real bed and a TV and a bathroom! After living aboard Wee Happy, I’m easy to please and this was pure luxury!
And all this time that I was partying it up in Miami, my poor sweet husband was home on the boat recovering from having a tooth pulled. It obviously hasn’t been a fun experience, so send some healing wishes his way.
Oh, and one more thing! Some of you know that my camera has been broken for awhile now. Maybe you’ve noticed we’ve had less pictures lately…that’s why. Super K. miraculously fixed it and it’s back in action again! Here is the first picture I took with the newly resurrected camera: