We did it! We got out of the vortex of Boot Key Harbor! AND, we gathered a wee armada of 27 foot sailboats to go with us. 4 sailboats total, all 27 footers….We all had a few things in common: we are on 27 foot sailboats and we are not retired. We made our way downwind together to the famed Bahia Honda Beach. An epically beautiful day.
There is a phenomenon that tends to happen in Boot Key Harbor that causes people to stay in the harbor for longer than anticipated and they stop going out sailing. We noticed the pull ourselves, and we have also been surprised to see it in others even more than us. People come long distances in their boats to spend time in one of the best sailing grounds in North America, only to just sit in the harbor and stop sailing. We discovered that it was not uncommon for people to be there for months and not go out at all in their boats. We have also discovered that the bigger the boat, the more reasons there are to not go out sailing. There are more things to break and need repaired, there is more expense to buy and maintain the boat, therefore more time that needs to be spent working and not sailing. And, when you live aboard, it’s easier to fill a large deck up with stuff that needs to be moved in order to go out sailing and just getting the boat ready to go out becomes a major task. So there is a plug for the benefit of a simpler, wee boat!
So we managed to break the inertia and convinced our friends aboard 27 footers to sail with us the whopping 10 miles to Bahia Honda. Whoo Hoo!Sara and Trevor led the pack in Earendil, a 27 foot Hunter, leading the way with their glorious rainbow colored genoa sail. Our friend Wes, in his Albin Vega just like ours (only a bit more spiffy with a new coat of hull paint) joined the pack. And our friends Dave and Janae went on their first solo sail ever in their new boat, Wave Dancer, a 27 foot Erickson. We became the Wee Armada!
The Wee Armada needed to eat once we got all anchored safely in harbor. How many people can you fit onto a 27 foot boat? 7 is the maximum number any of us had hosted on any of our 27 foot boats, and we boat hopped for dinner. First it was drinks, chips, and salsa aboard Wee Happy.
Then, we discovered a new version of a potluck aboard Earendil. Everyone went back to their respective boats to make their contribution to our one-dish potluck meal: Wave Dancer cooked pasta, Gemini Dreams made sauce, Wee Happy sauteed peppers and mushrooms, and Earendil cooked sausages. Everyone brought their food over to Earendil’s boat (because they had the big table on their boat!), and we ended up with one delicious pasta dish!!
Conversation about issues particular to wee boats went on late into the evening, when we finally decided to play cards. We played a game of “Bullshit” and Cap’t. K and I failed miserably in the skill of lying.
Then, everyone aboard the wee boats in the Wee Armada went to sleep, hoping to not drag their anchors between the two tall bridges. We all dreamed some version of waking up dangerously close to a bridge…..
Today we hung out on various parts of the long Bahia Honda Beach. We even went out to a small island with our friends cat and our kite. The cat freaked out. The kite flew high. Our friends Kurt and Christina arrived, (on a 35 footer. but still honorary members of the Wee Armada), Dave and Janae left, and all who were present had grilled shrimp kabobs on the beach at sunset. The Wee Armada Rules!