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Just being out here


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Hello everyone.


I’m in a cozy spot. I mean that in many ways. I’m in the best part of my life; living the life I love. I’m on a boat that’s my home, my adventure escape capsule, and the warehouse of all my stuff. I’m on a comfortable settee with a soft pillow behind my head and a keyboard in my lap; a softer cool breeze blowing in from the hatch overhead is quite welcome.


I have the glow of accomplishment and discovery that comes from a day that began with adventure, had just enough work to fend off guilt, and a natural occurrence that resembles magic on my way home here tonight. Here I am at the end of a picture perfect day, nibbling a piece of chocolate, and writing to you.


Last night I slept well. There was a nice breeze coming in the hatch over the v-berth, as tonight, and just enough boat motion to make it comfortable, (I tend to be restless when it’s to still). I awoke in my normal way, to the sound of Nicky and her baby, Lucky Luke, fishing around my boat. The distinctive splash, pop, and whoosh of dolphins breaching to breath is one of my favorite sounds. The western bulkhead of the morning was painted orange with the early sunlight slanting in from the opposite port light. A gull was calling someplace distant.


I named Nicky for her nicked up aft section of her dorsal fin. I later learned and observed that almost all adult dolphins have this characteristic in this thin and easily damaged part of their bodies. I named Luke after a French comic book character, also because my little sister Nicky’s son is named Luke. So while I was anthropomorphizing my *** off, I went ahead and named the other adult, that usually keeps company with this pair, Mark, after my brother in law. I have no idea if they are a family or not or even if Lucky Luke is maybe not Lucky Lucy. I just wanted to name them and it seemed natural to do it that way. I like to think they come around here because they know I love them…. I’m sure it has more to do with some quirk of the way my boat reflects sonar or attracts bait fish or some other “normal” explanation. I am the only full time live aboard in this anchorage though, so perhaps this is why. Sometimes they

follow my dink and swim under it making a fluke wake first on one side and then the other… do they want me to play? Is the dink making good hunting for them?


I got up and turned on my little inverter to grind beans. I wish I had an old timey hand crank job but it would probably take up too much space. Space is a never ending challenge onboard a small cruising boat… space, power, and fresh water. I’m in the process of building and installing the machines that will make her as self sufficient as possible. For lights and for running the coffee grinder I get my power from the sun. I record it during the day, with a 100 watt solar panel, and I play it back at night. I made three cups of strong café filtre. As I was having my first cup, and the eastern horizon was moving down, I noticed that the wind had died and the water had gone flat. I had no obligations for the early morning, and so I decided to take a turn at a new hobby… Geo-caching. Rather than explain what it is here, I’ll just go ahead and tell what I did. I’ll cross post this to the geo-caching site bbs as well so I don’t want to bore people more than necessary.


I’ve had things ready to go for weeks, just waiting for the right conditions. I had my sketch chart of the area, (traced from a nautical chart), some notes about the site copied from the net, some trading items.


I filled my thermal travel mug with strong java, climbed into the hot rod dink and motored off slowly toward the intercoastal waterway.


Once in the main channel of the water way I twisted the throttle and sped up to twenty miles per hour. This is not fast by modern transportation standards, but it is fast for a dink, and when you are moving along, inches from the water’s surface, it’s a nice thrill. My target was a Tupperware container filled with trinkets, and secreted under a half dead, half live tree, on a small spoils island in the Indian River Lagoon. Three miles away, but still what I would consider my back yard, this island lays a few hundred meters from the main channel. As I approached it, I slowed to idle speed and turned west towards a clearing and what looked like a good boat landing site. It was deep enough to motor almost to the shore, and I poled myself the remaining couple of meters to beach on some dredged up coral rocks. The interior of the island was more open than I had expected. There were no birds to poop on me, or mosquitoes to bite me, as reported by previous cache hunters. In fact, I was having such a merry time boony stomping, that I did not try to seriously look for the cache until I had explored the island a little. There were mostly casuarina trees and I have always loved the way they smell. Something about them always reminds me of southern France. I spent some time digging rocks from under the wrong tree and when I found it was a dead end, I looked for the clue of an old plank, (a recurring theme in my adventures by the way), and easily found the cache.


My initial thought was, “hey!, this is real!”. I left a note in the log but as so often happens with me, I could not remember the date! Please, next person to visit, fill in the 11th for me where I logged an entry. I also used the disposable camera to take my self-portrait, from arms length. I may have used the last picture there; I’m not too sure. I removed the Main lobster pin and put in some purple crystals.


It is a nice spot and I enjoyed reading the initial log entry and the log entries of other geo-cachers. I took my time rummaging the contents of the cache. When I returned to the dink, I found that it was swamped. Several passing powerboat wakes had been the culprits. Oh well. That’s why god made bleach bottles, so we could cut the bottoms out of them for bailers.


I was sponging the remaining water from the bilge as I idled out away from the island when I decided to sound around for an anchorage deep enough to accommodate the mother ship. I putted along, using the oar to gauge the depth, looking for the 4.5 foot line. It was too close to the main channel for consideration on the west side so I continued to the east side which seemed promising. I saw some pelicans fishing in a way they only do when there are masses of schooled fish. They flap their wings like mad while paddling with their big feet, eventually they are in a pre-flight headlong run-flap on the surface, and just as they get air born, they pick off a small fish near the surface by dipping their bill in. They must have tremendous neck muscles to stop themselves dead from headlong flight. I love watching pelicans fly and fish this way and there were dolphins in the area. Sometimes the dolphins join in the fun by herding the schooled fish into a ball, and then taking turns dashing in to get a fish. If they did not work as a team, they would disperse the fish by rushing in at once. I’ve seen Nicky ball up fish like this for Luke. I don’t know if she is just showing him or if he is eating fish. Do baby dolphins nurse? For how long? Any way I stopped the motor to watch, listen, and just be “out there” for a while.


I heard them before I saw them. They present less above the water than dolphins do, and less often, but they surely are mammals and I happen to know that they nurse their young. Mermaids! West Indian Manatees to be more precise. Big old sea cows and I was so so glad that I was practicing caution all day by idling speed outside the main deep channel. There were two groups of them out there. A pair of females, each with a young one were nearest the dink and very very close by. As I said, I heard them breathing before I saw them. They were obligingly coming towards the dink. Their breathing is gentler than the dolphins - less urgent. The other group was too far off to really tell much about. I did get a good look at a flipper as one rolled up, and another look at the distinctive beaver tail of another.


After watching the manatees for about 30 minutes I putted carefully back out to the channel and motored on back here.


At Robert’s waterfront, I tied the dingy up. Robert has perhaps the last piece of wild land along Indian River Drive in Sebastian. They have cleared the lot next to him. There is a little creek running through it and a stand of tall bamboo at the sidewalk end. The mullet swim up into a pool near this stand of bamboo and on a full moon night you can dream you are in an Etcher version of a Japanese garden watching the coy. There are tall palms and oaks along with enough underbrush to make the short hike interesting. I have the path down in memory so I can do it even on moonless nights. Its step step step, duck, step step turn, step over, step step turn, step over… And I’m crossing the street and back into the “sheeples” reality.


A different set of schemas takes over my psyche as I “check both ways”. Urban mode. The next task at hand, after breakfast, was to free a reptile. I love and respect nature but I have to tell you… I don’t like poison snakes. My normal impulse is to wipe them out. Well, being a good citizen of the planet sometimes means subverting those impulses and doing something else. In this case, I had an Eastern Coral snake in a plastic tub to deal with. I had nearly stepped on him a few days earlier while crossing Robert’s lawn. A rattlesnake bite put me in the hospital in New Mexico once for a week, so it was something I did not enter into lightly. Also letting it just go its way in the yard was not an option due to Robert’s young daughter playing there. That morning a bee that had gotten into my hat while I rode the rice rocket to the doughnut shop had already stung me… (you didn’t think I lived on tofu did you?), so I was already not having a good day. Nothing makes a noise like a bee. When you get one in your helmet or hat while riding a motorcycle, the impulse you have to overcome, is to not crash the motorcycle to get to the bee. One calmly checks for following traffic in the mirror, puts on the turn signal, eases the bike over to the side and gets to a full stop. That’s when I was stung on the head of course. Oh well. Where was I? So I had this eastern coral snake who needed a new home, far from 3 year old Katrina’s play yard. I ended up turning him loose way out in the country, on a back road where there was neither orange orchard nor housing development. I was surprised at how hard it was to find such a patch here near Florida’s coast.


My next task of the day was to sort out the things on my trailer into stuff that goes to the dump, stuff that Robert wants, and stuff that goes to the boat or will be refurbished for sale. I thought I could do this all in the afternoon but it turned out to be more difficult. I am trying to overcome the impulse to gather “things”. The sheeple herders would have us believe that acquisition of “things” is the purpose of life. Oh well.


The horizon came back up. I had pizza with Robert as we watched a special on TV about poisonous snakes. Ironically, there was a coral snake on it and discussion as to how to tell the difference between a coral and king snake. Forget all that “red next to yellow” malarkey and just remember that the coral has a black tipped nose. I was surprised at how he had totally vanished in the fallen leaves and grass in a flash.


I made my way thru the dark woods at the waters edge. Now reversing my pattern, step step step, duck… The moon was behind me, it’s a Ramadan moon tonight, I reflected briefly on my time in Riyadh during Ramadan that seems like a century ago, I was such a different person then. God please don’t make me go back to that awful place.


I was back in adventure/nature mode buy the time I reached the dink. The tide was out so I did my Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen imitation. Dragging the dink out of the flats and into the shallows I was shuffling along, (sting rays you know), and whistling the piano tune from the movie “To have and have not”, and thinking of Lauren Bachal’s line, “you know how to whistle Steve… you just put your lips together and blow…” when I saw the magic.


A blue glowing blob angling off in a zig zag pattern in the water. I stopped and it was a few moments before I realized what I had seen. I must have scared a fish, which bolted and moving rapidly thru the water, fired off the phosphorescence in the plankton there. Sure enough, when I got in the dink I noticed a high degree of this phenomenon while poling out to deep enough water to put down the outboard motor. I saw dozens of these fish light up the water for me and I poled and then paddled way farther than I needed to. On the way motoring here the dink appeared to be pushed along on an aqua blue flame. Once aboard the boat, I watched over the side the incredible number of blue flashes and streaks in a light show that I can only compare to flying at high altitude over lightning storms at night.


So maybe there are many fish around the boat all the time? Is that why Nicky likes me?

Now I’ve shared my day with you. It’s an act of completion to top off the experience for me.


Fair Winds ~~~~~~_/) ~~~~~~~




Read more at The Dingy Dock



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Standing out in the forest, listening to the silent breeze, a certain calm overcomes me unlike any other. The smells of pine, juniper, and sage mix together in a potpourri not unlike one would expect to find in a Glade scent called "High Desert Scent" or wafting up from some sort of tree store.


As I walk through the forest, the trees tower over me like crazy-big toothpicks - but toothpicks with branches and needles, and occasionally some wildlife, moss, or other stuff. The shadows they cast are almost like they are partially blocking out the sunlight, creating areas only illuminated by ambient light.


When I finally reach my destination, and I set down my heavy load, a certain ease comes over me, not unlike the ease I feel when I've just walked a long distance, and set down a significant load. Carrying a Honda gas generator out into the forest isn't a picnic.


Turning on the generator, the gas smell so terrible, I don't even have to try to ignore it; the beauty of all that is around me completely stupefies my sense of smell.


I let the generator run for a while as I set up the other equipment; two turn tables and a microphone, some large speakers, and a crate of European techno music. As the sun sets, I throw on a light ambient disc, its lightness only exceeded by its ambient ness.


Its dark now, the only light coming from the moon and the disco lights attached to my table. They begin to pulsate as the rhythm grows faster, and I transition over to some real fly beats.


I almost don't notice my audience; at least sixteen deer, two brown bears, eleven squirrels, ten salmon, and two sasquatch have gathered in the clearing. The clearness of the clearing had been replaced by a jumping, sweating, raving mass of animals, jumping and sweating, and raving. Like animals would do.


Anouther perfect day in the forest comes to a close, as I hand out flyers for the next event.



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I almost don't notice my audience; at least sixteen deer, two brown bears, eleven squirrels, ten salmon, and two sasquatch have gathered in the clearing. The clearness of the clearing had been replaced by a jumping, sweating, raving mass of animals, jumping and sweating, and raving. Like animals would do.


The bears are there, they're in the pink, they brought their favorite records, too bad they stink. The moose go mooo, the deers are there too and the monsters are cooking up a a disgraceful soup for you...at the party in the woods tonight, at the party under the pale moonlight, we're gonna get out the door and rock some more at the party in the woods tonight. - J. Richman


"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs, but by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" -Max Beerbohm

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Originally posted by ThatBoatGuy:

Hello everyone.


Oh My Gosh! Run! It's the attack of the 50 foot sigs!


Welcome George! At first I thought your huge post was just going to be some sort of hyperextended diatribe about why boating was better than geocaching; I then proceeded to read a couple lines and realized that it wasn't. Anyways, More Caching, Less lounging on the boat! =P



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Listening to my feet go squish...squish...squish in the mud puddles, not unlike the mud puddles of a long ago childhood, a thought passed through my mind, I should be writing down my memories so they will not fade away, into a distant past never to be regained as my mind slowly winds down in my old age. But realization got the best of me and my mind said GET ON WITH YOUR GEOCACHING AND WATCH WHERE YOU'RE WALKING FOOL. THERE'S TOO MUCH CACHING TO BE DONE. So I left the pen in the cache and decided to post my memories in the log on line.


Cache you later,




"It doesn't matter whether you're going somewhere or nowhere, whether you're doing something or nothing. If you're doing it in a boat it's the best time ever!" -Water Rat from "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame (a book I picked up in a cache)

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Pine. That subtle smell wafting up the mountain lifted on the gentle breeze that God himself has made especially for me, a mere mortal. The sun has crested the yardarm and I'm snuggled in my soft leather armchair, basking in the radiant heat. A solo droplet of water sneaks its random way down the frosted glacier of my beer mug. I'm caught up in what is bound to be another fruitless season for my beloved Washington Redskins.


I sit and ponder the curse that being a sports fan has foist upon me. No one can be happy being a Redskins fan. Nor an Orioles fan, or a UVa fan, for that matter. I think back to the time I took a trip to New Orleans to see UVa play Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl. I should have known that the Cavs were doomed when the omen of a speeding ticket within ten minutes of leaving for the Big Easy from Richmond, Virginia entered my driver's side window. Yet, I plodded onward. Yes, the Cavs were up by a couple of touchdowns at halftime, but they saw fit to lose it in the final minutes. Yet I have the glow and accomplishment of having suffered such humiliations and learned from the experience. My affection for sports is characterized by sadness, but I have the comfort that, from sadness comes knowledge.


The winter droplet has now completed its solitary ski run down the side of my beer mug and plowed itself into a suicidal puddle on my knee. It's watery blood spreads out in a dark spot on my jeans. The Redskins are down by three touchdowns and it's appearing inevitable that, rather than making some effort to save face and make the score more palatable to those who have taken the Redskin loyalty oath, they are generously granting their opponent...the exact team escapes my at this time, clouded in the frequency of this type of game...at least one, and possibly two more touchdowns.


I look from my suicidal skier knee to my other. Perched atop it is my pride and joy, my 18 month old daughter, Margaret. She smiles as she pulls the dog's tail and the dog lets out a solitary squeal that makes it sound like she needs a little squirt of WD-40. Yes, there she sits. My little offspring. Innocently torturing the innocent. I think of her birth and how remarkably small she was, and how much stuff was born into this world with her. This thought rings some bell of significance in my head, a feeling that my thoughts have come full circle, but I just can't figure out how. Puzzling. I envision more detail of her birth...how I was there telling her Mommy to push...push...push! Then I remember seeing my baby born, then I remember seeing tile and realizing it was the floor. The smell! That's the connection! Pine! They must have used some kind of pine scented cleanser to clean the floor of the stuff with which the previous baby was born! Thankful that they cleaned up before I fainted, I relish yet another learning defeat...that of new fatherhood.


We named her Margaret, after my father-in-law's mother. She would have been tickled to know that her first great-grandchild was named after her. Alas, she passed away five years before my daughter's birth. Still, I envision her as I last saw her, sitting at her kitchen table complaining about all the lesbians who have moved into her small town, but laughing at the fact that future generations will carry her name forward.


I think about how long it has been since I last visited her little town nestled just far enough from Richmond to be hidden. I wonder about what has happened there since. Are the lesbians running the town now? Do the old long-time residents still gather at Spanky's store and talk about politics and the economy with the seriousness that their discussion could resolve the world's problems? Does anyone still remember when I threw up in the graveyard after the lesbians' keg party?


I glance at the closet. My Geocaching backpack hands idly from the coat rack like the last leaf of fall refusing to take the downward plunge. An idea hits me. I wonder if there are any Geocaches around Nana's little town. Surely there are! It's near a large city and there are numerous wildlife management areas around the town. I get up and grind myself out another beer. I log onto my new-found hobby's website and enter a search. There it is! One relatively new cache hidden along the banks of the James River!


I check my batteries and they're fresh. I sniff my daughter's hind-quarters and determine that she's in need of a diaper change. I call to my wife, finishing the newspaper crossword puzzle at the dining room table and inform her of her daughter's offense and my need to reduce my stress level by driving over a hundred miles to her deceased grandmother's hometown. She waffles a bit at this proposition, especially since my daugther has just ingested the better part of a crayon. I announce my intentions, with the greatest of hope, by asking my wife, "pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease!" I point out the statisics for heart attacks among middle aged members of my profession and manage to squeeze out a tear. As it begins its own suicidal trip down my cheek, she finally relents. "Okay, I'll take care of the baby for the next five hours. You go have fun Geocaching!"


A sudden explosion happens as my Geocaching backpack is snatched from its hanging and I disappear, seeming magically, through the front wall of our house. My wife is amazed by the powdered brick cloud that hovers around the Lyra-shaped hole in the wall.


Always wear proper caching safety equipment!


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Your right of course... I use metaphor way too much. And kind of corny I guess... can’t help myself. Thanks for saying it in an interesting and entertaining way.


Oh... and you might check to make sure that dosage was not really intended for livestock.... icon_wink.gificon_smile.gif


"There's a giant doing cartwheels, a statue wearin' high heels.

Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn.

A dinosaur Victrola list'ning to Buck Owens.


Doo, doo, doo, lookin' out my back door.


Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band.

Won't you take a ride on the flyin' spoon?

Doo, doo, doo.

Wondrous apparition provided by a magician"

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