21 October 2011

I am the windlass

We have mud in Maine. I am familiar with it as a preferable anchoring medium. Unlike sand, coral or grass your anchor catches quickly, digs in and stays put in mud. I didn't expect or remember the ICW mud, and it didn't make an impression on me at first, back in VA and NC. But for the last week in Florida we have experienced some of the finest and most tenacious
mud I have even encountered. This mud embeds itself in your fingerprints and all the swirls on your hand. Despite vicious scrubbing it takes the whole day and the loss of quite a bit of skin before the semblance of cleanliness is restored. I began to dread hauling the anchor in the morning. I would gaze lovingly at my clean palms and fingernails knowing that it was all over. I didn't keep this dread to myself and started daydreaming aloud. I suspect that you think I want a windlass, a winch to pull the anchor aboard the boat. But I enjoy my early morning workout, stretching and pulling an assortment of muscles even before I've had my coffee. No I was daydreaming about a pair of gloves. You know the kind, plastic grip applied over a knit base, cheaply and easily purchased at a store selling commercial fishing gear. Finally yesterday we anchored early off of the Titusville municipal marina and rowed in to take the dog for a walk. Low and behold they had a store, open until 9PM and selling, tah-dah, the gloves of my dreams. Hauling the anchor was a joy this morning, and I can't wait until tomorrow. Bring on the mud!

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