The mariner is awake at 5:00am. He knows that many readers are up at five but the old mariner usually sleeps until much later. It is still dark and the house is quiet. The mariner’s wife inevitably is dressed for the day before he rises but today she still sleeps. It is an odd experience.
Today, the temperature will rise from freezing to the low fifties. It will be a good day to work in the mariner’s heated shed. Today he will install a chain lift in the ceiling so his 17-foot sailboat can be lifted from its trailer.
The sailboat, named Pogo, has been in dry dock for three years. Pogo needs a lot of work. Most work relates to cleaning and refitting. New sails are at hand, and new lines (ropes to manage the sails). The centerboard needs repair and the stays must be replaced (stays are usually made of plastic covered steel and are used to hold the mast in place).
Pogo is a fine boat to trailer. When the mariner’s family travels hither and yon, pogo can travel to spots where sailing is available. Dams built by the Corps of Engineers on the Des Moines River created recreational lakes in Iowa. These lakes are not round or large so sailing is a limited sport in Iowa.
Pogo will tag along when the mariner’s family visits old friends and family in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Chesapeake Bay is available for good sailing (and good seafood). Good sailing is available on the Florida Gulf coast and at several spots along the coast to Texas – warm weather sites to wait out the Iowa winter.
A trip to the California coast also provides good sailing. Remember the song “26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is waiting for me…” Santa Catalina is one of eight islands in the group. A nice pastime while visiting family in California. Trips to Costa Rica or to the Caribbean Islands require a larger sailboat – actually an RV with sails. Forty-footers provide a nice trip.
It is daylight now. The day is beginning. It is 32°.