copyright 2007 Rebecca Peck

They ran down the street, glancing quickly to the left and right, pausing only momentarily to catch their breath.  As he dragged her along, she gazed longingly at the quaint shops and small cafes that she would never get to enjoy.  Why, why, were they in such a rush?  Were they being chased by angry lobstermen?  Were they being pursued by evil villains?  Nope.  It was just Day Five of the SVFH!

Morning came to the beautiful isle of Key West, and I was ready to spend a few hours sightseeing.  Hemingway’s house, the Atocha museum, and a big bowl of conch stew were some of the things I was looking forward to.  The BF grabs my hand and says “let’s go!”, so off we go.  Do we stroll the streets at a leisurely pace?  Hell, no!  We literally run past everything I want to see on the island. 

“Wait a minute!” I say, “I want to actually stop and go in some of these places!”

“We don’t have time for that!” he says.  “We have sailing to do!”

That’s when it hits me.  I actually have to get back on that boat and go sailing with him again.  Crap!  We head back to the marina and get ready to leave.  The plan is to sail along the gulf side of the keys for a couple of days and then cut back over to the ocean side for the rest of the trip.  In order to do that, we have to take a channel out of the Key West harbor.  Unfortunately, the wind is not in our favor and we aren’t moving at all.

“Why don’t you just turn on the motor?” I ask.

“Because it’s a sailboat,”  he says.  “It was made to be sailed.”

“Isn’t that why they put a motor on it?” I say. “You know, in case there happens to be a lack of that stuff that fills the sails?  I think it’s called wind.”

“Motors are for amateurs,” he says.

Lesson #5:  Some men may think they are Captain Ahab reincarnated, but in reality they’re just MOBY DICKS!!!

Yes, Mr. Professional Sailor decides he doesn’t need a motor and spends the next three hours tacking back and forth to navigate a channel that maybe should have taken us fifteen minutes to get through.  We also manage to relocate several more lobster pots along the way.  I’m sure we were great entertainment for the many boating enthusiasts who had gathered to watch.

Once we make it through the channel, we are sailing along at a good clip when we notice it coming – a huge storm.  It’s rolling along the water, getting closer and closer.  I ask the Moby Dickhead if maybe we shouldn’t take the sails down a little.  Nope, he can handle it.  Then it hits.  The boat is leaning way over, and water is coming up over the toe rail. A lot of water.  He is getting pissed because I am getting nervous, so he tells me to go below and make him a sandwich.  I am just about to cut his sandwich in half with a big shiny knife when I hear him bellowing.

“Get up here!!” he yells.  “I need help getting these sails down!”

I look at the knife.  I look at him through the hatch.  I ponder the knife again.  I try to figure out if I can sail the boat without him, then I sloooowly I put the knife down and struggle up the stairs.  The boat is now close to capsizing; all because Moby Dickhead thought he was macho and could “handle” it.  We struggle to get the sails down and then ride out the rest of the storm, which only lasts about 45 minutes.  As we survey the boat, we realize that the boat hook and two bags of trash have washed overboard.  Ching, ching, ching!  More damage to the wallet.   Finally, the skies clear, we look around, and we realize that we have no idea where we are.  Most of the islands look alike, and there are no buoys or markers nearby to help us.  Finally, after about 30 minutes, a lobster boat (of all things) comes into view. 

“Get on the radio and ask that boat where we’re at!” I yell to Moby Dickhead.

“I’m not asking them, we’ll figure it out,” he says.

Lesson #6:  You’ve all heard the one about men asking directions, do I even need to repeat it?

I march downstairs, get on the radio and ask the lobster boat for some sort of clue as to where we’re at.  They are nice enough to respond, so we’re able to get our bearings.  We sail for an hour or so more, then decide to anchor for the night.   We fall asleep to the sound of the bilge pump running (again).   And so ends Day Five