Sunday, June 27, 2010

Opposite corners

On Monday, I got to compare notes about sailing and life on the water with someone from the opposite corner of the country:  Tampa/St Petersburg, Fla.  (Yes, I still like and use the 3 letter state abbreviations.)

A lady that works with Jane and her Florida-based father (and a reader of this blog!) came aboard to see Eolian, and to discuss how sailing differs between the PNW and Fla.  Here's a partial list from that discussion, in no particular order (did I leave anything out Chuck?):
  • Chuck thought it was delightfully cool here.  How delightful our temps are is apparently colored by where you have spent the last little while.
  • No swim platforms; no swim platform showers - Easy access to the water from the boat and vice versa is de rigeur in Florida.  One swims in Florida because it is delightful, and because it is a way to escape the heat.  Boating life there is living on and in the water.  But entering the waters of Puget Sound can be a life-threatening experience.
  • Cockpit enclosures - the majority of boats here sport full canvas cockpit enclosures.  In Florida, the enclosure is typically a bimini - just the top, without the side curtains.  You need a place to go to get out of the sun.
  • Tides - The tidal range here is large - it can be as much as 16 feet, while in Florida it is minuscule by comparison.
  • Currents - That tidal range drives some prodigious currents in the PNW - currents which do not exist in Florida.
  • Barnacles - Even with bottom paint, boats need to be frequently cleaned of freeloading sea life in the warm Florida waters - Chuck said every 6 months I believe.  While up here, with the boat hull essentially in a refrigerator, not so much.  We seem to be on an every-3-years haulout schedule.
  • Heaters - Boat heaters are as common here as boat air conditioners are in Florida.  And boat air conditioners are as scarce here as boat heaters are scarce in Florida.
  • Bugs - Insect life abounds in Florida.  We have no screens on the ports and hatches on Eolian - we don't need 'em.
  • Anchors - The Danforth anchor is a lot more common in Florida than here - there are lots of sand bottoms there, and Danforths work well in sand.
  • Sailing season - Chuck was interested to find that, on Eolian anyway, our season seems to run from late April to early October.  He thought it would be longer.
  • Hurricanes - We don't have 'em, in Florida they do.  In fact, during hurricane season, people are apparently glued to the Weather Channel the whole time, sweating the track predictions.
  • Anchoring - Florida is home to some of the most inhospitable municipal anchoring regulations in the country.  Not so here.  Yet.
  • Shoreline development - Sadly, this seems to be the same everywhere.  The working waterfront in America is being sold off to The Developers for the construction of condominiums.  Slip space is getting harder to find everywhere.  Yet the boat manufacturers are continuing to make and sell boats - where will they be moored?  Have we reached the point where for every new boat manufactured, one must be destroyed somewhere to release a mooring for it?
It was an entertaining and eye-opening discussion. 


1 comment:

Drew Frye said...

Sailing around the Delmarva is part of both, depending on the season and local: frozen water in the winter, 85F in the summer; fast growth in the summer, none in the winter; regulations in somepalces, none in others; Rural and urban; hot sun in the summer, deep snow (sometimes) in the winter.

It's the clear water we miss out on.

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