They say the story doesn’t begin until the conflict arises. That the hero’s journey starts with a mission based on conflict, a journey is taken, and the hero is transformed. That’s it – three acts and you’re done. (Now go write the great Armenian novel. Everyone has one in them.) We’ll trade that for our 15 minutes of fame (see Carol’s forthcoming post on free speech). I digress.

Blogging is a public form of expression. Yet, that expression can have direct consequences. Recently, our blog was cited in a legal case against us. Yes, really! Go figure. But if we’re adventuring, then we are also learning. With that in mind, I expect our supporters and our insurance company will appreciate that each story, no matter how dramatic, ends happily. Aleta is simply, well, fine.

Having spent more time at Jensen Beach than anyone should in their lifetime, we looked forward to upping anchor and shipping out. There is a railroad track that runs right through town, the Florida East Coast railway (FEC) operated by Henry Flagler around the turn of the last century.

Flagler, an acolyte of John D. Rockefeller, was smart enough to know that once you have eminent domain, to make real money you have to squeeze the heck out of it. So he built towns like Miami and St Augustine, along with vacation resorts along the coast that are to this day serenaded by the horns and whistles of the FEC’s freight trains. Mostly at night and very loudly. It seems that the entire east coast of Florida is on the wrong side of the tracks.

Besides having a clear earshot of the trains, our anchorage, as loyal readers know, was next to a big ol’ bridge. If you’re on the opposite side to the wind, you’ll be well protected, if not you’ll get kicked about like a dog in a rodeo. We now know that when NOAA says 15-20 knots of wind and choppy conditions on the intracoastal, they really mean typhoons and tsunamis.

Aleta decided one Saturday night to take a short stroll. She simply upped stakes and started moving. Albeit slowly. My spidey sense tingled and alerted my sub-conscious. I woke up and quickly roused Carol. It took a few minutes of faffing around in the dark and the wind, but soon we had the anchor reset with twice as much rode as before. That was good for the rest of the week. But mud is mud and even with a snubber as much as our anchor dug in we’d have to keep a careful watch. Thankfully there’s an app for that…

Then there’s the process of anchoring – which, honestly, is much more amusing than being at anchor. The process that most couples employ is a man at the wheel barking orders and a woman at the bow doing all the heavy lifting with the ground tackle. This never made sense to me.

On Aleta, Carol takes the helm and I go forward to deal with our oversized plow anchor, our all chain rode, and our bruiser of a windlass. This also gives me the opportunity to make rude gestures to Carol as I try to communicate where the boat is in relation to where it needs to be. We’ve worked out a system of hand signals that one or the other of us understands about 80% of the time. The remaining 20% is direct cause for marital stress and the butt of jokes from any observers. As we get better we find we’re using fewer signals to get the job done. Rather than an Italian street brawl, life is becoming an intuitively silent symphony.



  1. My two thoughts – Henry Flagler and the Rockefeller had scant respect for the 5th amendment but they weren’t alone . To find a ramshackle home in the middle of a shiny new highway overpass you have to look in either a Dr Seuss book , or in Spring Texas outside of Houston! God bless America ! And, if the FEC diversified like Warren Buffet’s companies do and offered Enterprise services, they could be FECES. I think there is a dinghy name in the end of that story.

    Bob Blair-Smith
  2. I love the comic book image with the writing. Magic, pure magic. Ok.. did either of you bring the pencils and pens? There’s an opportunity here…One of you.. or both my guess are good at drawing…Comic book blog… you already have the main characters, yes, please include Arleta, she’s ready to do her speaking part.

    Patti Golebieski

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