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Date: 8 December 2016. Anchor Down by Noon (policy vs. practice)

© janice142


Update: First, I apologize. It is not that I have not had lots of guilt about the lack of new articles being posted. I could give you any number of Excuses. All would be true and none would encompass the whole. Thus, I am starting fresh.

In the meantime I've had a Wish since forever installed. This is HUGE and will be detailed once I get a bit more caught up.

The St. Pete Boat Show was marvelous. I was fortunate enough to spend two days there and have lots to share. There are pictures galore to process and upload.

And now, back to our semi-regularly scheduled words. Trawler life on a nickel budget is both fabulous and frugal. Cruising requires finding your own footing while underway. Expecting perfection is a recipe for disappointment. Things that work for me may not suit you at all. Also I have learned something: what was the perfect policy in years past simply does not fit me and my lifestyle now.

I'm on a soapbox today. Here's a picture of mine:

"Anchor down by noontime" is a policy aboard Seaweed.

Whenever I say something along the lines of "It has always been my policy" it may be time to pull on the boots. Policy and practice can differ. Things change and life happens. Being adaptable is a necessity in my view. My cruising style is evolving. I like it better than ever now.

For instance when chatting with a neighbor we came to the conclusion that it would be smart to always have the anchor down by noontime. That sounds wonderful when you hear the words. Reality is a bit different.


I get tired. Being rested means I am less likely to make mistakes.

Boating is fabulous. I love life afloat. Getting an early start when heading out seems to be a good idea on the surface. It was the policy that worked well for me until a couple years back. Nowadays I am not always and up-and-at-'em gal. I tend to wake up slowly. Civility arrives with the second infusion of caffeine.

There are several boaters nearby who are or were active cruisers. We have long chats on the aft deck. All of us remember the O-dark thirty departures. Now I am past the half-century mark and am slowing down somewhat. I find the get-up-and-go of my youth has left without me.

Aboard Seaweed I wake at a leisurely pace. First I have a cup of coffee or tea and relax while rousing my brain cells. Mornings are wonderful at anchor.

I watch the gulls and pelicans. Scanning for dolphins and manatees is another early morning activity. Pondering life while nature puts on a show just for me is a true delight.

This retirement thing is awesome. I do not have to be anywhere.  Boaters should realize schedules are guidelines for the future rather than carved in stone. My life is written in beach sand.

I move about as fast as a sand turtle until I've ingested a couple cups of caffeine.

The reality of "Anchor down by noontime" is far different than the words. What I actually mean is that before noon I would ideally like to get underway. Of course there are days of sitting tight and reading on my Kindle appeals more, so that's exactly what I do. Have I mentioned how wonderful retirement is?!?

This realization of boating style and timing did not come while relaxing in the cockpit of Seaweed. Nope. I took a jaunt for a few days intending to head south and cross Tampa Bay. The plan was to meet with some other Schucker owners near Egmont Key. Cheryl of Island Time had planned a get-together and I was disappointed to miss it.

This is Cheryl on the bow of her Schucker named Island Time.

The Tampa Bay weather forecast predicted moderately choppy to choppy waters. I opted to stay on the north side of the bay. I am a wimp when it comes to wind, waves and open water. Protected places suit me best.

Folks who long for blue water boats should make sure they like that sort of thing. I am a decadence loving woman. For me appreciating wildlife in protected waters works best. I do like remote areas.

The peace and tranquility are tangible the further away from "civilization" I get. Of course I also want wifi. There is a dichotomy involved without a doubt.

EGMONT KEY is south of the entrance to Tampa Bay, which is a major seaport.

For me staying at anchor in a safe harbor is always a better idea than taking a chance on a crossing. Weather windows do happen in coastal waters if one has patience.

I have got my Kindle (←affiliate link) and life is certainly wonderful afloat. I anchored just north of the bay off a little town called Gulfport. It is quite nice too.


People on boats need to be aware of the weather and waves. I listen to the NOAA WX (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather station) reports on the radio morning and night. When anything more than light chop is forecast I stay put. There is no reason to rough it in less than stellar conditions. At this point in my life I have nothing to prove. I am into decadence.

One thing people such as myself on small  boats need to be careful about is wind and waves. My boat is affected more by waves than a larger and heavier boat would be. I take Small Craft Warnings seriously and heed them.


Being safe is paramount. I would rather wait. Besides, I am already where I want to be.

This is the fishing pier at Gulfport. Two fishermen and a
Great Blue Heron are on the dock. All are hoping for fresh fish.

I am at anchor just a bit to the right of this photo...

While in Gulfport I ended up anchoring in three separate spots. Having a Lewmar windlass sure did make moving my home a snap. I am a lucky girl.

Gulfport anchorage in the distance:


Advice regarding anchoring in Gulfport: The sand bottom makes this a good holding ground. Anchor close to the dock for easy dinghy landings. There are numerous restaurants along the waterfront business district. It is an artsy town. I had fun meandering around.

Even while off on a short five day adventure I did not rouse self and move boat until after lunch. The "Anchor down by noon" policy of yesteryear is not me... not now anyway.

Currently I am back at a private dock for the next two months. Departure date, give or take with weather the determining factor, is 1 February. I am excited!

Remember, if you see Seaweed on the waters be sure to give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

What time of the day do you get underway?
And, is that as you imagined before departure?



Pam says on 9 December 2016: Janice, so good to see your post. Very wise words, these - “Besides, I'm already where I want to be.” Whether we’re on a boat or not, good concept to strive for.


Me: I am truly blessed. Seaweed is a wonderful home. I cannot imagine living any place else. This is my Last Boat and I will be aboard her forever. That's the goal! It is why I have spent so much time and money in making her mine.

I am outfitting her not just for today but for the future. I want her safe, secure, and most important accessible/usable as I age. The handholds are a part of that.

Other additions such as a hot water heater are coming. One day I'd like to find one that works with less than 1000 watts. I've seen one 300 watt Seaward on Defender.com that certainly has my attention and interest. I'm saving for that one.

In the meantime I ordered an Advanced 3-gallon solar shower on Amazon. It's on back order so I'm waiting for that to arrive. It looked like a decent unit with a good size. I do use less water now however it's not hot water. I do like hot showers!

With the watermaker I'm sure I'll be using more water. No more hauling water Pam!!! I am beyond excited.

That's it from here. I'm getting the latest article uploaded. My connection is iffy so I'm hoping it goes through properly.

Your friend in the south, J.



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