I stayed around when I should’ve moved along
I’ve been a long time leavin’ ya, but I’ll be a long time gone
– Roger Miller
It’s hard to leave Texas.
I don’t mean that in terms of anything sentimental. When it’s come to me and my Mistress, it’s been a matter of logistics and repairs. I spent the summer dirt bagging it in a boatyard outside of Rockport, Texas to do a bottom job, replace the thru-hulls and get the engine running again on this old girl. But time and neglect in a corrosive environment had done more damage than could be seen until I started peeling back the damaged layers and two months in a boatyard turned into six. A simple paint job turned into me spending weeks sanding the hull back down to fiberglass, repairing blisters and completely repainting the boat. An engine repair turned into a full engine replacement.
This is a long-winded way of saying that I spent way more time and money than I planned. But I also now have a boat in much better condition than I expected.
My original plan was to have everything ready to go by the end of summer and set sail once hurricane season settled down. By the end of October I was finally out of the boatyard and motored back south to Corpus where I had a guy lined up to do the rigging. Two weeks later he called and told me he couldn’t/wasn’t going to do it.
This is typical south Texas. Contractors tell you they’ll be there and never show up. But often they’re the only game in town so even the unreliable ones can still get work.
So here I am, another month behind schedule, but also in the final stretch to saying goodbye to Corpus. Sometime this month I’ll be motoring up the coast to Kemah in Galveston Bay to get the rigging done and from there I’ll finally be able to hoist my sails and head to a new home port in Pensacola, Florida where new adventures and new friends await.
I didn’t get into sailing because I wanted to go fast. I prefer to travel slow. And these past few months have definitely been an exercise in patience. That said, back when I was wandering around Congo I heard a phrase that I’ve been repeating to myself a lot lately. I was told, “In America you keep time, in Africa we make time.” I’ve adopted that saying.
Texas is about to be in my wake. Sometime soon I’ll be seen sailing off the coast of a place with white beaches and clear water. I hope to see some of you there. Maybe I can sail you around and give you a taste of the pirate life? Put your phone away. Work on your tan. Dive into blue water. Feel the salt on your skin. Forget your troubles for a while. I’ll be happy to give you permission to be a little more you, a little more free and a little more freedom to misbehave. But fear not, your secrets will be safe because what happens on the boat stays on the boat.
Come when you can. Stay for a while. We make time here.
But, I’ll let you in on those plans before long.
No hurries, no worries.
The Pirate Professor