Monday, September 20, 2010

Dockside Slumber Party with Judy Jetson

With our club’s Founders’ Day weekend activities scheduled into the wee hours Friday night and then resuming first thing Saturday morning with a  unique pancake breakfast, I decided to combine adventure with practicality and plan my first sleepover on Central Air. As with all else, a lot of planning (aka ‘over-thinking’ and ‘agonizing’) went into the weekend preparations. On my annual girly hiking and tent-camping trips, my responsibilities are usually limited to just showing up with a sleeping bag and some DEET. For this sleep-aboard adventure, on the other hand, I would be solely responsible for the planning and production of it, and there was a lot to consider:

  • What sleeping attire and gear would I need in order to be sufficiently warm?
  • What would it be like to have only a flashlight and some stick-on tap-lights for illumination?!
  • Heaven forbid, would the discovery of a spider inside the cabin give me no choice but to abort the entire mission at 2 AM?
  • And, nearly as important as the bug question, what would I do about making/finding/drinking GOOD COFFEE on Saturday morning?

To be perfectly candid, it has been my fear of bugs -- or, more specifically -- my fear of being alone in the dark with bugs that has kept me from staying overnight on my boat. To mitigate risk, a key part of my plan was to make sure I arrived at the boat Friday evening before dusk in order to perform what I like to call “a sweep of the area.” With my can of garden-fresh-scent-RAID in one hand and my bug-zapper-tennis-racket in the other, I took care of business (gratuitous entomological violence omitted) outside the boat, and I set up the v-berth with my sleeping bag, pillows, and blanket. I closed the boat up tightly before I left to attend the campfire social event so that nothing could get in while I was out. When my dog Judy Jetson and I returned at 10ish/11ish to go beddy-bye, I made one more sweep (oh! what carnage!) and buttoned the boat up tightly again, this time with Judy Jetson and I tucked inside.

The quiet! The darkness! It was SO strange to me! First, I found designated locations within arm’s reach of the v-berth to keep the essentials handy in the dark: glasses, flashlight, iPod, garden-fresh-scent-RAID, and bug-zapper-tennis-racket. Judy Jetson seemed comfy in the v-berth with me, but I could tell that she too was a little disoriented by the accommodations… the lack of a television flickering and murmuring nearby, for example. (I consider the TV to be my roommate, for pity’s sake.) With the lack of television, I instinctively reached for my iPod and my Kindle (I had brought both with me, of course), but then I realized how ridiculous a notion that was, since, after all, the whole point of ‘getting away’ is to actually ‘get away.’ I can’t say that I slept soundly all night long (nor did Judy, which made me nervous like she was Lassie signaling danger to me or something), but I think that additional practice will make for a perfect night’s sleep for both of us. It was plenty cozy in the v-berth, and I didn’t even need the wool blanket I brought just in case. The air was fresh and cool, and I wish the boat had bobbed even a little more than it did, to provide a more authentic ‘sleeping on a boat’ experience. I awoke Saturday morning with the thought, “I did it!” followed immediately by “Why have I not done this every weekend this summer?!” It was a delightful experience – relaxing and with just enough adventure to keep me from feeling too lonely. (Note: I am not wishing for more bugs. Bugs do NOT count as ‘company!’)

As for the ‘good coffee’ part, it was unfortunate that the pancake-slinging caterer’s coffee was


He even had that hork-inducing non-dairy creamer crap to go with it. Gag me with a little plastic stir stick! My coffee requirement was satisfied later in the morning with an emergency visit to a nearby Speedway, where a fresh pot was being brewed just as I arrived. Crisis -- and lingering crankyness -- averted.

I am making plans for one more weekend aboard Central Air before we call it a season. I’ll bring the wool blanket again, just in case, and I picked up a Kenyon Express II butane stove at West Marine to boil water for some not-yet-determined version of camping coffee (with Speedway coffee as a comforting backup plan again.)  Any suggestions on the best way to brew tasty boat coffee?

In the endless inner struggle to define myself as either a Racer or a Cruiser, score one more on the side of Cruiser.


Erik - C18, Calif said...

Christy - It's good to read that you're still sailing. I noticed a few holes in your blog, like your C22 purchase (?) Any details on the hows and whys of your various boats over the past couple years?

Christy ~ Central Air said...

Yo! EVR! Thanks for reading and commenting. Yeah... it's not really worth an entire post, so I'll just mention briefly here that I sold the Capri 18 as part of 'washing that man right outta my hair'... and then I put the Kittiwake 23 up for sale and bought the C-22 in order to 'wash that dreadful year of mourning that man right outta my hair, too.' Clean break, fresh start. I'm loving my C22 and it is free from emotional baggage and finally I am now, too! :-)

O Docker said...

Boat coffee:

If you don't have power on the boat, the trick is to grind the beans at home before you leave and put the ground coffee in a zip-lock bag.

Then, get one of these and some small filters.

Voila! Best coffee you will ever have. There's something about a boat that improves the flavor.

Don't forget the croissants.