Heading south soon. Yes, in about a week.

It’s Sunday morning and the sun is out.  Yesterday began as a sunny day but deteriorated as the day went on, delivering some much needed rain.   It’s cool, no make that COLD, in the low 50s, the coldest morning yet As we head into fall.  I am always struck by how quickly the temperatures fall once you get past Labor Day here on the CT River.  One day it’s in the 80s and the next…

A friend years ago remarked that “you could hear the iron gates slam shut on Labor Day” and that seems about right to me.   Before you know it, we will all be complaining about the cold.   No wait, I am complaining already.  And, I can’t wait to rake leaves!  NOT!!!

Anyway, I have not written much about our plans for this winter but they are coming together, so here goes…

In about a week I will shove off with Pandora to take her south with crew to ST Mary’s GA where she will be pulled out of the water for a few months.  Brenda and I will be joining her there right after the New Year to sail down to Miami and probably the Florida Keys.  We have wanted to explore this area for some time and are looking forward to trying it out this year. We are also looking forward to spending a leisurely time heading down the Intra Costal Waterway, down the coast of Florida, a trip that we enjoyed two years ago.

We may head over to the Bahamas at some point but that’s unclear right now. Brenda needs to head back to CT in mid March for a conference for a week and certainly heading out from Miami will be easier for her.  We also have a wedding in SC in mid April so when you add it all up, staying in the US might be prudent.  Heck, it’s warm in the Keys too… Right?

Perhaps we can head down to Key West and then on to the Dry Tortugas and see the old fort.  I have heard that it’s pretty neat by friends of us that are avid bird watchers.   It seems that the remote location of Ft Jefferson, built during the Civil War, is a favorite stopover for migrating birds.

Remote or not, the fort is now a national park and it’s easy to get to by high speed ferry.  I don’t know if it’s practical to take the 70 mile run from Key West to the fort on Pandora.  I guess we will have to think about that.  However, this National Park Service video of the park is interesting.  Watch it and you will probably guess where the phrase “your name is Mudd” came from.Who knows what the winter will bring, but for sure we’ll be warm.

Between now and then, Brenda’s heading to a week long weaving conference in Rockport MA and I will be heading to Annapolis, aboard Pandora, to a Seven Seas Cruising Association event.   After that a “quick” run to GA and then I’ll fly home around October 10th.

Then, Brenda and I are heading to Portugal.  That will be my first extended visit outside of the US beyond the Bahamas.  As Portugal was a major sea power, I bet that there will be lots of fun things nautical to write about.

Well, there is certainly plenty to look forward to between now and May when I will bring Pandora back to New England in the spring.

Now, all that’s left is to provision Pandora, do some last minute repairs and upgrades.  For the next week, I’ll be pretty busy, that’s for sure.  You’d think that after months of summer to take care of it all that I’d be all ready to go.  Think again.

However, with the threat of frosty air, I’ll be motivated to “get the lead out” and head south.    And, now that you have probably guesses the origin of  the phrase “your name is Mudd” perhaps you are curious about the phrase “get the lead out”.

I am so pleased that you asked, even if you didn’t.  Well, it’s origin isn’t clear at all.  Some say that in early horse racing, lead weights were added to a horse’s load if the jockey was below a minimum weight.  However, “boys will be boys” and some jockeys, it seems, dumped their weights during the race to gain an advantage. However, it’s uncertain if that’s the actual origin.  I guess you will have to be the judge.

This is so great! Now I am really on a roll…   D0 you know what the origin of “three sheets to the wind” is?    Well, according to the UK based site, Phrases.org, the origin is as follows,

The phrase is these days more often given as ‘three sheets to the wind’, rather than the original ‘three sheets in the wind’. The earliest printed citation that I can find is in Pierce Egan’s Real Life in London, 1821:

“Old Wax and Bristles is about three sheets in the wind.”

Sailors at that time had a sliding scale of drunkenness; three sheets was the falling over stage; tipsy was just ‘one sheet in the wind’, or ‘a sheet in the wind’s eye’. An example appears in the novel The Fisher’s Daughter, by Catherine Ward, 1824:

“Wolf replenished his glass at the request of Mr. Blust, who, instead of being one sheet in the wind, was likely to get to three before he took his departure.”


Well, I’ll bet that you never knew that there were degrees of “sheets to the wind” on a scale of one to three.

Ok, Ok, I’ll quit now before I drive YOU to drink.

Well, just a few (hundred) more things to do to get Pandora ready to sail. Wish me luck.  On to warmer climes…soon for Pandora and her crew.

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