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A few weeks ago I was talking to a local sailor I met in a celestial navigations class. He mentioned he was selling his collection of charts of the Caribbean as he was not planning on returning there anytime soon. Although we are not planning on heading down that way for a couple of years it was tempting as the price was right. Most of what he had was fairly recent and these things do not change that much so it seemed to make sense. I really wanted the charts more as backup to electronic which will be updated when we head down that way.

The price was good and I went ahead and bought a rather huge pile of charts and chart books. As we laid these out to look at what we had just purchased we suddenly got pulled into the excitement and romance of the dream. Nothing like pouring over charts to unleash the wander lust.  There is just something about the look and feel of paper charts to carry a sailor away.

As our fingers traced over the colored lines and markings, our minds were carried off to faraway places and tropical beaches. I think a sailors heart is always carried away when leaning over a pile of charts. We could almost smell the salt air and tropical fragrances. We could plot our course across the waters to secluded islands with pristine beaches just waiting for us to explore.

Those far away specks on the map began to have new meaning as we traced our possible routes from island to island. Once far away sounding names like Wardrick Wells Cay and Crab Cay, became just a bit more real as we plotted our imagined courses across the shallow sounds.

Along with the charts we received guide books describing the best anchorages and where to find the best local bars. We could imagine ourselves taking the dinghy ashore to explore the local cuisine and of course find the nearest laundry. The photos of tropical towns with pastel buildings was enough to make us want to untie the dock lines then and there.

But, sadly reality brings us back to our senses and we had to pack the charts and books up at least till the dead of winter when we will need a good fix of chart porn to keep us warm and help keep the fires of our dreams burning bright.

Capt. Wayne

 

About the author: Capt. Wayne

 

Boat builder, Sailor, Surveyor, and freelance writer.