The Tilley


The conversation began like this:  “well Bill that time of year is not necessarily the best time of year for a visit.  It is very hot and humid”.  To which I responded that it couldn’t be any worse than Oklahoma in July and August.  I have used this argument before when visiting New England and it has always bore out.  However, the Florida panhandle in June, while not necessarily hotter than home port, is very, very humid!


Aboard Rhapsody there is no bimini or dodger to protect her captain and crew from the rays of el sol.  Once the anchor is down the option to use the awning is there and there is an awning especially for the foredeck as well, so getting out of the sun at anchor is doable.  If we are underway with no wind, the cockpit awning stays in place and also helps a lot, but, while sailing, there is little shade.  Enter “The Tilley”.


In November of 2005 the Admiral and I attended the Annual Meeting of the Cape Dory Sailboat Owners Association in Groton, Connecticut.  It was a grand time and lots of fun was had by all attendees.  Well during the final banquet on Saturday night we had numerous door prizes and I was fortunate enough to win a Tilley Hat.  It is a way kewl hat and since then it has seen quite a few miles underway. 


Now flash forward to May of 2008 and Rhapsody’s trip to Pensacola, Florida for the month of June.  The trip down was great taking fourteen hours drive time and the boat and truck handled just like a seasoned traveler.  The launch went well and unlike the Galveston trip of 2006 there were no significant navigational errors by the Captain.  We (the Captain and the vessel) were quite pleased to be in salt water.


Over the coming weeks the Tilley truly proved its worth.  That shade was a blessing.  I went through ten to twelve bottles of water a day and when I don’t want to drink a cerveza  you can bet your bottom dollar that I am truly feeling the effects of the heat and humidity, mostly the humidity.  But, survive we did and none the worse for the wear.  The area is beautiful, but I do believe the next trip will be after entering retirement and in the spring or fall of the year.   And thank you Mr. Tilley for your creation.


Sail on.


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