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Excursion Around The Bay!

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | 1 Comment »

A professor of mine always used to use the phrase, “passing like two ships in the night.” I can’t remember what he was referring to, but I always liked the imagery. Darkness on the water, a darkness deep enough that two beings chugging along can pass one another unnoticed. Friday night, I got an even deeper appreciation of the phrase.

And on a night that started out in a manner much the same as the last time I went sailing, I couldn’t come back with better reviews.

“He’s not allowed here anymore!” Don yelled as he rushed past me. Still barely out of the car, I was a little shocked, but it wasn’t a totally uncharacteristic greeting. I stood by Kelsey, her mother, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend, waiting for the punchline. But Don kept on walking, punching buttons on his phone. Usually, he stuck around to explain.

As he headed toward the house, however, I found out why. “We’ve got another boat sinking!”

And it was true. On one of the docks, as Kelsey and I were unloading the car, Don was rushing to the house, and everyone else was getting ready for our sailing trip, a 20-foot power boat was sinking. We put down our bags and followed as he ran to the shop, grabbed a “pump-on-a-stick” (literally, a portable pump with a 2 inch hose, structurally supported by a stick), and headed for the drowning boat. The stern was filling with water, the nose of the boat now jutting a few feet over the waterline. Without help, it would sink in a few minutes.

Don held the pump in place and water gushed from the boat, but it was an uphill fight. Water was coming in quicker than it was going out. With Don held up here, none of us were going sailing.

Fortunately, Uncle Billy (it’s a family-run marina, nearly everyone present was related) was still around, and agreed to hold the pump and wait for the boat’s owner while we took off in the Hunter (ya know, the one boat that actually did work…).

But that’s where the similarities to the last time out end, however. That night, we eased into the channel, out through the inlet, and toward Greenport for dinner. Conditions were nearly perfect: breezy, warm, and not too much boat traffic. The company was superb, and the food, upon tying up in Greenport (we could have driven a car to the restaurant from the marina in about 10 minutes, but what’s the fun in that?), was delicious. Roasted duck and risotto with a glass of a local North Fork red I could get used to. But the best part of the evening was yet to come: the sail home.

Now, if I were to try to convince someone of the facility of sailing — someone say, like myself — these are the conditions I would look for: a leisurely evening, a full belly, and the Perseid meteor shower on a clear night. Frankly, there’s no better way to do it. I wouldn’t have even noticed if there were other ships out passing us; we were in our own world.

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One Comment on “Excursion Around The Bay!”

  1. 1 don said at 11:37 am on August 20th, 2010:

    Redemption! Great night, it was.

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