Friday, July 9, 2010

Penelope joins Odysseus on the boat, part 1

That apparently leaning lighthouse above is the Fire Island light. Penelope and I set sail from our Hudson River mooring last Thursday -- July 1, I guess -- to catch the evening tide and ease down the river and through the Narrows and out into the trackless Atlantic, for a trip to Fire Island inlet and through that into Great South Bay and up to Bellport, where we have friends. Map:

We had a nice west wind and bowled down the river like kiss-my-hand, narrowly avoiding the Staten Island Ferry as usual, and were past the Narrows and well on our way East when it started to get dark.

One was, in a sense, prepared for this contingency. It happens every day, more or less, and the plan had been to sail through the night -- nothing too hard about it, three or four miles offshore, with no rocks to avoid and plenty of room to see any shipping there might be. Just run down the latitude and you're at Fire Island before you can say "fabulous"!

And yet and yet -- there's a certain sinking feeling when the sun goes down. Ogg the cave man and Oggette his better half must have felt it long ago; it's encoded, no doubt, in our primate brains. Night coming! Get into cave, or climb tree, or something!

I always feel it, every time, though I'm sorta used to it. Penelope wasn't used to it, and she was scared to death.

To be continued...

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