Sunday, May 22, 2011

Surrounded by the kewl kidz

Turned out my little anchorage was quite close to a little regatta course, with a bunch of very new and obviously very expensive J boats -- each with a crew of six or seven -- rounding marks and yelling "starboard tack" at each other. (I didn't take the picture above; it's from a J one-design site.)

They are handsome boats, no doubt about it. But I can't love that bowsprit. For one thing, it retracts and extrudes -- tucks itself back into the hull when the spinnaker is dowsed, and then bones up again when it's time to re-pop the chute, five minutes later. It made me think of some exotic insect's intromittent organ -- a praying mantis', maybe. Is there some poor drudge under hatches, up in the bow, who works it in and out? Or is it done from the cockpit?

All these boats also had sails made of some exotic material that made a distinctly unpleasant metallic rattle when the boat luffed up. It was this very un-nautical sound that awoke me from my nap.

They all pretended I wasn't there, but at least they didn't yell at me, "starboard tack" or anything else.

Slack water in the early afternoon, and the obliging south breeze still blowing steadily. After the usual struggle with the mucilaginous and malodorous muck of New York harbor, I recovered the anchor and took a nice leisurely sail up the Hudson.

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