Friday, July 8, 2011

Ruled by the wind...

... and circumstance.

An east wind this morning, after very discouraging progress toward Maine. And much to do back in New York. I hate a ticking clock -- they make me utterly miserable -- so I took the hint and turned back toward New York.

The Gods, acknowledging my submission, were kind.

Sir, no man's enemy, forgiving all, 
But will its negative inversion, be prodigal!
The east wind remained steady and whisked me across 24 miles of Long Island Sound in an afternoon, a very pleasant ride -- the sort of thing that might make a sail-hater reconsider.

But then the sail-hater would have re-reconsidered. Just outside Oyster Bay harbor, the wind died, and the rain came; but I motored in, glad for the coolness and the wet -- wearing a bathing suit and a ratty old cotton polo shirt for the first hour, and loving it, till finally I had to put on a jacket.

Oyster Bay/Cold Spring is a much-recessed harbor, a hassle to get in and out of. I want to be out soon, and I'm not expecting any heavy weather, so I dropped the hook in a non-standard anchorage:

View Larger Map

Weird waters -- the depth goes from sixty feet to twelve in half a second.

I continue to be amazed by the relentless voracious beach flies -- "greenheads", I think they're called, at least on Cape Cod. Sunset, temp in the sixties, rain pouring down, I'm scrambling around trying to dowse the mainsail and start the motor and keep the dinghy's towline from fouling the motor's prop; and a dozen greenheads are circling my naked shins like, I dunno, bail bondsmen at The Tombs. Every five seconds or so, one darts in like a dive bomber, grabs a chunk of high-fed Upper West Side flesh, and flies away before I can even start thinking about swatting him (or her? I can't tell).

The rain does slow 'em down. But even so, they're too fast for me.


  1. Sorry to hear that weather and schedule turned you around. I was looking forward to your writing. What are your plans? Will you make another attempt at Maine this summer?
    s/v Promises
    New Bedford

  2. Sorry I didn't notice the comment earlier. Alas, I won't get my Maine trip this year. But there's always next year, as baseball fans say.