Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Slow progress

I'm writing this, 72 hours after starting out, from a highly characteristic restaurant in Port Jefferson, Long Island. Haven't gotten very far, as you can see.

The project may have to be re-thought -- may turn into a little cruise in Long Island Sound, researching harbors I haven't visited before.

I might try the Connecticut coast for a change, though the charts make all the harbors look very intimidating --narrow crooked channels and rocks all over the place.

Spent Saturday night at anchor in Manhasset Bay; then after a discouraging slow gray rainy day ghosting along with almost no wind, the second night off a place called Peacock Point (if memory serves -- I didn't bring the log or the charts ashore). Lat/long, for those who know their way around Google Maps, is 40.901366,-73.61342. Don't have enough bits to embed a Google Map myself just now.

This was a little tiny cove half-protected by a cat's claw breakwater. Interesting as a glimpse of an older Long Island; there were rich people's houses on shore, but they were almost entirely hidden by trees. The more recent Long Island look is to build a grotesque monster McGormenghast and cut down all the trees for a quarter-mile around, so the glaring horror is set in a staring bare-faced lawn which extends right down to the beach.

I once wrote an essay that began, "The only thing more vulgar than a lawn is a view." Perhaps I'll try to find and post it. Long Island wealth these days seems to do both the lawn and the view con brio.

Third night, after another frustrating slow sweltering day wallowing at half a knot across the entrances to Hempstead Harbor and Oyster Bay, I dropped the hook on the eastern side of Eaton's Neck and spent a quiet Fourth of July night there. There's a long spit of low-lying sand called Asharokan (or Asharoken?) Neck connecting Eatons Neck with the rest of Long Island, and apparently it is a local custom to light bonfires every hundred feet or so along the beach on the Fourth. I think this is much nicer than fireworks, which always seem very Westphalian to me, not to say Louis XIV.

Once could see, through binoculars, the silhouettes of the celebrating local citizenry in front of the fires. It wasn't apparently all left up the The Experts and The Professionals; a rare thing these days.

Then today a slightly brisker run to Port J -- 2.5 knots or so, but the wind died a mile short of the harbor entrance and I had to motor in. The dinghy, which I'm towing, had banged at some point against the outboard, and jammed its bracket, which I had to pry loose, with much swearing, in order to get the motor back down into the water. Outboards! They'll be the death of me.

Into Port J for groceries and fuel and a meal that's been cooked, also a few beers. The city dock charges $12/hr to tie up your dinghy, but posh Danford's Marina only charges $10/day. Go figure.

1 comment:

  1. the celebrants on the hillside were attempting to lure you on the rocks, sirenlike, however. luckily your hearing aid was off.. pssst. that extra $2 will get you a 40 oz.stay with the brew, off the rocks.