Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day Five: back into the Sound

After the usual quick coffee, George and I sailed off our anchor -- again! -- about 8 AM and took advantage of a brisk northerly breeze to try and beat the current change at The Race -- the narrow, turbulent entrance to Long Island Sound, where the tidal current is strong enough that a sailboat skipper would be very foolish to fight it.

Of course, this was the skipper who fought the current through the Cape Cod canal, so who knows what further folly he might commit.

As it happened, no folly was needed; we nipped through The Race under sail with plenty of time to spare. The picture above (George's) shows the Race Rock light, a handsome structure with an interesting history. Love the gingerbready house on top of the Cyclopean pedestal.

In the early afternoon the wind failed, and since we were both feeling a certain sense of urgency, we motored to Port Jefferson -- a frequent stop, for me, as faithful readers here will know. We arrived about ten PM, and were nearly run down, in quick succession, by the Bridgeport car ferry (in the case, the P T Barnum) and some kind of party boat. The latter's skipper was clearly paying no attention at all and was headed right for our stern at about fifteen knots, until I shone a flashlight in his direction, and was rewarded with a torrent of coarse abuse and hollow threats for my pains.

To be sure I handed out a bit of coarse abuse myself. I did stop short of the hollow threats, however.

Welcome to Long Island. These people were conceived in cars, born in cars, grew up in cars, paired off in cars, and no doubt beget their own lumpish, muddy-skinned hellspawn in cars. They would probably be buried in their cars, if they had the option.  Windshield perspective has taken them over. Their minds are colonized by their cars, and they never stop being drivers; not on the water, and not even, I dare say, in their dreams. 

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I haven't talked much about food on this trip, though George and I ate very well. We had seven bags of ice in the cooler, which lasted admirably. We had a cold roast chicken and a nice pork tenderloin, marinated and grilled on the old barbecue before we left Ithaca.  We had bacon and we had eggs. And we had sausages.

After we passed Race Rock I discovered that Penelope, thoughful girl that she is, had also squirreled away a couple of onions in one of the drawers.

George and I had cooked bacon in the mornings, while the bacon lasted, and being a Southern boy, I can't stand to see good bacon grease go to waste. So I had kept it in a repurposed plastic container that once held nuts, or greens, or something else impeccably vegan.  (Hah! Take that!)

George was steering, I was pottering, and it was getting on for lunch time, so I sliced the onions and fired up the alcohol stove -- a complicated, rather comical process, which really deserves a YouTube video. Slathered a generous dollop of bacon fat in the skillet, fried the onions and then browned some sausages.

The smell of the onions seething in the bacon fat was a high point of the trip.

George and I devoured the result, up in the cockpit, like velociraptors. On the water, very simple cuisine is a keen pleasure.

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