Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day Four: Arrival

Shown above, Five Islands, a very nice little easy-in easy-out harbor on the Sheepscot River. It boasts at least two important amenities: Five Islands Lobster Co. ('Home of the big boys', as it accurately boasts), which is a fine seafood eatery with a public dock big enough, and in water deep enough, to accommodate us. A frequent destination for those in these parts. 

Also there is a fuel dock, which is a bit tricky to approach – close quarters with a lot of Maine rock – but well-run by an amiable couple. There's a little shop as well, where you can buy necessaries like fuel stabilizer and motor oil.

On this occasion, however, we bypassed Five Islands. I just mentioned the place because I like it, and would love to send some business their way.

So after our nice day-and-a-half run from Sandwich, night fell again, and with it the wind, and we rather disgustedly motored the last twenty miles or so to... to... let's call it Ithaca, after a much more distinguished sailor's home port.

Ithaca, like many places in Maine, is reached by a rather twisty, narrow channel, plenty deep in the middle but with unforgiving rock a few feet to either side. On previous occasions I have had to grope my way in through a fog as thick as Heidegger's prose, but this time we had clear skies and a splendid moon.

There was a rather disquieting moment as we came to our anchorage: the shift wouldn't go into reverse gear. Overheated, maybe, after a lengthy run under power? I had had the engine up to 28 KRPM, being eager to reach Ithaca (and of course its chatelaine Penelope).

So we went in circles a few times, to take the way off the boat. This girl will pull the anchor line out at a smoking rate with any way on at all, and you with it – through the chock – if you try to interfere. Finally we dropped the hook, to a round of slightly derisive applause from the pier.

What were the Ithacan indigenes doing on the pier at that hour, anyway?

My cell phone had stopped working about forty miles out, so negotiations with Penelope were handled by one of the crew. Misunderstandings arose. None of us really wanted to spend another night on board, in our somewhat fragrant Three Men In A Boat condition. But Penelope wasn't that crazy about coming out to fetch us either.

She's a good sport, though, and put-putted out and picked us up. I was rather gloomy and sullen, alas; worried about that reverse gear problem – Oh shit, now it's the transmission?!

I wonder whether Odysseus may have let fall a grouchy word or two about all those suitors, once the dust settled. I hope his Penelope brought him up short if he did. Mine was pretty kind about my bad temper, but I did try to be extra nice the next couple of days.

No comments:

Post a Comment