I’m a former resident of Newport and will always have a tight bond with the town ... err, well, except during the summer when the streets overflow with steroid-fueled meatheads, every decent restaurant is packed shoulder to shoulder, and 120 decibels is the normal level of conversation. Great for commerce; bad for folks looking for less confrontation and more peace. Solution: Head north to Portland, Maine until the summer crowds subside.
We’ve all seen the routine on any given weekend. A boat pulls into a crowded anchorage, parks in the middle of the pack, and throws the anchor over the bow like a catapult, in one big, knotted ball. Before this mass even reaches the bottom, a beer is cracked and the captain and crew are lounging, while kids are jumping off the stern. Soon enough the boat is dragging through the anchorage while the captain is scratching his head in bewilderment.
It often seems that when ardent boaters sit around the cockpit talking about seamanship, the conversation inevitably transitions to the topic of harrowing feats. However, I maintain there are steps that we can take before we even leave the dock that reflect sound seamanship practices and which may help us avoid calling on our survival skills.
In the last 48 hours I experienced my two favorite times on the water; watching the sun go down and seeing it rise. Cruising offshore on a boat is still one of those rare opportunities to inject a little adventure into our lives while testing ourselves.