July, 3, 2014: Day 18 – Sag Harbor, New York (no traveling today).
So – I opted to delay my post of Sag Harbor for a day because I wanted to relate my trials and tribulations with the mooring ball at Oyster Bay. But that’s behind us, we’re at a mooring in Sag Harbor in the Hamptons (fah fah fah) – a place may I add, where they charge by the foot for a MOORING!
Two dollars a freakin' foot at that. I’ve never been to a place where you don’t pay a fixed (and small) fee for a mooring. But not here. Oh no, we called in advance several days ago and Amy had to give a credit card number and prepay. For a mooring. And they don’t even sell ice here! We had to do a separate dinghy trip to shore and walk to a bagel shop and have them bag ice for us, and then we had to carry 30 pounds of melting ice six blocks back to the dinghy dock (which, might I add, is banished to the very edge of the harbor – so as not to tarnish locked and posted docks that line the harbor with the 150-plus-foot yachts). Anyway, good boat watching here, even if the winds have been ripping.
But I digress. We had a long run east from Oyster Bay yesterday – with pretty much nothing on the horizon or radar. Not even land. We did, however, see the Port Jefferson ferry (and by ‘seeing’ I mean actively work at not getting run down by it) – which has a very close personal connection to me, as I had ridden that very same ferry several years ago when I went to dive the Andrea Doria – known as the Mount Everest of scuba diving (to find out more about my experience with that, you can watch a presentation I gave that’s posted on the WGBH Forum network on that incredible trip).
And we also ran past a research vessel, Seawolf, that I saw as an AIS target miles before we came up on her.
AIS indicated she was moored in the middle of the Long Island Sound, which was rather unique, so I hailed her on the radio to make sure our passing wasn’t going to interfere with any operations she had going on.
Here’s the conversation:
John: “SeawolfSeawolfSeawolf, this is Sequel on one six.”
Seawolf: “This is Seawolf, go ahead Sequel.”
John: “Hey Seawolf, we are approaching you on your port stern and wanted to make sure it was okay to pass. I see you’re moored.”
Seawolf: “Sure thing Sequel. Actually, why not run right past us and give us a good wake.”
(Amy and I exchange surprised glances)
Seawolf: “We actually have a wave buoy deployed and would love the data.”
Oh – cool! I reach forward and rotate the knob on the autopilot towards Seawolf. Fun! By the way, I feature a ship by the name of Seawolf in my novel Out of Hell’s Kitchen, which you definitely should check out.
Beyond that, it was just a long run with not too bad conditions. Until we ran through Plum Gut into Gardiners Bay between the “forks” at the eastern end of Long Island. Things then grew a bit unpleasant, but still not the worst we’ve experienced on the trip. We even timed the run through the Gut so that we did it at slack tide – we’re learning!
So, Sag Harbor. Did I mention that’s it’s great boat watching?
And the accompanying people watching that goes with it. Last night we met up with Amy’s Aunt, Joanne, and her husband, Mel. What fun people. They’re spending the summer in the Hamptons (but honestly, they’re down to earth people!) and they took us out to dinner. Great night – with the only downside being that both Amy and I were experiencing the “sways” after being on the boat for so long. But that’s okay.
That’s about it – though to be honest, the big story is something that I’ve not even talked about. Arthur, a.k.a., “the storm”, or to put it more colloquially, “oh crap” is headed our way. But that’s a story for tomorrow.
At least, I hope so. As long as we can make the planned early morning dash.
Read more of John's blog here.