Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Big Trip

By the end of July, the captain and I had logged many hours aboard For Us, both on the water and at the dock (lots of hours at the dock).  We both agreed it was time to cast off the lines for parts unknown (well, not really unknown, just unknown from the perspective of the water versus land).  We decided that from Thursday, August 5th through Saturday, August 15th, we would cruise the waters off Long Island Sound and see where our wanderings would take us.  All the trawler folks we've met have stressed that the journey in a trawler is just as meaningful as the destination.  It better be, cause there's lots of time getting from point A to point B!

Our resolve to not over-plan was immediately tested on the day of our departure.  The day dawned stormy and windy, definitely not the type of day to start pursuing our dreams!  No problem we said through gritted teeth.  Tomorrow is another day, right?  Never mind the food we bought and carefully planned meals around.  Now that the freezer was defrosted and actually had room for 2 hot dogs and a steak, we would be fine.  This is how to embrace life on a trawler we're told.

Friday morning was gorgeous and well worth waiting for.  Within a half hour of arriving at the dock, we were off, bursting with anticipation for what treats lay ahead.  The day was warm and perfectly suited to running the boat from the flybridge.  According to Tom, every day is perfectly suited to running the boat from the flybridge.  In a later post, I'll tell you about a Sunday morning ride that definitely was not suited but found us up there anyway.

We spent the entire day getting to Mattituck, but it was worth it.  We entered a quiet canal that brought us to the Matt-a-Mar marina and the serenity we did not have at our home marina.  While Tom did his "thing" (using the town's entire water supply to wash down the boat), I explored Love Lane and its delightful little shops.  Later we had a wonderful dinner at Song of Venice (or was it Touch of Venice?).  In any case, we watched the sun set and complimented ourselves on being quite the mariners.

The next day, we left early and headed for Montauk.  From the direction we were heading, we needed to negotiate Plum Gut.  Judging from the look on Tom's face as we entered the Gut, I had a feeling that now would not be the time to pick up my book.  One thing however made the Gut a memorable run - I actually saw double digits on the Garmin speed indicator!  There was a point where we were making 12 knots!  I was hoping our trusty engine wouldn't blow up!  Our stabilizers worked overtime to keep us comfortable and soon we the Gut was behind us.  Remember how I said we were trying to embrace the cruising life?  Well only now did I think it was time to make a reservation at the Montauk Yacht Club.  So very confidently I called.   And very confidently was told that they were sold out through Labor Day.  Okay, so the folks who told me about the cruising life don't live on Long Island where summer reservations are made on New Year's Day! Star Island Marina was recommended - I was thrilled to get a reservation.  The thrill dissolved when we arrived to find ourselves in the middle of a shark tournament.  Fish heads and guts littered the dock and never mind the smell!  Not our idea of an elegant marina to spend the night.  Oh well, cruisers make the best of adversity, so we managed to enjoy ourselves (with the AC on high, the door closed and our music playing to drown out the fishermen's language).  Our neighbor was kind enough to ask our forgiveness in advance, since he (and nearly every other boat in the marina) would be departing the next morning at 4:30 am.  Another of Star Island's joys!
We spent the next day reading, took a swim in the pool, did some dock walking.  The day was glorious - brilliant sunshine, not too much humidity and breezy enough to cool us without chilling.  We watched the most incredible sunset from a table in the wrong restaurant (we made a reservation at a restaurant (Inlet Cafe) that sounded like the one we showed up at (Inlet Seafood Restaurant) and since it was a $16 cab ride one way, decided to stay).  I can honestly tell you  that if we were home, we would NEVER have waited an hour for a table.  The captain  is not good in wait mode, so we try to avoid it whenever possible.

Since we were planning to head to Block Island the next day, I didn't think I was being too Type A by calling a day ahead for a reservation.  Well I may not have been Type A that day, but everyone else on Long Island was Type A on New Year's Day (as I mentioned before).  Both places I called were booked solid.  Champlin's told me that they could raft us up.  When I mentioned that to the captain, you would have thought I suggested having him walk the plank upside down.  His look of horror was enough to quickly launch Plan B.  I was beginning to admire our sense of adventure and actually enjoy being flexible, something neither Tom nor I excelled at.  With the help of a cocktail, we studied our charts, distance tables (essential on a trawler) and decided to go to Greenport.  After all, Greenport is where this entire saga began, remember?

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