Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

“I am a terrible crew”

“I am a terrible crew”, “I am the last person you want on your boat”… “But you’re a good sailor” she said. “That’s why I’m the last person you want on your crew” “You don’t want someone like me. You want a team player, someone who follows directions; someone who is content tending the sheets”…

I usually don’t hang out at the club. But on Sunday a squall blew in just as I arrived to go sailing. So I sat on the deck and watched it go by before I went sailing.
All the racers had just come in. Some were soaking wet from the downpour; some had been in a while and were sharing in their post race glory. “How’d ja’ do today?”

First came the introductions…”What’s your name? and what kind of a boat do you sail? How long have you been a member?” He said. “I’m the Bla Bla Committee Chairman, and I don’t recall seeing you at any of our functions? You missed quite a party last weekend; you missed the Karaoke contest!” “And you missed logo high, side off surf” I muttered under my breath.

I really didn’t pay much attention for the next few minutes. My blackberry was vibrating wind alerts, and I was trying to decide whether to stay and sail here; or drive to Gilgo and go windsurfing. My eyes refocused from BB to world. “Oh come on Frank, it’s fun! “She said. “I’m sure it can be. But you really don’t want me as crew.” " Why?" She asked. . “Cause I’m not dependable. If it’s hot and fickle; I won’t show up. If it’s windy: I won’t show up. Rather be windsurfing. I just can’t commit the time necessary to be a good crew.” She persisted, “ But we have such fun, And you don’t have to sail by yourself.” “But I like to sail on my own” It’s sort’a why I sail in the first place. To get away…to lose myself.

I used to race. I was OK at it. I know what it takes. I just don't have it. I’m just not interested.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The fourth of July

Well, we made it to the Cape for the 4th. The drive was pretty good. We like to take the Ferry from Orient Point. This breaks the journey into two, three hour treks, surrounding a 1 ½ hour ferry ride. The alternative 6 ½+ hour drive is not fun.

I have mixed emotions about Chatham. Chatham has the largest percentage of public beach access than any other town on the Cape. Yet Chatham has a very Localism Vibe. It’s Tribe of Local Watermen brave Chatham’s Winter. They consider Summer their reward.
‘Summer Resident’s’ go to great lengths to display their creed; “I’m more local than you”.

The weather has been much the same as Long Island; foggy and rainy. Dad and I tried to sail on Friday. The wind was light, and visibility was about 20 feet. He and Mom were supposed to sail to Nantucket Thursday. But the weather has not been cooperative, so they have postponed their departure. My parents are 2 of the 6,625 people who live in Chatham year round. On the 4th of July weekend, Chatham’s population swells to between 30,000 or 40,000! And that is as good a reason as any, [if you are a Local]...to get out of town…

Later Friday afternoon, the sun came out. We tried to go to the beach. We took the Rent’s Jeep. Mass plates, and a town resident sticker would allow us entry to Cockle Cove.
That worked until the clouds came back, and made it cold again.

That evening we went into town for the Friday night concert at the Chatham bandstand. A little Norman Rockwell time capsule…God Bless America, Do the Hokey Poky, and Mayberry RFD, wrapped all into one. Four generations of one family, dancing and singing together. All this, on a blanket, preciously guarded, since 8 AM this morning. [Marking ones territory is terribly important.] As we drive home that evening, empty blankets and lawn chairs already line the parade route for tomorrow.

Saturday was a beautiful, breezy, sunny day. The first in weeks. Dad called me from points south of Monomoy. They were “beating to windward in 15 foot seas, and 20 to 25 knots”. LL and I wanted to go to Forest Beach. I figured it would be the best choice for windsurfing. There was no place to park. At all.

We tried Pleasant Beach, a few blocks east. I parked in one of the last spots. Got LL and Brielle settled in. Then rigged up the 6.0, and the JP. I should have been flying… but I wasn’t. The wind was lifting. You could see it was windy, south and west of us. Just not where we were. I slogged in, and called it a day. There were so many people on the beach by that time; there was no way I could have safely launched anyway.

After yesterday’s ‘failure to launch’, we delayed our ferry reservation till Sunday night. I knew it meant a tiring drive, but I desperately needed to sail. We arrived early [this time] at Forest Beach. I rigged big; a 7.0 and the Sumo. Even though I would be overpowered on the outside; I needed to plane. And it was glorious. Because it was early, you could see through the crystal clear water, and watch your shadow glide along with you. It’s a sensation I have not had since Aruba. I basically sailed alone. Just me and about 30 kiters. Windsurfing has definitely taken a back seat to kites on marginal days. I had a great two hours; fully powered to overpowered…At times, I wished I had rigged smaller. Nothing is perfect.

As I was packing up, some lady trolling for a parking spot ran over the clew of my sail. When I called her on it, she claimed that “she didn’t… and that “I shouldn’t have been there anyway.” I literally turned away from my sail for 30 seconds so I could put my boom in the car. How impatient do you have to be? “You people come up here…I own property…” She was obviously referring to my Van and its NY plates. I told her that I would send her a bill if I had to replace the batten she ran over. She sped off. But I had her plate number; from New Jersey…