susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Saturday 3 June

Up anchor, and motor out of Potter Bay. Cloudy, rain threatening, fog threatening.

Passed a crazy old tumbledown wooden house on an islet to starboard. These islets are called the Dumplings (!). Passed mansions – summerhouses – Billionaires Row-on-Sea, to port. Then out into Rhode Island Sound, and already the fog is gathering. Pretty soon, the mansions have vanished, the rocky coastline too, and we turn northeast into Buzzards Bay. The last thing we see before the fog closes in is a distant freighter and then nothing – we’re alone in our own small circle for the next seven hours. J turns on the radar – there are invisible targets all around – boats, markers, mysteries. And so we go, up Buzzards Bay.

J is navigator, in the dry down below. I am helm and lookout, in the drizzle on deck. The autohelm is on, so I don’t have to try and work the wheel. This wheel is the weirdest I’ve ever seen – it’s towards the stern, angled backwards, low down, and prevents anyone steering from behind it. Apparently, you sit to one side, but as usual I can’t see over or through the dodger. So, I stand, one hand reaching for the wheel, when the autohelm isn’t in use.

Now, for those of you, and I am one, who learnt to sail using a tiller, where you reach to the side, or behind you to steer, and push right to go left, or pull left to go right, it’s easy to see that in the same position the old tendencies return. How often, so far, have I turned that danged wheel like a tiller, and gone the wrong way? Just hope the ancient neural pathways don’t take over when it’s serious.

We’re heading for Hospital (Hospitable?) Cove, near the head of Buzzards Bay, ready to go through the Cape Cod Canal tomorrow, weather permitting.

Under radar, J directs the steering from one invisible marker to another, until at last we see one. The steadying mizzen sail is dropped and we motor in. I can see land to port and starboard on the radar, and at last I see its loom, darker gray against the whiteness of the fog. It reveals trees, houses among the trees, some boats, markers, a winding channel. This is Scraggy Neck (!) The anchor is dropped and bites.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home