The season is winding down for us now that we have returned from Maine and back to “real life”. We have enjoyed our summer aboard but it’s time to get serious again about catching up in everything that we have neglected while aboard for two months. Brenda made an interesting comment the other day to me that she felt that being aboard was actually simpler than being home as there just isn’t as much that needs attention while being aboard Pandora. That’s certainly true for me as our home is just so complex with the demands of maintenance and the items that need attention constantly. When we returned home I spent most of the Labor Day weekend doing yard work to fix what had overgrown while we were away.
Fortunately, we had yet one more trip aboard to look forward to with this weekend’s visit with the Corinthians, a great group that I am involved with. Each spring and fall the group has a rendezvous out on the eastern end of Long Island or Connecticut and this year’s fall event was on Shelter Island. On Friday evening we were treated to a visit at a Corinthians past master’s home on the water for a lovely cocktail party overlooking one of the lovely harbors on the island. The weather was perfect and company just great. I’d say that about 30 showed up for the gam, some by boat and the others by car.
We took a mooring at the Shelter Island yacht club in Deering Harbor on the north side of the island just across from Greenport. The club is wonderful and the staff very attentive. Of the many clubs that I have visited, the dining room and bar opening onto the water, were perhaps the nicest views of the water and harbor of any that we have enjoyed.
The view is enhanced by the large fleet of 12 1/2 day sailors, a class designed by Herreshoff of Bristol RI back in 1914 as a small keel boat for young people to sail. The design has endured over the years and they are still being built to the original designs to this day albeit in fiberglass. The SIYC fleet must be one of the largest around totaling nearly 60 boats. These boats are actively raced and it must be a sight to see the 25 boats that generally show up for a race rounding the marks. I have always loved the look of this classic design but have never seen so many in one place.
As many 12 1/2s as there are here, all the boats in the harbor don’t have classic lines with varnish. This is a very modern take on the day sailor concept. What a sleek craft she is. Very crisp design. I’ll bet she goes well.
However, don’t drop something on the deck of the cockpit that can roll as it will shoot out the back in an instant. Whoops, where’s little Buffy?
There is a ferry that runs from Shelter Island’s north end over to Greenport so we decided to head over there for lunch on Saturday. There are four ferries running continuously and as a passenger you don’t have to wait long to take the 15 minute run over to the mainland. These boats really move along and the loading and unloading of cars is very efficient. I just love boats where “form follows function” and these are good examples of that. While not particularly pretty, they get the job done. The bridge is set high and gives the pilot great visibility. With engines at each end, they don’t even have to turn around, just start the other engine and head the other way. Wait, that means port and starboard as well as fore and aft depend on which way she is headed. Confusing.
As we pulled out another was headed into the slip. With 4 boats underway at all times, we didn’t have to wait long. I would expect that for cars it’s another story as the lines do get long on a busy weekend.
Shelter Island is home to many wealthy people and the architecture spans the decades from Victorian to the most modern. Privet hedges are very popular and often quite elaborate as this one attests.
There are a great variety of boats on the waters here. However, one common theme is that it tends toward the expensive end of the spectrum. I’ll bet that this one burned more fuel in the time it took me to take this shot than Pandora uses all season. It does give the feeling of power which might be the appeal. I expect that the greater the horsepower of the yacht, the less hair on the head of the owner. Better get some sunscreen on that dome. Hmm…
On Saturday morning I was treated to a beautiful sunrise. The start of a very nice day, it would turn out.
Today we head back to Mystic and will likely motor most of the 20 miles. Perhaps we will get lucky and have the forecast easterlies shift a bit toward the south. Oh well, better to be motoring into a modest easterly than siting on the hard.