Monday, August 08, 2005

Pointless post re lovely weekend.

Actually I'm really, really mulling over that Serious Type Post on water access & the recreational use of the Hudson - but if we don't have some bad weather here it's gonna fall by the wayside like all the other long & well-written posts that I haven't had time to write.

Heck with it, though. I just had THE perfect NYC summer weekend (that's a picture of my neighborhood just to demonstrate how nice it was - isn't that JUST what you picture in you mind when someone says "Brooklyn"?). At least according to me. Of course I'm a bit outside the norm. But I want to write about that & it's my blog. So there.

It actually started on Friday night - an old friend who I haven't seen much of lately called and after a round of phone tag we finally got in touch in the evening - we ended up going for Italian ices at Uncle Louie G's, then going for a walk on the beach in Brighton Beach while heat lightning lit up the clouds out over the Atlantic;

Saturday morning I slept in, then another friend & I hit the local farmers' market, which I love (I rave about it over here...took the new toy along & put a few local shots in my miscellaneous album - maybe that'll prove that I'm not COMPLETELY monomaniacal!), then went for iced coffee (although I ended up with iced jasmine tea) at our favorite local leftist/anarchist/socialist coffeeshop...who are being awfully capitalistic & bringing in completely irresistable pastries from Balthazar. Bad leftists. Bad. Granola I can say no to but a Balthazar's sticky bun? STOP it! Anyhow, at 2:00 it turned out that the founder of liberal radio station Air America was giving a reading from his new book, so we stuck around for that - then after that it was time to head off to work the 6:00 and 8:30 sails on the schooner. They were both booked solid, so the crew was kept busy, but we had great sailing and the most glorious sunset - oh, and on the 6:00 sail there was one of the regattas the Manhattan Yacht Club always has & all the J-24's had their spinnakers flying as they ran north past the Statue and it was SO beautiful and I had my camera with me but I couldn't take a picture of that OR the sunset 'cause I was working...sorry!

And then Sunday I worked the afternoon shift on the schooner - much less crowded, and more good sailing - better than we'd hoped for, actually, the wind seemed dead around our dock but we had a nice fresh breeze down by the harbor. Meghan and I were the crew, and then we had trainee Carl doing his last 2 sails as a trainee - actually we'd been the same crew the night before and Carl had absolutely pulled his weight on a very full boat, so this was just one last formality. There were less than 20 passengers on both the 1:00 and the 3:30 - 20 is actually the point at which you sort of start to want an extra pair of hands, while with less than 20 Meghan and I could've run things on our own easily, so with Carl helping out too, things were very relaxed. Nice.

It was cloudy, but pretty hot. One of those days when people tend to sprawl out on the cabin tops & the rocking of the boat just lulls them off to sleep. I kept making noises about falling in and man-overboard drills 'cause that cool green water, touched with white as it swirled away in our wake, looked so tempting.

However, seeing as man-overboard drills are more traditionally done with a fender or a PFD or something more disposable than crew, and seeing as I didn't particularly want to get fired halfway through my 4th season, I refrained.

At one point, we hit a wake in such a way that a beautiful plume of spray leaped over the deck - just forward of where I was standing. Rats!

But I had my swimsuit & boardshorts & fully planned to go get wet after the 3:30 - 5:30 was over. I was really worried for a while - there were some incredibly dramatic black clouds down over the Lower Harbor (again, I would've loved to take pix but the crew isn't supposed to be sightseeing!)& the south end of the Upper Harbor, and more up north of the city - I was crossing my fingers that the rain would just hooooold off until I finished work!

It did. I credit a regular passenger who always comes on Sunday, got poured on a couple of weeks ago, and requested her slicker in advance. I brought it to her & of course that meant no rain. Yay.

Carl did fine on his last 2 sails as a trainee so got his promotion as expected; as it turned out that there were 40 people on the 6:00 - and the evening sails are always a bit tougher than the day sails, service-wise, as we add wine, champagne, & beer fancy enough to require a bottle opener for the night sails. I offered to stay but Carl had heard me talking about how much I was looking forward to falling in the river, and Mike's pretty good at serving and um maybe I didn't sound really enthusiastic in my offer...anyways, the guys said they were cool with working the sail with 2 so I scampered off for Pier 63, where people were falling in the water left & right. Whee. The water felt soooo good. I swam a little, floated a little, swam a little, got Mr. & Mrs. Dockmaster to jump in too, made a friend practice her swimmer bow-carry. Lovely. I should swim more. I've been trying to be a little better about crosstraining & have been doing some running - but I like swimming more than running. Paddling, and only paddling, does not a fitness routine make. Thinking of joining CIBBOWS - I live so close to Brighton Beach now I can't believe I didn't think of this before but it actually took getting a notice regarding kayak support for a swim race they were planning before that particular light bulb went on...oh yeah, BB stands for Brighton Beach...duh! Problem with just going on my own is of course the "who will watch my gear" question. I can't exactly suggest to a friend that we go to the beach, then when we get there, pull out my goggles, say "O.K.,I'll be back in an hour", now can I? CIBBOWS seems to have that worked out.

The issue, of course, is time. I'm already sort of stretched as it is. And as long as it hasn't rained a lot, the barge isn't a bad swimming hole (as long as you're a good swimmer & know enough to stay out of the current).

After I'd swum enough to cool down, I finally felt inspired to pull my kayak out & do some rolling - Jeff was there, and he'd gotten to talking to a woman who'd just discovered the barge after suffering withdrawal pangs from an extended trip to some shore somewhere - anyways, she'd come to the barge and found Jeff jumping in the water, and then I turned up & also jumped in the water, and then other people also jumped in - she wasn't dressed for jumping in, but Jeff has a Heritage Kayaks sit-atop (a little nicer than your average sit-atop) and after she quizzed him about kayaking for quite some time he'd decided it'd be simpler to just give her a lesson (he's American Canoe Association certified & has guided for MKC so she was in very good hands). I pulled out my boat & did some rolling - I worked through the weirdness with my offside, which I was having some very confidence-shaking problems with back in June, last week Tuesday - I deal with anything like that by just putting myself back through the basics...sometimes a few hip snaps off somebody's bow are just the ticket to get your brain back into the right space (i.e. the underwater, upside-down one!) - as Mr. SeaLevel found out the other day & wrote up in a pretty darned good post.

Then I went home and had a lambchop & a salad of farmers' market tomatoes & baby lettuce for dinner...

Apparently the salt water really soaked into my brain though... This morning I was asking one of my co-workers if she had a bright-colored interoffice envelope - most are standard-issue brown so the odd bright pink or blue one is very useful for sending urgent things to our backoffice in New Jersey - makes the item stand out. When my co-worker said "No", I actually heard myself say "No problem, I'll go see if there are any down below".

Meaning of course in the mailroom in the basement.

I don't think I've ever actually used boat lingo outside of a boat situation by accident. Intentionally, occasionally, and then only to make fun of my own pseudo-salty reputation...but never by accident.

Made me laugh at myself.

Just a little more evidence of what a good weekend it was!

Sailing. Swimming. Paddling. Farmer's market. Walk on beach. Italian ice. Heat lightning. Iced jasmine tea. Working with friends. Hanging out with friends. Playing in the water with friends.

Really...does it get much better than that?

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