Friday, June 09, 2006

Meanwhile...Egads, It's Full-Tilt Boating Season!

So while I've been running around too busy to write much, the last lingering springtime brants have headed on up north, Memorial Day has come and gone, and the first day of summer is not far away, and boating season has gradually come up to speed here on the Hudson. Egads. It got here so fast. Compressed version of the last few weeks down at the piers...

I've put the protective spray on the latex gaskets of my drysuit and hung it up in the closet with a sigh of relief.

I'm looking at that slapdash seat repair I did on my Romany & realizing that it's warm enough now that I can fix that; a work-on-my-boat day is in the offing, one of the decklines is beginning to fray, so I think I'm just going to replace all of them.

My surfski is probably expecting to be taken out for a spin one of these days - that poor boat ends up sitting on a rack collecting the rust flakes that fall like snow from the deck of the barge all winter. Surfski season starts with giving the boat a good cleaning - somehow I end up feeling like I'm giving a dolphin a bath. It's a very old surfski, and it never quite gleams, but it's nice to see the accumulated winter grime wash away.

Meanwhile, out on the river, the recreational boaters are out in force. Motorboats, sailboats, jetskis - no more river-all-to-ourselves days for us paddlers, now we have to share!

At Chelsea Piers, the seasonal yacht crowd is now mostly present and accounted for. The Adirondack II has headed on up to Newport, R.I., so we're down to two Scarano boats at Pier 62, and those two, the Adirondack and the new motor yacht, the Manhattan are hard at work (and I've worked on both, now - the Adirondack's of course way more fun 'cause you get to sail, but I've worked a couple of charters on the Manhattan & it is a pretty nice boat, and an awfully nice option for those days when it's terrible weather and only the most adventurous would have any fun at all on the schooner) but the other regular charter boats have all returned and there've been more and more megayachts docking with us at Pier 62. Or at least what look like megayachts to me. What do you think? BTW, when I posted this picture on Buzznet I think my caption was "Ever wonder why I don't just run away to sea already?"

megayacht = megascrubbing!

More swallows returning to Capistrano...Offshore Sailing School's Colgate 26's have been back giving lessons out of Chelsea Piers for a while. Best of all, though, our friends from Biloxi, the Kennedys, are back. These guys run 3 very cool charter boats. Their biggest one, the Mariner III, is probably the schvellest charter yacht - she was built in the 1920's and when they pass you at night in the harbor with a band playing on board, it's like a visitation out of The Great Gatsby.

But it doesn't really feel like the season has begun until the Kennedy's smallest boat turned up at their regular berth at Pier 62 -

It may not really be summer, but if the Chelsea Screamer is back in town, ready to accomplish her annual mission of soaking as many passengers as possible - well, it feels like summer has begun!

Seriously, I'm not big into motorboats...but this one's just flat-out FUN. They give a really good tour in an hour, kids love 'em, and in a heat wave they will cool you down right nicely...bwahahahaaaaaa!

Also seriously - it's always fun when these folks get back into town. It's like the neighbors are back. They've been using Pier 62 for the Screamer for a long time, and they & their crew and the staff of the Adirondack (and the Manhattan) all get along really well - in fact there's almost a symbiotic relationship, the Kennedy's staff works on the Scarano boats pretty often, and the Scarano staff works the Kennedy's boats, and we get a lot of people out to see the sights in the harbor in all our various ways...

woo hoo, the season is here!

Anybody wanna go for a boat ride?

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