Thursday, September 28, 2006

J-24s at Ellis Island - plus meeting outcome synopsis

One of the cool things about weeknight early evening sails on the schooner Adirondack is that there are frequent J-24 races held down by Ellis Island. Sailboat races are lovely to watch anyways, like a flock of big white birds wheeling about, and when they get to the downwind leg the spinnakers and it's just breathtaking. Especially when that happens around sunset & those big bright sails catch that gold light & glow like giant lanterns. I don't usually bring my camera when I work on the schooner, but everytime I see that I think "Oh, I need to go out for a ride one of these nights & try to catch that".

Well, we had a glorious evening on Tuesday & I took my folks out for a schooner ride, and sure enough the J-24s were down there - only Capt. Sarah was "driving". She and I started the same year & she's just awesome. I have hardly seen her this year because she's been really handling the business side of things this year, so I was catching up with her - specifically, I was getting the Little Dipper version of the Mayor's Cup race. The Little Dipper, which belongs to a guy who works on the Adirondack from time to time, is not big, but was apparently giving the Adirondack an embarrassingly strong run for her money for the first leg of the race this year. The Adirondack version of the race was "They were staying with us and yelling for us to throw them some beer because S. forgot to bring any, so we threw them some beer, and they went away". Sarah was on the Little Dipper as crew & she had a slightly different version - they were doing well because they were being canny about the current & while the Adirondack was trying to bull her way down the middle of the harbor - once they tacked onto the second leg, that stopped being such a factor & the Adirondack was then able to pull away. Anyways, with all the catching up (and entertaining catching up it was, too), I missed it when the racing fleet hit the downwind leg - turned & saw it just as they were going into the shadow of Ellis Island. I took some pictures but I'd missed the moment.

Fortunately my folks had gone up forward to do a little proper sightseeing & my dad did NOT miss the moment!

That's all I have time for now - have to be on a 6 pm train to PA to meet the family down there - my sister was down there & my folks went yesterday so I go join the whole gang tonight. Bad bad timing for a vacation day but probably my only chance to catch up with my sister this year.

Mostly I wanted to post to say that the infamous meeting last night went pretty well - the situation is the same, that was by no means the finish of this business - this stuff is all very Looking-Glass-Land-ish, hope to give a full writeup one of these days but the Trust says it's the DEC permit that doesn't allow human-powered boating, the DEC says they just wrote the permit to comply with the Estuary Management Plan that the Trust wrote...round and round and round she goes...anyways, what the Rustbucket management & paddling gang was hoping to get last night was a letter from the CB4 waterfront committee saying that they supported revising whatever needs to be revised to let us all keep paddling out of the barge the way we always have, and although a lot of them were really confused by the whole situation at first (can't blame it for that, I can only keep it halfway straight & I've been following the whole saga since we built the first kayak storage racks for the MKC fleet in the early early spring of 1999 - they were really confused because it's really confusing, that much is simple!) but in the end they're going to put something together.


There's a full CB4 meeting next Wednesday at 6:30 where last night's committee will be presenting their letter - I'll be in close week but darn it I am going to try to go again...I did actually say something last night, but in general I feel like just being AT these meetings says "I care!".

A letter from the community board isn't going to be the solution in and of itself - but having the official support of the community can make a difference.

Fingers crossed.

Knocking wood.

Back to work with me, now.

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