Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Montauk Lighthouse - from the water! - plus dolphins & a disappearance (temporary but upsetting).

With the storm on Frday, we didn't quite make the mileage we set out for, but we did make it around the point on Day 3.

Sorry about the blurriness. My camera's lens has gotten just roughened enough that the water doesn't just shake off nicely anymore. I had a hand towel in the day hatch but out here, chances of getting it out without it getting soaked were just about nil.

Fortunately things had settled down enough that I was able to clear up the lens before these guys showed up.

Next one is worth clicking on for the full-sized view.

We know about the Marine Mammals Protection Act guidelines. We didn't approach them. They came to us. It was amazing.

It was also amazing, once they left, after what seemed like a good 10 or 15 minute visit, to discover that a member of our group had just kept going & disappeared from view while we watched the dolphins.

That was kind of how the trip was - absolutely amazing paddling, but some unnerving group cohesion issues. Think between the lost 3rd day last year & the lost 1st day this year some of the group was getting pretty intense about making up some miles.

When I worked on the Adirondack, there was a brief period of time when, if the winds & currents were doing certain things, one of our captains would sometimes ask the passengers,

"Is it about the journey, or the destination?"

We were working on a fast, fun-to-sail schooner, and we really liked it the most when we could shut down the motor & show people what canvas (well, dacron I guess) could do. The days when the captain would ask his mystical question would be the days when getting to the Statue of Liberty meant mostly motorsailing, while going somewhere else would mean more sailing sailing. Captain Peter was a pretty persuasive guy & did manage to get a few boatloads of passengers to say "Journey!", but finally we got called on it, there was somebody who was upset enough about going on a NY Harbor cruise without seeing the Statue that they complained to the owners & that was the end of that particular bit of deviousness.

Think on this paddle we've got some "destination" folks who were very focused on getting there, and some "journey" people who'd rather soak in the sights, and that's not always a really easy combination to make work unless you've really sorted things out very well as to goals & group behavior beforehand. With rough conditions raising the stakes & putting one or another of us at a disadvantage at various times, that just exacerbated things.

Of course during the time when the dolphins were with us, almost all of us became awestruck journey folk for a while. Too awestruck, maybe. How can you not notice that one of your set has just kept going?

Our disappearing person had to have been the most destination-focused of all of us - eventually did realize he was alone & came back, but it wasn't too nice not knowing where he was for even the short time he was gone.

Sorry this is all a bit disjointed. Still sorting things out for myself. Got very strange.

But the dolphins were amazing.

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