Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back Home Again

With absolutely no wind to greet us home, we didn't even bother uncovering the mainsail and putted out of the channel Friday night headed to Cole's Creek to cove out for the night with S/V Gail Force.  As fantastic as our Long Island adventures were, it felt good to be back on Nomad again headed to our favorite place.

We motored along enjoying the sunset on the jello-calm lake and swapping stories about our trip once again, dodging a few of the local fishermen's gallon milk jugs with weighted hooks and laughingly comparing them to the lobster pot minefield we had threaded our way through south of Block Island just a few days earlier.

Just as the sun dipped below the horizon, when we were a little more than half way to Cole's Creek, a swarm of seagulls descended on the lake around us, flying just above the surface of the lake back and forth.  Literally thousands of them covered every part of the water surrounding us and were completely silent but for the swoosh of their wings.  As the darkness began to take hold, they settled into the water and floated along, with just the few of them that Nomad pushed against taking off only to settle a few feet away.

It was the most phenomenal thing I've seen in a long time, and one of those fleeting moments that you chance upon and might have missed had we been 5 minutes earlier or later.  My guess is that it was part of some gathering ritual for the flight south, for today they were gone, leaving just a few stragglers on the lake and in the marina. 

We had a wonderful evening with friends and a great night's sleep with 51° breezes wafting through the hatch. We even got to sleep in a little because the power boaters happily seem to think that Labor Day is the end of the season so there were no giant power boat wakes to jolt us from sleep.  A very slight breeze coaxed us off the anchor with the drifter for our afternoon sail, but the only exciting thing about that sail was the stowaway tree frog that jumped out of the mainsail cover when we decided to hoist it to better our chances of making it back to the marina before the pending Saturday night festivities.  He hitchhiked with us all the way back to the marina, hopping from coaming to stern pulpit, to cockpit cushion, finally setting for a little piece of shade in the aft cockpit to take his afternoon nap.

Having been busy with some incredible fried chicken and 60 fellow yacht club members all evening, we neglected to check the radar before heading back out to Cole's Creek again for the evening.  Half way down there, the approaching front was lighting the sky with some fireworks.  Checking the radar we decided to turn around and spend the night in the marina where our mast happens to be the shortest thing around instead of the tallest.

I was a good weekend.  An uneventful one, to be sure, but whether it's 6 days of intense sailing around Long Island Sound, or a day of fitful breezes barely enough to fill the drifter, if we're in a boat and on the water, life is good.