We launched the boat on a stormy, cold, ugly day last Friday (3/31/2017) around 3:00pm. But we were IN! Everything worked, and nothing went wrong.
Saturday was cloudy, which was fine because we really needed a “work day” aboard to get things organized for the start of what we hope to be a great season again this year. Everything needed re cleaning. (A clean boat is a happy boat.) There were two other boats already on S-Dock on our launch day, one of them was Contingency, Brian and Andrea’s gem of a boat, a 37′ Formula. Saturday, Brian came aboard Shellerina for a late lunch, he picked up for us at a nearby sandwich shop (TNX Bri!). He was in the area to assist Marc with a stereo upgrade aboard Precious Cargo, who was still up on the hard. Boaters are a great community of friends to get “in” with, and we have found this to be every bit as true here on Long Island as anywhere else we’ve been. We did go out for a little cruise late in the afternoon before calling it a day.
At this time of year, once the sun goes down it gets chilly real fast.
Back at the apartment, when we woke up Sunday morning it was still chilly. We didn’t rush to go over to the boat. We knew it was going to warm up and become a prize boating day. 60F temps were predicted, and with our full cockpit canvas of dark blue for the sun to beat down on, we knew we’d be comfy out in the water on a day like this. With our new side view transducer mounted to the transom, I was itching to experiment and explore the waters north and NE of Fox Island where we think we might become a new favorite place for us to drop anchor and swim and stay over night on the hook. The charts show this to be non-navigatable. But Google Earth shows there should be good water there, worthy of exploration.
Hemlock Cove is a nice place to go and hang out. But Ocean Parkway is nearby. We love that highway by car. But when we are out there by boat, we prefer a sense that we are out at a natural place to hang out for the night or for the afternoon (without the noise of passing cars). We’ve been looking for a place like Shellerina’s Rock, our favorite spot back in Maine, but here on Great South Bay. Perhaps this new spot north of Fox Island will become the place?
Anyway, after exploring that area, which is definitely safe and navigable, we docked up over at Cedar Beach. When we got there, we were the only boat around. This is a hopping place during the summer and the contrast this time of year is striking. I think we love it both ways, both empty like today and bustling during mid-summer. After tying up, we walked up to the Beach Hut, and met a number of other beach explorers enjoying the perfect spring day. It was fun to tell some of them what we knew of the place, as if we were locals. “There is nightly entertainment here all summer!” “Tuesdays and Thursdays are lobster nights.” “Weeknights there are hundreds of young people totally enjoying themselves here.” I guess in reality we were fast becoming locals.
While at Cedar Beach’s marina we got a call from Brian. He and Marc had finished their stereo installation work, at least for today, and Brian was going to be bringing Contingency to Copiague to have some canvas work done during the week ahead. He asked if we would follow him over and give he and Marc a ride back. “Sure!” any good excuse for a boat ride with friends sounds good to us. So we met them at the intersection of the North Channel and the Lindenhurst Cut and followed them over to Amittyville Marina at the head of Woods Creek in Copiague.
Once we were there we saw Brian had his wife, Andrea, aboard along with their two daughters, Lennon (9yrs) and Layla (8months). It was going to be a full boat for the ride back to S-Dock, so we made room. Layla did not like the feel of a life jacket constricting her every move, but Shelly seemed to have a way to keep her smiling, even giggling aloud! It was fun to watch the two of them. Shelly did some “nanny” work for them months ago.
Once everyone was on board Shellerina, Brian asked if this boat would be able to get up on plane with so many on board. I honestly did not know for sure. But I did not really care to make the attempt. Why rush the ride back? We’ve got friends aboard! Especially with the kids, one of them an 8 month old infant, why force everyone to hang on for a bumpy ride back? Everyone seemed content to just putt back to S-Dock at Marine Max. So day three afloat and and log count 3+0, it really was the perfect spring boating day. We were grateful to be in so early again this year.