The Red Sox are out of it, the Concord grapes hanging in the arbor smell ripe in the sun, I’ve got more cucumbers than a man has a right to have, and it cormorant season in the harbor, and I may need to open a guano factory if I can’t get the filthy buggers off the spreaders of my sailboat.
Saturday morning was blowing blustery out of the north and I joined the last sailors of the yacht club in running a short informal race up and down the harbor, running the committee boat and blowing the starting horn. Feeling imperious in my role as ad hoc commodore, I sped down the harbor to make sure there was a leeward buoy and on the way back to the fleet, Red Sox cap turned brim back so it wouldn’t blow off in the gusts, I noticed another motorboat speeding alongside me. The harbormaster. Blue lights flashing.
I slowed and stopped. The harbormaster was an unhappy man and began shouting at me for speeding. I went into full obsequiousness, trying to explain in between repeated “SORRIES!” that I was a man on a mission to oversee my flock of nine Cotuit Skiffs. He would have none of it and started looking around for a reason to write me up.
“Where are the lifejackets on that thing!?!” Thing? This was my boat. I refer to it as “she,” not it. The fleet was approaching, yawing and deathrolling its way from the Inner Harbor down to Codman’s Point. My friend Philip glided by. I was embarrassed. I dug into the big cooler that serves as a seat and personal flotation device storage unit and pulled out a lifejacket suited for a munchkin. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!??” I kept digging and grabbed another random orange jacket. “PUT IT ON! SHOW ME IT FITS!” I put it on and it barely made it around my neck. “WHAT SIZE IS THAT?!? READ THE LABEL ON THE BACK AND SHOW ME!”
I took it off, looked at the label: “Adult Universal.” I showed it to him. He shook his head and launched into a lecture about going slow, no matter what the excuse. I thanked him for his diatribe and finished the race, explaining my infraction to all.
This morning, rolling out of bed, I came down stairs to see a flock of wild turkeys on my lawn. I’d seen the birds a couple years ago in Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard, when one walked up to me and tried to beg some food. These were the first I’d ever seen in Cotuit. The dogs threw a conniption and I proved, yet again, that shooting video from a smartphone means shooting pictures of my fingers.
Another race this morning, another sail on the guano boat, and in a month the yachting season ends when the boat gets pulled and propped up on stands in the back yard. Might as well make the most of it while it lasts.
Now to Google some Concord grape jelly recipes and trash the kitchen.