Friday, May 25th, 2012
By Kate “Bob” Addison, photo by Bill Bleyer
It’s almost lunch time on a foggy, soggy Friday, and we are bound for Greenport where we are excited to be joining the next Tall Ships festival of our busy summer. Our position is 41o06’N 072o10’W and we are motor-sailing across Gardiners Bay at the east end of Long Island Sound. We’re expecting to be at the dock in Greenport about 2:30 this afternoon, and open ship will start at 10am tomorrow, so if you’re in the area come and say hello! We were at anchor in Bostwick Bay on the west side of Gardiner’s Island. It seems that Gardiner’s Island has been in the Gardiner family since the mid 1600s, given to them by the local Native band for helping out in some conflict – or so we are told.
With fog and rain on deck we just had a farewell ceremony in the salon for the crew who are leaving us in Greenport. Hot chocolate all around and for the departing crew, sea service certificates were issued, along with a gift from the ship of a handcarved fish hook from Fiji. Deeply symbolic for a sailor, and especially so in the South Pacific, the fish hooks are said to offer safe passage over water. The origin of the tradition is in ancient Polynesian origin mythology, which teaches that the islands of the South Pacific were pulled up out of the water by the legendary navigator Maui using his fish hook. It does kind of look like that when you sail towards a low lying atoll and it rises from nowhere out of the ocean, up it comes out of the sea as your ship gets closer. Well, the ship’s home port is Avatiu in the Cook Islands, so she certainly calls the Pacific home. Captain says the fish hooks work best once they’ve been dipped in the waters of the South Pacific…. maybe some of the crew who sailed with us from New York to Greenport will join us again to try some blue water tradewind sailing?