Dry land, hitchhiked to town

Yesterday we stepped on land for the first time since we’d left the South Jersey Marina. We are still anchored behind the commercial fishing boats in Shinnecock Inlet, Long Island, NY.

After Kevin punched out of work for the day he talked me into kayaking to the beach together near where we are anchored. Chip readily sat on my lap for the paddle over. I pushed off and didn’t grab my paddle in time—gladly Kevin was there to toss it to me as Chip and I drifted away.

Once on the beach, Chip immediately found a dead crab to roll in then chased a gull. It’s the simple things. I told him to chase another gull, but he found a dead one instead and we had to call him back. He zipped up and down made the foolish sounds he did back home on the farm when we’d ask him if he wanted to go for a walk. The gulls weren’t quite as good as bunnies to chase, but he made do. It was a joy to watch him running freely after having been cooped up on the boat for so long.

We walked the beach and over some rocks to the docks. I hailed a fisherman to inquire about buying some fish. They’s just been unloaded and didn’t have any. They said there was only squid this time of year, other than bycatch. They pointed us toward a couple restaurants just a short walk beyond the docks.

Having no shoes, my sporting a bikini and a dog in tow we decided to walk back to the kayaks before starting out to find our dinner. On the walk back I cooled my feet in the water. The dark wood on the docks had been hot on my bare feet. I was delighted to spot a giant horseshoe crab swimming in the water and snagged it. It swiveled it’s spike wildly. There were mollusks clinging to the underside of it’s shell. Very cool.

Chip was not impressed to be left behind. He whined and paced the deck as we stashed the kayaks and made our way back past the docks. His frantic wimpy whine sounded like a gull from shore.

As promised, the restaurants weren’t far from the docks. The road between them was very narrow, with a soft sand margin. Wild roses lined the edge, most of which had gone by with the hips beginning to blush in the sun. We reached the restaurant in just a few minutes. A Maserati was pulling out—that should have been our first sign. We were quickly seated and opened the drink menus. A canned beer was $10 and a ribeye was $47. I politely stood up, and left as quickly as we’d arrived.

On our walk back we contemplated our choices—we’ve been doing that a lot lately. There was another restaurant beside it, but I figured it was as expensive and we continued on back toward the docks. We decided to get an Uber to town to pick some things up. I opened the app to find the short ride to town as $47 one way. Nope.

On a whim, I stuck out my thumb. An older woman in a new truck pulled over immediately. She just happened to be going to buy beer in town. We gladly hopped in.

Before we knew it we were getting a local perspective of the area—how it had become built up, masses of city commuters blocked up the roads in the mornings, how a beautiful forested area had been cut up into swanky house lots with few of them owned by year-round residents. We saw several deer. One was a spotted fawn—like Kevin had seen on the beach before I’d gotten up that morning. Another had thick velvet antlers coming in.

Apparently she’s a fixture of the local community. Everyone knew her at the beer store. It was a small, cramped store with poor lighting and good people. The man at the register had gone to high school with her son. She refused to let us buy her beer or pay her for the ride, then even gave us a ride back to the beach just a moment’s walk from our kayaks.

We needed a little win after the melancholy cloud that’s hung over us the past few days. The sun was warm, a gentle breeze carried the salty air over the bay, and we sat to enjoy the view in the bean bags and wind down with a couple well-earned beers.

Although we hadn’t enjoyed a local meal on shore like we’d been looking forward to, the little adventure and making a friend was much more fun. There are still plenty of provisions on board. We had just been looking to break things up a little. And we certainly accomplished that!

Get updates from this epic journey by subscribing below

One comment on “Dry land, hitchhiked to town

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *