Just another day in The Hamptons hitchhiking and making friends

Two weeks have passed now since we became proud owners of a 44′ catamaran—four of days which spent on how to sell it. I spent some time cleaning up, staging and taking photos to send to a boat broker two days ago.

We were disappointed this morning to find out they won’t be able to pick it up until the 15th, which is 11 days from now. Hopefully this floating doublewide will continue to go unnoticed by whoever cares about how long boats anchor for free in Shinnecock Inlet. Fun fact, the was naturally formed during the Great New England Hurricane of 21 September 1938, then reinforced later to allow boat passage.

Two nights ago we zipped under a nearby bridge in our dinghy to find Fork and Fin, a place recommended by our first hitchhiking tour guide. I opened up my Maps app on my new laptop and counted the number of inlets and docks so we could find it from the dinghy.

Once we arrived there wasn’t much for dock space. We tied off right on the end of a dock and called it good. Kevin joked that it wasn’t registered to us anyway—which is true. It was right behind the restaurant so I figured if there was a problem we’d go move it.

An older couple was making their way up the ramp to the back entrance. I stopped at a respectful distance to show we weren’t in any rush. We sat at the bar with a seat between us and the couple. Kevin went to the bathroom to clean his hands. I’d bumped the fuel line to the gas on the boat and he’d gotten it on his hands and kneeled in it with his jeans.

While he was in there I ordered his favorite drink—a Long Island. And it was some powerful. It think it had more octane than Kevin’s soaked knee. The tuna poke was lovely—though they didn’t have chopsticks. We began to strike up conversation with the couple beside us. They were interesting people. They had rubbed shoulders with movie stars.

She had a small family farm in Queens as a child. Her father has slaughtered her two baby goats, her only friends in an isolated area with no other children to play with. I told her how I’ve brought goats into the world and how much I enjoyed them too.

When we said we come from Maine they reminisced on a kayaking trip they’d done many years before up the Penobscot. We told them how our farm had been on a mountain near Penobscot Bay, how we’d sold it to buy the boat, and how we are terrible sailors. The next thing you know, they offered us the kayaks they’d had on that trip—they were too old to enjoy them now.

The husband is a fine art restorationist and crafts knifes in their home on Long Island. He had a knife on him and showed it to us. The sight of it ignited some much needed hope in me. Something to look forward to in this uncertain time. In that moment, it struck me, I would be in Maine to hunt this fall now that our short stint as sailors has nearly come to an end.

We ended up paying their tab in exchange for the beautifully crafted knife. They invited us over to see their recently constructed fireplace alongside their pool. It took eight days to build and cost over $20K. They also have an art collection of over 600 pieces. We accepted, and he gave us a business card. We hope to catch up tomorrow. They offered to pick us up at the beach and return us with their kayaks.

The next day seemed to pass slowly. Kevin worked while I schemed about possible new paths to wander down. I outlined part of a novel that’s been rattling around in the back of my mind for a long time. I got up to date with some new Photoshop features, Midjourney bot prompts, and consolidated social media platforms. After a while I got bored, and sat on the deck to birdwatch with a hard cider and sweet puppy.

After Kevin was out of work for the day we paddled to shore, walked the beach to the road, and I put out my thumb. About a dozen cars passed before a Lithuanian woman and an elderly man she cared for picked us up. They were happy to bring us to the local grocery store.

On the way over a huge humpback bridge near our boat she mentioned how low the tide was. That’s when it hit me it was a full moon and we were in a very shallow area—a good hundred feet from where we sit now is where we grounded the first night we’d gotten here. Given the rest of our day it had been the least of our worries, but just then it bothered me.

The highlight of the grocery store was the bakery case. Kevin had to turn the cart around and come back because I was so enamored. I picked out one of the many amazing looking sweets, though it was hard to choose. We shopped for just enough stuff we could fit on a kayak and easily bring back to shore. Once we were out, we decided to get an Uber back. A shopping mall is a difficult place to hitch a ride.

A man from Turkey in a minivan was there in just a few moments. Over the past few days I’ve had nightmares and what sleep I’ve had has been thin. We decided to make a run to the Shinnecock Reservation where anyone over 21 can purchase cannabis. I hadn’t considered there being a reservation on Long Island.

On the way there we saw several wild turkey. There were deer crossing signs in neighborhoods with lavish multimillion dollar homes. Our driver said they were hundreds of turkey and deer, and that some people thought they were a nuisance. I suggested they eat some of them. He laughed.

If only he knew I’d not only shot a turkey and a deer last fall, I’ve also enjoyed a roadkill turkey or two. In fact, there’d been sunflower seeds in the gizzard of one which I planted, harvested, then planted more the next year—all originating from one roadkill turkey. Waste-not.

The hedges were perfectly tidy, the gates were fancy, and the cars in the driveways were expensive. As we got closer to the Reservation land the houses shrunk to reasonable sizes, natural vegetation took over the ornamental shrubbery and weeping cherries. I even spotted a garden in a backyard. We paid him for the trip back to the beach in cash. There we were on the beach where we’d started, loading groceries into kayaks. The tide hadn’t grounded us, dispute the unpredictable winds here.

I smoked just enough to knock me out, and I slept better than I had since we were in Jersey. The world is full of good people, stories to listen to, and adventure if you’re willing to seek them out.

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