Posts Tagged ‘harbor of refuge’

Lake Ontario-oh

Author: Stephen
Lake Ontari-oh

Lake Ontario-oh

Nestled here in the boat yard at Mayer’s Marina, in West Webster, NY, on Irondequoit Bay. Pulled in early Friday afternoon, just before the wind started really picking up. They have many docks, with lots of boats. As usual, I looked for one that wasn’t going to work for anything larger than a canoe. After tying up, I went into the office and asked if there was a restaurant nearby, and if I could leave Seaweed for a bit. The guy with the warm smile at the counter, Rowan, answered yes to both questions. Said there was “a really excellent” restaurant a short walk down the road. With it’s cluttered counter (which included a box of cookies with “free” written on it), old boat motors, and gentle clutter, the place made me think of Ryde Marina back home. I had a great lunch at “Castaways.” It has a deck overlooking the big lake, but I’d had enough sun the past six days, so sat at a small table inside.

There’s a narrow spit of land between the marina and the restaurant, with just enough room for a row of cottages facing the lake, the road, and a row of cottages facing the bay. There are some huge homes on the bluff across the bay, and all manner of boats on the bay. There’s a bobtail swing truss bridge (you don’t see one of those every day) that crosses the channel into the lake, but it’s always open from April to November, as this is a harbor of refuge, and sometimes (as I was to discover shortly) boats need to get in here in a hurry. So I can’t get a good look at the amusement park on the other side, but I can hear the screams.

Back at the marina, Rowan was busy with a customer, so I mentioned to the the other smiling guy at the counter, Al, that I’m attempting to paddle around the lake, and the weather was looking dicey, and might they have a spot where I could pitch my tent? “Sure,” he said, “I’m sure we can find a spot for your tent.” Ahh.

I pitched camp between boats that don’t float on trailers with flat tires. There’s a flotilla of spare dock sections tied up at water’s edge, on which the resident great blue heron, cormorant, geese and gulls peaceably sun and socialize. My tarp is tied off to cleats and pulleys and wheel rims. Nice and tight. Which it needed to be…

The weather wasn’t “supposed” to get rough until later Friday night. But on my way back from dinner at the other restaurant, the Bayside Pub, huge dark clouds suddenly started to build. Within 20 minutes, the wind was howling. I made it into the tent just as the clouds exploded. It was rain and thunder and lightning into the early morning hours. Al, under his umbrella, checked on me shortly after the storm burst, but I was fine, and he said if I had any problems to come to his place. Al and Rowan told me in the morning that the winds reached 60 mph. My tarp was whistling , but everything held, with no leaks.

There was a bit of wind this morning, and some more rain, so I took a rest day. It’s cleared up now, and I plan to head out in the morning. I’m expecting headwinds, and there’s nuke plant 10 miles away that I’ll need to get around.

Thanks so much to everyone for the warm wishes.

Breakfast on the veranda

Breakfast on the veranda