New boat, new operator, and new horizons. Despite all the rain and wind we have experienced this summer, my family and I have been able to use the boats fairly often. After getting the trailer put back in useable condition we took our Boston Whaler out to Mattituck where it is dry stored and launch when we want to use her. If you recall the Whaler was supposed to be taken upstate last summer to be used on Lake Ontario. But the pandemic hit and we opted to keep her here and use her out East on the Peconic Bay.
So that is the plan of attack this year also. Since late June or so we have taken her out for swimming and cruising around the bay and all the little coves and creeks that our inboard boat can’t get into safely. It is set up with a towing tower for tubing and water skiing but we have not managed that yet. My son and his family did manage to come home for the Memorial Day weekend (remember that washout?) but the Whaler was not ready (trailer wheel bearing!) and even though the Pursuit was ready, the rain and cold kept us home where we had a nice barbecue with me grilling out in the shop!
After years of asking my wife and sons to take the helm, Kathy is finally up for learning to operate a boat. As hard as I try to tell her the twin engine Pursuit is easier to handle than the Whaler, Kathy wants to learn on the smaller boat. So that is what we have been concentrating on. Heading south out of James Creek in Mattituck and depending on the winds, we may head east towards Greenport or Noyack Bay. That is a fairly long run where I can get her used to using the compass to follow a heading. After she has gotten comfortable using the compass, I started showing her how to use the chartplotter. Now that Kathy is comfortable using that, I am teaching her how to use the information from both devices to navigate safely around the bay.
Lately, we have been heading west toward Riverhead. Once inside of Flanders Bay we have enjoyed exploring the area off of Hubbard County Park. If you decide to come in this way be very careful of the sandbar extending out from Red Cedar Point. It is very similar to the sandbars off of Nassau Point and both north and south sides of Robins Island but, there is no buoy there to warn you of its presence.
We will continue exploring, I want to take our kayak with us and head into Hubbards Creek and Birch Creek. The next time my son comes home with his family we all want to take a boat trip to the Riverhead Aquarium. It seems like a pretty cool trip for his young son, and it is also a very pretty area as you head in.
With the new turbocharger on the port engine and the newly repaired fuel return manifold on the starboard engine, our Pursuit is running very well. In fact I would venture to say it has never run this well as long as I have owned the boat. I purchased her in 2003 when it had just under one hundred hours. Over the years I have kept up with routine maintenance and made modifications to the boat and engines that have kept her operating as good, if not better than the day she was delivered. She currently has close to seven hundred and thirty hours and I am frequently told she looks like a new boat. And with the diesel engines she is very economical to operate. I just cannot convince my family that she is easier to operate than the Whaler. I believe they may just be afraid of the size compared to the smaller boat, and I can see their point. I have to admit, when Kathy takes the helm of the Whaler and we are out in open water, I like to sit in front of the center console and… relax. As many others that are the primary operator, it is nice to get a break once in a while and enjoy the scenery!
With Fall approaching we want to get out on the water as often as time allows and the weather cooperates. The Whaler will probably be used until the end of September, with the Pursuit coming out at the end of October. But there is still plenty of time to get some teaching in, along with more cruising, swimming and taking in the sights. One thing I have noticed, there seems to be quite a lot of fish in the bay this year. And going along with that we have been seeing more Osprey fishing in the bay and many times watching them fly off with a fish in their talons. Last year we saw a Bald Eagle fly to Robins Island carrying what looked like a good size Bluefish! I would like to see that again! Anyway, I hope you get out there to explore and enjoy something new on the bay.