It’s a lovely morning in Jamestown. Warm and tropical. How I wish I could awake to this beauty every day of my life. I know why that guy built a house on a rock here. They must have thought him such a fool. Such a waste of money. But I envy him.
Given our proximity to the wide open East Passage of Narragansett Bay, I’m surprised at how calm the water is.
There are a lot of birds here, especially Gulls. I mean them no harm, but for obvious reasons, I can’t allow them to sit on Ginger Lees warm, comfortable, black Sunbrella roof. I set my coffee cup down on the gunwale and climb up to the flybridge to install our three Gullsweeps, the spinning devices that humanely keep all birds away. They work good but aren’t perfect; they need wind to spin, and there’s not much of that right now. I keep the broom handy to shoo off any offenders.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sun rises confidently. His bright countenance smiles down on a fishing boat as it slinks by. It feels like a good day.
Bacon and eggs (sunny side up with the bacon fat spooned over the top) is the breakfast of choice this trip. Toast is a luxury. An electric toaster, like any appliance with a heating coil, far exceeds the amperage available on our boat while moored. I’ve tried those devices called camp toasters but can’t get them to work right, burns the bread every time. Buttered rice cakes are a reasonable substitute.
After breakfast we get ready for our trip across the bay to Rose Island. This basically means donning our “go-ashores”, or clothes suitable to be seen in by the general public.
Rose Island sits next to the Pell bridge. It features a working lighthouse that is open to the public, and has rooms for rent, kind of like a bed and breakfast. They welcome you to pull your dingy up onto the beach, and leave the dock open for the ferry from Jamestown.
The bedrooms for the paying guests are off-limits, but we tour every part of that house that we can. From the honor-system souvenir closet, I buy a great tee-shirt and a refrigerator magnet, and leave the required money in a lock-box.
Eventually we make it to the cupola that houses the Fresnel lens–the heart of the light system.
We duck through a small iron door to the outside and surprise a very frightened gull. In the narrow walkway, the poor thing is unable to spread his wings enough to fly off. He’s trapped. I devise a plan to free him, or her.
I open the door fully so that Mr. Gull is between it and me, then I place a cinderblock that I found next to the railing. The bird was able to hop onto the block and over the railing. I watch him soar gracefully down the steep slope until he disappears from view.
Two boats pull up to the dock and a dozen tourists spill out. Up until now we had the place pretty much to ourselves. It’s time to go! We hop into our dinghy and zoom off to check out Newport Harbor: the mega-yacht playground.
There’s a massive yacht anchored in the bay. I hail it on the radio, and to my surprise, I get an immediate answer from an amiable captain with a Australian accent.
“Hello Captain. This is motor vessel Ginger Lee off your starboard beam. Switch to one-eight please. Over.”
“Copy that Ginger Lee. Switching to eighteen.”
“Captain, I wonder if you could settle a bet. I say you have a crew of six, my wife says ten or more. Over.”
“You lost Cap. We have a crew of twelve!”
Jamestown has a big, wide open feel. Big boats, big bridge, big view. So different from Dutch Harbor on the opposite shore less than a mile away. But variety is one of the things I love about boating. It occurs to me that boating means different things to different people. To many, it means advising the captain of your destination, choosing which towels the maid should lay out in the guest staterooms, which silverware you would like in the main salon. aperitifs on the sundeck or in the hot-tub? It’s just not my style, but it is boating, so I feel a kinship. I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as a bad day on the water. I’m inclined to agree, but then again, I’m an incurable optimist. It is indeed a very good day.