Log entry, April 15, 0800, entering the Gulf of Mexico
Eagle’s crew at attention on the waist swaying in unison to the ship’s motion like wheat in the wind. Flying fish flee our wake, their silver sides flashing in the morning sun. They must be nature’s most hopeful creatures, the way they flee their natural element to escape, not unlike sailors.
Alfonso Marino stopped casting into the Georgica Pond gut as the water flowed into the sea. He stopped casting flies and watched in awe as Mother Nature did her spring thing shortly after the pond was opened to the sea on April 2 by order of the East Hampton Town Trustees.
Trustees open it each spring and fall — when storm-driven ocean waves do not — in order to accommodate the fish that leave as fry and return to spawn as they have for millenniums.
Earlier this month I was invited to travel from New London to New Orleans aboard the Coast Guard’s training ship Eagle. A story appears elsewhere in this issue about Eagle under sail.
I first joined the ship in 1994 as a journalist, crossed the Atlantic, wrote a story for Smithsonian magazine, and joined her again in Hamburg, Germany, in 1996 on the anniversary of her 1936 launch from the Blohm & Voss shipyard. She was christened Horst Wessel in the presence of none other than Adolf Hitler.
On Monday afternoon in East Hampton, Daniel G. Rogers, an attorney for Paul and Kelly Lester, announced that he had asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to instruct the state’s inspector general to investigate the actions of the State Department of Environmental Conservation before and after its raid on the Lester property on Abraham’s Path in July.
The Coast Guard has credited the response of the Shamrock’s crew for saving the fishing vessel on Saturday morning. The boat’s design also helped keep her afloat. According to published reports, the wooden boat, based in New Bedford, Mass., had sprung a plank in 10 to 12-foot seas 70 miles south of Montauk.
Are the striped bass here or not? The rumor mill is generating excitment and perhaps a few stretched truths.
Surfcasting rods are appearing on roof racks. People who would normally drive Montauk Highway when traveling to and fro from Montauk are taking the Old Highway instead to keep eyes peeled for birds working.
Yes, it’s an early spring, and yes, striped bass have been caught up west, but, as of Monday, the beach has been quiet so far in Montauk. East Hampton is another story.
Think of the cold air that blew into town this week as a crystal clear lens provided for viewing the night sky, especially on Monday in Montauk, where there is virtually no ground light to interfere.
The crescent moon was bright enough to make you squint, and Venus just below and to the right nearly so. Jupiter hung directly below Venus and if one were fortunate to have a telescope or even powerful binoculars, its moons would have been visible. On Tuesday night Venus was at its farthest point from the sun.