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  • When pressed during an afternoon sail aboard the sloop Leilani on Monday, Dr. David Nelson allowed that before slipping into semiretirement two months ago he’d helped restore vision to 15,000 eyes, give or take, over the course of his 40-year career as an ophthalmic surgeon. What those eyes might have missed!

    Earlier in the day, he’d peddled his bike from Montauk to East Hampton and back, then paddled out for a short surf session in shapely, waist-high waves at Ditch Plain not far from his house. The doctor complained of knee pain, and why not?

  • Shark tournaments are upon us. The captain’s meeting and beer bash for the Star Island Yacht Club’s 28th annual will take place this evening — entry fee, $1,000 per boat. The chum will flow Friday and Saturday, and sharks will be hoisted up the gibbet to be ogled, weighed, and necropsied.

    Somewhere around $30,000 in prize money will be dispensed during the awards ceremony Saturday night, not counting the pool of much larger side bets. God help us.

  • Life: The symphony of birds, thousands of them greeted the sun on Monday morning. Surfers, hundreds of them, awoke to paddle into a surprise east swell that arrived during the night with an offshore wind to sculpt near-perfect waves. Surfcasters greeted the news that big, very big striped bass were caught from the rocks in Montauk’s moorland coves during the night.

  • The instructions were straightforward: “Put ice, a Ziploc bag, and a 20 in the cooler. I’ll call you when he makes the drop.”

    Like a beer-fueled, slam-bang game of Foosball at Liar’s Saloon, the fish deal was proof that a healthy undercurrent of local life continued to flow as the surface trickle of spring visitors swelled to a flood over the Memorial Day weekend. 

  •     My wife, Kyle, is a sensitive person. She says this is why she adopts a hard exterior at times, a shell, like a turtle. I know this to be true. It’s also why she feels simpatico and keeps her eyes peeled for turtles making their equivalent of a mad dash across Montauk’s roads this time of year.

  • “Wetiquette”
    Peter Spacek
    Ditch Ink, $8.95

        You have purchased a brand-new surfboard. It’s set you back about $1,000, but for years you’ve wanted to learn how to surf. “It’s on my bucket list,” you’ve told your friends.

  •     Driving down Bluff Road in Amagansett on the sunny morning of July 28, 1992, I looked up and watched an osprey flying landward with a small striped bass in its talons.

        I was en route to the protest of a new state law that banned the ocean seine as a means of catching striped bass. The regulation capped a decades-long effort on the part of powerful sportfishing interests, in cooperation with UpIsland politicians, to cripple the East End’s inshore commercial bass fishery.

  •     An infinity of tiny fish darted and gathered in the green glow of a submerged squid lamp on Monday night. The long tentacles of a pulsating jellyfish swept for food in the slow current. Time passed. Larger fish jetted through the small, lighted section of bay carved out of the night by the lamps. “Bunker,” a voice declared, breaking a long silence.

  • Turn used fishing nets into skateboards. An idea that would have seemed utopian green only a few years ago is being brought to fruition by three surfers with engineering degrees and a shared goal of ridding the ocean of plastic pollution.
  •     I was walking east in one of Montauk’s moorland coves the other day and saw a lone surfcaster heading toward me. It was Eric Ernst, wetsuited, with casting rod on his shoulder. He had been testing the waters. We fell into conversation as the cove’s spring green waves thumped and whispered.

        He confirmed what I’d heard earlier in the day. Small striped bass were being caught from the beach in recent days at Ditch Plain Beach and just east in front of the Montauk Shores Condominiums.

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