Thursday, October 7, 2010

Boat Ride

Well, it was supposed to be a fishing trip. We were going to go out into the Race - the deep channel at the eastern entrance of Long Island Sound - and catch bluefish and striped bass.

As soon as we rounded the small islands at Avery Point and hit open water, though, we were suddenly bucking seven-foot waves. We were in a fairly light 50-foot boat, and we pitched and rolled. We rolled both forwards-backwards and side-to-side, with the motions separated by about a quarter cycle so the boat rolled effectively in a circle. I have a cast-iron stomach* and I soon got my sea legs**, but others did not, and a couple folks had, shall we say, technicolor belches.

We got out near the Race, and the waves were too strong to risk getting trapped in the Race for two hours should the waves get worse while the tide was going out. So, we tried a spot by Fisher's Island, but the fish weren't biting and the waves were too strong.

We then tried all manner of spots in the Thames River, but no one got so much as a nibble. I did learn how to attach a dead fish to a fishing line as bait. It's... rather disgusting.

We tried to go out in the mouth of the river a bit, but the waves were 8 feet high and rolled nastily. At the top of waves, we were fairly close to momentary weightlessness. So, we had to head back in with no success whatsoever.

But, because we had no luck, Project Oceanology invited us back later in the month. For free. Which is incredibly nice of them.

We'll still have the fish fry in class tomorrow. Just... not with fish we caught.


* I am pretty much immune to motion sickness of all types. I survived the 6-degree-of-freedom chair at Space Camp. No roller coaster known to man can turn my stomach.

** A skill honed on subway trains. The same balance that allows me to walk down a T train squealing around a corner, or stand upright through the stops and starts of an NYC subway train without a handhold, is perfect for walking on a rolling deck. The boat just requires a little timing, so that the side-to-side motion gets me where I want to go.

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