Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Brotherhood of the Boaters Strikes Again

Cayuga Lake cottage: Do you not love the cuteness?

July 9: Sheldrake Point to Lansing

As you know, cuteness is a key quality for the crew of the Dragonfly. And as we continued our trip south on Cayuga Lake, we noticed a trend. The cuteness quotient of lakeside cottages increases with decreased distance to Ithaca. 

Maybe it’s because the cottages closest to town were built first, and turn-of-the century houses have more gingerbread, not to mention darling little boat houses.

After a peaceful float under hot sunny skies, we docked at a marina in Lansing, NY, sliding neatly between two sailboats on the “long dock” that bisects the middle of the marina basin.

I’m Getting a Friendly Feeling

Beautiful day for a cruise!
Like any other business, marinas have varied personalities. Cayuga Lake Marine Services is low-key—family-owned and family oriented. Not fancy, but neat and clean. 

And friendly—the couple across the way strolled by to offer us the use of their car for a grocery run, and also to let us know about their “secret swimming spot” just beyond the marina breakwater and encourage us to come take a dip.

If I Only Had a Piece of Plastic Pipe

Cap had been feeling a bit bereft ever since Seneca Falls. He’d been looking forward to sunset rows in the dinghy, but with a broken oar, this was not to be.

The oar itself is carbon-fiber construction, hollow in cross section at the spot where it had broken. If he could find a properly sized piece of plastic pipe, Cap theorized, he could insert it in one broken end, thread the other end over, glue or tape, and have a functioning oar again.
Our duckling among the swans

Now, he looked hopeful. Sometimes, marinas have ship’s stores, or repair shops, or both. He hustled off down the dock. In less than ten minutes he was back, smiling broadly. 

This marina DID have a repair shop, and the man in charge rummaged around a bit and came up with a piece of plastic plumbing pipe that was the perfect size. 

A few minutes fiddling with the fit, then applying gorilla tape, and the oar was, if not as good as new, at least usable. 

Not only that, but the repair shop foreman waved away Bill’s offer of payment. "Just take it," he said cheerfully.

It’s Great to Be in the Brotherhood

When you’re traveling on a boat, these little moments come thick and fast—times when people are kind to one another, and unexpectedly helpful. 

When we’re approaching a dock, other boaters will almost always step forward and offer to take our lines. (We always try to do the same.) This attitude of mutual support is called “The Brotherhoodof the Boaters.” 

Oh happy day! Rowin' again!
It’s one of the lovely things about boating, to discover that the vast majority of people who share your passion for water-based travel are also considerate and generous. 

Sure, there are oblivious boaters who throw up heavy wakes or play their music loud. But they seem to be the minority.

Kind of renews your faith that people are basically good.

Flush with victory over the broken oar—and also flushed with the 95-degree heat—we threw on our bathing suits and headed over to the secret swimming hole. The lake water was a perfect 78 degrees. 

And our new friends offered us a beer as we dripped our way back up the dock.

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