Buoy Stealing



Is it really “stealing when the buoys wash up on shore?

It certainly felt theftworthy as we dragged the 15-foot-long metal rod, buoys, a giant orange ball and a 40-foot tangle of rope, half a mile to the house.

And when I say we,” I mean Martin and Mike.

“Why are we doing this again?” Martin asked at the start.

“Because Jo found it,” Mike said.

“Ssh, be quiet… the Partridge family,” I said, ducking as we passed a bungalow nicknamed for its bright, blocky paint job, straight from the ’70s. It was nearly dark and through a dining room window, we could see the family eating as we struggled along the nearby path.

None of this was part of the plan. Initially, we ventured to the beach to watch the sunset — me and Mike and Martin. But cresting the bluff I spotted a florescent orange something bobbing in the surf. The guys laughed when I struggled to pull it from the waves — tumbling back and falling down twice. But they weren’t laughing when I announced we’d be carrying it back. “It” — the pole and dangling gear — over the dunes, past the Partridge house, across the road and up our drive.

“I found it and it’s mine and we’re taking it home!” I yelled, dismissing future transportation problems.

The guys, being good sports, (and all of us buzzing on cocktails) hoisted the load and trudged along. It was awkward, sweaty work, but that didn’t seem to bother them.

The issue was the smell. That dank, skanky reek of ocean rot.

“Ug, this is so foul,” Mike finally said. “I think this nastiness is coming off the rope.”

“No, it’s on the metal stake,” said Martin, lugging the heavy end. “It smells like it was stuck up a whale’s butt.”

I couldn’t deny the rankness. By the time we reached the house, we smelled like ocean decay.

And when I say “we,” I mean Mike and Martin.



Posing days later — after the stink diminished.


The next day, while running errands, we noticed that we weren’t the only ones hauling runaway fishing equipment from the sea. Several driveways were marked with stakes, buoys and markers, which were lashed to entry gates and mailboxes. Apparently, the tide carried lots of commercial lobster and fishing gear to the island’s far end.

Once sobriety and commonsense kicked in, I announced that we’d be leaving my great find behind, in the hopes that the homeowners would appreciate it and find a practical use. The guys gave me that “all that effort for nothing?” look. But I’d moved on to another souvenir: a skimboard, also coughed-up by the ocean at sunset.

The skimboard is cool-looking and it fit easily into the car. More importantly, it was just sandy.

It didn’t smell anything like a whale’s rear end.





Martha’s Vineyard 2012

In August amidst my blog silence, we spent a week on Martha’s Vineyard. It was a comfortable repeat of last year’s vacation — the same rental house, same restaurants, same stores (seen here).

But this year was not without some modifications.

This summer we hijacked our friend Mike (of trunk troll fame… though on this journey, no one rode in the trunk).

Not only was Mike great company, he proved undaunted by drippy, drooling sloppy kids.

Another newcomer on our excursion: Maisie. We stuffed the dog into the car (she was an insatiable passenger). She trailed us down the beach and Martin lured her into the ocean… once she overcame her fear of lapping waves.

Here are a few other lessons learned and travel tips to sum up our trip.

The mosquitoes showed no mercy.

Hadley revealed herself to be part-bat.

In the absence of the cry room at home, a cry tree will do just fine.

Taverns serve food but not necessarily beer.

A little rain shouldn’t dampen your spirit to shop.

Strong cocktails make for spontaneous silliness. And a sunset on the beach beats barn chores any day.