Fall 2021

Thu, 11/04/2021 - 6:30pm

The Endless Summer of 2021 is  over, done, fini, kaput, and perhaps we’ll have a frost before Groundhog Day, and maybe we’ll even have a white Christmas! I know, the tone of that sentence is one of a curmudgeon, a geezer who is yawping about the weather and there is truly nothing worse than that. (The only thing that is perhaps worse than weather complaints, is someone weeping over the slowness of their iPhone speed.) We are all apt to complain about the weather, so don’t go taking the high road and say, “That guy Houlihan is turning into a jaded old (supply your own noun),” because I know we are all capable, and we are all allowed a solid and loud yawp into the ether now and again. Furthermore, it’s a good way to release tension as long as we’re not yawping in the marketplace—to ourselves. In all seriousness, we New Englanders are fortunate to feel and see the changes of the four seasons; said changes give us something to look forward to. Here
are a few examples.
Nota Bene:
• I’m looking forward to a cold snap so we can finally turn the air conditioner off once and for all. It really seems that the fall temperatures are
way out of whack this year, and the cool crisp air will be a nice change.

Recently, I was talking to a sport fisherman I know who told me that a few weeks ago, some tarpon were seen in the thin water off Baby Beach. I thought tarpon were only found in the Gulf. He also mentioned other southern species he had caught off the island. Perhaps Hurricane Henri stirred up the Gulf Stream and spun some fish out of the eddies. Moreover, I saw pods of dolphin while sailing in the bay the past couple of years. As a result of the warm fall temperatures the water is warm, and there’s plenty of bait fish.
Okay, enough of these fish tales, I’d just like to feel a cold blast in my face as I tear around Galilee on my new E-Bike.
• There’s a new kid in town. I was pulling up to the Standby shack a week ago and I saw a Cooper’s hawk pounce on a scrambling pigeon. A
week before I saw one of these fast movers at Tuckertown Park while walking Sailor. The hawk just casually sat on a picnic table minding his own business and scoping out some possible prey. They hunt small birds and squirrels. While pulling up to the shack, I interrupted the Cooper’s hawk’s lunch and he darted away on the quick wing—this guy was fast.
The ruffled pigeon hid under a stool outside the shack—collected himself—and then took off handily even with his damaged wing. The pigeon flew low and fast and then hid under a car. I’m sure the hawk was clocking him so he hid for a few hours. Naturally, I was thinking that this bird of prey was hunting in Galilee because of the warm weather. (I’m still learning about these very efficient and adaptable hunters.)
• On 24 October, I moved our sailboat Reverie to her winter slip in Newport Harbor. Looking at a week of rain I figured it was best to get the boat to her slip while I had a weather window on Sunday. A local Newport sailor, Bill Podzon, got the boat squared away for me in the early morning hours when the conditions were right. Then, later in the week we basically had an unannounced hurricane, and several boats got worked over when their chafing gear or lack thereof, let go and set the boats adrift. This resulted in some serious damage for boats in Newport Harbor, and off the coast of Jamestown. Where’s Jim Cantore when we need him. Wink, Nod.
• My wife finally got out of Dodge—she needed a vacation— with her traveling pal Betty and hit Romania. These two intrepid world travelers finally found a place to go see something interesting and different because it seems that most of the world is still shut down.
Cindy read a mess of books, packed some cool rigs to wear, and finally hopped on a jet and hit the road. Upon her return in addition to her making me shepherd’s pie, I’m looking forward to some serious goulash. Most important, as I write this it’s my wife’s birthday and she and Betty are going to a huge Halloween party at Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania. I can’t wait to hear about that gig and her stories of Romania, as Cindy doesn’t miss a thing in her travels.
I mean a wee drinky, fun-loving and fierce Scotch/Irish ladies, what could possibly go wrong? These women are pretty cool and will have
a blast. However, what I’m really looking forward to, ahem, is some freezing cold New England weather with howling north winds, and heaping and steaming piles of goulash with thick dark killer bread, that I can bring to work for lunch. Because it’s going to be very cold in November of 2021. And, to put a cherry on this sundae, it will be getting dark at 5 p.m. Sundown, cold north winds and the bride making some solid, and stick-to-your-ribs goulash. I’m all in!
• Another sign that the fall season is shifting, is when we close up the Standby shack in Galilee, and the fall run begins in earnest when the schedule changes. This is when seasonal crews leave, and some crews stay for the winter. It’s also a time when I won’t be seeing my boyo Gerry Curato because of our work schedules. We have a tradition going back a few years where we have a crew member take a simple snap of us. It’s a simple thing that signifies a seasonal shift is happening. Finally, when I locked up the Standby shack for my last shift back there, we had a crew member take said snaps of Gerry and the old Hooligan before the Carol Jean left for Block Island. Happy fall for all.
‘Nuff said.