Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer and boating season in the Mid-Atlantic coastal region. In 2011 I described the start of the season and the hope and anticipation that my boater friends generally have at this time of year as they launch their boats and make their first few trips. At the lagoon where I keep my boats (pictured here), nine or ten of the 30 boats kept here are usually launched by Memorial Day weekend every year.
This year has had a different feel. For one thing, the homes of many of my neighbors suffered severe damage from the Sandy storm last fall. For a few, their houses and docks are damaged and not yet restored. In fact, a few of their houses may have to be knocked down and re-built. During the April and May weekends, as I've tried to deal with the minor damage at my beach house, few of my neighbors have been around. Those of us who have been here are guessing that some will not be around this summer, and others may sell and not come back.
Just five boats in the lagoon this holiday weekend. Very empty. My 26' center console boat is almost ready, but not in the water yet. My 15' whaler still has its covers on and is still sitting on its trailer.
The rain and chill is the other thing keeping boaters away. My neighbor K, who always is first to have his boat in for the season, went out this morning to fish. The winds and seas were high and he came back soaked from rough waters, without even the chance to fish.
We're off to a rough start, but with a little luck things will get better quickly. Everyone is concerned that for a third year in a row we'll see a bad storm that brings damage to our area. I hope not. I hope we've seen the last of those for a while and that we can get back to fishing and clamming on calm days, and visiting each other for backyard grilling and drinks in the evening.
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