Travels with Bonesy, being a continuation of June 9, 2004

It was a late night and none of us were at our best till nearly noon the next morning.  I managed to get the boss and his lady settled in at the cottage around two in the morning and after toasting their arrival with a glass of Pear Wine(!) from Papa Bear's roadtrip, I set the autopilot for home and was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Happily, the agenda for today was a modest one, I wanted to give my visitors a orientation tour of the town, show off the high points and give us all a little time to get to know each other.  I picked them up about noon and we wandered through the narrow twisty neighborhood streets of New Silver Beach and down Highway 28A to West Falmouth and Chappaquoit Beach.  I wanted to stop somewhere and give them the lay of the land. We pulled into the parking lot and before us lay the broad expanse of Buzzards Bay with Woods Hole and the Elizabethan Islands on our left and New Bedford, Providence and Rhode Island on our right.  Beyond it all is the southern Atlantic Ocean fading into a misty distance.

I really want to convey to these folks the things I find so special about my hometown.  It's a place I've really come to love and I guess that comes across in the windy monologue that my esteemed guests are treated to as we slowly wend our way down the back roads towards Woods Hole.  It turns out that Coby was a competitive sailor in college and her team used to come to Falmouth to race now and again.  So when we drive down the hill into Quissett Harbor, everything suddenly comes into focus and she remembers being there before, and how elegant the fleet of Herreshoff 12's look out on the water.  Now we've got her stories to build upon my own and suddenly it's just a love fest.  We're happy like old friends and we've got this beautiful place to explore and the simple soothing luxury of time to do it in.  Very nice.

Our next stop was the Woods Hole Yacht Club, which looks small and shabby compared to Quissett.  Coby came to my aid with stories of the legendary expertise of our own sailing teams.  The Woods Hole area is notoriously tricky due to its fickle winds and strong currents, so the fleet of young racers who come up through the ranks here really earn their stripes.  Nestled in the protective elbow of Penzance Point is Great Harbor where we can just see my boat South Swell in the distance.  Across Woods Hole Passage we can see Naushon, one of several islands owned by the Forbes family.    

We've been in the car too long, so I suggest a walk into Woods Hole Village.  Our first stop is the Marine Biology Lab Aquarium where we watch the two lazy harbor seals basking like an old married couple in their outdoor pool. It's fascinating to watch the way they use their flippers like hands, complete with expressive sign language as if to emphasize their rhetorical barks.  We intended to take a quick walk through the aquarium itself, but we stopped at the door because nobody but Papa Bear had a picture ID.  I tried to schmooze the desk jockey into letting us by but he just made a scrunch face and said, "sorry, this is a Federal Building."  Sobering thought, the Aquarium is on high alert, imagine that!

Walking past the old stone buildings of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Bones and I fall easily into the E2 Rabbit Hole, while Coby and her Dad trail behind.  There's so many things I'd like to ask him, but most important of all is this: "How do you keep this crazy place running so well?"  He laughs with that sonorous voice of his and I can't help but laugh too.  After all, it's not really a place is it? And 'running well' is not a particularly perspicacious description of our daily operations either.  But you know what I mean, and so does he.  He's too self-effacing to take much credit for himself, and when pressed, he says that he cares really deeply about the writing, and focuses on that aspect, letting the rest of the sound and fury sort itself out in the fullness of time and a gently benign neglect.  There you have it, the central mystery revealed: The boss likes great writing and doesn't give a hoot about our petty squabblings.  You heard it here first!

One of the plans we're considering for Saturday is a trip to the picturesque town of Oak Bluffs out on the Vineyard so we stop by the Steamship Authority to pick up a schedule for the Martha's Vineyard ferry before heading back to the car.  I take them out to the Nobska Lighthouse and along Surf Drive where the 'famous' Battle of Falmouth was fought back in 1779.  On Main Street in Falmouth we find ourselves in a Norman Rockwell vision of small town America. There's a big library, and a small town hall and a statue of Katharine Lee Bates, the home town girl who wrote America the Beautiful  back in a kinder gentler era. 

We swing by my home on the way back to the Cottage so they can meet my family and see the bountiful harvest ripening on the branches of my Apple Orchard.  Basically I'm swollen with pleasure at having had a chance to display my life to an appreciative audience.  This is odd behavior for me actually because in 'Real Life' TM  I actually am sort of a grouchy recluse, and not overly prone to pouring my heart out to new acquaintances.  Chalk it up as just one more quirk of the E2 paradox.

They're on their own recognizance tonight and perhaps they'll tell you about it when they get back.  In the meantime tho, I can verify that the Mighty Bones is connectionless and unable to jack into the cyberspew to smite wrongdoers.  He told me to tell you all to behave yourselves!

Tomorrow we go Boating.