Last weekend, some friends and I took the boat out to Jamestown, Rhode Island.
A few nights earlier, Rich Porter described to us an Island he had always wanted to visit off the coast. We decided to try and camp there overnight.
Although Dutch Island lies in a busy shipping channel, he didn't think many people ever tried to visit the island at all.
We packed up the boat and left from Dutch Harbor. With five of us and all our camping gear in the boat - we were riding low in the water.
A few minutes into the trip, I noticed that something was dreadfully wrong.
The boat was filling quickly through a hole just below the water line.
We paddled back to shore and examined the hole.
I have always fantasized a bit about these situations. I let myself believe that in the face of peril or challenge I become composed - ever more effective. Like how Joseph Banks described Captain Cook when their ship ran aground on the Great Barrier reef -cool and cheerful. I want to have this "optimism of the will despite pessimism about knowing the outcome" (Magret Cohen - from Cabinet Magazine is.16 pg.75)
But when I saw the hole I felt terrible and wanted to go home.
Everyone else responded quickly and effectively,
and within a few minutes they fashioned a patch out of things they found on the beach.
We set off for Dutch Island just after sunset.
I kept an eye on the patch but it seemed to be holding up.
We made it through the channel without incident,
and landed on the island in the dark.
Without a flashlight - we took pictures to see where we were going.
There were abandoned bunkers and cisterns covering most of the island.
We set up camp late.
The next morning we split up and explored.
We found another home-made boat.
Rich and Mike took it for a sail. We realized later that it must have been a wreck from the 'fools rules regatta' held annually in Jamestown.
We left the island scraped up and happy. There are no pictures of it - but Rich saved the life of a small deer that he and Mike found trapped down in one of the cisterns.