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Going Back in Time

September 24, 2020

I often wonder after doing interviews for articles, what will happen next to the people and  the businesses I write about. Some of the readers now and then inquire, especially about the old boats. They want to know if they were rebuilt, given early death by chainsaw or are they languishing in the back row of the boatyard, waiting.


A West Coast reader asked about the Rybovich featured in the October 2016 L.I. Boating World article, “Rybovich, the Stradivarius of Sportfishing Boats”. He has no interest in buying the boat, but we somehow identify with some boats and want the best for them. He wondered if the Proud Lady had found a good home. I called Joe Chioffe, the owner of the 63 year old Proud Lady. She’s listed in the Rybovich Registry as Ses-Sah-Moie, built in 1957 for Phillips Petroleum – Pier 66. The boat, which he has owned for 44 years, is for sale.
At Weeks Boatyard in Patchogue where Mrs. Rising stored her black lapstrake 40 foot Chris Craft Sea Skiff and had it maintained, I heard about the Alibi’s second owner. Mrs. Rising and her husband ordered the boat from Chris Craft after seeing hull number one out in the Great South Bay. Theirs was hull number 117. After Mr. Rising died, his wife, from a Danish seafaring family, had no problem taking the boat out by herself but she was now ready to turn the boat over to someone who would take good care of it.  The new owner, a young New York City man, has already done some good things for the boat – some necessary fiberglassing, a new teak cockpit, everything rechromed and more. The new owner wanted to keep the boat closer to his summer home and has now moved the old Chris Craft to a marina closer to Sag Harbor. He has been back to Weeks to say he loves the boat. This is the boat Mrs. Rising was trying to sell when it appeared in “A Passion for Wood” in the November/December 2014 issue of L.I. Boating World.
The Silly Lily Fishing Station went unnamed in the January 2018 article, “Coping With Change and Surviving.” It was described as “one fishing station that still exists in a more rural area that expanded their rental fleet to include canoes, kayaks and sailboats.”  Looking at their website and talking to Steve on the phone, I discovered they now have a clothing counter, they’ve added paddleboards and yoga and beach boats with bimini tops for people who just want to go to the beach. They now do wooden boat restoration. The picnic tables at the dock accommodate customers of the food truck that the Stone Creek Restaurant runs, selling lobster rolls, tacos and other local and organic foods.
The “Mermaid Mystique,” an article from the July 2017 L.I. Boating World, had pictures of a recent Coney Island Mermaid Parade that prompted a reader to email, asking if this year’s Parade was cancelled by the Mayor because of the virus. The last time I looked, they were still waiting to hear. The Coney Island USA.com website says they will print the latest on the Parade.
Rick Anastos was one of the boat owners I called for the October 2017 article, “How Many Boats Does It Take To make you Happy?”  Rick had bought his 49th boat, a 33 foot Fortier. When I called this time I spoke to Donna. She laughed when I told her I was doing a follow-up on some of the articles that readers had inquired about.  Since 2017, three were interested enough to ask, call and email the question, mostly, “Did that guy keep the Fortier?”  Donna laughed because they sold the Fortier and had just closed on a newer, 31 foot Tiara. The Tiara is a 2003 that she said, “Needs nothing.” They both liked the Fortier but they both liked the Tiara even more. Will the 50th boat be the keeper? Stay tuned!
When people ask how the salmon fishing is up north, they know I’ve stayed in contact with Capt. Mike Uttecht from Alaska since I interviewed him for the “Commercial Fishing in New York and Alaska” article in the May 2018 L.I. Boating World. When I last talked to Capt. Mike about a week ago, he said this was a very bad salmon season, that the fishermen can’t remember a season this bad. Mike’s uncle is an older guy who remembers bad seasons back in the 1950s. Most of today’s fishermen are not old enough to remember that.
I asked what the fishermen do when the salmon season is bad. Capt. Mike said they take the nets off the boat that they use for salmon fishing and put the Dungeness crab gear aboard.  So far it has been the kind of year where the salmon cannery is now processing halibut and pollack, along with the Dungeness crabs. The crabbers will be able to work until late fall. They should be getting good prices because the State of California delayed the start of their Dungeness crab season. The problem in California affects the fishing in Oregon and the State of Washington. A massive bloom of microscopic algae currently stretches from California to Washington in the open Pacific Ocean. The algae produce an acid that is a neurotoxin which pervades the meat of the crab, doing no harm to the crab, but humans who consume them can suffer seizures, short term memory loss or death. Dungeness crab is considered part of a holiday meal  on the West Coast. They say what prime rib is to the East Coast, Dungeness crab is to the West Coast.  The Alaska fishermen probably don’t have to worry about selling their catch.
Capt. Mike says that when the canneries process Dungeness crabs, they cook them, freeze and package them so when the consumer buys them, they only have to defrost them and make a salad, crab cakes or just dip the crab meat in butter or cocktail sauce.
Bren Smith, who was a new kelp farmer on Long Island Sound off Branford, Connecticut when I interviewed him for “The Seaweed Solution” for the April 2016 L.I. Boating World, is still running his kelp farm and has expanded his horizons.  He has partnered in a second kelp farm location and has written a book. The non-profit he started, GreenWave, has started to develop regenerative farming techniques. Smith’s 3-D uses the water column top to bottom, growing as much as he can in a small footprint. The hard part is to get people to try more than one mouthful of the kelp that has a strong ocean flavor, lacks fat and has an unfamiliar, slippery, dense texture. Smith’s book, “Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures Farming the Ocean to Fight Climate Change” is sold by Amazon for $16.95. Published in May 2019, it won a James Beard Award for Writing.
For anyone looking forward to another article about a trip Harold Rudd and his wife took, along the wonderful pictures Harold took, I hate to disappoint you, but very shortly after returning from the last trip to the Pacific Islands and through the Panama Canal, Harold died.
From “Men and Their Boats”, a July 2014 article, one of the men is now divorced. To please a new wife, he sold a boat he had a long time and loved. He bought a boat he thought the new wife would be happy to go out on with more creature comforts. She seemed to like it, but the second year they had it, she kept finding reasons they couldn’t use the boat that day or that weekend. At the end of the season she suggested he sell the boat – “after all,” she said, “you never use it.” He did sell the boat and he divorced her.

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