The sun is rising over a calm Greenport Harbor. Hard to believe that same body of water a month ago was smashing into my seawall and spraying homes a block away. Fortunately, our damage from Sandy was minor: one destroyed floating dock and 30 roof shingles. I’ve ordered a new, better replacement and tacked down new shingles.
Why FEMA agents offered me forms to pay for my dock I’m not certain. I bought this house by the water and assume the risks. I don’t think my neighbors or some distant citizen in Idaho should fund my losses. After 10 years of oyster farming, I’ve become cantankerous. Something about farming tans ones senses.
We are in the full swing of our busiest season – between Thanksgiving and New Years. Every week we’re running a ton of oysters (and a thousand wild bay scallops in their shells) into Manhattan. Since it’s a calm morning, I plan to haul extra cages into the creek so I can cull some today and the rest tomorrow when we’re expecting 20 knots out of the east. Oyster farming is all about dodging the ill winds and tucking into some cozy and sunny lee spot while doing the repetive chores.
Once i’ve bagged my 1500- 2000 oysters for today, I’ll instill the new waterproof switches for the winches on the new boat. If it’s all rigged by tomorrow, maybe I’ll take the wife and kids over to Sag Harbor to Christmas shop – while dragging the bottom between here and there with scallop dredges.
Yesterday I returned from a bustling Manhattan. Santa’s are walking to work, Salvation Army types – now that they’ve successfully evicted all the old woman from their Evangiline Housing on Gramercy Park and sold the units for $40 million a pop – are ringing bells at the entrance of Grand Cental Station above the Oyster Bar, and the star chefs are planning their next and greatest oyster confection. If you’re not slammed this time of year, you should lock the doors and start something different.