Flat calm and not in the boat

First posted on 8/20/12t

Well, I don’t think I have the time or the discipline to post every day, but I’m going to try. If you didn’t see yesterday’s (Sunday’s) post, just click on “older posts” on the bottom right.

Yesterday I won some Portuguese sweet bread at the West Island Improvement Association’s annual clambake. How yummy is that? The clambake was great. The clams were a little sandy, but they gave us extra broth to counter that. They were so tasty, and cooked just exactly right! Having mussels thrown in is always a nice touch, too.

I had not planned to attend; I usually don’t go to that one. But, a couple of my neighbors had an extra ticket, so I took my camera and notebook, and we walked up the street. They even bought me a beer. Thank you Beth & Tim.

Of course, I thought it was at 4 p.m., not noon, and they showed up with the ticket while I was eating breakfast….stopped one meal and headed out for another.

What a country!

Unfortunately, I had planned on going to the Farmer’s Market to take a picture of Pumpkin Head Ted playing. I need a cover story for this week! Or, at least a cover photo.

Anyway, back to the clambake. This is Bakemaster Paul Innis handing me my plate of soft-shell clams, mussels, potatoes (both white and sweet), linguica (or chourico, not sure), a piece of spicy fish, corn on the cob, and a lobster on top.

1125 Bakemaster

After the meal, there was a raffle. I won a choice for mine. The dry scallops were gone, so I grabbed the fresh Portuguese sweet bread, opened it up and pulled a chunk out of it before I even got to my seat. At my table we ate some chunks and could tell it was baked fresh that day. Someone suggested I make French toast with it. Instead, I took it to my mother’s cottage up the street, where my sister and her husband are staying on vacation. I knew if I kept it at my house, I’d eat the whole thing plain, or eat the whole thing as French toast all at once the next morning.

So my brother-in-law, who is Portuguese and a pretty good cook, suggested that he grill it in butter. I thought, “oh no, what was the point of bringing it here?”

This morning, I hopped on my bicycle and headed over there to try my first grilled Portuguese sweet bread. Oh my, I had three pieces. That’s a lot of bicycle riding to work that off.

Then I jumped back on the bike and headed towards the center of town. Normally, I take the bike path extension and then head to Mattapoisett. But this morning I had forgotten to take water with me, so I scooted up (okay, not scooted, pedaled heavily) up unpaved Little Bay Road to Friendly Farm Convenience on the corner. I grabbed a bottle of Poland Springs and then headed towards the center.

I decided to try to find Doug’s Props. My neighbor Frank had told me that Doug’s was around there somewhere and after we adjusted the motor we realized the prop really was slipping (no, I haven’t written those details yet, but I will). I had called a couple of people, but apparently, Doug’s is the place for small prop repair and replacement (Scandia is the place for commercial boats…we all know THAT).

Doug was there, took the numbers I had taken off the prop and gave me a price. He said he’d be by in about an hour to remove the one from my motor so he could compare and be sure what he ordered would be okay.

So I pedaled back along the bike path, to the Little Bay Extension and along Sconticut Neck Road, stopped briefly to talk to Billy who was working in his yard and then back to West Island.

The extra high tide was just beginning to recede, but the marshes were still under water. A few people were jogging, walking and biking along my same route, and we all had a friendly nod and “hello” or “good morning” to each other. Do I love this place or what?

At Hoppy’s Landing, Tim the Shellfish Warden and Shellfish Deputy Richie were putting up new signs at Hoppy’s. Wish I had my camera with me, but I was still playing hooky.

The water was flat-calm, the Elizabeth Islands looked close enough to almost swim to. Going over the causeway to the island, the quiet, calm water worked its magic, just as it does in a car. Unfortunately, I had played hooky on the weekend, so I needed to get back here and work, which, obviously, I’m still not doing. Bella Vista Island, although gutted like a grapefruit by the new owner, still looks great from the Causeway, the boats in front not moving at all in the stillness.

I feel immensely lucky that I get to live here year-round. Every time I go over that causeway, driving, biking, or walking, I thank my lucky stars.

As I worked on this blog, Doug stopped by to take the propeller off my motor and took it back with him. He said he’ll have the new one tomorrow.

That’s another boat buck+ spent. But it doesn’t count for the “getting the boat in the water” tally. That still stands at $732 and won’t change because it has been in the water, several times.

Stay tuned to read about trip #2 with mom, trip #2 with my sister, and trip #4 with my nephew. Each one has entertaining elements to amuse you, I promise.

See ya,


dry scallops: pre-processed scallops, usually referred to as “right off the boat.” Scallops sold retail are processed by getting soaked with a solution of water and potassium. Processors are allowed to increase the weight of the scallops by 40%.

boat buck: money spent on a boat that inevitably equals $100, no matter what it is you plan on buying that day.

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