Falling into season

There's nothing like fall to bring out colors in life; above and
below water in the Northeast. Leaves are aglow topside.
Even poison ivy looks pretty enough to pick for a fall
bouquet. Normally drab greens, browns and grays of
Northeast water are accented with day-glow tropical fish
that ride the one-way escalator of the Gulf Stream to cold
water, where they become slow-moving prey for local
denizens. Fort Wetherill, R.I., is a great place to see this
annual season change. Access is easy. Just walk down the
ramp and go diving. Waters in the cove are calm even when
winds are strong enough to seriously heel a ketch in the
channel, unless the wind is directly out of the south. If so,
leave the scuba gear in the car and break out the surf board.
Winds were kind when Barbara and I visited last weekend,
so we got to see the ancient anchor placed there by Red
Godin of
Giant Stride Dive Shop this summer. And
birthday girl Barbara got to handle a lobster – her favorite
prey but illegal for non-Rhode Island residents – that had to
be put back on the reef anyway because it was too small.
Instead we dined on bugs at Point Judith not far from its
iconic lighthouse. In the interim, the
USS Intrepid, the
storied aircraft carrier turned naval / aviation museum,
was returned to its pier in New York Harbor. A fleet of
boats with helicopters above made a parade of its trip
at the peak high tide of a new moon day. A handful of
veterans who'd served on the ship and curious
onlookers watched from Hoboken, N.J., piers. And we
enjoyed a taste of Renaissance culture at a festival at
the
Cloisters. Among the thousands of New Yorkers
who turned out for the affair were hundreds in period
costumes, many with kids who were decked out too. It
seemed like a Halloween party a month early. Sure
there was the usual smiting and smoting, but there
were many musicians too. And a little gratuitous
knighting certainly made the day for young page or
two.
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Bob Sterner photos ©
2008
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