I have, so far, been unsuccessful in my attempts to “take to the sea”. Taking to the sea has been a goal of mine since moving to the Ocean State, but lack of boat, friend who owns boat, and sailing skills put a bit of a crimp in things. Jewish Friend and I tried to catch the ferry to Newport earlier this summer when it was free for students, but found out that it only leaves Providence every three hours, and we certainly could take it to Newport, but we would have wasted the entire day waiting at the dock and there would be little left to do upon our arrival. We just drove instead.
I could have taken the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard or Block Island, but I guess I didn’t push for that as much as I could because I’ve taken ferries before and that’s not as pure of an experience as I wanted.
I was going to take sailing lessons but work and finances prevented that. I’ve been meaning to ingratiate myself to people involved in the sailing/boat owning community, but short of hanging out at the docks like some kind of prostitute, I’m not quite sure how to make that happen. You’d think with all the time I spend in Newport, something would have just worked out, but not yet.
So when I got the email about the Graduate Student Association’s sunset cruise, I was intrigued enough to buy a ticket:
For the low-low price of $5, I can take to the sea, eat for free, and drink– really sounded like the perfect way to spend a Friday evening. I asked Jewish Friend if she wanted to go, and also drive so I wouldn’t have to drink less, and she agreed to both. Everything seemed to be going well.
Friday evening, it began to sprinkle lightly just as we were leaving Providence. “The boat will have some kind of roof.” I assured Jewish Friend, and tried to distract her from any pessimism by giving her White Cheddar Cheez-its. It worked pretty well until we got to the pier, realized had no idea where we were needed to go, and that the rain was officially a part of our trip.
“If we missed the boat, or of we can’t find the boat we’re going to Crazy Burger.” Jewish Friend asserted.
“We’ll find the boat.” I assured her, “We know where the water is, and that’s where the boat will be.”
Except when we found some of our other grad student friends, they were all standing on the pier, in the rain, looking longingly at the sea.
“What are we waiting for?” I asked.
“Ummmm, the boat.” Debbie Downer (who does not get a more clever nickname than that because she sucks too much) told me sarcastically.
“Well,” I returned, “There are boats all around me, Debbie. How would I know which one we’re supposed to get on?”
Turns out that the boat we were supposed to take needed to be charged (?) At this news, Jewish Friend looked at me and said, “We wait 20 minutes, and then go to Crazy Burger.”
About 18 minutes later, someone started handing out tickets for one free drink as an apology for making us wait in the rain. Crazy Burger started sounding less appealing to me, but Jewish Friend was getting increasingly cranky.
After 30 minutes of us growing more and more saturated, we finally boarded the boat and pounced upon the free food. Most of us took two slices of pizza– like you do, planning to go get more after everyone else has had his or her share. These guys:
and a few other thick-necked types who apparently were wasted when they got on board, and may have later thrown up over the side, piled two to three plates each and eliminated the stash of lukewarm pizza before many people could get any.
Overall, I felt like I was on a boat with frat bros rather than grad students. I took to the drink as well as the sea, and by the time we docked, my hair was almost dry. I told Jewish Friend that she could plan our next adventure and she responded with, “I plan good adventures.”
I don’t think the sea and I are enemies, but I think the GSA and I are.