The Terror on Fire Island

By Dee-Dee Diamond

This Fire Island spot is on an unprotected harbor, thus open to the whole Great Bay. “The Cecil”, our boat, is here for our overnight stay. It is a very windy night, and the floating dock walkway is shaking wildly. When Arthur and I approach our tied-up boat, it is about 3 A.M. (This followed a night of partying, with Fire Island friends who have a house there). We are surprised is so dark and foggy and blowing, especially after such a delightful, summer day. The area is dimly lit, and its few lanterns are swaying… further distorting visibility.

In the afternoon, when we had pulled into the boat slip, a gentle breeze was kicking up just a bit. Arthur, my husband was worried about the waves might cause the rear swim deck, of his precious boat, to get damaged, if it were to get slammed against the pier. So, to prevent this, he cautiously tied the boat, quite a distance off the open dock. Between the width of the teak swim deck and the space of water, was a big void.

We arrive at our boat slip, Arthur jumps with his 6’4 long legs right over the protruding swim deck, spans of black water and onto the boat…no problem for him! Then he instructs me in his tired impatient manner to “just jump on Dee-Dee”, as he extends only his hand to me.

That’s when the fight started! I yelled,” Are you crazy? “The Cecil” is bobbing and swaying like a toy duck. Look how far from the dock it is”!

“Oh, it’s only a few feet. Come on already” He shouts at me while I stubbornly cling to a post on the moving dock, with a spray of salty water rising in the wind towards me.

“No-no never”, I scream,” I’m afraid. I can’t do it”.

I was petrified of the deep huge bay of rolling menacing water. My legs trembled from imagined terror. I was sure I could drown.

The captain, my husband as confident as King Neptune himself, bellowed “Get the hell on already. I want to get to sleep”.

This intense bickering was getting us nowhere; because no way in hell would I dare leap that dangerous abyss. Even at that thought, my reoccurring nightmare flashed. In a previous life I must have drown in the night sea. Perhaps it was while on the stormy Atlantic Ocean crossing to America, as an anonymous immigrant.

We were at this aggravating noisy standstill, when along comes a group of 20 something year olds. It seems their boat is docked in the slip next to ours. They size up “our battle royal” chuckling amongst them (about me), I was sure.

Then one heavyset smartass girl decides to show up my cowardice. She turns to me smirks confidently, before jumping onto their bobbing boat… ONLY she misses her moving target and plunges to the bottom of the bay,

Arthur and another brave soul were forced to dive into that dark, cold murky water… to rescue her.

After dragging her shivering beached whale of a body out of the sea and comforting her, the men clearly wishing no more trouble,

Two of their young lads gallantly carried me onto “The Cecil” al la Cleopatra!

Need I tell you, the air in “The Cecil” was filled with hostility… we did not speak to one another that night. My brave captain, Arthur had to take a hot shower to finally warm up, followed by generous a shot of whiskey.

While I silently was cuddled in my cozy v-bunk daring not gloat…

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