by Dexter Tong
|From Barnegat Bay|
On the morning of Saturday, August 16th, 11 current and former Stuyvesant rowers, as well as Curtis’ brother, Roman, set out from Bay Head, NJ. 2 Whitehall gigs were launched, the Bird and the Rachel Carson, from a public boat ramp. At approximately 10:30 AM, the 2 crews left Bay Head, rowing straight south towards Ocean Gate, where Curtis’ family owns a beach house. With a light headwind and reasonable temperatures, the conditions were favorable for rowing. However, around the time we crossed under the NJ Route 37 bridge, the headwind picked up. Nonetheless, we arrived at the Ocean Gate Yacht Basin at approximately 1:30 PM for a lunch break. Along the way, the wooden gigs attracted plenty of curious boaters.
After lunch, with a little mixing of the crews, we set out again, this time under sail. Our objective was Island Beach State Park or points farther south, but a worsening headwind thwarted our trip. The Rachel Carson opted to row back, fighting hard against the wind and waves. The Bird kept its sail up, returning to Ocean Gate after a surprise appearance by Curtis’ mom and difficult maneuvering.
Everyone helped prepare dinner and spent the night at Ocean Gate, rising early Sunday morning for the trip back. The return trip to Bay Head was largely uneventful. A steady tailwind allowed both crews to take it easy. Both boats were propelled solely by sail for most of the trip, which spanned approximately 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM. There was very light rain at times, but otherwise the weather was pleasant. After beaching at Bay Head, the Bird and Rachel Carson were loaded back onto the trailer and were returned to Pier 40 later that day.
It was a fun weekend for all of its participants: Curtis and Roman Bezault, Kristina Pan, Shana Luo, Dexter and Brian Tong, Eric Cerny, Jenny Chen, Ka Ming Wong, Joe Fung, Teresa Wang, and Tony Fung.
Photo credits to Kristina Pan