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Sunday, 01 July 2018

Montauk and the Yachts

Written by Christina Gmiterek
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What is it about walking along a dock full of yachts that makes living on water tempting? I’ve never been much of a boat person but the allure of the Montauk Yacht Club is much more than, to put it simply, the boats. After a lengthy 3-hour stretch from Manhattan, you know you’re close to arriving when you feel the inescapable need to stop the car and stretch your legs. Before you know it, you’re passing through the Hamptons, a beautiful and seemingly haphazard littering of fancy storefronts and slow paced Manhattanites strolling the sidewalks like dizzy bees waking up for spring. You almost want to break for a quick bite while passing The Golden Pear Café, its alluring corner spot with patrons pouring out, perfectly prepared avocado toast and eggs, fresh spinach and juicy fruit all very tempting. But the road ahead beckons and it’s worth the extra 30-min drive to arrive at ‘The End’.

I visited the Montauk Yacht Club in late August when I learned that the club’s insatiable silhouette was a wedding haven, and I became an inadvertent guest to an engaged couple wanting to begin their forever journey in its blissful backyard. Being the only patron not formally invited to the nuptials, the friendly dockside bartenders made me feel welcomed and cared for, two ingredients necessary for a memorable stay. My room was quaint and nautical, with a small outdoor balcony and private beach that both felt inviting and secluded. Baby waves crashed along the pebbled rocks, reminding me that sometimes small movements can make big impressions. The sound of the sea felt invigorating and healthy. I could feel tension dissipating from each breath that I released.

 

Later in the day, I geared up for a light run through the hills and valleys of Montauk Highway, admiring the congruity of the country-like natural grasses and perfectly manicured homes along the beaten path. Bicyclists and passersby waved as they journeyed to the Montauk Lighthouse, if only to say that they’ve been. The sun was low and hot and kissed my shoulders tenderly as if to provide a sweet companionship and a reminder that in Montauk you’re never really alone.

After a refreshing shower, I walked along the docks, with yachts lined up like swaying smiling soldiers. The planks under my feet were unsteady at times, which urged me to remain present and use my legs to feel my way step by step. I walked along, visually visiting with yacht owners and their lifestyles along the water. The scent of grilling meats and vegetables delicately awakened my senses to the fact that summer was in full bloom and there is little better than the smell of a neighborhood barbeque. Others polished their vessels with soft towels in circular strokes to make the white veneer shine like mirrors. I saw children playing on board, drinking lemonade barefoot, as laughter danced through the air capturing their childhood innocence. If only we could freeze frame time.

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The walk along the yachts is more than an expected delight. It serves as a story for those of us landlocked physically or perhaps emotionally. It’s a floating city, each vessel a neighbor close enough to touch but deserving, and giving, of privacy and respite. Soft music bellows. Warm wind blows. I felt comforted by the nostalgia of a summer that felt familiar but one that I had never known. Perhaps that’s the magic that will allure me back, to walk along the water and revisit a time of simple and pure enjoyment. You’ll find yourself there, even if you didn’t know you needed to be found at all.


©Christina Gmiterek

 

Last modified on Sunday, 01 July 2018

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