A moment in time

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 5:00pm

Text and photos by Lars Trodson

It’s a beautiful day.

The sun is shining, bouncing brightly off the calm waters of the Great Salt Pond. Just a little way off-shore, three Colgate 26s are sitting idly in the sun.

It’s before noon on a Sunday, and the Block Island Club is empty. A couple then pulls up in a car, takes out their paddle boards and a dog, and sets out into the water, the dog keeping watch on one of the boards.

Soon, some kids from the Block Island School arrive, ready to go sailing. They share stories about sailing and other adventures. Block Island Club waterfront director Cameron Greenlee walks out onto the lawn to greet the kids, and they all work out a few last details before they get into the boats. On Sundays, the Block Island Club and the Block Island School partner for a sailing program, which runs until Columbus Day weekend.

There is a kind of negotiation as to who will get to sail with whom. The girls “all want to be in the same boat,” said one of the adult sailors, Erica Felins. They go about the business of putting on their life jackets, and one of the kids grabs a boogie board.

“We’re not boogie-boarding behind the boat,” says Greenlee, while Erica is getting the names straight of the kids she’s about to go sailing with, “Okay,” she says, pointing, “Dakota… Bailey…”

Greenlee has apparently relented on the edict of no boogie-boarding, because Bailey comes out of the building wearing a big smile and holding her board.

“We’re going to sail for at least an hour,” says Greenlee. “All right. Here we go.”

Just before they get into the skiff to take them out to the Colgates, the girls find a jacket in the water. It’s heavy because it’s filled with water, and they plop it down on the dock to squeeze the water out of it. “Check the pockets,” one of them says, hoping to find some treasure, but alas.

Out on the water, the two teams of sailors rig their sails, and then they get underway, gracefully navigating the calm blue waters of the Great Salt Pond under the canopy of a blue Block Island sky.