The Morning After, Jamaica Bay Edition

The next day I went to launch another bottle with my friends Aya and Jason. Neither of them had been much out to Rockaway and we stopped by Deadhorse Bay to do some poking about and exploring.

Having a car in the city really changes things. My friend Retsu gave me a ’91 Corolla a few years ago. Thanks, Retsu! I don’t use it all that much – in fact it was encased in snow in Jersey for four full months this winter (started right up though!) – but during the summer I love having it. Aya and Jason were pretty excited to get out of Greenpoint. So much so that I felt like I was operating a Fresh Air Fund for Freelancers. The FFF™

We saw a number of birds.

Snowy and great egrets, herring, great black-backed, and laughing gulls, terns (common and least), brandt, plenty of red-winged blackbirds, and… a dead loon?

It was a juvenile (or an unfrozen winter-plumaged individual?). Very far south for this time of the year. Maybe that’s why it died. This brings me to an installment I’d like to call –
“The Japanese: Cuter and Tougher Than the Rest of Us.”

“Dead loon, huh? Let’s have a closer look. Grossed out? Not even close.”

This is a culture that has cuisine which is expected to climb down your throat into your stomach by its own living power. You think they’re scared of a dead bird? The Japanese are tougher than the rest of us. Don’t ever forget it.

Speaking of dead things, on the way out of Deadhorse Bay I found another dead mouse. Two trips, two dead mice. Further evidence of the serial killer?! Only time will tell…

We headed over the bridge to Far Rockaway. I had been curious about an area I had seen on Google Maps around the 40’s and 30’s. It looked… abandoned? Dirt road-y? Something overgrown and green, that’s for sure.

And that’s what it was. It seemed like it was slated for development or something. There are roads laid out and street signs, but no buildings. The roads are pot-holed to hell and turning back to sand. Very cool and eerie.

The beach here is cordoned off for breeding piping plovers, among other birds. Here’s one next to the sign telling us why we should care about him and not disturb him. Pretty camouflaged and hard to see.

You think that’s cute? Let’s bump it up a notch and check out what a baby one looks like…

Has your head not exploded? Let’s get you a size reference, tough guy…

I hope they never develop this area. There were so many birds everywhere. So much concentrated biota in these semi-wild patches of the city.

All this viewing of ocean and wildlife made us want to eat some ocean wildlife. Same thing always happens to me when I’m diving. It’s like I go down and treat the whole thing like a teaser trailer for what I will later eat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m there to see the wildlife. But there is a bit of me that’s treating the whole thing like a buffet, and when I’m down there I’m sort of expecting some cocktail sauce to swim by eventually. And all the coral heads are crowned with bowls of melted butter.

We headed over to grab dinner at a place I like, The Wharf, one I thought would also be suitable for a bottle toss. And following a beer and some fish and chips, that’s exactly what we did.

Not sure what I’m doing with my hand in this picture. Looks vaguely crude.

This one’s got a Sooty Shearwater in it. Well, just a drawing of one.

Toss went nicely. Jamaica Bay is beautiful. After I tossed it a kid came to ask what I was up to. He was a cool kid, a Rockaway local with the accent to prove it. Jesus, I hope that accent never goes extinct. It’s even better when coming from a kid talking about the quickly changeable weather of the little barrier island he calls home.

So my friend Ted thinks these posts are too long. Hell, I’ll admit it, I know how to run my mouth, and I do like to get a bit off track. But that’s the way this thing is going to go. BUT, to accommodate my friend, and all those with limited patience for my ramblings, I’m going to introduce Ted’s Corner™, a summary at the end of the post. So, if you’re still reading, Ted, here you go:

Ted’s Corner Summary™: I tossed a couple bottles. One in the city, one in Queens.

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