Among the many happy memories I have of enjoying my boat in the summer, watching fireworks rates right at the top. When I kept Bossanova in East Hampton, New York, on Long Island’s east end, I could catch the Boys Harbor fireworks right from the dock.
Better yet was running the boat around the point to Napeague Bay and anchoring in front of the Devon Yacht Club for its Fourth of July display. Although plenty of other boats came in with the same idea, the atmosphere was festive, not chaotic — each of us moored on our own wonderful island and settled in well before darkness fell, relaxing on deck with friends, waiting for nothing more than an hour of gratuitous, over-the-top beauty. And, of course, the best thing about seeing fireworks from a boat is watching the colorful explosions — once in the inky sky, then again in the glasslike reflection of the nighttime sea.
One summer, I was moored in Dutch Harbor on the west side of Jamestown, Rhode Island. That Fourth of July we saw eight fireworks shows going off on the same evening — small town displays that ran along the coast from Connecticut to Massachusetts, all exploding in the dusk above our starboard rail. It seemed one would end, and we’d be ready to pack it up and head below, when suddenly another town launched its opening salvos off in the distance, extending the celebration.
No matter where you keep your boat, there are bound to be fireworks throughout the summer. Check local listings and plan ahead. Be prepared for a lot of people to want to join you — particularly if you’re going out and coming back the same night — and be prepared to say no. Don’t overload your boat, and remember to let everyone know where the life jackets are stowed. Leave yourself plenty of time to get tied up and settled in. And if you’re going to have a drink or two, plan on staying overnight and heading back the next day.
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July 2014 issue