(Photo by Ray Johnson)
What are those hundreds of nurses and military personnel doing embarking and disembarking at the Bay piers? Well, just because people dress in all white or in battle dress uniform doesn’t mean they work in a hospital or serve in the military. So, just who are our theme-dressing visitors? Friends, they are our cruise-party whiner-uppers. No, I didn’t say whino-uppers. Although, if any of you have seen our visitors upon disembarking, I would completely understand if that’s what you thought I said.
I had a chance to speak to “Mr. X and Mr. Y” (I suppose the unconcealed, empty bottle of 80 proof alcohol they were carrying had made them forget their real names), who had just minutes before stumbled down the ramp of the Sheryll Princess yacht docked at Pier 8. They were telling me about what a great time they had partying all morning, but we got distracted when one of them noticed a female party-goer and blurted, “Look at that ass.” Apparently, camouflage clothing can conceal a lot (or else it helps to have glassy eyes).
The party appeared to be over, so what were all these other people doing still huddled around the pier? As one of the organizers of the event, who would prefer to remain anonymous (well, that’s something new – an organizer of an event who doesn’t want to be identified with it), told me, “There would be another sailing” in a little while. Since it appeared that most of the “departyers” were about to get behind the wheel, he said, “We put it out to them” that there should be no drinking and driving. Although, it was quite possible that the message got mixed up with messages like Trinidad’s singer Ricky T’s song “Wheel and come again”. Some were planning to just sit around in their cars to “lime around” and “catch some seabreeze.” I don’t suppose anyone in the crowd knows about the Q train or charter buses.
As it turned out, a majority of the partygoers originated from Trinidad. With so many bays on Trinidad’s shores, its no wonder a night out on a Sheepshead booze-boat proves an enticing lure. WWII veteran Leo Werner, who sits and enjoys the morning paper on the patio at the Sunrise Assisted Living Center, was stationed in the West Indies during his military career. He said, “That party doesn’t bother me much. They make a noise, but that’s a part of life. My feeling about the alcohol bottles broken on the floor – well, that they shouldn’t allow. But, I have no problem with anything else.”
He admits being a little biased in that he had a South Pacific-type experience and a lost love on the Caribbean shores.
While Sheepshead Bay welcomes all dinner & dance cruises, it would be reassuring to know how the burden of these special bussup & whine-ups is handled. The burden I’m referring to is not only litter in the form of broken Guinness, Campari, and Hennessy (just to name a few) bottles strewn all over, but also the serious potential for violence. Revelers, who were spilled out onto the street, cursed and screamed at a driver on Emmons Avenue. And just down the street, there was another less uniformly-dressed crowd waiting for the departure of a different cruise.
At least one of the partygoers, Trevor, noticed the beauty of our bay when he said, “I like it here, because of the scenery and the view. There’s a lot of this.” Still, many more couldn’t see forest for the trees and specifically told me to not write anything negative about their revelry, explaining that they didn’t want to see their cruises end. To that, I just said, “Well, is there anything negative to be said?” and all that could be heard at that moment, was the door guard instructing everyone to step up for the frisk and weapons check.
As I watched the yacht pulled away, I saluted and wished them “a good bay”, hoping that they wished me the same for my Labor Day.