I set out on Friday morning for a bit of a yot on the Sakonnet River. The wind was in the 5-10 knot range from the north and was promised to hold for a few hours. So I thought I would tow the Laser down to Fogland Beach and sail north on the river for a few miles, then downriver, and be back home in time to take Tillerwoman for a late lunch at Evelyn's. A plan for a perfect day. But it was not to be.
I was somewhat surprised as I drove past Standish Boatyard in downtown Tiverton that there seemed to be some sort of unusual activity going on with dozens of trucks and cars parked on the road outside. But hey, that place is all about motor boats and yachts. What possible impact could it have on the plans of the Tivertonian old geezer Laser sailor? How wrong I was!
When I arrived at Fogland Beach, things didn't look normal there either. There were more trucks and cars parked along the road leading down to the boat ramp. There was a sign saying 'Crew Parking'. Crew? Crew as in yacht crew? What the hell was going on? Then I saw a police cruiser parked by the entrance to the beach and one of Tiverton's finest standing by his car. Hmmm. Very strange.
So I pulled up by the police officer and turned off my CD player and wound down my window and inquired, "Is the beach open?"
"Hi, how ya doing?" he replied.
I sometimes forget that, in the USA, even when addressing an officer of the law, perhaps especially when addressing an officer of the law, it is customary to exchange inquiries about the state of each other's health before proceeding to the real business of the day. But that under no circumstances should you actually answer such questions as "How are you?" with any actual information about how you actually are. Saying something like, "Well thank you for asking officer. I had an excellent bowel movement this morning but I am beginning to wonder if that brown mole on my ankle is a melanoma," is not considered a polite or normal response, especially when addressing an officer of the law.
So I did the ritual "I'm good, how are you?" thing and asked again, "Is the beach open?"
Apparently not. My local friendly law officer informed me that the beach was closed for one day because someone was making a movie. Under more intense questioning he revealed that the movie involved Mr. Bruce Willis. Wow! Die Hard 17 - Tiverton? Oh well, if Mr. Willis has bought the beach for the day then I guess I would have to go and sail somewhere else. But where? Under extreme interrogation my local friendly law officer revealed that they were filming at "the boatyard" (that explains all those cars) and at Fogland but that Seapowet Beach would be free of the movie people. Great.
So I headed a few miles north to Seapowet Beach and did a spot of yotting from there. I sailed north a couple of miles to Gould Island and back south. As I was heading south I was passed by three motor launches each full of people. One of the boats had 'ISLAND POLICE' painted on the side. No real police force around here is called Island Police so I concluded that the boat was a prop in the movie. Maybe they were filming as they were zooming past me. Maybe I will be in the movie?
Once I arrived back at Seapowet I did a bit of practice at mark rounding and roll tacks just to confirm that I was still totally crap at mark rounding and roll tacks and then headed home to take Tillerwoman out for a late lunch at Evelyn's as promised.
I told her my story about the movie. I did a bit of research on the Google. Yes, apparently Mr. Willis is making a movie in Rhode Island called Moonrise Kingdom. Mr. Willis plays the part of an island police officer or sheriff. (That explains the Island Police boat, I guess.) The cast also includes Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton and a bunch of other famous actors that you may have heard of but I haven't. The movie is set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, and is about a young boy and girl who fall in love and decide to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down, it says on some website I found.
Obviously the movie people selected Tiverton, and particularly Fogland Beach, as locations for the movie after reading my blog. After all, anyone Googling "best boating blog on the planet" is going to find me. I wonder if I should ask them for a finder's fee?
Apparently the director of the movie is some young chap called Wes Anderson. According to Wikipedia (which is never wrong) his films "combine dry humor with poignant portrayals of flawed characters." Just like my blog!
Anyway that's all I have to say about Moonrise Kingdom. Except that, so far, Mr. Anderson has neither denied nor confirmed that the script is now being reworked to include a new character called "mysterious handsome guy seen sailing his Laser in the waters off the island" and that Brad Pitt will have a cameo part as aforementioned mysterious handsome guy.
I am surprised that Buff Staysail didn't break this news first.