Part 3: Looking good and feeling good are what yachting is all about.
By Ben Ellison — October 2002
Heads full of old-time yachting images, we returned to Indulgence and practiced the modern equivalent. We may have lacked the frock coats and bustle skirts, but I think we got the attitude right, as we lunched on rouille-sauced soft-shell crabs and fennel-cucumber salad at the big oval table on the flying bridge while Indulgence meandered down the Sakonnet River and we checked out the close-by scenery and were checked out. As I said, looking good and feeling good are what yachting is all about, and it feels marvelous to have a portable castle like Indulgence at your beck and call.
Some of our party took advantage of the layover to enjoy the harbor's feisty nightlife, but I was determined to join the crew for a dawn getaway to the must-visit surrounding islands. Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket would have been a typical and enjoyable port of call, but we chose Cuttyhunk, the last of the Elizabeth Islands that string along the southeast side of Buzzard's Bay. We couldn't squeeze Indulgence into the tiny inner harbor, so we anchored comfortably outside, again the happy giant of the cruising fleet. This turned out to be a dandy spot to spend a hot, hazy June day. The waters were clean and refreshing (that's a Yankee euphemism for "damn cold"), kids were catching striped bass from skiffs, and we launched our pair of open-cockpit kayaks to visit the beach and get a gander at the long-haired, seaweed-munching cattle that seem to the be main residents of the next island over, Nashweena.
In the cool air and rich light of evening, we walked by path and lane through the little community of quintessential salty, bleached-out capes housing a relaxed assortment of fishermen, artists, and vacationers. From the island's open summit, we could see the ocean all around over fragrant fields of green bayberries and golden grasses and to the south a large preserve I wished I had time to hike. Two thirds of the island's 500 acres are completely unspoiled, and supposedly the happy home of much wildlife, including a notable variety of shore and song birds. Not that I was fretting, as we next savored locally raised oysters on the town dock.
As we returned to the boat, I found myself again contemplating her name spelled out in large gold letters, now glowing in the dusk. In the days before the trip, I'd heard friends mouth "indulgence" with a just a hint of disdain; indeed, for many these days the word connotes wretched excess. I say to hell with that. Life is too short and random for such stifling judgments, as it is with yachting itself, not to mention types of yachts. And my dear Oxford English Dictionary supports me, defining the verb indulge as simply, "To gratify by compliance, or by absence of restraint; to humor." I'd been indulged, and it sure was good.
A one-week charter aboard Indulgence costs $34,000, plus expenses.
The Sacks Group Phone: (954) 764-7742. Fax: (954) 523-3769. www.sacksyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.