I’ve only approached and failed to complete a building a handful of times. Each time it’s like a slap in the face, a glaring testament to my ineptitude. Consequently, it’s a bit like Fight Club. First Rule of Exploration: YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR FAILURES. This way you can fluff your egos about the trips that you do finish well. A more positive person would say you… accentuate the positive.

I feel a little guilty about pulling Ryan out of the house so early, even though he was the one pulling me and we were running late. He is a trip, a very lighthearted person who is chock full o’ stories. He sets the standard for retaining knowledge about people, places and history. (Really, I dare anyone to top that.)

So there was really no reason to believe that we’d be unsuccessful since I’ve done my homework and he’s been to the boat graveyard before. We drove out into the wilderness of Staten Island and arrived at our destination. The first thing he says is, “Hmm. It wasn’t this green before.” Oops. We chop through the cattails and marsh reeds like explorers in the jungle – only I imagine the Amazon doesn’t smell like rotten eggs and throw dirty old plastic bottles under your feet.

We get to the other side of the hill where it flattens out and he says, “Hmm. There wasn’t this much water before.” Oops again! There wasn’t supposed to be water in a boat graveyard. Well, of course there is but you know what I mean: there isn’t supposed to be any water where you intend to walk. But somehow neither of us thought to think about tides this morning up until that moment

We’re here, so we might as well try to figure something out. Squelch, squash, hop, ugh. It is, like he said, just like the trash compactor in Star Wars. Smells like it, too. After all you don’t venture onto Staten Island expecting fresh sea air, mind you. I don’t think there is a single dog that exists in the borough for a good reason.

By the way, I did remember to bring my wellies but of course I left them in my car.

Short story even shorter, we eventually came to the edge of the swamp and to the water proper. I do have friends (OK, one friend) who are willing to swim with their 5Ds held above their heads in one hand, but I’m not one of them. The last barrier was a waist-deep, fast-moving “creek” about 10 feet across and I was not willing to attempt jumping it no matter what. Especially since the far side was a wooden fence.

Still, it was fun. Ryan gets 5 stars in my book although I would not have expected or accepted any less. :D