Storms habitually leave all sorts of detritius on shore - seashells, driftwood, sea glass, seaweed, buoys and in the case at Byram Park - a 34-foot Sea Ray cabin cruiser.
Around 10 a.m. Aug. 28 as Hurricane Irene lashed the Connecticut shoreline, Matt Zeh and his dad, Ronnie, assistant fleet captain and fleet captain, respectively, of the Byram Shore Boat Club, helplessly watched as the boat was broken from its mooring lines and pushed towards shore.
"Usually we see boats go out to Long Island Sound or up on the rocks," Matt said Tuesday as crews prepared to dislodge the boat from the sands of Byram Park beach. There was nothing anyone could do as astronomical high tides, and winds propelled the boat nearly 1,000 feet towards shore.
Save for the park flag pole, and the chain link fence outlining the beach, the boat - owned by Steve Crawford of Greenwich - would have ended up in the park parking lot.
Crawford, his father Robert, and dozens of bystanders and sunworshippers watched the nearly 2-hour boat-relocation operation that involved a heavy-duty construction crane, and a tow cab with a hydraulic trailer.
Crawford said the boat he's owned for about three years - Crow's Nest - now has bent props and a hole in the keel. It was moved to boat club's yard a few hundred feet away where it will be stored for the rest of the season. Asked about his boating season being cut short, Crawford said, "The season's almost over."
Crawford estimated that yesterday's relocation efforts, carried out by Frank Compo & Sons of Stamford, would cost between $5,000 and $6,000.
And now sunbathers at the park have a little more room to spread out their blankets and chairs.
As workers placed straps beneath the hull, one onlooker quipped, "I thought it would've made a nice place for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres."