Point of No Return — Russian spy ship gets a little too close to home


Please, keep your voices down. I know, I know. It’s been a long winter, and we’re all a little anxious to get back to the business of being outside and enjoying all the wonders that this remarkable community has to offer, but please, for my sake and yours... do it quietly.

The walls have ears, you know. Or, to be more precise, the giant Russian spy ship that was floating around off the Delaware coast earlier this week has ears.

According to multiple reports, the ship was approximately 70 miles offshore, putting it firmly in the boundaries of what is known as “international waters” — you know, that abstract part of the ocean which serves as “The Vegas of the Sea.” Hey, what happens in international waters stays in international waters, right?

You with me?

When I first saw a headline online on Tuesday suggesting that a Russian spy ship was off the coast of Delaware, I expected to see it attached to an article published by LeftWingersCryingInTheirCereal.com or TrumpWalksOnWater.com or any one of the other dubious sites that have popped up over the past few years, but I went ahead and clicked when I saw it was on what I consider a reputable site.

And, what do you know? There was a Russian spy ship floating about off the Delaware coast.

My first reaction was one of concern that the Russians were trying to learn the secrets of building the perfect scrapple borscht or operating a governmental budget without sales tax. Our technical director, Shaun Lambert, jokingly opined that maybe they were spying on the Coastal Point, but I’m guessing they have their eyes set on something more juicy than hearing me complain about aching knees or Tom Maglio dishing on hair products.

Reading a little deeper into the story, I saw that the spy ship had left port in Cuba and was making its way north along the East Coast, and was expected to turn around near Connecticut before heading back to Cuba. I also read on a few different sites that this wasn’t a really huge deal, and that we basically do the same thing with our spy vessels.

But, still. Russian spies off the coast of Delaware? Surely they didn’t turn off all their super-cool spy stuff (I apologize for getting all technical there). It’s obvious they were trying to send some kind of message with their leisurely jaunt up the coastline, but that doesn’t mean they’re not trying to learn a few things along the way, right?

Being the dutiful citizen of this community that I am, I decided to take a look at some possible reasons the Russians had set up spy operations off Sussex County’s coast:

• Well, the National Guard and Coast Guard both have a strong presence here, but that’s too obvious, right? I mean, you’d think they’d use something smaller than an ocean liner for anything too sensitive, and I think both those operations have security measures set up for that kind of thing, anyway.

• Soft-serve ice cream or taffy? Well, if the Russians truly want to improve the quality of life of its citizens they would start with a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream cone. That just makes everything better.

• Perhaps they are interested in improving the ways in which they take on road projects and were examining the way... Sorry, I couldn’t even finish that one.

• Maybe they’re trying to get the scoop on the 2017 schedule for Freeman Stage? I mean, there are people who live here who would go to extraordinary measures to get their eyes on that a little early. Imagine what Russian spies could do with that intel.

• Is it possible they were just trying to take in the performance of the Indian River High School wrestling team during the state duals championship on Tuesday? We know they didn’t exactly take the high road with their athletes during the last Olympics in Rio — maybe they were stealing strategies from coach Jeff Windish?

• Referendum? I mean, they allegedly tried to interfere with our most recent presidential election. I guess it’s possible they’re trying to influence the March referendum by gathering intelligence on administrators or efforts to make it fail. I don’t know why they would, but I know that we always get a lot of reaction on our stories when the word “referendum” is included, and you know we like our “clicks.”

• Referendum.

• Maybe the Russians are just a heartier people than we are, and they are used to playing on the beach when it’s cold. A little bikini-scoping from a spy ship, fellas? Creepy, but at least that one makes sense.