Past the Spindle
 
A windy day in Newport
Mark Pillsbury
12/09/2010, 42 25.47'N:70 55.47'W, Newport, Massachusetts

It's windy and chilly in Newport, but at least we're not in Florida where they're putting down vests on the poodles.

Sunday, Day 17
Mark Pillsbury
12/05/2010, 42 25.47'N:70 55.47'W, Nahant, Massachusetts

Sunday, December 5

Day 17,

Our rude awakening came at 0445 Saturday morning, courtesy of the alarm on my cell phone. At that moment, what had been all about wind, waves, and waypoints for the better part of 15 days, was about to turn complicated with security checks, flight schedules, arranging a ride home from the airport, emails, the work week ahead, and all the other details life ashore throws in your face.

We'd packed our bags the night before, so we only needed to throw them into the inflatable and haul them ashore to be set to go. We planned to make two trips in an attempt to keep the gear and crew dry, and it would have worked, too, had I not worn my shoes when I stepped into the dinghy and stood ankle deep in bilge water. I'd regret that move 12 hours later, sitting on an airplane, when they were still damp and had that special odor boat shoes can develop with age and seawater.

Ulf and Philip had decided to rent a car on Saturday and tour the island, so they came ashore with us and drove Bob, Peter and I to the airport in St. John's. Ulf planned to remain on Tioga another week, and Philip would not leave until the New Year, so they had adventures aplenty ahead of them. For the rest of us, a well-earned homecoming beckoned.

It was still quite dark when we left Falmouth Harbour, but lights were on in many of the houses along our route. From the boat and in the car, you could hear the occasional rooster crow, and the smell the scent of burning wood or maybe sugar cane was in the air.

Our first flight got us to San Juan by 10:30, where we had a four-hour wait until the next flight, to Boston. I'd wager that 240 minutes worth of Feliz Navidad played on steel drums is about all the human spirit can endure, or my spirit at least. Never was a departure flight more welcome than American's carol-free 1334. That said, the pilot's report of beautiful weather in Boston, with temperatures hovering near 40 had an ominous ring to it.

Peter's wife, Linda, and their daughter Lillianna met us at the airport, and boy it was good to see them. They, though, might have wished we'd perhaps bathed more recently when Bob asked them to roll up the windows. The best part of our home coming - after the delicious dinner the girls pulled together, that is - was the sign Lillianna made and hung on the bulletin board at the end of the causeway.

"Welcome Home Sailors," it said.

And that, my friend, closed the final chapter in this part of the story Tioga's winter adventure to the Caribbean. The boat will stay in Falmouth, on a mooring, once the holidays are over and Philip and his family flies home. Hopefully she'll see some use over the winter, and then Philip and a new crew will return in April to start the trek north. The real homecoming, of course, will be next spring, when Tioga is tied, once again, on her mooring, right here in Nahant.

This post is made possible by Iridium and Global Marine Networks.

Friday, Day 15
Mark Pillsbury
12/03/2010, 17 0.91'N:61 46.35'W, Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

Friday, December 3



Day 15,



All good shows must eventually come to an end. And so this morning, we discovered just how much of a mess six guys can make over the course of 1,000 or so miles in washing machine conditions. The sailing was fast, and so was the accumulation under the table and sailbags of assorted pieces of clothing, paper towels, and Doug's hats.

Nothing that a little elbow grease, Simple Green, and a few dish towels couldn't correct, however. Once our bags were packed and hauled up on deck, we removed sail bags and cushions, then scrubbed our little butts off. Particularly nice was the head (Peter jumped right into that one, as you can see in the photo) and the galley where the leaking bags of chili, goulash, stew, and what have you created quite a concoction under the wooden grate in the bottom of the fridge. By noon, things were gleaming and we were off for food and fuel. With the mega-yachts quickly filling the docks here in advance of next week's charter show, and supplies inexplicably unavailable at the Catamaran Marina (the government's turned off the water???), we instead motored around to English Harbour, and on the way enjoyed a last blue-water swim just off the Pillars of Hercules.

At the Slipway in English Harbour, Philip topped off the tanks while Bob, Peter and I checked out at customs and made our departure official. Then Peter and Ulf walked back to Falmouth, Pete to hunt down a last few items and Ulf to rent a car so he and Philip can explore tomorrow after dropping us at the airport.

So, now with the final curtain call set, we're off to shore in search of Roti Chicken and maybe just one or two last rum punches. It's been one hell of a fabulous run.

This post is made possible by Iridium and Global Marine Networks.

12/04/2010 | DON
THANKS FOR THE EXPERIENCE,YOU ARE ABLE TO DO WHAT I CAN ONLY WISH FOR AT THIS TIME IN ONE LIFE. WILING TO BET I'M NOT ALONE.

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