s/v Skylark

It's Always An Adventure

29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
27 June 2016 | Passage from Annapolis to Newport
27 June 2016 | MD, Handy's Point
25 June 2016 | C & D Canal 6/16
24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
24 June 2016 | MD, Annapolis
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
22 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
21 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
21 June 2016 | MD, Solomons
19 June 2016 | VA, Deltaville
19 June 2016 | VA, Deltaville

Taking It All In

29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
Elizabeth
As we approached the end of our walk around the fort, we stood watching the boats coming and going and peered down at the fishermen and women along the rocks.

This afternoon and evening we'll hang out with our good cruising friends Skip and Maddie (s/v Saralane) who have a home here. We're looking forward to catching up with them; we last saw them in St. John spring of 2015. They just happen to have a large bathtub with plenty of hot water and a big fluffy towel and they don't care how much water I use or how long the towel takes to dry because they also have a laundry room...oh, I can hardly wait!

Eisenhower House

29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
Elizabeth
This is a mansion built in 1873 with a stunning view of the Narragansett Bay and Newport Harbor. It was once President Eisenhower's summer home, or as is described somewhere was his "summer White House". It is currently owned by the State of RI and can be rented for weddings or other special occasions.

Walk Around Fort Adams

29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
Elizabeth
As many times as we've been in Newport we've never taken a walk around Fort Adams as we did yesterday. The walk starts in front of the Fort close to where our mooring ball is (by the way, the anchorage is now filled with balls and we couldn't find a suitable place to drop the hook anywhere--a change from the last time we visited) and loops around past Sail Newport (wonderful to see the younger kids at sailing camp and the teenagers getting ready to race in lasers and older kids overseeing the whole shebang), past The Eisenhower House, along the cliffs on the water's edge and back to the front of the fort. Luna was exhausted afterwards and we suspect her joints are bothering her. We know how she feels.

Sailing Newport

29 June 2016 | RI, Newport
Elizabeth
We love Newport, RI and always have. What's not to love if you are drawn to the water, historical sites and boats with sails? This is a typical scene here, dinghy races amidst classic sailboats, some of which were used in past Americas Cup races. They don't typically have engines so one has to be mindful when navigating the anchorage and mooring field to stay clear of them when their sails are up. When I'm at the helm tooling around, looking for a place to settle I have to be careful not to forget this little fact. There'll be a large boat under full sail coming toward us and I am typically admiring their beauty rather than thinking I need to get out of their way pronto. I think I'm hopeless but I've never collided with anything...yet. Lucky maybe, or maybe less hopeless than I imagine. Probably the former, not the latter.

En Route to Newport

27 June 2016 | Passage from Annapolis to Newport
Elizabeth
Last night when I thought about the passages still to be made on the way to Maine, it occurred to me that this is our last time offshore. The remainder of our trip between Newport, RI and Yarmouth, ME will be coastal, anchoring out each night in one cove or another. Our usual haunts, most likely. That was a sobering thought. I'll miss the sunsets, sunrises and the surreal feeling one gets so far from everything and everyone, on our own in the middle of an ocean. There is nothing like it. But we are both good with it being over. Our bodies ache, the boat gets turned upside down, we yearn for a good night's sleep and while we're both glad we pressed on rather than leaving Skylark in Deltaville, we don't mind seeing the end in sight.

It's been a pretty good passage all in all. We had two nights out once we left Handy's Point in MD. Ed handled the bulk of the Delaware River and I was impressed how calm he remained throughout that leg of the trip. I find it absolutely unnerving. He only became nervous once when he was unsure of his ability to maneuver out of a cargo ship's way that was bearing down on us with shallow areas outside of the unmarked part of the channel. When I was up for a couple of hours during all that I couldn't believe the amount of traffic both ways, radio calls and navigation lights backwards, forwards, beside us...yikes!

Newport is close by and we'll be glad to settle in.

Conversation with Luna

27 June 2016 | MD, Handy's Point
Elizabeth
Me: Luna, the sun is perfect for an early morning portrait of you. Can you please smile for the camera?

Luna: No, I don't like to smile for the camera. In fact, I don't know how to smile.

Me: Well, can you at least try to look friendly?

Luna: Not really, but I'll turn my face for a profile shot and stick my spotted tongue out just a little. Do you think that will look good in the picture?

Me: Ummm no, I don't think so. In fact, I think it looks a little dumb. Could you put your tongue back in your mouth just for a minute?

Luna: No, I like it like this. Sometimes I don't think you have the best photographic eye, Elizabeth.

Me: Oh Luna, how do we tolerate you?

Luna: What do you mean? I'm perfect, right? No, seriously, you're kidding, right?

Me: Yes Luna. You are perfect. Even when your tongue hangs out just a little, you are perfect and even if you don't know how to smile.

Correction to Last Post

26 June 2016
Elizabeth
Sorry for the confusion but I suddenly realized I wrote in our last blog post that we were going up the C & D Canal to Reedy Island to position ourselves to go up the C & D Canal. We went through the C & D Canal from the Chesapeake to Reedy Island in the Delaware River before going further down the River where the shipping traffic can get gnarly. I already changed the last post for any of those who might have read it and scratched your heads, my apologies. I wrote and posted in a hurry without editing.

It is just after midnight and we are in the Delaware Bay now, closer to where we meet the ocean and go offshore. It has been busy with lots of close calls on Ed's watch. My only close call was with a buoy that kept getting in our way because the current slid us over into it. I adjusted course many times over but there was a shallow area in the direction I was adjusting to. I did not enjoy that experience.

Fickle as the Weather

25 June 2016 | C & D Canal 6/16
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We left Annapolis Friday morning spending last night in a quiet anchorage about 6 hours up the Bay at Handy's Point. It was our first time there and worked out well. We were ambivalent about leaving Annapolis because of the squalls all around (which were NOT forecast) but I pushed and Ed didn't resist and I think he just needed a little nudge. He is very weary of planning weather routing only to have everything fall apart time and time again. And neither of us want to be caught in a major squall so there is that. Maybe he just needed me to let him know I was game and he didn't have to carry the burden of responsibility if the proverbial shit hit the fan. I don't know but we left and motored through a lot of bad weather, including a squall just as we were approaching the anchorage but none of it was terrible. We were both glad to have made some progress.

This morning we motored across the Chesapeake/Delaware Canal toward the Delaware River and Reedy Island where we've been many times before. We set the anchor and planned to spend the night, leaving at the break of dawn tomorrow (Saturday) to complete our Delaware River leg of the trip. We are trying to beat another nasty weather system forecast to hit Newport by Tuesday afternoon. We commissioned the dinghy, took Luna for a walk, did some boat chores and then Ed said, "Want to leave tonight and get a jump on the bad weather, getting to Newport Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday morning?" I asked what the downside of that option would be and he said we'd transit the shipping lanes at night rather than in daylight. Not our favorite thing to do in the Delaware River It's busy, narrow and can be harrowing if there's strong wind which although was expected tonight, doesn't seem to be the case when we looked at the gribs this afternoon. I asked how we would manage watches since I didn't have my afternoon nap which enables me to stay up on the first long evening watch. He suggested we wing our watches until we get through the shipping lanes. I said, "OK, let's go!" And that's what we did. We are now on our way at 17:55 (our Spot tracker is on if you want to follow us) and we are feeling as fickle as the weather.

More importantly, it feels like maybe we have our mojo back.
Vessel Name: Skylark
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1CC 1985
Hailing Port: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Crew: Ed Easter, Elizabeth Meadows and Luna the dog
About: Ed, Elizabeth and Luna the dog lived for many years in Charlotte, NC. They started their live aboard experience in Charleston, SC in June 2011, cutting the lines one month later. They have been living the cruiser's life ever since.
Extra:
Skylark is a USA documented vessel and is legally identified by her name "Skylark" and hailing port "Boothbay Harbor". Since our purchase of her in 2008 she had been moored in Tenants Harbor ME '08, Rockland ME '09 and Charleston SC for the 2010 and early 2011 season. After that follow the blog [...]
Skylark's Photos - Delivery South - June 2010
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Moving Out to Jewell Is., Landon rigging the radar detector
Tim rigging the reef lines
Ed rigging something
 
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