Fun with New Friends
20 March 2012 | Thompson Bay, Long Island
I had a great day today. First off, Bud invited Jeri and Ingo from Ladyhawke, the other Norseman 447 in the rally, over for breakfast. He had them come at 7:45, so before that we both needed to get up and dressed, I needed to straighten things up and make the bed and Bud needed to get breakfast started. We needed to listen to the weather report and get Fuzzy ashore. We got all that done and had a great time with them. Bud made biscuits and had sausage, eggs, a little ham and grapefruit. Geri brought some V-8 juice, which was a real treat for us. Skip, Ingo took one look at the photo of us crossing the finish line and said we needed a hydraulic backstay tightener so we could get the slack out of the forestay. Well, we'll put it on the list.
They rented an SUV for three days and invited us to tour the island with them. Another cruiser, Joe from Onward who single-hands, was also going. Bud declined, but I went along. Both Joe and I have toured Long Island, but neither of us had ever been all the way to the southern end. Since Geri and Ingo hadn't seen any of it at all, they elected to head south today. We stopped and did a few errands along the way and drove all the way until the road ended at the south end of the island. There was a small sand road off to the west that cut over to a beautiful beach. There are anchorages marked on the chart along the beaches. These would be a good jumping off point if you were going further south. The water was very shallow a long ways out, so these weren't the best of anchorages. There was one catamaran anchored where we could see it.
From there we headed back north and decided to try to find Little Harbour. It's on the charts as a possible anchorage along the east coast of Long Island (there are only two anchorages along this 80 mile coast, Little Harbour and Clarence Town). The chart showed a road going back off the main road over to Little Harbour, which has no town or settlement near it. We followed a road east. At one point the "main" road appeared to go left, but a smaller road continued straight. Since the chart indicated that we should go straight until we had to make a left, we continued on the smaller road. It got very small indeed. It was just two tracks through the weeds. Finally we came over a hill and down to the ocean. There was a narrow area in front of us fringed by reefs. It was pretty windy today, and we couldn't see any good place to enter the "harbor". It didn't look much like a harbor, either. We walked along the beach and I found a half-dozen more heart beans and one more, nearly perfect, hamburger bean. When we left the area I looked at the chart again and said I thought we'd come past Little Harbor to the next area of reefs and beaches. We took the left back where the smaller road started, and sure enough, we found Little Harbour. This was a very nicely sheltered area. When we walked far enough along to get at least an oblique look at the entrance we could see why the area was undeveloped. There were breaking waves all across the entrance in today's brisk winds. Since the prevailing winds are from the east, like today, the harbor entrance isn't tenable if the prevailing winds pipe up at all. We saw at least four wrecked boats in there, one of which was about a 30-foot sailboat. That boat was just the hull; every piece of metal on it had been stripped, including the through-hull fittings. You could still read that it was from Boston, MA, although the boat name was gone. Jeri and I agreed that seeing wrecks like that was sad and scary.
When we finally got back to the main road we headed up to Clarence Town in search of lunch. We ended up at Rowdy Boys Bar and Grill, which is housed in a pink building with lions and dolphins decorating the parapet. Not exactly a Rowdy Boy image. They had good food, and a great view of the Atlantic and the entrance to the Clarence Town harbor. After we ate we went outside and talked to a couple of men about two Bahamian sailboats they were working on. The two boats had been damaged in the hurricane and were now being readied for the Family Regattas to be held in April. As we walked back to the car we saw a sport-fishing boat out past the entrance to the harbor. It was really rough out there. He came up along the point and then turned and headed into the channel. He was going flat out to handle the waves and as he approached the channel we could see him surfing down the waves. It looked like quite a ride! He made it in without any problems that we could see.
After lunch we went back to see Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Clarence Town that the famous Father Jerome designed. We talked to the priest, who is from Rhode Island. He's the only priest for the 5 operating Catholic churches on Long Island. He told us it was okay to go in the church and to climb up the towers. The inside of the tower we climbed was quite narrow. There were winding stairs to the first floor and then three more ladders to the top of the tower. It was so narrow at the top that Ingo could not fit his shoulders through the opening. The other three of us did manage to climb out on the parapet. What a great view. The church sits on a hill and from the tower you could see all of Clarence Town (not that there is all that much to Clarence Town).
Our last stop of the day was Dean's Blue Hole. After climbing up to get a birds-eye view of the deepest blue hole in the world, Jeri continued along a trail that curved in a natural indentation in the wall that surrounds the back of the blue hole. I followed her and got this photo of the cliffs. You can just see Jeri ahead on the path. I put the other pictures I took today in the gallery.
We finally got back around 7 PM. Jeri and Ingo invited Bud and I over to see their Norseman and have a drink, but Bud had already started cooking supper, so we decided to go over for coffee tomorrow at the more civilized hour of 9 AM. When we got back to the Island Breeze, Joe got a copy of the race results from Saturday. We were pretty happy to see that in actual, uncorrected time Ladyhawke and Earendil were numbers 2 and 3 of all the monohulls (about 25 boats) and were just 4 and 5 and-a-half minutes respectively behind the fifty-foot Beneteau, French Kiss. Ingo isn't too happy that he only beat us by a minute and-a-half as he's been racing for over 30 years and we're novices. I told him it's just because the Norseman is such a well-designed boat it will sail well even if you can't tighten your forestay and don't run the traveler up and ease the main properly.