Our summer plans had included an earlier arrival in New England than August but we finally arrived.
We had a trip to Colorado planned to see Nick, Cliff and Curtis before our youngest had to return to graduate school in Indiana at Purdue. I think the phrase man plans, God laughs is appropriate here. Curtis had a summer internship in Colorado with Digital Globe
that ran till just before fall classes and we had hoped to see the brothers all together before he had to return but our schedule slipped and we missed him. That didn't stop us from having an absolute blast with Nick and Cliff and his new girlfriend, Kat for a week last month. The picture on the post is a selfie in front of Cliff's 7 foot sailfish that he caught last spring when he and some buddies went deep sea fishing in Florida. Those who have been to the mountains in the summer know what I'm talking about but it was absolutely beautiful. We split our time between Littleton and Steamboat Springs enjoying both the city slicker lifestyle as well as the more granola mountain scene in the Boat. Let me say we couldn't be more proud of Nick, Cliff and Curtis. All pursuing life's path with vigor and enjoyment. So fun to pop into their busy schedules and just hang out. We hope they join us south again this winter......when.....we....are....in.....KEY WEST for the holidays - November through January followed by a trip up the gulf coast, Cuba if the stars align and the Bahamas working our way North for next summer.
Our landing point in New England was Cove Haven Marina in Barrington RI, home of friends of ours and three other Outbound 46's, sister-ships of Big Frisky. We arrived from Charleston SC via Cape May New Jersey with a weather diversion. When we arrived in Jersey I began playing Bruce Springsteen as we tied up. It was absolutely the most welcoming beach community we have been too, a pleasant change from SC where we felt and were total outsiders. I've never been to the Jersey shore but I can well recommend it. Beautiful beach shoreline with intact giant sand dunes separating the boardwalk from the ocean. Low rise beach hotels and condos not more than 4 stories, many small hotels built in the 50s and 60s with retro styling from the day called do-oop. We met a local boater at the marina we were staying at, 2 Mile Marina who gave us a ride to the store and told us he installed many of the elevators. A community of summer that rolls up the carpet once the winter sets in earnest only to roll it back out next summer. It's a place of songs about summer love. The marina was described by the harbormaster as 4 bars and two restaurants with a marina for the customers to look at. Small and convenient with deep water that seems to be scarce around Cape May.
On the way to RI we saw huge pods of dolphins hunting, using our boat as a foil. We got beautiful weather, albeit not too windy and even saw a surfaced submarine
! Our schedule was an awkward 38 hours and found us rounding Block Island around 2200 and then Newport around 0200 where we needed gas. God as my witness I have no idea how at that time of the morning on a moonless night we didn't hit any of the moored boats in Newport Harbor. We arrived at Goat Island gas dock with about a $20 million super yacht at the stern and a $2.5 million classic sailboat at the bow with about 50 feet to squeeze our 46 foot Outbound into. Pamela hit the cleat on the first toss and then disembarked, tied off the stern, grabbed the bow line at the gate where she had it staged and tied us off perfectly. Money in the bank she is and I couldn't be luckier to have a mate as her.
Our trip continued to Barrington RI where we stayed at the end of a bay off the providence river at a Brewer marina, Cove Haven. We discovered the Brewer group when we were in Long Island Sound last fall in Stratford. High standards for a marina and a yard with the most friendly and helpful staff. As a bonus the residents of the marina were all cool and interesting people including a Swan SV Chaucer who we met in the Caribbean last winter and three other Outbound 46 sister-ships, Pratique, Pneumatic and Hippocampus. Our main draw to Barrington however is our friends from a 52' carbon fiber racing catamaran Occam's Razor who spent the winter in the Caribbean and hosted us for Christmas and our birthdays. The captain is a professional sailor and is president of Anchor Yachts
who represents Outbound as well as a wide array of high performance sail and powerboats. He and his wife and intrepid sailing mutt, Jacques have been so supportive of us as we begin to learn what it is to be blue water cruisers we can't thank them enough. If you or anyone you know is looking for a blue water sail or powerboat, I can say that visiting their site is a great way to Find your Boat
of dreams and make it a reality like they did for us.
We were able to fly in and out of Providence to CO easily and also found a great kennel
for our pups to stay and play at while we were away. We did some work on the boat, canned local fruits, attended and hosted fellow boaters get togethers, saw the world record longest back-flip on a BMX bicycle
held by K-Rob, Kevin Robinson of X Games fame and native of Providence RI, ate at great restaurants and also saw a great deal of the Olympics in the evenings.
We laid plans for our trip to the islands in Nantucket Sound, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Just before we left we were able to attend the Newport Boat show. The newest delivery in the Northeast for Outbound was at the show with all the latest improvements along with the President who has been nothing but spectacularly supportive of our ownership of Big Frisky. He even got a chance to come on-board and see what his handiwork looks like 8 years after manufacture. We love our girl and he was very complementary.
Martha's vineyard brought us our first visit with Pamela's life long friend from Hanover College and her BF. We saw them last October and vowed to see them again this fall. This time they met us on his powerboat
, Get the Order in Oaks Bluff Harbor on the Vineyard. What a blast we had. The harbor is tiny and so they have to ask people to raft up, 4 boats max to a mooring and run a tender to transport folks back and forth to the town dock.We met them on the way and rafted up for the night, taking a tender to shore to have dinner and drinks. The night ended around 0200 with all of us with sore stomachs from laughing so hard but fat heads in the morning. Thankfully we were going to hang out for a few days exploring and maybe we'd see them at Nantucket our next stop. We took the bus around the island on the next rainy day visting Bad Martha's brewery and saw the colts play the next night before setting off for Nantucket.
I would describe the waters of Nantucket Sound as hair raising when it comes to navigation. The entire eastern shore of the island has shoals so dangerous there is a shipwreck museum on the island. Pair that with 4 foot tides and the currents can run 3-4 knots through narrow openings and you have to be paying close attention as the bottom is mostly rock. When we cut through Woods Hole on the way to Martha's vineyard the jagged rocks jutted up nearer to the boat that is comfortable but outside the channel as the current rushed through this crooked dogleg of a passage.
The trip to Nantucket was no different with close attention paid to our route and the time of day with respect to the winds, tides and currents. We arrived to Nantucket on an overcast day with light winds and passed the Brant Point lighthouse as the inner harbor that has welcomed seafarers for hundreds of years came into view. Fixed docks with narrow fairways and tiny little cottages in and among them leading up to a picturesque harbor front. The streets are paved with the pavers from the ships ballasts brought in from all over the world. The movie Heart of the Sea was based on the whaling economy of the late 19th century of Nantucket. The names of the families still adorn the storefronts and buildings. To say it was expensive real estate was an understatement. We splurged for a slip for 4 days as they were running off season rates and it was still twice as much as we normally expect. We rented a scooter for a day and raced all over the island sightseeing and stopping at the local brewery, Cisco Brewers and whiled an afternoon away. It was lovely and warm. Pamela's roommate was able to take a ferry over to join us for a dinner and an overnight on Big Frisky. We were so excited for her arrival but sad to see her go the next day. I with substantially more sleep than Pamela and she. When I hugged her goodbye I asked her is someone and snuck into her cabin overnight and roughed her up a bit. Still all in good fun where you have good friends.
We bid her and New England farewell on the next outgoing tide after a front passed through that gave us a sleigh ride down the eastern coast to our current location, Cape May New Jersey. We'll stage here for the run up Delaware Bay and hang a left before Philadelphia through the C&D canal to enter the famed Chesapeake Bay.