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Winterizing begins... Serviced the engine and generator, replaced the start battery, took down all sails, took down all halyards - all 7 of them! - and put messengers up in their place. Went to the gas dock and squeezed a 44ft boat into a 50ft slot - without hitting a single thing - and put 80 gallons of diesel aboard, pumped out the head and then managed to un-squeeze the boat without hitting anything either!!
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, plan to get various people out to the boat to run through systems, measure for new sails and quote fixes to all the broken stuff before hauling out for the winter.
Then the fun will begin - working out the electronic's wiring and bringing order to chaos!

Windy Newport

Wild ride to Newport on Saturday with winds anywhere from 12kts right up to 30+ as we went the inside route through Mount Hope Bay and down Narragansett Bay.

We had to wait until the tide dropped to allow us through the Sakonnet bridge, but made use of that time fixing the water maker filters which are now solidly bolted to the inside wall of the transom. We left at about 1:30pm and once into Mount Hope Bay found ourselves being royally beaten up with the wind and 3 - 5ft choppy waves as we beat into it all. We flew a double reefed main and the inner jib and routinely had water over the bow. Abby was with us and showed a natural talent at the helm - and was quite disappointed when we wimped out and started motor sailing from the bottom of Prudence to Newport - in order to get there before dark and before it got too cold.

We anchored off Ida Lewis amongst some unusually scraggy boats! Laurie prepared a wonderful dinner of Pork Tenderloin.

Sunday was a much different story - since we could now run with the wind. It was a beautiful sunny day, though quite cool and still windy. With Abby at the helm we raced out of Newport with double reefed main and full jib, doing 8.5kts! Caught and passed a big J boat that was only flying a reefed main - and caught a 49ft Beneteau that was motoring! The wind behaved really nicely - turning as we turned into Mount Hope Bay, allowing us to keep the wind on the port quarter right up until we turned at the head of Mount Hope and headed south into the Sakonnet.

This was probably the last weekend of sailing for us this season - time to get the boat ready for winter. She'll be staying in Pirate Cove this winter - on the hard since the house seems highly unlikely to sell in this lousy economy.

Good Lord, they let me in!

Yesterday, along with 400 other souls at Faneuil Hall in Boston, I became a Yank!


Sunday was a gorgeous day with not a cloud in the sky. We borrowed Mike and Jane's blow-up Tandem Kayak and paddled through the pond - what a blast! Then Mike and Jane arrived in their dingy and towed us to a nice little beach for a picnic lunch. Then we went to another beach, with deeper water so that the girls could go for a dip - us boys had more sense - cold!!! We had no idea the pond was so big - and we didn't even get to the end of it...

Columbus Day dawned bright and sunny too - with not a lot of wind, and all of it on the nose. We dropped our mooring at 9:30, about 30 minutes after Jamin. While they headed directly into the wind, we decided to try to sail and set our sights on Quicks Hole. We were close reached, but the wind slowly built and we were able to make about 5kts. We motor sailed through the hole and then were able to take advantage of the positive current in Buzzards Bay. The wind stayed pretty constant at between 8 and 12kts and with flat seas we were able to maintain a close reach and reasonable speeds - between 4 and 5kts. In the last few miles before the entrance to the Sakonnet, we actually saw our speed as high as 7kts. Turning the corner into the Sakonnet, we started to run with the wind - and so launched the Code Zero and while I thought this was going to be The Day - we managed only to get to Black Point before the wind completely disappeared as usual. We motored the rest of the way, arriving at 5:30pm.

We really had a wonderful weekend - one of the best of the year. The weather was great (could have had a little more wind on Friday and Monday!), food and beverages great, we had toys to play with and good friends to help enjoy them!

New picture gallery on the right sidebar...


Here we are in Menemsha having pretty much motored the entire way yesterday - just a little spinnaker action at the end. The place is packed with people tonight - come to see the sunset - just a half hour from now.

Good day - cycled into Oak Bluffs for our mandatory beer, peanuts and Pizza at Offshore Ale Company - our favorite brew pub. Jane and Mike joined us by bus! The ride home was painful!

Then enjoyed sitting in our new airchairs suspended from a couple of halyards, drinking cocktails - quite decadent!

Wi-Fi on board
10/07/2011, Half way down the Sakonnet

Ridiculous - but little things please little minds... another system worked out - Toodle-oo! now has Wi-Fi aboard - finally decided to have a go at getting it to work and hey presto - not so difficult! Now we'll be able to host the harbor at Menemsha this weekend!

We're nearing the bottom of the Sakonnet, flying two headsails (poled jib and code zero) in 5kts of wind - achieving 2.4kts.

Mike and Jane aboard Jamin are hard charging behind us using their iron genny. Mike: Did you bring your spinnaker???

More later!

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Who: Bill and Laurie Balme
Port: Newport, RI
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