Kids go home, Grand parents sail on
11 July 2011
Let's start by praising my daughter Diane Jeremias, ok? This lady drove her two kids across the country from Chicago to northern Vermont, then to Rhode Island where she joined Grand Ma and Grand Pa for some thirteen days sailing and then... she drove back to Illinois. Wow!!
Her stay with us was phenomenal, her boys acclimated so easily. Jake and Dylan. They fed the egulls, that's their way of saying seagulls, they fished for the fishies, they beached it bravely facing the ocean surf on Crescent Beach on Block Island. And, what a beach it is, great body surfing, beautiful sand and lots and lots of people just to make it fun.
The boys loved our dinghy and we enjoyed touring harbors with them. We started out anchoring in Potters Cove on Prudence Island in Narragansett Bay, then to Newport where we picked up a mooring in Brenton Cove, then a sail to Block Island where we stayed for five days, beaching, playing in a park, touring the harbor, eating fresh lobster Diane and I bought from a lobster fisherman in the inner harbor for $9.99 a pound. Five lobsters, ummm!. The boys called them their "monsters", how kute. Then the fireworks, then the sail back to Newport in the fog I mean pea soup fog. Radar and chartplotter doing their best.
That was fun for Diane seeing how to navigate using the technology we have on board. I'd see a target on the radar and call out "boat ahead coming toward us" Alice and Di would be our eyes and try and see it. We were right on!
Back in Newport, Brenton Cove, different mooring but near the same spot and guess what, another fireworks display, this time it was from Fort Adams not 300 yards from our boat. Believe me, this was the most unbelievable display. I thought Chicago did a great job. No way Jose!! This out did the best of Chicago by ten. We wrapped ourselves in blankets, and sat on Lucky Bird's back deck and just were amazed, it just kept going and going and going and going and then for the finale, they blow the doors off. Just what we needed to cap a wonderful visit.
Having guests aboard is somewhat like having guests at home only with less maneuvering room. Forty two by thirteen and a half, that's comparable to a 570 square foot apartment. We make do; it must be like traveling in a RV only this one rolls and is more dependent on weather.
So our guests are gone and it was time for us to start moving again. This time our destination is Cutty Hunk followed by Martha's Vineyard and then Nantucket. For those unfamiliar with Southern New England islands, Cutty Hunk lies at the tips of the Elizabeth islands which form the southern boundary of Buzzards Bay. We arrived late afternoon and decided to pick up a mooring on the outside. Fortunately for us there were a few open. When I visited Cutty as a boy we would drop the hook inside the tiny harbor. Not anymore, time and progress have filled the harbor and the adjacent waters with moorings. We would never have thought about anchoring "outside the harbor" OMG, no way, too dangerous. Now there must have been forty boats moored or anchored "outside". Ah progress.
On our sail to Cutty I asked Alice if she would be interested in walking around the perimeter of the island. Remember it's a small island so how hard can it be, really? Being the sport she is she agreed.
So the next morning under a cloudless sky, calm winds and unlimited visibility we dinghied in and started our clockwise treck around the island. At first is was "interesting" navigating the rocks, yup no beach just millions of round rocks. It was like walking on ball bearing the size of grapefruits. Hiking boots, no way, we are tough so we were in our sandals, go figure. Make it. Sure we did and we are now part of a fraternity of people who have successfully circumnavigated Cutty on foot. Hurray for the ole folks.
As I write the fog has returned, I can just barely see the boat anchored 100 feet from us so we'll sit tight for a while and head through Woods Hole in more suitable conditions. Woods Hole is the largest passage among the Elizabeth Islands and the water rushes through there at breakneck speeds sometimes pulling the buoys under!! It not the place you want to be in the fog and with a foul current. Ferrys to the outer islands depart and arrive continually adding to the mix. So sun shine and a fair current works for us.
Next will be either Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs or Edgartown on Marthas then Nantucket that lovely island just far enough offshore to benefit from an island-like culture. Again when I was a boy cruising with my grand parents on Sophie and my uncle on his Vega, getting to Nantucket was a really big thing and as a result fewer people attempted the trip. Now with bigger boats, chart plotters, radar, bigger engines it's a little less challenging and a lot more popular. The shoals and strong currents persist and navigating is necessary, it is more than a walk in the park, don'tcha know.
We won't be circumnavigating Nantucket by foot but we will tour and learn more about the history of the island's people; part of our desire to become more familiar with the foundations of our culture.
It's Mac week back at Chicago Yacht Club and we wish all our friends strong southwesterly winds and safe passages.