S/V NELLEKE

The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

Onward towards the Canal with a stopover where the Americas Cup was competed.

We have been checking the tide tables and it would appear that if we can position ourselves to be at the mouth of the western end of the Cape Cod Canal by 0900 in the AM on the 3rd or 4th of May we will be in a position to ride the tidal current through and get a kick start on our trip across the bay on the other side. Mary Lou has also contacted her family in Marblehead and has scored us a couple of moorings in Marblehead Harbour for a day or two. It pays to have friends with family in the right places! We had intended to head out to Gloucester but this works out better as May Lou has an easier time of it to visit her family, it's a shorter travel day slightly, and I get to show Barb Marblehead, which I think she'll enjoy. I have been there before for the Marblehead Race, but she missed it.

Last night as we sat at the dock we were entertained by the USCG escorting another sub out to sea. Boy oh boy do they ever do it differently here from how they do it at St Helens at Fernandina Beach! Down there, they escort subs to sea with a large Coast Guard cutter plus numerous smaller boats and two ocean going tugs with a sort of vertical wall attached to them and they are supposed to fling themselves between any missile and the sub should they come under attack - sort of take the bullet as it were. In New London there are two small Coast Guard launches with a small harbour tug to make sure that it gets through the channel which peeled off before they even got half way out of the harbour and headed back to their berth.

We hung around at the dock waiting for someone from the marina to show up to collect the dock fee but no one ever did so we left our contact info on their voice mail and set off around 0930 and motored down through Fisher's Island Sound and into Newport RI. At first there was absolutely no wind at all but we were getting a great current assist, then there was a small amount or wind from behind which was cancelled out by the forward movement of the boat under power. There must have been something happening offshore though since when we got past the shelter of Block Island we got some 10' ocean swells rolling in from the sea. Starting to feel more like home with deep water and rocky coast lines.

The City of Newport was the place where the first 100 years of the American Cup Race was contested and every other year the Bermuda Cup Race starts from here so there is a real history of ocean racing at this port. The city itself is really a beautiful place, very picturesque with lots of things to see and do. They have a world class croquet pitch in the middle of town and a really serious tennis club with a museum and an incredible court where I believe I have seen the US tennis championships played.

Jay and I have been talking and we have decided that we will have a form letter available with only certain final areas to be filled in to send to a place like New London. Some of these places just don't seem to get it. All boaters are not millionaires an those of us that are cruising tourists have maybe a $100 to spend when we stop in a town. We can either give it to the town docks and spend nothing in the town in the businesses or restaurants like what was going to happen in New London on their City Docks, or we can pay $30 for a mooring like we have here in Newport and have $70 to spend in town.

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