29 June 2016 | Onst MA
We left Port Jeff early to get the tide right at the Race, the eastern opening into Long Island Sound. The tide really rips through there and things are a lot more comfortable when it's in your favor. We started out motor sailing but the wind freshened out of the Southwest and we were able to sail under clear skies and calm conditions. We had all sails up and drawing in the light air conditions. As we approached the eastern end of the sound the tide changed and we got a huge lift from the current and were shot out into Block Island Sound like a rocket. We had some boisterous conditions for a while as the wind came around further into the south and stirred up the waves. We shortened sail and as we went on we saw a large black structure behind us that wasn't there before. As time went on it became evident that our mystery object was a sub coming out of Groton and they blew by us and headed out into the Atlantic, pushing a huge bow wave, and only the conning tower and tail fin visible. There were two or three guys atop the conning tower standing watch and looking pretty uncomfortable in the cold spray.
We made a bee line to Block Island and with the tide helping made it into Salt Pond and anchored with just a few other boats. It will be quite different in a couple of weeks, when the place will be filled beyond capacity for the Fourth of July Holiday. The next day we put the dinghy in and went into town for a walk and ice cream cone. At the dock we saw a Hawaiian Sailing canoe, currently on an around the world voyage to promote clean oceans and demonstrate traditional Polynesian navigation and boat building. The boat is very traditional and is entirely lashed together with line and has no navigational equipment on board. They are using sun, stars and waves to navigate their way and they have no engines so only the wind or oars for propulsion. It was a pretty incredible story and we were very impressed with their voyage thus far.
After a couple of days we got another early start for the ride over to Onset, one of our favorite anchorages. We got in a little sailing but mostly motor sailed in light air. At the end we had a good sea breeze blowing us against a strong tide coming out of the Cape Cod Canal, and we spent some time fighting that tide to get into the entrance to Onset. There is a considerable difference in tides on the Cape Cod Bay side versus the Buzzards Bay side and that creates incredible currents through the canal so this is yet another place to plan travel at the right time. We got in with no difficulty and anchored in the protected confines of Onset Bay. With good weather forecast and time on our hands, we decided to set for a spell and catch up on boat work. I changed the oil in the engine, and switched out one of our Racor fuel filter housings. I bought new units a while ago to replace the originals which had been on the boat since we bought her. The filters for those are getting harder to find and are twice the cost of the newer design. The plan was to use up the old filters and then switch them out. One of those old units had started leak air into the system so I went ahead and replaced it with one of the new ones. I'll switch the other one when we use up all the old style filter elements.
Another project is the teak on the rail and around the deck. The Cetol coating we use was breaking through in spots and if I didn't get that done soon we'd have to take everything off down to bare wood again. So I broke out the sander and we taped and applied 2 coats of base and 3 coats of gloss, which should hold us for another year. Another problem was the cockpit seats. I had sealed those and painted them years ago but the area under the cushions stays pretty wet and we've had a hard time getting the paint to stay on. It flakes off and then we have little white paint flecks all over the cabin sole. I bit the bullet and sanded all the paint off and smooth out the nonskid so we could get the paint to stick better and now I'll apply a couple more coats of Brightside paint and hopefully solve that problem.
We are getting close to the Fourth and were disappointed to find out that Onset is not going to have their normal fabulous fireworks display. We may go out to Provincetown, but it's sure to be crowded, so we may decide to stay here and then head out there after the holiday. Last year there many private displays here that were pretty spectacular so we'll have a good show no matter where we are.
I put some new picts in the gallery.