Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pumping up

It was a lot to remember. We had planned a day of sightseeing ashore on Block Island, and already layers of difficulty were being added. While we’re at it we might as well take a large accumulation of trash and load up our two bikes, bike bags, helmets, chain spray, and the pump. After all they’ve been up in the slings for weeks. We’ve four adults plus all of their gear to load into the dinghy as well. The Honda purred all the way to the dinghy dock with everything piled aboard.

I haven’t thought of a way to pump the bike tires while on the boat so we take the pump ashore and then hide it in the dinghy.

Block Island was not as flat as I expected but it was great to get a decent ride in and the Island is really beautiful.


We finally made it to the bluffs, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

One hundred forty five steps later we were on the beach.


A steep path lead down to this strange scene.

Cairns were everywhere, small ones, big ones, some even in trees. Some saw themselves as art.

Back on the bikes we came down off the bluffs past old spas and hotels into Old Harbor.

We finished the day at The Oar for dinner, with a windy night time dinghy ride back to Escape Velocity, resting peacefully out in the mooring field. That’s life on the water.

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Block Island

We decided to get an early start, timed to arrive at the Great Salt Pond, Block Island, before noon. The Harbor Master said that mooring balls can’t be reserved, so by noon the cruisers ought to have moved on and we could have our pick.

Escape Velocity approaching Block Island Bluffs.
We didn’t have our pick but Marce found us a good one. Dinghy down, we got to The Oar Restaurant just before Marce’s sister & brother in law arrived by ferry.

Aldo the baker’s boat wanders the harbor calling ALDO ADIAMO and he’ll stop at your boat with a boat load of Italian pastries! His outboard has a sign that says,”I gotta no change”.”


The sisters have some quality time together, while turning out incredible meals. Dave and I are busy with the blue jobs.

The view from the back porch.

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Lucky Guy

It’s barely a mile up the salt pond from Point Judith Harbor of Refuge, but it’s a different world.
The predicted 25 knot winds barely touched us up here. I don’t know why you’d stay in the rolly harbor when you could stay in a beautiful calm pond with small wooded islands strewn about. Kayakers, paddle boards, small sailboats were everywhere.

While we waited to exchange outboards we thought a change of pace was called for, especially after Newport. No one was anchored within eyesight. Lots of scope equals peace of mind.

Today we’re celebrating 22 years of marriage with a wonderful ’98 Margaux in the cockpit of Escape Velocity, and I get to do it with the prettiest girl at the dance. That’s a lucky guy!

On the outboard front our good friend Jim said if the thing runs without the hood on, just run it without the hood on. Good advice.

I got up early this morning while the rain was just beginning to clear, launched the dinghy, and started the small loaner outboard. Powered up into a medium wind driven chop, pulled into Snug Harbor after pounding into every wave down the pond. The Honda Guy was just arriving and I told him that I had to run over to the Volvo Penta ships store to buy two $17 plus oil filters. In the meantime the guys had dropped the 120 lb. Honda outboard onto the transom and she started right up. I started out but remembered that we needed bread and eggs so did an about face and found a funky “convenience store” that had a couple of eggs and wonderbread.

The Honda ran great all the way up the pond to EV.

The wind finally died down with the sun, leaving another beautiful sunset and
the view from the back porch.



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Plan, no plan

We had a lovely little plan in place. Sail from Newport back to Pt. Judith Monday;Tuesday morning exchange our loaner outboard for our own outboard; then sail to Block Island to meet up with Nancy and Dave who take the ferry from New London, CT; enjoy Block Island until Friday when Nancy and Dave ferry back to New London and we sail west into LI Sound toward New York City. Perfect!

Ah, but not so fast. Last night’s weather report put the kibosh on sailing to Block Island on Tuesday, and while the weather for a run to Block Island today is, if not good sailing weather, at least benign, we can’t pick up our outboard until tomorrow.

We’ve decided to make the trip back to Pt. Judith today and monitor the situation for tomorrow. We’d like to not have to backtrack to Pt. Judith from Block Island for our outboard, or be stuck somewhere with unfavorable winds without it. We’ll see what happens.

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We spent more time ashore in Newport, mainly because my sister Deb and her husband Tim came to visit, along with Allen, who’s living with them. The parking lot was full at the public dinghy dock.

After a quick trip to Walmart to replace our TV, we headed back to Escape Velocity to relax and watch the golden sunset over Narraganset bay.

The yachts of Newport continue to amaze me.


Saturday night there was a great harbor fireworks display, there is nothing better than fireworks over water and they really know how to do it up here.

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Rubbing elbows

We just realized we’re anchored right off the New York Yacht Club. We discovered this as we watched two dapper gents having a cocktail on a modest-sized but very Bristol motor yacht. They were dressed in navy blazers, one with khaki pants, the other with pink. A gorgeous launch picked them up, then made several more pickups through the anchorage. Jack watched through binoculars until they landed at the dock at the big mansion beside us. Google maps told us it’s the New York Yacht Club Harbor Court where a serious party is gearing up.



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Revisiting Newport

We came through here last January on our way to the Providence boat show. It was pouring rain and the town was largely buttoned up for the winter. We had a great time anyway, and spent quite a few comfy hours in the People’s Cafe which is in a converted bank complete with vault.

Today we came ashore and were amazed at how different Newport is in full tourist season. Shops are open and their wares spill out into the street, bars and cafes and bakeries are full up. When I first saw all the people sitting at bistro tables overlooking the harbor my first instinct was to pick an establishment and grab a table with a view. Then I realized we enjoy that every day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner from the cockpit of our boat. And whereas before I may have envied the people their view, their leisure, their summer clothes, now I don’t, and I almost feel sorry for the ones who have to grab this hour, this day or week, and then go back to their workaday world. It’s times like these I feel so lucky!

We left the touristy waterfront behind and headed back to the People’s Cafe. It’s just as we last saw it except for the sun streaming through the windows. We’re having coffee and wifi and watching the summer visitors enjoying this beautiful, historic town.


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No Joy

Ok, this is bizarre. The outboard is afraid of the bonnet. It seems to run well enough until you try to put the hard cover on it. Then it starts to die. Really. You put the bonnet on it and the rpm starts to go down until it stops running. Honda says its an exhaust leak down in the leg, five hours at $85 an hour away. We’ve pulled the plug. The new plan is to run the damn thing without the cover, water be damned. Not a pretty solution.

I have never seen such a wide variety of beautiful yachts collected in one small harbor. Maxis are a dime a dozen, they must have cornered the world market of carbon fiber. We were last here in January, but to see Newport from the boat is a totally different experience. The harbor was nuts to butts, as they say in the army, with all manner of craft. Mooring balls continue their encroachment into the shrinking anchoring area, at $45 a night. The Harbor Master said it’s the Ida Lewis anchorage or nothing. We shoehorned Escape Velocity into a spot next to a Catamaran that I hoped would move like EV. Don’t want any bumps in the night. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have even considered being this close to other boats but you gotta do what you gotta do.

BOOM! Cannons are fired from several yacht clubs to mark sunset (to signal when the captains may strike colors) and the opposite in the morning.
After a quiet night we are preparing to try to stop the minor leaks in the watermaker and to go ashore.




Nice place to hangout.


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Newport at last!

Neither of us slept very well last night so we were slow weighing anchor this morning. We finally got underway at about 10:30 and dropped anchor in Newport Harbor about 1:30. Say what you will about our slow pace, but we’re just not in a hurry to get anywhere and won’t be until our 6-month banishment from Florida expires.

We were so tired that we didn’t even go ashore this afternoon but are lolling about watching the endless parade of amazing yachts go in and out of the harbor. We’ve got a loaner outboard so I think we won’t go ashore at night but will wait until tomorrow, just in case the outboard gives us trouble.




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Izzy on watch



by | August 23, 2012 · 7:52 pm