Summer 2006 Nov. 14, 2006



Long Island Sound


We stayed at City Island (part of the Bronx) for two nights to recover from our

trip from Norfolk. We picked up a mooring that belongs to a couple we met in NC.  City Island is a great place to visit.  The island is comprised of one main road with restaurants and small businesses.   


Our next stop was a motor sail to Port Jefferson where we picked up a mooring.  We visited with June and Mike from Idunno the boat we traveled with throughout the Exumas.  We had a great visit and planned to catch up with each other for our trip back down to the Bahamas in the fall.


Our next stop was in Old Lyme on the Connecticut River where we left the boat on a mooring for 10 days while we went home to Vermont for a visit.


Upon our return to boat we headed for Block Island where we planned to pick up a mooring.  The trip through the race was close to slack so the current was not an issue.  However we did need to watch out for the submarine.


We arrived at Block Island the Tuesday before the Fourth of July weekend (the fourth was on the following Tuesday), and we got one of the last moorings as many of the boaters were planning to stay for the entire holiday weekend.  Block Island is a wonderful place.  We walked across the island to the main town for sightseeing and shopping.  We left for Bristol, RI on Friday early in the morning where we planned to spend the Fourth.  Our mooring was not vacant for more than a minute before it was snatched up by a trolling boat.


We were having a great sail from Block Island to Narragansett Bay until we hit the FOG bank.  Between Block Island and Port Judith we entered the heavy fog.  We are so glad that we have radar.  We could see the other boats on the radar and when we got close we would blow our horn.  The power boats we could hear their engines and as they got close we could hear them slow down and then all of a sudden we could see the boats about 100 yards away.  On the radio we heard one boat calling a securite with his boat location every few minutes - he did not have radar.  Fortunately before we reached Narragansett Bay the fog lifted and our 18 mile trip to Bristol was uneventful.  In Bristol we stayed at the Bristol Yacht Club as guests of our friends Rhonda and Janet from the mighty vessel Promise who we met in the Abacoes and sailed with back to the states as far as Charleston. 


Rhode Island


We had a wonderful time in Bristol.  The Bristol Fourth is great and our hosts were fabulous.  Our first night we had a lobster dinner at Janet and Rhonda’s house.  Rhonda lent us her car so that we could do provisioning and any other errands.  


The Bristol parade is touted as the oldest continuous parade in the country – it certainly is in the running as the largest also.  We had four hours of fire trucks, politicians, dance groups, marching bands (some from as far away as Wisconsin), Mummers, horses, etc.  The parade also had the dancing policeman from Newport.  I understand that he was a traffic officer who dances as part of his job of directing traffic.  Very entertaining.  The weekend also included a marching band contest.  About eight marching bands from across the country competed for best band.  The routines that the bands preformed were very elaborate with choreographed marching.  Each band had about 100 members that included the musicians and dancers. 


The culmination of the holiday was the fireworks.  We all gathered on the boats at the yacht club where we had front row seats for the fireworks.  These were the best fireworks we have ever seen.  The show was well planned with some types of displays that we have never seen before.  The finale included many different bursts that were all the same color.  Very spectacular.  We were very lucky to have Janet and Rhonda invite us to their club.  We understand that many of the guest boats made their reservation at the yacht club as early as the previous February.


Our departure from Bristol was delayed one day to repair a generator wire.  That evening John got to race with Janet and her friend Will on Will’s boat.


Before leaving Narragansett Sound we stopped in Newport where we anchored to the south of the harbor.  We took the water taxi into town for afternoon. 




The next day we motor sailed to Cuttyhunk where we picked up a mooring in the inner harbor.  The mooring are very close – we must have had 10 feet bow to stern to the next boat.  The island is very remote, and very picturesque with mostly summer homes and a small grocery store and a few small retail stores.  


Our next stop was Onset harbor which is on the western side of the C&D canal. Where we entered the C&D canal at the end of Buzzard’s Bay the wind and current were opposite and the waves suddenly became steep 6 foot high and close together. Fortunately that did not last long.  Onset is a nice stop over while you wait for weather.  Onset has a grocery store for provisioning and a pizza restaurant.


We timed our departure from Onset to travel with the current through the C&D Canal.  With the two knot current we made 7-8 knots through the canal.  Our next stop was Provincetown where we picked up a mooring.  Provincetown is always fun for people watching.





From Provincetown we crossed directly to the Isle of Shoals on the Maine New Hampshire border.  The crossing was uneventful except several whale sightings.


The Isle of Shoals is a group of small islands mostly uninhabited.  We picked up a mooring that was placed by the Portsmouth Yacht Club.  The main island has a religious retreat where they welcome boaters to their evening meal.  So for $15 dollars we had dinner at the “boaters” table in the corner of the main dinning room.


The following day we headed north flirting will fog all the way.  Fortunately the fog was not heavy.  We anchored that night at Cliff Island in Casco Bay.  Anchored near us were fellow Vermonter on Summer Slopes from Killington.


The next day we headed toward Penobscot Bay again flirting with the fog.  As we headed for Tenets Harbor the fog closed in, and we could not see anything.  We lined up at the center of the harbor entrance using the GPS and found the bell buoy located at the entrance.  As we entered the harbor the fog lifted, and we could see where we were going which was great as the harbor was filled with boats and what seemed like a million lobster pot buoys and every conceivable color. We had to anchor near the mouth of the harbor in about 30 feet of water not including the 10 foot tide.


The following day we anchored in Rockland Harbor which we used as our home base for the next six weeks that we were in Maine. 


Side Trips from Rockland (No matter where we sailed we saw schooners everywhere.)


Pulpit Harbor is a well protected harbor with a large rock outcropping guarding the entrance hence the name.  We spent two nights here.  There is a grocery store within reasonable walking distance.


SSCA Gam (Seven Seas Cruising Association meeting) in Isleboro included a pot luck dinner and speakers on weather and anchoring.  Of course the night before the meeting we had a dinghy raft up sharing food.


We spent three days at Northeast Harbor on Mount Desert Island where we had a wonderful visit with Jack and Ruthie at their camp.  The first night we had lobster at the camp. We went sightseeing on the island including a ride to the top of Cadillac Mountain.  We went to Reel Pizza for dinner and a movie (the pizza is served in the movie theater). On the last day of our visit we went to the park’s famous restaurant for popovers and tea (tea is the tradition but we had café latte).


While in northeast harbor we met the couple who purchased our old boat, our 31 foot Island Packet. What a small world!


Back in Rockland, Nile and Linda came for a visit.  We traveled to Warren Island state park where we picked up a mooring (free) and explored the island.   We returned the next day so we could go to the Rockland boat show.  We had no fog this weekend much to Nile’s disappointment.


While in Rockland Harbor we anchor near Sam and Carolyn of Melaka II from whom we purchased Island Time. It’s truly a small world in boating.  


Belfast is a very nice town with limited groceries, small shops and restaurants.


Labor Day weekend we had a visit from our granddaughter, daughter and her boyfriend.  We took a sail up to Camden where we picked up a mooring.  We took a water taxi into town.  Things were hoping in town as the schooner fest was happening and many of the local schooners were in the harbor.  We had a great lobster dinner before returning to the boat.  Back in Rockland we had a birthday party for my granddaughter, Sophie, who was two.   


After Labor Day weekend the boating activity stopped.  The anchorages were empty, the docks are empty.  Must be time to head south.      







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Second Trip South - Fall 2006 Jan. 7, 2007


Cape Cod

We waited in Rockland Maine for some reasonable weather.  There were two hurricanes off shore kicking up swells and a coastal low along the MA coast creating overly windy conditions.  We finally left the following Monday.  We decided to head for the Cape Cod canal in one trip which involved an overnight.  The winds died on us as we headed south but the swells increased.  As we approached Cape Cod Bay the following morning the swells were 10-12 feet.    Tuesday morning motor-sailing through the bay we encountered whales again.  We had a whale off to the port so I turned to Starboard and yikes another whale to starboard so just turned back to original course and kept going.  We reached the Cape Cod canal about 30 minutes before the tide changed so Island Time and about 5 other boats were milling around to wait for the favorable current.  Once through the canal we again stayed at Onsett Beach over night. 


Bristol, RI

The following day we went to Bristol RI to visit Janet and Rhonda from the mighty vessel Promise.  We met Nile, Linda, Jay and Pricilla in Bristol and went to the Newport Boat show.  Always a great time.  Saturday we had dinner with Janet and Rhonda and the crew of Seaductress who Janet and Rhonda met in the Bahamas last winter.  Sunday we went to the boat show again this time by boat on Promise,   We picked up a mooring in the harbor and took the water taxi to the show.  Great fun.



The next day we headed for Stonington Harbor.  We hit fog, again!   We had to find the narrow channel between Fishers Island and Westerly by radar and GPS.  Just as we passed the channel markers the fog cleared and we easily found our way into the harbor, Seaductress came in later and anchored behind us as did Moonstruck (who we met in Rockland Harbor).  We were trying to make time so we did not venture into Stonington and left the next morning for Old Lyme, CT. 


Old Lyme

As with the trip north we stopped at Old Lyme Marina for a trip ashore to see friends and family in Connecticut. From Old Lyme we headed for Port Jefferson, NY.


Cape May

We stayed in Port Jeff waiting for a cold front to pass.  Our friends from Idunno were not there as they were already in Cape May.   We left Port Jeff at daybreak and headed toward NYC.  Abreast of City Island we met Seaductress and headed for Cape May via NYC together.   The timing for Hell’s Gate was perfect we had a fair current all the way to NY harbor.  For a while the western side of Roosevelt Island was closed as the UN was in session.  The East side of Roosevelt Island involves a drawbridge and I did not relish waiting for a bridge with a 4-5 knot current pushing the boat toward the bridge.  Fortunately we heard other boats on the radio who took the west side route without a problem (three patrol boats with mounted guns to keep you away from the UN).


Once we got to the Harbor we unfurled the sails and had a great 24 hour sail past the Statute of Liberty, under the Verazzano Narrows Bridge and on to Cape May, NJ.  Throughout the trip we checked out progress with Seaductress (it is nice to have a buddy boat).  We anchored in Cape May with Seaductress.  As happened last year we were anchored near Spellbound with Page and Jed (homeport Charlotte, VT).



We left Cape May the next day (at day break) for the trip up the Delaware.  We took the shore route around the Cape. (Always a little unnerving as one needs to go close to shore near the lighthouse.) (Our mast is too tall to go under the bridges in the Cape May canal.)   The current was fair – but no wind – but we made good time and made it through the C&D canal to the Sassafras River  We anchored about 3 miles up the Sassafras River.  We stayed two nights as a severe cold front was approaching.  We were lucky as the storm brought a tornado to the neighboring county. 


Our next stop was Back Creek in Eastport (Annapolis area).  Back Creek is tight will suspect holding.  We ended up anchored close to another boat and we were about to pull anchor and retry when the boat owner came on deck and said don’t worry about us – a miss is as good as a mile.  That was Jim on Seaduction II from Nova Scotia. Jim and Carol Ann are a great cruising couple.   Idunno came two days after we arrived and found a place to anchor.  We were planning to go to the boat show on Friday but another strong cold front came through with heavy winds and rain.  We had two anchors set but with the close proximity of the anchored boats to each other and to the docks, an anchor watch was in order.  We did not have a problem but several of the boats did drag and spent some time in the wind and rain to reset their anchors.  The wind started to diminish on Saturday so we were able to go to the SSCA gam where we met Pam and Bruce and Bob and Lorna from MBBC and Bob and Carol on Time Enough.     Dinner at Rich and Lynn’s capped off our stay in Annapolis.  We finally made it to the boat show on Sunday. And then to the break up of the show on Monday.  Of course our stay in Back Creek included all the mundane things like laundry, shopping and filling the propane bottle. Seaductress had motored through the anchorage before the storm but could not find a suitable spot so they went on further south.  Hopefully we will catch up with them further on.


Our next goal was to make New Bern, NC for the southbound cruisers meeting the last weekend in October.  So we left Monday morning and headed to the Solomon’s for one night and then headed to Mill Creek off Ingram Bay.  This is a very protected anchorage, and we planned to stay two days as another cold front was anticipated.   This time the forecast was wrong and we missed a great day for sailing, oh well.   Cruising is a small world, anchored next to us was Destiny who we had met last spring at Anchors Aweigh Boat yard in NC.  (They let us use their mooing in City Island).  From Mill Creek we headed for Norfolk, VA.


ICW to New Bern 

In Norfolk we anchored at the hospital point anchorage which happens to be at Mile 0 of the ICW.   In early evening the Coast Guard came along and said we were too close to the fireworks barge.  Fireworks??? As there was no wind, we were able to shorten scope to move us a little further from the barge – that seemed to satisfy them.  So we had a front row seat for the fireworks.  I never did learn the occasion for the fireworks.  After the fireworks we let our scope back out.


The next day we left heading south on the ICW we only had one lock, and about six draw bridges to traverse (most of the bridges were on a fixed schedule so we did a lot of waiting).  We decided not to go the Dismal Swamp route but go down the Virginia cut (we wanted to go the restaurant at Coinjock for the great prime rib dinner).  We had made reservations at the marina which was good as we were the last to arrive and we were at the end of the face dock half hanging off.  We decided to stay an extra day so John could replace the engine’s raw water pump that was leaking.  As boat projects go we ended up five days as he needed to order some parts.  There is little to do in Coinjock except for the restaurant.  The only entertainment is watching all the boats leave in the morning and watching all the boats come in the pm.  Getting on and off (especially) can be tricky as there is a fairly strong current through there at times.  Our timing was such that we arrived on Sunday and the next day was Monday – so called black Monday, as this is the day that all the large power boats (some 100 foot plus) arrive from the Annapolis power boat show. which was one week after the sail boat show – so what took us one week these behemoths did in one day.  I don’t know why the marina calls it black Monday when is should be green Monday.  These boats fill up will 2000 gallons of diesel per tank – yikes glad that’s not my bill.


We finally left Coinjock and only traveled ten miles to Back Creek just before Albemarle Sound.  The wind was fairly stiff across the shallow sound making short steep waves and with the wind on our nose the crossing would not be pleasant so waited one more day and had a nice sail across the sound (ended up a motor sail later in the day).  We anchored at the west end of the Pungo-Alligator River canal just before sunset.  The following day we headed for New Bern River where we anchored for the night just south of New Bern.  The following day we took a slip at the Bridge Pointe Marina where planned to stay for the Southbound Cruisers meeting (three day event) and afterwards for a quick trip home to Vermont.   We arrived at the marina one day earlier than planned as another cold front with high winds was anticipated. 


The meeting had some great speakers.  Skipper Bob spoke on cruising the Bahamas, Chris Parker from the Caribbean weather center was there, Dr. Bentley Smith (Catspaw) spoke on first aid items for your boat, there were also speakers on safety at sea and communications at sea.  We had a knot tying class and of co**** a pot luck.  Eileen Quinn provided music one evening.  We met a lot of cruisers we met during the last year – Moonstruck, Nice n Easy, Southern Cross, Scandia, and Idunno, and we met cruisers for the first time.


New Bern is very lovely little town with a historic center.  The waterfront has a beautiful park, there are many restaurants in town and an old fashion hardware store that has almost anything that one would need.  Our marina was very homey with very pleasant management.  We left the boat for 10 days while we went home.  Three plane changes to get from New Bern to Burlington.  So it was a long day.


New Bern, NC to Jacksonville, FL

After returning to New Bern we left for Beaufort, NC where we stayed in Town Creek (anchored next to a boat we met in Georgetown the Bahamas).  From Town Creek wee motored down the ICW to Mile Hammock (on Camp Lejeune).  The marines were doing night training so we had helicopters taking off right overhead (they had no lights on – I’m glad that our anchor light was working).  The following day we anchored in Wrightsville Beach where we planned to stay for several days as another strong cold front was approaching.  The current here is strong so usually we are turned with the current and not the wind.  We only hade one anchor out put we had placed our second anchor on deck in case we needed it.  The front was very strong with tornados in the area.  No one in the anchorage had any problems.  I can do without this type of weather!!!!. 


After the front went through we headed south to the Cape Fear River and to sea for an overnight to Charleston, SC where we stayed at the City Marina where we weathered another storm – this one from a low that developed off the Carolina coast with up to storm force winds 45 +.  In Charleston Harbor the winds were to approach gale force. After the storm we rented a car and went to Greenwood, SC to spend Thanksgiving with family.


We could not be south of Savannah, GA before December 1 (insurance restriction) so we left Charleston and continued down the ICW to Beaufort, SC  where we planned to wait a few days for both the calendar and the weather (another cold front).  Beaufort is a lovely southern town with a history that dates back before the Civil War.  We took a narrated horse drawn carriage ride through town – it was very interesting.    


The past couple times we started the boat the starter made a strange noise so John cleaned the contacts thinking that was the problem.


Finally, December 1st!   We left Beaufort and headed out to sea from Port Royal Sound for an overnight to Fernandina Beach, FL.  The wind was behind us so for the most part we had a downwind sail the entire way.  As we approached the St. Mary’s River inlet we went to start the engine and nothing happened!!!  After many futile attempts we called BoatUs to meet us the end of the jetties for a tow in.  The waves and the current were opposite at the inlet entrance and it was a little bouncy trying to attached the tow line that was thrown to us.  Finally after we attached the bridal we were towed in.  We’re glad we called for a tow as the current was so strong against us and the large wave chop it would have difficult to sail all the way into harbor.  The tow boat deposited us very gently at the marina dock in Fernandina Beach.  Boy am I glad we have a towing membership in BoatUs  - don’t leave home without it.   John put a new starter in (30 minute job) and the engine started right up. We could have done this at sea but with the rough conditions and at one step in the process we needed both of us, it would have taken longer than 30 minutes. We stayed in Fernandina Beach two days as this is one of favorite stops.   A nice little shopping district downtown and the post office is handy. 


Next and last stop is Bill Dye Marina in Jacksonville where we leave the boat for a month for our trip home for Christmas. 



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