"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

June 30, 2013

June 29 - Warwick, RI

Wharf Marina

Not a very exciting day today...we woke again to fog and drizzle. We spent most of the day getting work done on the boat. I defrosted the freezer this morning before we picked up the rental car. Stan worked in the engine room this afternoon changing the oil and engine filters.

We did check out the area a little around lunch. After we picked the car up we drove over to East Greenwich, which is the wealthiest municipality within the state of Rhode Island. It's located on a small cove with nice homes, little boutiques and a lot of restaurants. We wandered around a little and had lunch at a place called Ed's Roost. We wanted a good hamburger and this was the perfect place…a small, very local little diner on the main street.

The sun did come out for awhile this afternoon but we were too busy getting things done on the boat to really notice. The marina is in a very quiet protected cove...we only saw a few people on the dock all day. The exciting end to our day was dinner onboard and a little TV. No exciting ports of call or exploring for us today.

Ed's Roost...a funky little diner time has forgotten. Felt like we stepped back in time 

June 29, 2013

June 28 - Warwick, RI

Wharf Marina

We woke up to fog again this morning and then a small storm moved through our area…definitely not a pretty morning. We have a 60% chance of rain for the next three days, so we decided to give up on seeing any other ports in Rhode Island for now and take the boat to Warwick. This is where we'll leave it when we fly home next Monday.

We plan to rent a car for the weekend so we can see a few sights and run a few errands. We also want to go look at a boat that is for sale close by...not seriously looking for a new boat yet, but just getting ideas.

Our trip this morning to Warwick was in the fog. It wasn't too bad as we left Newport, but it got thicker as we crossed Narragansett Bay to Warwick. Visibility was down to about 1/4 mile...not too bad and it gave Stan a chance to play with our new radar. It was a good experience and practice for when we get to Maine.

We went by three lighthouses...this is the only one I could even make out. Rose Island Lighthouse
Luckily this ship was anchored when we came by.

June 28, 2013

June 27 - Newport, RI

Newport Yachting Center (Mooring)

We spent an extra day in Newport because the fog rolled in this morning and basically stayed all day. It did lighten up a little this afternoon, so we took the dinghy into town and spent a little time walking around. The next three or four days don't look good weather wise...back to the rainy dreary weather. Last week was the first week since we returned to the boat in February that we haven't gotten rain...everyone in this area was hoping summer had finally arrived.

We have friends in Canada this summer, doing the same trip we did last year. They were lucky they made it through the Erie Canal when they did. It was closed because of high water while they were in it...they were trapped between locks until the water went down. It's been closed again for over two weeks, this time because of high water and damage from debris to a lock gate. New York has gotten a LOT of rain this year. We know there are a lot of boats just sitting and waiting for things to improve...essentially trapped until it does! I'm glad we did that trip last year...I don't like the rain we've had, but it could be worse.

Just two of the many mega yachts docked in Newport
Today wasn't a picture friendly day, so I'm using a few I took when we were here in 2009. This sculpture is near the waterfront in Newport, it's called The Wave. I tried in 2009 and again today to find out more about it...no luck
Trinity Church – the parish was founded 1698 and this building has been in use since 1726. It features the only three-tiered, center aisle wine glass pulpit in America and has Tiffany stained glass windows. 
A lot of the buildings in Newport were built in the 1700 & 1800's.
One of my favorite lighthouse pictures. This is the Castle Hill Lighthouse near Newport.

June 27, 2013

June 26 - Newport, RI

Newport Yachting Center (Mooring)

We got up early...very early. Which isn't that hard here when the sunrise is at 5:00. We wanted to get through the inlet before the tide started coming in. The current was running pretty fast through there yesterday and made it very difficult. Getting an early start also meant we'd have more time to spend in Newport. We were in the harbor picking up a mooring ball by 8:30. Newport is full of boats...boats everywhere. We've never seen so many mega yachts in one place. Many are boats we've seen in other places.

We spent a week in Newport about four years ago when we were here for the boat show. It's one of our favorite places, full of history and wonderful old buildings...and boats. We spent the morning walking along the waterfront enjoying the sites and then had lunch at the Red Parrot. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the boat and then went back to town to pick up a few lobsters for dinner. The Aquidneck Lobster Company has wonderful prices and they will also steam them for you. Our friends in Branford told us we should ask for the cull lobsters (one’s that have a small claw or a missing claw) they are usually a lot cheaper per pound than the others…$6 a pound didn’t seem bad to us. We had a wonderful lobster dinner onboard with a beautiful sunset as a backdrop…I think we could get use to life in New England.

Fort Adams on the point coming into Newport
Banisters Wharf 
Our wonderful lobster dinner 
Our beautiful sunset 

June 26, 2013

June 25 - Point Judith, RI

Smelt Brook Cove - Anchorage 

Yesterday was such a hot day and today was supposed to be the same, but it didn't seem that way since we were on the water. I can see why people on the east coast like going to the shore when it's hot...it was at least ten degrees cooler for us today. Even our anchorage was comfortable since we had a gentle breeze coming in from the sound. 

We are anchored in a place called Point Judith Pond in front of a summer camp. We could see the kids kayaking, hear laughter and singing and smell their campfire this evening. The small towns of Jerusalem and Galilee line the shore on either side of the inlet...they are fishing villages that also have nice beaches, that were very busy today. It's a very peaceful quiet anchorage...very relaxing, after a few hours on a sound full of ocean swells. Travel from now on is in open waters, nothing between us and the Atlantic Ocean. Even on calm days the swells can be large. Tomorrow will be a short day as we move on to New Port. 

Watch Hill Lighthouse

One of the many fishing boats going through the inlet the same time we were.
One of the beaches at Point Judith

June 25, 2013

June 24 - Mystic, CT

Brewers Yacht Yard

We spent the day at the Mystic Seaport; it was like stepping back in history 200 years. The Mystic Seaport is the nation's leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929. It’s a living history museum consisting of a village, ships and 17 acres of exhibits depicting coastal life in New England in the 19th century. The Seaport is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. The buildings used to recreate the village are actual trade shops and businesses from the 1800s that were transported to Mystic Seaport from locations around New England. Each full of history of it’s own and items that would have been found in them during that time.

We were able to board several ships and see what life was like for the sailors on board. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have wanted to go to sea in that day. The living space was much smaller than what we have on our boat, plus no bathroom facilities. Can you imagine the smell...dirty men and dead fish! Life on the sea is much easier today. The Charles W. Morgan has been under going major renovations since 2008 and will be returned to the water next month. Visitors can still board the boat and see what life was like on a whaleship, but today they were moving the boat in preparation for the launch, so it was closed to the public. If you are in this area of Connecticut, this is a must do.

The Joseph Conrad built in 1882
The Seaport general store
One of the streets in the Seaport village
The Shipsmith Shop, the Chandlery and the Ropewalk buildings.
Stan on the deck of L.A. Dunton a fishing schooner built in 1921.
A special display today was a collection of steam powdered automobiles. Stan said it was a Stanley Steamer day...since we got to see these cars and because it was a very hot and humid day. First hot day this summer here in New England.

June 24, 2013

June 23 - Mystic, CT

Brewers Yacht Yard

Today was a down day, a lazy Sunday...well maybe not too lazy. I finally had a chance to do laundry, first time since Great Bridge 29 days ago! You really can't appreciate how wonderful it is to have everything clean unless you've lived without a washer and dryer for awhile. I never gave it much thought when I had the luxury of throwing a load in anytime I wanted. We also rode our bikes to the grocery store and picked up a few things. The rest of the afternoon we just relaxed and watched the boats and trains go by. Our other big outing was riding back into Mystic for dinner at the Pizzetta. It was a pretty laid back day.

There are lighthouses everywhere in Long Island Sound and New England. Since leaving New York City we've seen 4-5 a day. Sometimes they are too far away to get a decent picture, but sometimes we go past ones that would be hard for the non-boater to see. I didn't take pictures of all the lighthouses we saw in the beginning of our travels...unfortunately. I’m trying to keep track of them better this year. I think we're up to 98 now. It would take up too much space on this blog to post a picture of everyone we see, but I do have them in an online album if anyone is interested. Here is the link to my Lighthouse album.

North Dumpling Lighthouse built in 1871, located in Long Island Sound on Fisher Island, NY
Latimer Reef Lighthouse built in 1884, located in Fisher Island Sound, NY
Stonington Harbor Lighthouse built in 1840, located in Stonington, CT 

June 23, 2013

June 22 - Mystic, CT

Brewers Yacht Yard

We survived another night anchored in Stonington Harbor. We're either getting used to the rocking or the boat traffic and wind have improved, because we both slept better. This morning we went into town to their farmers market, nothing fancy or entertaining at this market...just wonderful fresh fruits and veggies. We picked up lettuce, strawberries, baby squash, pesto and scallops, which all went into making a great dinner tonight.

Our original plan was to stay in this anchorage and explore Mystic on our bikes, but it's just too rough to get our bikes into the dinghy. So after the market we moved the boat the seven miles back to Mystic. Staying at a marina will give us a chance to get a few things done…like laundry and washing the boat. This afternoon we wandered around this charming little town, mainly looking in a few shops and watching people and boats. Stan even got a haircut. We'll spend the next few days exploring this historic old seaport that was established in 1654.

Our bountiful harvest!
Views of Noank as we cruised by on our way to Mystic
Mystic River looking towards the Old Seaport
We took our dinghy up the river to look at the Mystic Seaport from the water. The Mystic Seaport Lighthouse is a small wooden lighthouse at the westernmost point of the Seaport, two miles upriver from Noank, was constructed in 1966 but has never been an official aid to navigation. Rather, it is a replica of the current Brant Point Lighthouse in Nantucket that was built in 1901. 
Joseph Conrad is an iron-hulled sailing ship, originally launched as Georg Stage in 1882 and used to train sailors in Denmark. After sailing around the world as a private yacht in 1934 she served as a training ship in the United States, and is now a museum ship at the Mystic Seaport. 

June 22, 2013

June 21 - Stonington, CT

Stonington Harbor - Anchorage

The rocking settled down some late last night, but began again early this morning. We felt like we were sitting in rocking chairs on a porch while we had our coffee on the deck. During one of the lull times we put the dinghy down and went into Stonyington. This little town has the distinction of being the only town in Connecticut to fight off the British in two wars. Shipbuilding, sealing and whaling were busy businesses here in the 1800s and it still has the largest commercial fishing fleet in Connecticut.

First we wandered down to the tip of the peninsula to the Stonington Lighthouse and beach. They charge you to walk on the beach here, so we walked along the rocks...looking for sea glass. Later we walked along their main street and looked through some of their little shops and found out where the farmers market will be tomorrow. Our last stop was at the Dog Watch Cafe for lunch, a nice spot over looking the marina, with wonderful lobster bisque.

Since today was the first day of summer we thought we should celebrate by spending a little time at the beach. We took the dinghy out to Napatree Beach close to the cute town of Watch Hill, RI. The water on the bay side looked like coffee, but once we walked across the sand dunes we were treated to beautiful clear aqua green water. The only thing between this beach and the Atlantic Ocean is Block Island. We spent a couple of hours strolling along the beach...I even found some nice pieces of sea glass.

It's a lot quicker getting to places in our dinghy so we also explored the little beach town of Watch Hill. It looks like your typical little New England beach town...quaint buildings and shops along a pretty little cove full of boats.
The flowers are blooming everywhere right now
Water Street in Stonington
Lobster and fishing boats docked in Stonington
Stan walking over the dunes to the beach
Looking back at the bay beach towards Stonington
Napatree Beach looking towards Watch Hill
The Flying Horse Carousel - It may or may not be the oldest carousel in the nation, but it is certainly the oldest of its type ("in which the horses are suspended from a center frame"). The carousel is believed to have been built 1861. It was part of a traveling carnival until 1879 when the carnival was forced to abandon the carousel in Watch Hill. Unlike most carousels, there is no wooden platform to support the horses but rather, they are suspended from chains. As a result, the horses seem to "fly" as the ride increases speed, hence the carousel's name. Each horse has a tail and mane of real horsehair and a genuine leather saddle. Children younger than 12 years old may ride. In the middle of the ride, a device holding metal rings is lowered for riders to grab as they pass. The last ring is brass, granting the "winner" a free ride token. 

June 21, 2013

June 20 - Stonington, CT

Stonington Harbor – Anchorage

The first part of our morning was very relaxing, enjoying our coffee on the deck anchored in our wonderful little cove. This is the type of place you picture in your mind when you think about cruising. It just doesn't get much better.

The morning became a little less relaxing when I decided to wash my hair. In order to use the blow drier we have to start the generator, our inverter just can't handle the blow drier. When Stan tried to start the generator nothing happened. It started last night with out an issue, but nothing today. He checked the starting battery and it seemed fine, he then spent an hour checking fuses, relays and wires...nothing. He went back to the battery and checked the voltage when we tried starting the generator. That's when he noticed the battery showed it had voltage until he put a load on it...then it dropped to nothing. Easy fix...all we need is a new battery. This morning shows you really never get to totally relax when you live on a boat.

We decided to move out of the river and further up the Connecticut coast today. We anchored near Noank to have lunch at Abbott's Lobster in the Rough and buy a new battery. Noank is close to Mystic and there were boats everywhere. Abbott's is known for their lobsters, prices are more reasonable since it's just a little place with picnic tables. The place isn't fancy, but it overlooks the water and it was a great day to sit outside. We both had a lobster roll...very good but still a little pricey on our standards. I think we'll enjoy cooking our own lobsters better. That experience is still to come.

After lunch we moved a few miles up the coast to Stonington. We've heard this is a cute place to visit. We didn't get to our anchorage until after six so we haven't had a chance to check the town out yet. This isn't a very good anchorage...too exposed and a lot of rocking. Very uncomfortable. I think we'll have to find a better place tomorrow.

Leaving Hamburg Cove this morning.
A view of Noank from the dinghy
Abbott's Lobster in the Rough
Our view for lunch
The Morgan Point Lighthouse in Noank

June 20, 2013

June 19 - Essex, CT

Hamburg Cove Mooring

Now that we are officially in New England we are only moving short distances at a time, which means we have time in the mornings to be a little lazy and enjoy ourselves. The mornings are cool here; I usually need a long sleeve shirt to be able to sit outside for breakfast.

Today we moved up the Connecticut coast to the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River is the largest and longest river in New England. We stopped in North Cove by Saybrook and picked up a mooring while we waited for the in coming tide. This river has a strong current and fighting it even for 5 or 6 miles isn't worth it. This is the first completely sunny day we've had in weeks, no rain or chance of rain all day. While we waited for the tide we had a picnic lunch on the deck and enjoyed a beautiful summer day.

Around 3:15 we headed up the river to Essex. We are actually just past Essex in beautiful Hamburg Cove; surrounded by steep hills covered in trees and foliage...the smell of honeysuckle is amazing. One of the prettiest places we've been since the Rideau last summer.

As soon as we got things settled on the boat we took the dinghy and did a little exploring. First we went further into the cove to visit the Reynolds General Store in Hamburg. It's been run by the same family since it opened in 1859, a neat little place, now run by a nice lady that is a descendant of the original owners. Our next stop was across the river to Essex. A beautiful little town filled with buildings from the 1700-1800s. Although Essex is located on a river it has played an important role in maritime history. Over 500 ships have been built in Essex including the Oliver Cromwell, which was the US’s first man-of-war built in 1776. We wandered around awhile and then decided to go back to the boat for dinner. We wanted to enjoy our delightful cove. We sat outside and enjoyed the view, the cool temperature and visiting with a local that stopped by to greet us. Everyone we've met in Connecticut so far has been very nice and informative on where to go and things to see. I think we could spend all summer in Connecticut.

Two of the lighthouses we saw today. Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse in the front and Lynde Point Lighthouse in the back. Both located at the mouth of the Connecticut River.
Going up the Connecticut River
Going up the cove towards town
Cove Landing Marina in Hamburg Cove
H.L. Reynolds Co. General Store in Hamburg Cove
Hamburg Cove
Essex city dock and Connecticut River Museum
One of the old homes on Main Street in Essex