Onward’s Cruise Journal 2014
New England Cruise

Updated: 25 Sep 2014

August 2014

1 Aug 14; Friday; Boston Harbor Islands to Boston Harbor

  • I was up early to do one more series of troubleshooting checks. The batteries were fully charged by the genset, the cables and connections were all checked, the system voltage was checked and was > 12.6 V at the input to the starter solenoid. I could see the V drop from > 12V to ~ 7V when the starter switch was activated and I could hear the solenoid switch noise. Just to be sure I physically shorted the solenoid terminals. The starter remained dead.
  • I had talked with Ed Burke and decided to check that the engine itself was not the problem due to the starter's pinion gear being stuck in the flywheel or, even worse, the cylinders had water in them. Using the fan belt and alternator hub, I was able to move the engine in both directions and hear valve & cam movement until the compression got to high. So, thank God, it wasn't the engine.
  • This brought back memories of how I would hand-crank the Yanmar YSM8 on my ODay 28 by tying a line to the compression valve actuator, holding the line in my teeth, and then spinning up the fly wheel. Opening my mouth at the right point allowed the compression valve to close and the engine would start (about 60% of the time). Not going to happen with the 4JH3-TE!
  • Finally convinced the problem was a fried starter, I called Tow Boat US and set a tow for 1000. The marina, Waterboat Marina, helpful and said they could provide a place on a face dock instead of a slip so Onward could be towed in. When the towboat arrived we weighted anchor and then took a tow line bridle to the bow. It proved to be an interesting way to enter Boston Harbor for the first time and I got a good look around as we were slowly brought in. Off the marina, the towboat changed to a hip tow an easily moved us into a spot on the face dock behind a large catamaran.
  • I confirmed with Steve's Shop, a local Yanmar service shop, that they would have a mechanic come by first thing Monday morning. With no more to do, we cleaned up and headed out to see historic Boston. Waterboat Marina is pricy (~$5 / ft) but is centrally located to the historic district. We walked about and visited Faneiul Hall. I was fascinated to read the history of how the hall came to be and the rather amazing story of its benefactor who, "condemned" to the life of a extremely rich bachelor heir who spent his life partying and traveling, gave the city of Boston the Hall to provide a place for public meetings, partied so hard at its dedication that he died a few days later. Wow!
  • We took a walking tour narrated by a young man in period costume along the Freedom Trail before calling it a day.

2 Aug 14; Saturday; Boston Harbor
  • On Saturday morning, we checked with the marina office to see if the new starter had arrived because UPS tracking info said it was out on the truck for early delivery. but no joy.
  • We headed off early and caught a ferry to the Charlestown Navy Yard to tour the Constitution. We were move clever than we knew because the ferry was uncrowded and there was no line to go aboard the Constitution. By the time we finished seeing the ship, we were astonished to find long lines cued up. We then walked over to the Bunker Hill Monument (on Breed's Hill??) and thence back across the Charles to S Boston. There we stumbled on the local Italian saint's feast day. So, we got to have some tasty sausage & pepper sandwiches for lunch. Peg decided to take me to Mike's for pastry but when we got there we found a line around the block so we tried the next best place across the street and found another long line. I finally decided that my health angel had decided I shouldn't follow up the italian sausage with a whipped cream pastry.
  • We walked back into town and checked at the Marina and still no starter. I got an update from UPS tracking that said an attempt to deliver had been made at the time Peg and I were standing at the marina office this morning. B.S.!!!! The package was rescheduled for delivery on Monday.
  • Peg and i got some things together in time to be picked up by Valerie and driven out to her lovely home in Andover. The house is huge and amazing seeming to go on forever with enough land to guild a condo development in the back field.

3 Aug 14; Sunday; Boston Harbor
  • We got a personal tour of Valerie's and Frank's newly purchased fitness center and we were both impressed with it. This was the gym that both Valerie and Frank used -- then one day they saw a notice it was closing down. Frank enquired why and found it was having financial problems. He decided to look at whether it was still viable enough to be revitalized if they bought it. A very good businessman, he did a thorough analysis and then they decided to buy it. Impressive! With an excellent physical plant, they are introducing management and staffing changes to put it back on a solid basis -- a work in progress.
  • Valerie drove us back to the marina in late afternoon.

4Aug 14; Monday; Boston Harbor
  • At 0630, Bruce from Steve's Shop arrived in his workboat. I had the access panel open in the galley cabinet and we were ready to go. To remove the starter, it was first necessary to remove one of the two steel support braces for a steel tubing section of the cooling water loop to the oil cooler. This strap occludes the bottom of the two bolts that attach the starter to the flywheel housing. It was very difficult to get a wrench and socket on the brace attachment bold because of its cramped location. I lay on the floor of the stern stateroom and stuck my left hand blindly into the area to locate the bolt and then help get the wrench and then socket on the head and hold it in place. Bruce operating somehow from the front of the engine was able to put torque on it and break it loose. Once this was out of the way, the two starter bolts were quickly removed using a socket, long extension, and swivel joint. The whole thing was out in bit over an hour.
  • The replacement starter hadn't arrived yet by UPS so Bruce began to pack up to go to his next appointment. Peg ran up to the office and retrieved the package as it arrived. I joyously opened the package only to see Bruce frown because it was not a direct replacement unit and would not mount to the engine properly. Baaahhhh! And after I had double checked it met the Yanmar and Hitachi part numbers.
  • Bruce said he had a local dealer he would try. We were in luck as they had a unit that he arranged to pick up that evening. He said he would return with it to install in the morning. If I had been able to locate this vendor, I wouldn't have had to order via the www.
  • We were a bit distraught with the idea of having to spend another day at > $250 due to this delay. Then we learned that a large motor yacht had reserved the space where we were so they would have to move us to one of their moorings. This was readily accomplished with their workboat.
  • Peg and I cleaned up the boat and ourselves, launched Venture, and headed off for a walk to S Boston for lunch.
  • There is a lot of ferry traffic using the main fairway of the Waterboat Marina and this made out position broadside to their travel on the face dock quite rolly. It was always necessary to hold on as one moved about because a wake could sweep in and throw one. It wasn't bad for sleeping or sitting. On the mooring, we found the motion much easier and had a restful night.

5 Aug 14; Tuesday; Boston to Cuttyhunk
  • At 0630, Bruce and his workboat showed up with the correct replacement starter. In less than 45 min, the new unit was installed and checked out. A properly working starter in now a beautiful sound to my ears! We thanked Bruce as he departed. Then we quickly straightened things up enough to be able to move. That done, we dropped the mooring and by ~ 1000 were on our way.
  • We were led out of the harbor and through the S channel by a ~160' motor yacht that had been berthed near our mooring. We were able to motorsail to the Cape Cod Canal where we encountered the current agains us. The good news was that there was no of the infamous Buzzards Bay chop to greet us at the W end. We made good time so we decided to press on to Cuttyhunk. We arrived just at sunset and I decided to try anchoring just N of the inner harbor jetty entrance where I'd seen numerous boats anchored. I'd attempted to anchor in the general area only once before a bit further N and found the holding poor then so I'd taken a mooring. This time I had no problem getting a good anchor set. I've learned that the Manson sets best and quickest when Onward has no forward motion or just a gently rearward motion with the rode deployed 2 to 3 times the depth until the wind and current begins to move it rearward and I can deploy the remainder of the scope. That's what I did today and got a very good set.
  • It had been a long but useful day. It was a huge relief to have the Yanmar back working normally. We were now in a good position to get to Stonington early so we could get things sorted out before our guests, Celia and Anthony arrived. So, we had cocktails, a comforting dinner, and slept the sleep of the relived and justly tired.

6 Aug 14; Wednesday; Cuttyhunk to Stonington
  • Onward was off with the pre-dawn light to move W in Block Island Sound before the SW winds picked up. We were able to motorsail W and the seas and winds were accommodating. We arrived off Stonington Harbor at about noon. I have sailed by this area many times since I started taking Onward to New England in the summer but I had never put into either Stonington or Watch Hill. I have a number of friends who keep their boats there but somehow I've aways been busy going somewhere else. So, the Corinthian Cruise was now providing the opportunity.
  • When Don Andrew called me to tell me he would not be able to do the cruise due to surgery, I was pleased to be able to host Celia and Anthony Mason from The Little Ships Club. I also said I'd take over any reservations he and the ever efficient Mary Kay had made as I'm never that efficient with reservations. Somehow, I got it in my head that there was a slip reservation at Dodson's. We arrived at just about dead low tide and as Onward approached Dodson's, the water was getting thiner as we got close to the marina. When I called, they said Onward had a mooring and I told them I though it was to be a slip. They said they did have one slip available at the end of the fairway next to the travel lift slip. As I was about to turn into the fairway, the depth got down to < 7' and the wind picked up. All I could envision was going into a shoaled fairway with a wind that would turn me broadside into disaster. So I whimpped out and headed out to the moorings. I called Sharon Bell who had previously offered me use of an open mooring near her boat. She like an angel still had the mooring available so within a few minutes Onward was happily on a mooring and Peg and I breathed a sigh of relief.
  • Peg and I went ashore to get haircuts. Peg found a salon via internet and I decided to just walk about to check out a couple I'd located via Maps.

7 Aug 14; Thursday; Stonington
  • Celia and Anthony confirmed they would arrive at Dodson's in their rental car about 1100 so at 1000, Peg and I dropped the mooring and headed in to get fuel and water hoping our guests would arrive while we were at the pier. We were just about to pull up to the fuel pier when they waived us off because there was another boat coming in first. I moved Onward out of the way. The boat coming in turned out to be maneuver-challenged as the first attempt dock was missed and I had to dodge as it went about for another try. That didn't go much better but it finally got tied up on a different section of the pier but in a way that prevented Onward from using the space on the adjacent section. So I held station in a 10-15 kts W wind while I waited. When the boat was finished I again had to dodge as it left the pier. When we finally got tied up, I felt like I'd worked a long day. We were just about finishing filling the water tanks when Celia and Anthony showed up. So we loaded them and their gear aboard and headed off to the mooring.

8 Aug 14; Friday; Stonington
  • Sharon provided us use of her car so we headed off to turn in the rental car and do some provisioning in Westerly. We returned after lunch and brought our booty back to Onward before we headed off

9 Aug 14; Saturday; Stonington to Coecles Harbor
  • We followed the Corinthians Great Flag out of the harbor and thence to the starting line of the race to Gardiners Bay. Unfortunately, the race start time was just after slack current and we soon had the building ebb current to contend with. I thought I was quite clever hugging the W shore of Fishers Island to get out of the stronger current but once Onward poked its nose out into turbulence at the SW corner of the island all our lead

10 Aug 14; Sunday; Coecles Harbor to Deering Harbor / SIYC

11 Aug 14; Monday; Deering Harbor to Block Island

12 Aug 14; Tuesday; Block Island to Dutch Island

13 Aug 14; Wednesday; Dutch Island Harbor to Newport

14 Aug 14; Thursday; Newport
  • It turns out what Celia had been noting down in that little notebook she carried with her was ideas for the ditty she was planning to write for the end-of-cruise dinner:

[To the tune of “Stormy Weather, boys”]

We all met up at Stonington
Where the Yankees forced the Britishers to cut and run
Stormy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind howls, Gadzooks will go.

At Coecles we partied, man, out of sight
Bill Kimble kept his generator running all night
Stormy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind’s light, Kindred will go.

Block Island came and we partied some more
And drank Margaritas at the Oar
Stormy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, Pangaea will go.

In thirty eight knots, Gadzooks won’t reef
Her crew are holding on by their teeth
Stormy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When the wind blows, we’ll go below.

It’s the end of the cruise and we’ve all had fun
We’ve etten some lobsters and drunk some rum
Stormy weather boys, stormy weather boys
When Corinthians call we all will come.

To the tune of “My Bonnie lies over the ocean”

The hosts with the most are Corinthians
We’d just like to say a big thanks
You’ve fed us and wined us and dined us
You guys are a great bunch of Yanks

Farewell Block Island
Farewell to foul tides in Gardiner’s Bay
Farewell great sunsets
We’re sad to be going away

We’ll go back to sailing in Blighty
In the wind and the storms and the rain
As we tack past the Island of Wight, we
Will wish we were with you again.

Farewell Corinthians
You’re wonderful people, we hope you know
We’re going to miss you
We’re terribly sorry to go

  • Bill Kimbell was the leader of the Corinthian songsters:
[to the tune of 3 Blind Mice]

The three colonies cruise
The three colonies cruise
See how we sail
See how we sail
We cruise with our friend from the little ships club
We race, we party
It's been lots of fun
The cruise is now ending so drink up your rum
The three colonies cruise 

15 Aug 14; Friday; Newport to Greenwich Cove

16 Aug 14; Saturday; Greenwich Cove
  • Peg and I took the launch in at 0800 and drove off to N NJ to attend her niece's wedding. It was wonderful to see Peg's children and their families and we had a great time together. The wedding was beautiful and the reception was over the top. The appetizer bar alone could have fully fed a wedding party twice the size of the ~230 that were there. Then this was followed by a wonderful dinner.

17 Aug 14; Sunday; Greenwich Cove
  • We were off for RI at 0800 after bidding farewell to Valerie and Frank. It was a pleasant drive and we stopped at Dave's Market to do pick up the things Laura had requested for the children. The market had been fully renovated and expanded since my last visit and it was quite an experience. We fund a lot of great things for our saying trip.
  • We got back aboard Onward and had time to stow all the shopping and finish prepare for our guests.
  • Laura, Kurlen, Elena and Kian showed up about 1930 in their car with diver from Logan. We quickly got the children into their lifejackets and soon all the baggage and family were on their way to Onward. It was exciting for me to have my two grandchildren aboard and a week of cruising to look forward to. Kian, 15-months old now, had to take a turn at the helm and liked it. He then moved on to the engine controls and found out how to make the pre-start buzzer sound. We had been clever enough to get prepared food from Dave's for dinner so we were able to have a nice relaxing evening.

18 Aug 14; Monday; Greenwich Cove to Cuttyhunk
  • While everyone but Peg was asleep, Onward got underway to Cuttyhunk. Laura soon got up to enjoy the early morning of a beautiful day. The children soon joined us and immediately enjoyed the ambiance of the boat.
  • We arrived at Cuttyhunk just after noon and enjoyed lunch in the cockpit after we picked up the mooring in the inner harbor. Soon we were Venturing off to explore the island and had a good walk about before returning to Onward. Kurlen ordered up oysters from the raw bar boat and we enjoyed a nice dinner aboard.

19 Aug 14; Tuesday; Cuttyhunk to Edgardown
  • I managed to get the troops moving early and we were Venturing ashore by 0830 where we set off on a grandpa-led forced march to the Fishermens Club for breakfast. Our efforts were rewarded by immediate access to a table and, as usual, a spectacular breakfast. I had great fun after breakfast by taking Kian out onto the great expanse of lawn and letting him loose to run around. What joy to see him explore his world.
  • Onward was underway by 1000 to Edgartown where we took a mooring. It was another spectacularly beautiful day and we made use of it by Venturing ashore. In Onward's sojourns between Maine and the Bahamas, I get to encounter a lot of dinghy docks and a lot of them crowded. However, the dinghy dock at Edgartown has the prize for the most inadequate and most crowded dock of them all. It is about 20% of the needed size for the number of moorings in the harbor and many of the folks who keep boats there insist on using very short painters AND they tilt the outboards out to make approach a hazard. I took more that 15 min to get Venture to a point where it was safe for the children to get off.
  • We had a nice walk about town and finished it off with dinner at the same restaurant where Joseph and I ate on Onward's first visit in 2007. The children were wonderful and we had a very pleasant dinner.

20 Aug 14; Wednesday; Edgartown to Oak Bluffs
  • We had a lazy morning on the mooring and decided to anchor off the outer beach for lunch. On the way out, we went by the C470 I'd seen last night when passing in the dinghy but there didn't seem to be anyone aboard.
  • We anchored off the beach and the California contingent went swimming. I didn't design the arch for swinging but Elena decided the dingy falls were perfect for her. She spent a lot of time with her dad swing and jumping. What great fun for a 4 year old. We had lunch and had intended to spend the night but when the wind came up and shifted, I began to worry about an unoccupied boat nearby might drag across our anchor chain. I let out more scope and then motored free and picked of the anchor.
  • We decided to sail over to Oak Bluffs and had a pleasant time doing so. I anchored off the beach with the intention of Venturing into the inner harbor and exploring town. However, the wind being in the NE at > 12 kts made this too uncomfortable. I picked up anchor and took Onward into the inner harbor where we found a mooring with two other sailboats on it. They were very accommodating and helped us raft up.
  • Elena wanted to explore the beach so we quickly launched Venture and headed over to the inner beach. As we approached the shore, Laura noticed water in the dinghy and I turned to check the drain plug and found it gone! We quickly beached Venture and while the children went to play on the beach, I tried to fix the problem. Somehow, the plug which had been in place when I loaded the beach gear had gone walkabout and was nowhere to be found. A retired coastguard officer and his family were on the beach and he found an old plug in his dinghy that I wrapped a cloth around and with his help wedged into the drain hole.
  • Elena had a ball because there was so much tiny sea life on that beach: crabs, hermit crabs, minnows. We had a tough time prying them off the beach to return to Onward as sunset approached. Once aboard, Laura and Kurlen said they would forego going ashore to see the illumination of the gingerbread cottages and just enjoy hanging out. We had dinner and then we had a game of Farkle. Everyone played. Elena played for herself and Kian took great joy in and was very skillful at rolling his dad's dice. It was an absolutely perfect cruising evening.

21 Aug 14; Thursday; Oak Bluffs to Greenwich Cove
  • I was up at 0500 to get Onward ready for a departure as soon as there was enough pre-dawn light to see the way through the breakwater. By 0540 we were ready to let go the lines which was a bit tricky. The wind had backed to the N and the bowsprit of a powerboat was too close for me to bing up the dingy! I had to power forward a bit and take in the bow line to get enough clearance. Charile appeared on the deck of his boat to lend a hand and we were soon off on the return trip the EGYC.
  • It was a good day for traveling. Both children were engrossed with watching islands and boats go by. Kurlen had just gotten iMovie for his iPhone and was soon busy weaving photos and video clips into a fantastic vacation video. It was fun just to see how delighted he was with his creation.
  • We passed Newport about 1230 and headed to EGYC. When we got to Godard Park, Grandpa had to anchor the boat so Elena could swing from the arch! She really enjoyed this and Kian enjoyed watching big sister.
  • Onward was back on an EGYC mooring by 1500. Laura and Kurlen got busy organizing stuff for their early departure in the morning. It was then time to clean up everybody and take the launch in to make a 1730 dinner reservation at Pal's. Laura and I had invited all of our RI family that could make to to meet us at Pal's to meet the youngest members of the Rocchio clan and to have dinner. The restaurant was fantastic and gave us our own private room and dedicated waitress. It was absolutely heartwarming for me to watch the meaning of family in action: people who may see each other infrequently or be new to each other just blending together in a seamless way so that an outside observer would think they all lived together on a daily basis. In a similar way, Peg reveled in the togetherness and I happy to watch her enjoyment of the extended family.
  • Needless to say Kian and Elena were the stars of the show and absolutely ate up the attention lavished on them. What great fun! What a great way to close a wonderful week of having Laura, Kurlen, Elena, and Kian with me. Only having Joahna, Joseph and Erin there could have improved on it.

22 Aug 14; Friday; Greenwich Cove
  • At 0730, Peg and I brought Onward into the pier and by 0845 all the gear and children had been secured in the SUV for the drive to Logan. It worked smoothly. But it was with a growing hole in my heart that we saw them safely off to return to LA.
  • Peg and I filled the water tanks and did a pump out before returning to the mooring. By about 1000, we had Onward pretty well organized and I decided to take a nap. Well, I'd nap for a while and then wake feeling guilty for leaving Peg alone only to find her zonked out so I'd go back to sleep. She would do the same. So this lasted till 1700 when Kathy called to say they were coming to pick us up to go out for pizza.
  • We drove to "The Hill" to their favorite pizza place, Caserta's, Well (over) fed, we then headed out to BJ's for shopping. It seems that since my visit last year, they have moved their shopping spree from after church on Sundays to Friday nights so they could have Sundays to relax. I was surprised to see how few shoppers there were on Friday night -- remembering back a long way to when that had been the busiest night at the food market I bagged at. Peg and I joined in and got the few things we needed to round out Onward's stores.

23 Aug 14; Saturday; Greenwich Cove to Bristol
  • We had a lazy morning and then I received a call from Bill Kimbell. He and Kiran had taken Nautilus out to Nantucket after the Corinthian Cruise and were now coming up the Sakonnet River. He wanted to stay out another night and figured Peg and I would be crazy enough to meet them somewhere in the Bay with no notice. Of course, he was right. We dropped the mooring and headed over toward Bristol.
  • We got to watch the end of some classic Herreshoff sailboat races. I anchored off the Herreshoff Museum and Nautilus rafted up. We then had a delightful extended cocktail hour before cooking pork loins on the grill. We finished up with a game of Farkle. Somehow Bill finds the rules of this game a challenge. I'm going to have to make a wrist band for him.

24 Aug 14; Sunday; Greenwich Cove
  • We had a lazy morning. Bill joined me for an Onward omelet before they had to peel off and head back to EGYC. Peg and I then Ventured into the Museum where we had a great time. Each time I visit this museum, I become aware of yet another facet of the amazing man: Nathaniel Brown Herreshoff. This time both Peg and I were fascinated by hearing of his innovations in series manufacturing and production from one of the folks building the 1/6th scale model of the Resolute, the America's Cup defender built to the 90' rule.
  • After the museum, we Ventured into downtown Bristol where we found dinghy docks were hard to come by. We did manage to find a place and then made room for a big runabout with a nice family aboard who then tied Venture off to them. We took a walk about town and stopped for a beer before returning to the dock where the boat we were tied to was just leaving.
  • Onward headed back to EGYC.

25 Aug 14; Monday; Greenwich Cove
  • Today I designated Fischer-Panda Generator Day. After returning from the cruise with Laura and family, we had run the generator only to have it shut itself down for a temperature fault. We hadn't needed to run it so I put off fixing it unit I could have sufficient time to both dig out the generator for maintenance access and the equipment I'd need to do this. Once i got the sound cover of the genset off, the source of the problem was clear: the fan belt had disintegrated.

26 Aug 14; Tuesday; Greenwich Cove

27 Aug 14; Wednesday; Greenwich Cove
  • I finally got up the energy to crawl back into the stern locker to stow the gear I took out to service the generator. I took some of the old dock lines that I'd been carrying and used them to wrap the tubing of the arch where Venture comes in contact when raised. This looks to be a good solution for chafe and noise. I taped the wraps in position and will whip them and fasten in place permanently after I try it out on the way to Nantucket.
  • Peg & I took Onward in for fuel, water and pump out in preparation for departure tomorrow if Hurricane Cristobal goes East as forecast. Once back at the mooring, I took care of another roundtuit: the 1/2" SS bolt for the bow roller that had gotten bent when the old roller failed. I took it ashore to the ramp area where I found a good block of granite to use as an anvil and proceeded to beat it straight with a hammer. It worked and provided good stress relief at the same time.

28 Aug 14; Thursday; Greenwich Cove to Nantucket
  • I was up and moving at 0530 to check on the weather. I wanted to be sure Cristobal made his forecast right turn to the E and away from Onward. He did during the night. The weather looked good with only some potentially bothering large swells: 5 - 8' but with a long 12 sec period that should be no problem. Onward was underway at 0700 and passed Castle Hill at 0830. We found the swells to be no problem -- actually be quite pleasant. However their interaction with the off-shore reef at Brenton Point made for spectacular rollers.
  • With the wind 15 to 20 kts apparent from the N, we had a great sail towards Vineyard Sound doing > 8 kts at some points. However, this idle did not last and by the time we got to Buzzards Bay light tower, we were down to 6+ kts as the wind clocked and diminished. We had done well enough that we decided to press on to Nantucket. By the time we got to W Chop, we had the current against us and were down to < 4 kts under power! But our ETA was still before dark so we pressed on as I felt I was familiar enough with the inlet and harbor I would be able to do it after dark of necessary.
  • It was necessary. The sun set behind a cloud layer at 1920 and by 2000, as we approached the inlet jetty, it was DARK! I pulled aside to allow the ferry Great Point to enter. Onward was in the inlet channel when I discovered the ferry Nantucket was exiting so I did a 180º and moved aside outside the mouth of the inlet until it passed. I had not realized that in spite of the heavy ferry traffic, this inlet has very few lighted buoys. In the pitch dark, I had to rely on radar and the chartplotter to navigate because there was such little visual info to use. Peg kept busy shining the light on the unlit buoys as we approached. About half-way, the fast ferry Ianough caught up with us and I moved to the edge of the red side for it to pass. Such fun!
  • The anchorage was busy with several large vessels anchored near Onward's usual anchor spots. I navigated by radar around them and the huge rusty ball float to drop anchor on the outer spot about half way between the big ball and R2 at First Point. My practice of marking previous anchorages proves its worth at times like this. Once we were safely anchored, we crashed. Eventually we got up enough energy for a drink and dinner from the freezer.
  • Peg & I are going to do an after action review on this entry. In spite of my familiarity with the inlet, I was not properly mentally prepared and did not have some of the right equipment ready. For example, the neat solar light I use to mark the sides of the dodger at anchor gave too much glare to be in use when navigating in the dark. I may also rig my backup LED flood light so it can be mounted on the bow pulpit and turned on from the cockpit to light up those pesky unlighted buoys on nights like this.

29 Aug 14; Friday; Nantucket
  • A perfect Nantucket Day greeted us: clear, sunny, light wind, warm with a cool breeze. After breakfast I worked on catching up on life's paperwork.
  • We Ventured into town at 1100 with the intentions of going on a walking tour. When we reached the Whaling Museum, we found that we were 15 min late and missed the tour. Left on our own, we wandered about, had lunch, and explored the town on foot. At 1730 we went to a free outdoor concert at the small park they built over the last couple of years on the corner between Murray's and Bank of America. The group included fiddle, bass, mandoline, and guitar and performed folk and irish pieces. Very enjoyable but the audience was < 20 folks. Too bad for those who missed.
  • We then headed off to the Atheneum where at 1900 there was another free concert with a local vocalist and a pianist - vocalist doing jazz and show tunes from the 30's to 50's. An excellent concert in a beautiful venue. Our cultural bins full, we headed back to Onward with a stop at the Stop & Shop for a rotisserie chicken. We concluded the evening with a relaxing dinner aboard.

30 Aug 14; Saturday; Nantucket
  • Another perfect Nantucket Day! More catching up and then, at 1100 we Ventured forth to explore the E end of the harbor. In 2007, I explored to ~ 5th point before turning about because my dinghy at the time had an inflatable floor that didn't make for comfortable riding over long distances. Since then, I'd not Ventured beyond 1st point. We explored the N shore and eventually got down to the very E end of the harbor where the shellfish farms are. There is a lot of empty beach along this shore with a very few homes.
  • We put into the pier at the Winoma Inn and found a beautiful facility that includes Toppers, an upscale restaurant and bar. This is the place I've often seen the launch Winoma Lady passing by for. The outside dining patio is beautiful. We found that the restaurant was booked solid (not a surprise on Labor Day Weekend) but we were able to find seats at the bar where Peg & I enjoyed drinks as we really weren't hungry.
  • On the trip back, we Ventured into Pulpis harbor which is surprisingly large with a large number of small boats. There appeared to be a couple of place where it might be possible to beach the dinghy and visit ashore.
  • Once back aboard, we got to be in the center of a sailboat race as it concluded with boats tacking around Onward on the way to the finish. I decided to try out the new Hyperlapse lapsed-time video app that I just downloaded. As a test, I caught a few boats as they passed and then converted the video to lapsed time. What fun! Neat!
  • After an afternoon nap and showers, we were enlivened and headed off to town. Peg wanted to take me to the Beach Club at Jetties Beach where, in the 90s she had taken her family to spend quiet afternoons at the beach and enjoy the casual restaurant. Well, things change. The road to the beach which had been lined with dunes was now lined with $1M homes only a few feet above sea level. The casual restaurant is now an upscale beach bar where we found that even the bar had reservations. We were able to find a table in a corner where we enjoyed drinks and appetizers before we walked back into town to go to the theater.
  • The White Heron Theater is a resident repertory company operating out of a large tent. We talked to the Director and learned it was in its second successful year. She and her husband own the property and my build a permanent theater structure if they can score some arts grants. The company puts on a rotating series of 4 plays. We were there to see Miracle on Division Street, a Catholic - Jewish comedy. Great fun. Great acting. A reminder of how much enjoyment we get out of these small theater companies.

31 Aug 14; Sunday; Nantucket
  • A grey day today. But we have had such good weather this year there is no complaint. I continued to work on catch-up while Peg read. At 1300, the sun came out and we headed in to greet Ed Brown and Nancy Yanofsky as they arrived by ferry. For several years now, I have been ending Onward's New England cruise with a stop at Nantucket before heading S. Things have worked out so that I've arrived aboard Onward before Ed & Nancy have by ferry to start their annual vacation here. So, a kind of tradition has arisen where I greet them with a bottle of Proseco as they drive off the ferry.
  • We were there in time to see the ferry enter the harbor and I decided to use my new Hyperlapse app toy to capture their arrival. It worked quite well. What great fun it is to be able to to time-lapse videos se easily. This technique makes even humdrum events look neat and humorous. Neat!
  • Ed managed to find a parking spot nearby (the man is blessed) and we walked off to find someplace for lunch. After missing out by minutes at two restaurants who were closing, we stumbled on BBQ restaurant where it turns out one of Nancy's relatives had sold them their smoker oven. We managed to have a good chat over lunch. I was sadden to learn that that friends Mark and Mary would not be on island this year due to Mary's illness. Having a jovial dinner with them had been part of the annual ritual for these Nantucket visits.
  • Nancy lectured me about not keeping up this journal. I, of course, being a guy, could not take responsibility for my actions so I promptly blamed it on Peg -- because she keeps me too busy doing other things. Then Ed & Nancy had to take off to their house which they will be taking over from her sister when they leave tomorrow.
  • Peg and I had a nice walk exploring some of the off-beat roads in town. This is great fun because every block offers unexpected beauty. I have been taking a series of photos all summer of beautiful flower boxes that I've encountered as I've walked about New England. On this street, we found one flower box more beautiful than the next all along the way. I made plans to come back before noon on a sunny day so I can capture them in their full sunlit glory. Our exploration done, we headed back to Onward for a quiet night of reading.