Onward’s Cruise Journal 2015
Chesapeake to New England


Updated: 11 August 2015

A Note to Readers: My sojourn in the hospital with a mystery bug and pneumonia got me off my stride with this journal. I am now trying to catch up


July 2015


1 Jul 15; Wednesday; Greenport to East Greenwich RI

  • A squall blew through in the early morning hours and by ~0800 it had cleared so we weighed anchor and headed toward RI. About ~1300 as we passed Point Judith and entered the West Passage of Narragansett Bay, we could see across to the East Passage and Watch Hill light where the start of the Transatlantic Race was ongoing. We could see the towering carbon fiber masts and sail dark agains the landmass. Fellow Corinthian, David Siwicki, is a partner in a Farr one-design in the race and he was aboard. It was fun to be "present" if from afar.
  • Entering Greenwich Bay is now a bit like going home. I vividly recall how it had been terra incognito when I first sailed Onward in at the start of the Saga in 2007 with good friends Ed & Tina Burke and Ron Draper with me. What a feeling it was, remembering as a boy how I had looked with yearning eyes on the boats sailing on this bay and now I was sailing my own yacht and home, home to where I grew up.
  • We were soon on a mooring at the East Greenwich Yacht Club. As we left Greenport, Peggy and I realized that we had both come down with a sever cold, almost a flu, that we had picked up somewhere along Long Island Sound. We were both sniffling, coughing, and very tired when we arrived. We just reported in to family and some friends and then spent the rest of the day wrapped up and sleeping.

2 Jul 15; Thursday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI
  • Our illnesses continued so we spent the entire day aboard mostly sleeping and resting.

3 Jul 15; Friday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

4 Jul 15; Saturday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI
  • Kathy and Andy picked us up and we headed out for niece Linda Fioli's house for the annual Rocchio family 4th of July cookout which also celebrates my late brother Bob's birthday. After doing a bit of shopping along the way we arrived at their beautiful home. The wonder of these events is that it allows me to see so many members of my extended family and do a bit a personal catch-up on their lives. Food as always was plentiful and the warmth of family palpable.

5 Jul 15; Sunday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

6 Jul 15; Monday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI
  • A lazy morning. In the afternoon we headed off to pick up our Enterprise rental car and ran some errands on the way back.

7 Jul 15; Tuesday; EGYC to Vermont
  • In the early morning we headed off to Vermont. Peggy had decided to redeploy some investment assets in real estate and bought a ski resort condominium that her children will use and rent. Today was closing day and we met her good friends Joan and Roger who were selling the unit for lunch before we went over for the closing. Peggy knows and trusts these friends so well there had been no need for inspections, etc. before the transaction.
  • That done, we went to see the place. As expected it was in wonderful condition with a beautiful view of the Mt. Snow ski trails. After settling in and getting a good introduction to the place by Joan and Roger, we headed off to have dinner with other friends of Peggy who had also once owned a condo in this development.

8 Jul 15; Wednesday; Vermont
  • Peggy and I spent the day continuing familiarization with the condo and making minor adjustments. She then did some furniture shopping in preparation to adapting it to her children's families needs.

9 Jul 15; Thursday; Vermont back to EGYC, East Greenwich RI

10 Jul 15; Friday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

11 Jul 15; Saturday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

12 Jul 15; Sunday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

13 Jul 15; Monday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

14 Jul 15; Tuesday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

15 Jul 15; Wednesday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

16 Jul 15; Thursday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

17 Jul 15; Friday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

18 Jul 15; Saturday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

19 Jul 15; Sunday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

20 Jul 15; Monday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

21 Jul 15; Tuesday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

22 Jul 15; Wednesday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

23 Jul 15; Thursday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

24 Jul 15; Friday; EGYC, East Greenwich RI

25 Jul 15; Saturday; East Greenwich to Dutch Island.
  • We departed EGYC about 1000 and had a very lazy sail in light airs across Greenwich Bay and then down the West Passage to Dutch Island where we anchored. We were soon joined by Summersault with Leslie and David Wollin. They were accompanied by Forever Young, another Catalina with friends who were participating in the cruise as prospective members. We invited them all over for drinks and we were soon joined by Nautilus. Bill and Kiran had left EGYC after us and zipped over to Fort Adams where they had rafted up with friends to enjoy one of the Newport Folk Festival concerts.
  • Nautilus provided a pork loin we added some marinated chicken and and we grilled dinner for all. A nice way it was to start the Corinthian Cruise.

26 Jul 15; Sunday; Dutch Island to Cuttyhunk
  • At 0700, we weighed anchor and our raft buddy, Nautilus was forced to make an early start. Once we rounded Brenton Reef, the seas were choppy in a brisk SW wind. Onward motorsailed on to Cuttyhunk — not a bad ride. Nautilus had problems with a bad windshield wiper that made the spray a pain. In spite of that Bill reached Cuttyhunk ahead of us and we were pleased to find a good number of open moorings in the basin. Onward had to make a rare second pass at picking up the mooring when on the first approach, a capricious wind gust had pushed the mooring post just out of Peggy's reach.
  • Peggy and I were invited aboard Summersault for dinner, and a fine dinner it was.

27 Jul 15; Monday; Cuttyhunk
  • We all got moving and ashore about 0900 and out timing was great. As we approached the Fishing Camp, a table for us all opened up. We then got to have one of those great breakfasts in an amazing setting that make these trips to Cuttyhunk special.
  • The rest of the day was a lazy one — made so also by the overcast skies. I was feeling a bit tired so I forwent the usual hike around the island.

28 Jul 15; Tuesday; Cuttyhunk to Padanarum
  • Nautilus and Onward got underway about 0900 for the short jaunt across Buzzards Bay to the New Bedfod Yacht Club at Padanarum. Enough wind piped up to be able to sail and then motorsail across. We picked up moorings and were soon on the launch to explore town and have lunch. I dimly remember stumbling on a good bar / restaurant on my first visit when I was solo. It took a bit of a search and a question or two to locals but we found it and were rewarded with a great lunch.
  • After lunch, we continued our exploration of town before going back to the NBYC. Peggy and Kiran took the launch back to the boat while I went with Bill who got a taxi to take us to AutoZone to buy RainX in an attempt to improve his windshield problems. We returned to NBYC and caught the launch to just beat the arrival of a big thunderstorm as it passed. We ended the day with a quiet night aboard letting our lunch serve as dinner too.

29 Jul 15; Wednesday; Padanarum to Hadley Harbor
  • About 0800, we dropped the mooring and crept up to the Nautilus to say good by to its still-sleeping crew. The winds were very light so it ended up bing a motor across Buzzards Bay to Hadley Harbor. When we arrived, I was pleased to find the outer anchorage was empty. We anchored on the W side as close tot he shore as was safe given the shoals. Our timing was good and we were followed by a procession of other boats came in to anchor. One of these was a good looking ~55' dark-hulled sloop that came in and moved through the anchorage too fast. Boats like this in my experience, seem to always have an anchoring issue of some type. True to form, the vessel circled around Onward and on the second circle put down his anchor, on the same bearing as Onward's rode but just beyond it. He proceeded to back down fast at an angle to the wind off Onward's starboard bow. When he stopped backing, I told the captain that I though he was too close as his stern would almost touch Onward's bow when the wind brought him around. He said he though he was fine and that I should get used to the anchorage being crowded. I told him he had his geometry wrong and then he realized the wind was blowing him too close and convinced him moving was a good idea.
  • After lunch, Peg and I Ventured around the inner harbor. I had not realized the network of waterways and ponds that are connected to the part where boats are moored. We found a lot of boats anchored inside or "borrowing" the private moorings. We even Ventured under one of the small bridges to peek into the pond in the NW corner.
  • I cooked up dinner from the leftover cooked chicken breasts we had in the freezer and a package of papperdelle pasta with olive oil, garlic, and pesto. Delish. Peg really liked it.
  • After dinner, I checked the iBooks store for good bargains but didn't find any. For some reason, I searched for Patrick Obrian and found that there were several of his series available for $1.99! There were others of the same title being offered for $11.99 so I bough a few of the $1.99 books to check that they were the "real thing". I immediately started reading and found them to be worth buying more of. Neat. I consider this series of novels to be old friends. I've read the whole series 2.5 times. Each time, I find a new layer that I had missed in earlier readings. This time I found myself being impressed with the beauty of his writing — poetry in prose. Neat!

30 Jul 15; Thursday; Hadley Harbor to Scituate
  • A beautiful morning at sunrise with a bit of haze. During the night I had thought about the Summersaults plan to skip Onset and head directly to Situate. The idea of negotiating the narrow channel at Onset as it joins the CCC channel with the strong cross current and other boats leaving at the same time lost a good deal of attraction for me. So I got up and after checking the weather and routes decided it would be a good sailing day to take advantage of the building SW winds to head through the CCC and on to Scituate. We dropped anchor at 0730 and after exiting the anchorage set main and genoa. We were soon reaching along at 8 kts!
  • We learned that the Summersaults were ahead of us by an hour having spent the night at Redbrook just outside the W end of the canal. At the entrance of the canal, we motorsailed with the main to make the transit. Once outside we again set sail and reached toward Scituate. About noon the winds picked up to 22+ kts true. Peg suggested reefing the main. I, as is my bad habit, like to push the envelope. She was right and we soon reefed the main to the numbers. We maintained speed and had a pleasant and fast sail right up to the harbor entrance.
  • Peg had made reservations with the Satuit Boat Club for a mooring. We called on VHF 9 and the launch came out to lead us to a mooring. The field is tightly packed and I thanked Gerry Douglas for the maneuverability of Onward. We nailed the mooring approach and just as Peg went to pull the pennant aboard the pickup stick dived out of her grasp. Going around was "interesting" among the packed moorings and with the lack of knowledge of just how close the shallows really were. The second approach was flawless and were were settled.
  • The summersaults invited us over for cocktails. I checked NOAA radar and it showed a squally cold front would arrive at the time were were to arrive on Summersault. We decided to wait until the front had passed but as it arrived it fell apart and we had no winds or rain above momentary showers. We had a very relaxed and pleasant evening with Leslie and David — one of those nights that is the essence of cruising.

31 Jul 15; Friday; Scituate
  • A warm sunny day greeted us. I wrote a letter to OGM about the light I was returning. I ran the genset to use the printer; love the new color laser printer. I've decided to run it only on shore or generator AC as the previous Brother printer did not like the AC from the inverter. To make it a challenge, of course, the genset kept shutting down like ti was fuel starved. After trying various things with no improvement, I will have to check the on-engine fuel filter. Since the fuel supply line for the genset is the same as the engine and thus goes through a 2-micron Raycor filter, I haven't paid much attention to the on-engine filter. We'll see if this makes a difference when I change it.
  • We took the launch in and they dropped us at the far end of the harbor at Cole Marina where we had a short walk to a hardware store and other shops. It was a longer but pleasant walk to the post office where I shipped the damaged anchor light back to Orca Green Marine. We then walked a different route back to town. I was very impressed with the prolific flower gardens around most homes; very impressive. At the food store we met the Summersaults and bought more food that we had planned. How does this happen every time???
  • Loaded down with food and wine we walked back to the Satuit Boat Club. The mainstream was quite pretty with flower boxes and planters everywhere. Nice. After browsing in a couple of stores, we stopped at the Satuit Tavern for lunch before heading back to take our groceries back via the launch.
  • The Nautiluses arrived in early afternoon and stopped by in the dinghy that Bill really enjoys launching from his new davits. However he has discovered that his AC circuitry is not all it should be having discovered the genset was not equipped with any way to charge its starting battery. Lucky he discovered this at Padanarum just after we left him. He called the same cab we had used to go to Auitozone and bought a charger.
  • At 1500, I took the dinghy in to register for the cruise. It was grand to meed a number of my Corinthian pals again. One of the good outcomes was a decision to scrap the idea of wearing dress jackets to the cocktail hour.
  • Always beautiful Peggy and a cleaned up Captain Ventured ashore for the Skippers Meeting and cocktail hour. At the Skippers Meeting, they drew names out of a hat for Onward to be paired with one of the vessels on the pier at Spectacle Island Saturday Night. This was because Onward will be on a mooring or anchor. Dick Woods, apparently as partial atonement for his past sins, was the name drawn for Onward to be inflicted upon. Karma is Karma.
  • We had a private room at Barkers Tavern with lots of space. The staff was pleasant and attentive and the appetizers plentiful. Of course the greatest fun was catching up with the many Corinthians I've met on previous cruises. Bill and Helen de Neergaard were there — a wonderful surprise. They crewed aboard Onward on my first Corinthian cruise and it was through them that I got to meet Bill Kimbell and John Hilton when we raced Onward around Rockland Harbor. Meeting Bill Kimbell led to meeting the Wollins and that led to meeting Peggy. So now I got to close the circle by introducing Peggy to the de Neergaards.
  • Dave Siwicki the world traveling energizer bunny, showed up from his race across the Atlantic from Newport followed by a tour of Italy. Beautiful daughter Grace kept her eye on Dad. Needless to say, Peg and I had a grand time.