Onward’s Cruise Journal 2015
New England


Updated: 1 September 2015


August 2015


1 Aug 15; Saturday; Scituate to Spectacle Island

  • A number of friends have remarked about my failure to keep up this Journal so today I committed myself to get back into the swing and also try to catch up. So, on the leisurely trip in, I was able to spend some time catching up on my writing.
  • A beautiful sunny, dry morning for the start of the 2015 Corinthian Cruise. Today there was a long "journey" of about 12 nm from Scituate to Spectacle Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands. At 1000, Ava flying the Great Flag of the Corinthians, led a parade of boats into and then back out of the harbor. The narrow head of the harbor made the turn about "interesting". Once out of the harbor, we motored toward the Boston Harbor Islands as the wind was light and soon shifted to be on the nose.
  • This year, Bill Kimble fully completed his transition from sailor / racer to powerboater by captaining Nautilus as the committee boat for the daily races.
  • Up until last August, the Boston Harbor Islands were totally unknown and mysterious — something I'd heard about but had no experience of. Last year I got a little experience but that was limited with dealing with the failure of the engine's starter. This year, we sailed in toward Spectacle Island down the channel we used last year as we departed from Boston. By the time we reached the island it was a brisk sailing day and there were many boats sailing around. We approached the small mooring field at Spectacle Island and were relieved to see a couple of open moorings. Dulcinea had passed us as we approached the anchorage and turned in to pick up a mooring. Onward followed and as we did a J24 with a number of young people aboard passed us by and then darted through the mooring field. As Onward approached the open mooring and Peggy was ~ 10; away from the painter, the J came darting back cross-wind with sails doused to try to take the mooring. I guess the size of Onward's bow and two anchors brought them to their senses because they bore off and circled back to get a mooring close to shore. Just a little excitement. A strong squall came by just before 1700 when the rest of the fleet was to arrive to occupy places along the floating piers. So there was some more excitement.
  • Once the squall had passed by and the fleet was settled ashore, We Ventured in bearing a pork chop dinner Peggy had prepared for us to share aboard Eventide with Dick and Robin Wood. We had a delightful time over dinner as other casual pot-luck dinners went on among the vessels rafted at the pier. When we departed back to Onward, we felt a little badly at having to cut the merrymaking short and not getting to visit much with the other boats. However we realized that with the N wind and constant large ferry traffic, the mooring was much quieter than the floating docks as they got jounced around all night.

2 Aug 15; Sunday; Spectacle Island to Gloucester
  • At 0900 we dropped our mooring and headed out the N shipping channel and over to Gloucester which has become a favorite stopping place for Onward on Cape Ann. We were fortunate to get a mooring in the inner harbor across from the Harbormaster's office. The rest of the fleet wandered in and we tried to help them find the hard to read mooring numbers.
  • About 1500 we headed ashore with the propane tank only to learn that the building supply center had closed at 1300. So, we Ventured off to the St. Peters dinghy dock and took a walk around downtown only to find all but the most touristy stores were closed. The Summersaults invited us to join them for dinner at the Azorian restaurant. There I enjoyed a fantastic marinated grilled haddock and Peggy had a wonderful paella. A tasty way to finish a nice day.

3 Aug 15; Monday; Gloucester to Salem
  • At 0800 I was ashore at the building supply yard to get the propane tank refilled. On the way back I visited the Nautilus, Ava, and Dulcinea before heading back to Onward. Simply going around the mooring field to chat with friends is a fun part of cruising. Once back aboard, we quickly (love those electric davit winches) departed the mooring and headed out before the rest of the fleet to try to get a sail in to Salem. The wind read my mind and shifted enough to prevent that until we were well inside Salem Harbor. As we approached we got to watch a huge fleet of Optis go by as it seems there is a national Opti regatta ongoing. Brewers gave us a mooring out near G23 in the huge harbor.
  • One of the reasons for arriving early was to have more time with Peggy's daughter Valerie and two children Frank and Vivian who live less than an hour away. Val arrived with sandwiches for lunch and Peggy and I loaded all of us on Venture and headed out to Onward. There we had lunch and the children enjoyed swinging from the arch and swimming of the stern just as Elena had inaugurated last August. It was great fun experiencing their enjoyment. In late afternoon it was time for us all to go in and we all rode the launch back to the marina.
  • Peggy had prepared a delicious seafood casserole as our contribution to the annual cruise Salty Pot appetizer competition. The venue proved perfect and there was much good interaction. Peggy's appetizer was just edged out for the prize by a late-arriving stuffed bread / calzone still hot from the oven. A fine time was had by all. The Master, Lisa Jewet, and I began a dialog on the importance of venue size and layout in contributing to a successful event with hight quality social interaction.

4 Aug 15; Tuesday; Salem
  • We Ventured in as the launch was busy with the Opti regatta and joined a group that walked into town to the Peabody museum where we enjoyed the exhibits that catalog Salem's one time role as the trading gateway to the far East. We found a local pub for lunch after the museum and then walked back to the marina stopping at a food market on the way. In spite of needing nothing, we came away with two large bags — how does this happen every time?
  • As we returned to the marina we outran the first of two thunderstorms. Nautilus provided a harbor of refuge for those of us who had come ashore from moorings. We chatted, napped, and just hung out until the second storm passed. This had the ominous look of a line squall about to drop a funnel. Luckily it blew through with little more than noise and rain.
  • When the skies were clear, we headed off for the Lyceum / Turner Seafoods for a cocktail hour held in the room where the first transatlantic call had been placed by Bell. For the second cocktail party in a row on this cruise, there were actually appetizers left over after half an hour. This year's organizers had worked hard to prevent the infamous "vaporous appetizers" from the cocktail hour at Harbor Court on last year's cruise.
  • I again had conversations with folks on the "proxemics" of this years events: the number of people and this size of the venues were such that people were close enough to interact but with enough space to be able to easily move about to interact with different groups. Interactions with more people and that are less superficial result. It also helped that a good deal of the participants were "hard core" Annual Cruise participants.
  • My lower back was aching; perhaps from all the walking and standing about in the museum, so Peggy and I headed back to Onward early.

5 Aug 15; Wednesday; Salem to Hingham / Worlds End
  • Another bright sparkly morning with the clearness and light quality that made me think we were in Maine. Onward dropped its mooring and headed out of the harbor at ~0900 before the daily fleet parade. I wanted to leisurely work my way over and into Hingham harbor, another new place. Tonight I planned to hold a pizza party night — something that has become a tradition of sorts on the annual Corinthian cruise. I started it on the first cruise as a way for me to socialize with members of the Annapolis Fleet whom I don't get to socialize with when I'm passing through the Chesapeake.
  • Onward carefully picked its way through the rocks around Salem and Marblehead and across the outer part of Boston Harbor and through the Harbor Islands again. After being complete unknowns until last August and Onward's first visit, they are now becoming familiar. The entrance into Hingham harbor was all new. Again I was impressed with how large and impressive an area it was in reality as opposed to the picture one builds up from just looking at the chart. We wound our way to the SE to the Worlds End peninsula which is part of the Harbor Island Parks. There the Hingham Harbormaster had set aside the mooring field for the Corinthians and as first boat to arrive, Onward picked up one of the moorings closest to the main channel. Given the almost 12' tides here, I wanted to avoid some of the thinner water further in.
  • Once settled, I got busy preparing pizza dough and then making pizzas. When I was done, Peggy got busy making cupcake-sized shortcakes and preparing strawberries and blueberries for desert. Summersault arrived to raft to port and Nautilus to starboard. Peggy and I kept busy with our food preparation which included a spinach and prosciutto calzone (me) and baked brie with walnuts and Jamesons whisky (Peggy) for appetizers. We finished up in time to watch the dinghy rowing races organized by Jenny Hilton and then participated in the dinghy cocktail party that followed.
  • At 1900 our guests began to arrive. To make things more interesting, the sink sprayer head that is the only way we use water at the sink, chose this time to fracture. I had to tape it back together so it worked but only just. Then to add to the mix, the kitchen time that I use for almost every task involving the stove decided to stop functioning too. What is this? Good thing I had a backup for that.
  • I had thought that the 4 large pizzas I prepared were going to be too much. When will I learn? Guests will eat as many as I put out it seems. The pizza was followed with Peggy's berry shortcake. She takes a half-gallon of vanilla ice-cream and allows it to melt to become the sauce for the berries. Add some whipped cream and it was a great hit with our guests.
  • This day of just play and informal social get togethers was great fun in a wonderful venue. While visiting new harbors and exploring new places with semi-formal gatherings is great fun on the cruise, I hope future cruises will be able to have more than one "play" day.

6 Aug 15; Thursday; Hingham to Boston
  • Dave Siwicki needed to bring Jeanine to the town wharf to meet a car and driver he had intended to take Ava in. But when Bill and I learned this, we convinced him to use Venture for the trip as the area was very shallow. So when he returned from his mission, the fleet got underway and followed Ava with the Great Flag out of the harbor. Our stay here was delightful. The idea of having quiet time to just visit and enjoy our fellow cruisers is one that needs to be more prominent in future cruises.
  • On the route to Boston, I took the most direct course through the narrows between two of the harbor islands. It is off-putting from both the charts and visually but as it is well marked and used by several ferries, I took it. Of course it was nice to see Eventide, Nautilus, and Diulcinea go first.
  • The sunny, crisp, clear weather made the transit into Boston Harbor spectacular. At the Constitution Marina, Onward's berth was rafting to Dulcinea as the marina was full up. This proved to be a boon as the Dulcineas had already arranged to spend 2 night and we had asked to increase our stay from 1 to 2; No Problemo.
  • Peggy and I headed ashore to the nearby Ace Hardware store to buy a replacement sink sprayer head. As we walked back to the marina, we found the Warren Tavern, where we found the Summersaults and learned the Nautiluses and the Patriots had just left. We enjoyed lunch with Leslie and David and then headed back to Onward to spiff up for the closing dinner. The dinner was held at the Constitution Museum and was very well done. Again the proxemics worked. Dick Woods did his usual smooth and humorous delivery of the award of the "Nothing Award" earned by the entire crew of Cadence by casting off the lines of a visiting boat from their mooring and also managing to cast off Cadence which proceeded to drift away on the tide until rescued. Great food, great camaraderie; a great way to cap off a delightful week of cruising together.

7 Aug 15; Friday; Boston
  • Another gorgeous day and we were off at 1000 to explore the city with the Patriots and Nautiluses. We took the City Views Trolley and Kiran negotiated us a good rate. After a circuit of the city we got off to visit Old North Church. As we walked on through the N End, we passed Mike's Pastry. Peggy and I were surprised to see no line so we went over to investigate and found it open. Last year it took us several days to be able to get in due to the crowds so we took advantage of the opportunity to purchase a box full of our favorites to share.
  • We went on to visit Paul Revere's home which is in the final stages of refurbishment. I was impressed with the large rooms — evidence of his business success. I learned he had established the first copper rolling mill in the US. Somehow I'd never connected him as the Revere of Revere Copper.
  • Next item was lunch and we googled for a tavern nearby and found Vito's. It turned out to be a great place with a married menu where we all had something different. We topped off lunch by sharing our goodies from Mike's. Delish.
  • We walked toward the water and returned to the trolly ride around town before heading back to the marina for a rest.
  • Peggy made dinner reservations for us at the Florentine Cafe so at 1900 we headed off on a walk to dinner. I for one needed that walk to recover from lunch! A leisurely dinner ensued and when the entrees arrived, no one had any problem with not being hungry. An after dinner stroll through the streets full of people enjoying the N End brought us back to the marina.

8 Aug 15; Saturday; Boston to Plymouth
  • Another amazing day: crystal clear, dry, sunny, cool. We sadly made preparations to depart our cruise buddies. It always amazes me how very short these cruise weeks are in the experience. Not much to do aboard other than fill the water tanks. There was not enough time for me to change the fuel filter on the genset.
  • At 0900 we bid our friends adieu and castoff from Dulcinea. I slowly backed Onward down the narrow fairways and out into the river. As we passed the USCG piers, we received an escort from a patrol boat with someone standing at its 50-cal deck gun. The new USCG cutter James was to be christened and security was tight. The wind was out of the N and light so we motored our of Boston Harbor and through the Harbor Islands. Once out into Cape Cod Bay, we turned S and were able to motorsail for the balance of the the trip to Plymouth in the sunny and crisp air.
  • We arrived at Plymouth Harbor at 1500 and called Plymouth Yacht Club on VHF 8 as they manage moorings in the harbor. We were in luck and were soon on mooring #3 with the Mayflower at the pier to our stern and its shallop on the mooring next to us. Nice!
  • Both Peggy and I just needed to chill so we remained on board and read. We were a bit tired from the social whirl of the last week but also a bit down at having left behind so many friends. I did some research on the best way to get cellular voice and data service on our iPhones and iPads when we travel to Italy. As sunset approached, Peggy prepared a roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes and broccoli. Delish! Some comfort food that perked us up as we watched the rest of Jazz episode 2.

9 Aug 15; Sunday; Plymouth
  • What happened? The amazing weather we have enjoyed disappeared overnight as I awoke to overcast skies and NE winds. The low moving to the N offshore has gotten too close for good weather in the morning. A strong noreaster built over the morning causing all the boats to hunker down behind the breakwater with little activity apparent. It was sad to hear the forlorn requests for moorings by a few boats caught out — and there were none to be had. Somehow Onward had lucked out with the only mooring it could fit on being available for 2 nights!
  • I decided this was a good time to take on the job of changing the fuel filter on the Fischer-Panda generator — a job I dread doing because it is so hard to get at and work on and makes such a mess. The actual process of changing the filter took only about 30 min. I found the filter element black with crud and that easily explained why I had not been able to keep it running. Next the job of bleeding air out of the system; this time made easier by having Peggy to push the starter switch while I fiddled with bleed screws and the injectors. This turned out to be a very long and frustrating process as I went to more than 5 cycles of bleeding only to have the engine start, run well for a while and then shut down due to air in the line. On the last go, I switched from the mid to starboard tank so there wasn't as much head for the pump to overcome. I also ran the Yanmar for 5 min. to allow it to pull any air out of the system. This time was the charm because the genset started and ran smoothly through a complete charge cycle. I then spent a couple of hours cleaning up the mess.
  • It was time for lunch and a nap. By ~ 1530, the noreaster had blown out and a nice sunny late afternoon became available. We took the launch in for a walk through town. The Lobstershack, an unpretentious and cleanly functional seafood restaurant with cafeteria style ordering proved to be a good choice as Peggy enjoyed a great lobster salad and I lemon-pepper scrod. Delish. We continued out walk about town before heading back to Onward in the dusk.

10 Aug 15; Monday; Plymouth to Hadley Harbor
  • At 0745 I called Ed the dock steward at PYC to see if I could stay on the mooring till ~ 1200 or move to another. The vessel with the reservation was scheduled to arrive at 1100 so, no luck. I called the Harbormaster who said I could use one of his 5 moorings outside the harbor in the "armpit" where the channel makes its sharp turn at G 17. I couldn't see if the mooring was open but was able to call a departing fishing boat who reported them open. So we quickly dropped the PYC mooring and headed down to the Harbormaster mooring 1. Peggy did another nifty pickup and we soon launched Venture and headed off to PYC where Ed had agreed we could tie up for a while.
  • We called Mayflower Cab and were soon on the way to Plimoth Plantation, about 3 miles away. There we spent about 2.5 hrs traveling back to 1620. This was Peggy's first visit and the day was picture perfect. We came away with even more respect for the initial settlers who dared to begin settlement of the continent. We took the cab back to PYC and were soon underway at 1215. The winds were light and on the nose so it was a trawler trip. About 30 min from the Canal, the fuel tank ran out. Puzzled I went below and suddenly remembered that I'd switched the fuel feed from mid to starboard tank — but had not switched the return. So, as we motored, we had pumped the starboard fuel into the mid tank. Thankfully there had been enough room in the larger tank to handle it!
  • We entered the CCC at 1500 at almost the height of the current against us. We averaged about 2.5 kts through the canal. Along the way, it was interesting to see people riding bikes and then walking faster than us. Near the W end, we encountered 279' Fountainhead heading E with its two go-fast super tenders on the aft deck. We exited the canal at 1600 and slowly picked up speed as we headed toward Hadley Harbor.
  • The sun set about 0.5 nm from the entrance to the anchorage but we had no problem entering and finding a place to anchor with 4 other sail boats already there. Once settled, I whipped up a meal of angel hair pasta with meatballs, pine nuts, garlic, sautéed onions, and olive oil. Delicious comfort food to end an active day.

11 Aug 15; Tuesday; Hadley Harbor to Edgartown
  • At 0615, I checked the weather and saw the approaching cold front several hours away so I decided to get underway to try to make Nantucket before its arrival. I weighed anchor at 0645 and caught the start of the E flowing ebb current through Woods Hole. I took the longer route instead of the diagonal channel so Peggy could get a good view of the harbor.
  • I had hoped to get a boost from S winds for the trip to Nantucket but as we exited Woods Hole, they were solidly on the nose from the SE. Initially, with the current boost, we were making > 7 kts SOG with an ETA at Nantucket of 1230. However after about an hour, the seas had picked up driven by the winds that were now 15 to 18 kts. By the time we were off Oak Bluffs, our SOG had dropped to < 5 kts in heavy swells so we decided to head into Edgartown. Lake Katama was closed to anchoring so we anchored off the beach where we had anchored last year just inside of a bevy of > 100' motor and sailing yachts. We set anchor in 19' at 0915. By this time the leading edge of the rain front were close.
  • The heavy rains caught up with us. When this happens and brings along the cold and damp, I just want to curl up and sleep. Today I tried to counter that by catching up on writing for a while. But then a nap sprung itself upon me. It really irks me that I have many tasks to do that I can't get around to do when the weather is fair as there are other opportunities that are a great deal more fun to do like sail, explore, play with my friends, etc. Now, when I can't take advantage of such fun opportunities, all I want to do is snuggle up in a blanket, read and nap. Its a good thing rain-out days don't happen often. Somehow I'm going to have to develop a strategy to be productive and deal with the ash and trash of my life — like resurrecting my old working self that just did what needed to be done — who was that? Did he really exist?. Something to ponder.
  • To top it all, the Fischer-Panda would start and immediately conk out. I tried a number of things but to no avail. I came to the conclusion that the fuel filter on the engine must be clogged in spite of it being downstream from a finer 2-micron Raycor. When I checked it, I found it badly clogged. So I quickly clean up the fuel strainer and inserted a new filter cartridge. Bleeding the engine turned out to be a protracted process made easier only by the fact that I had Peggy to activate the starter button while I bled the fuel line. In the process I discovered the main Raycor needed to be changed out so I cut over to the other unit. This and many repetitive attempts finally got the genset running.

12 Aug 15; Wednesday; Edgartown to Nantucket
  • We awoke to a foggy harbor with visibility of ~100 yds. The rain and high winds were gone so I decided to move to Nantucket as soon as feasible. By the time I had Onward ready to move, the fog was lifting. We headed out with light winds and motored to Nantucket. There were not many boats around until we reached the breakwater when we saw a few wooden sailboats out preparing to race.
  • While I navigated, Peggy busied herself looking up things for us to do ashore and soon had a pretty good list.
  • As we approached Brandt Point, we encountered Eventide II departing with Robin and Dick waving wildly. They had done it again: managed to depart Nantucket just as Onward arrived. Such impeccable timing!
  • We found the anchorage very sparsely populated and I was able to anchor ~200 yds SE of the green can off Brandt Point. This is the closest I have ever been able to anchor here.
  • We quickly readied ourselves to go ashore. We stopped to get sandwiches for lunch to eat on a seaside bench. We then went to the Whaling Museum and started on a walking tour based on the homes of several of the folks who had survived the ill-fated whaling ship Essex. One of the participants was in an electric wheelchair and I was really impressed with how fast it traveled! A cold beer ended our first sojourn ashore before we headed back to our home afloat.

13 Aug 15; Thursday; Nantucket
  • Another beautiful day on Nantucket! We headed ashore at mid-morning to take a NTA bus to the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum. For seniors, the charge is only $1 per ride segment — not bad. The audio announcement system wasn't working on the bus so it passed by our stop and we got to do a bit of extra walking back to the museum. I have passed this museum many times over the years as it sits near the W end of Polpis Road. A resident amassed a collection of historical items and built a reproduction of a lifesaving station. When he died his collection and property became the museum. We were fortunate to have a docent who had been stationed on lightships for many years. His joy at recounting stories was infectious.
  • We continued our bus trip out to S'conset and Peggy took us to the Summer House beach club for lunch. This had been a quiet beach club with a pool that years ago you could use if you were a lunch patron. Now it is a high-end operation with a guests-only pool. Lunch entrees were pricy: hamburger $28. I had the NY strip steak open sandwich for $32 - and it was worth it. After a very pleasant and relaxing lunch we went on a walking tour along Cliff Walk. I have done this several times before and each time it seems to be even more beautiful. We walked back to the village center and caught the bus back to the Harbormaster's pier where Venture awaited us.
  • We got a text from the Kimbells that they were planning to come to Nantucket so we encouraged them.

14 Aug 15; Friday; Nantucket
  • Peggy and I went ashore early in order to have the sun in the E so we could photograph the beautiful flower boxes on the W side of the street we'd seen during our walking tour. We stumbled on the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum and decided to visit it. It was a worthwhile stop and I came away with a much better appreciation of their history and the craftsmanship and artistry involved in their making.
  • After doing some additional walking and photographing, we stopped at the fish store across from the new yacht club to have lunch before returning home. We Ventured back just in time to greet Nautilus on arrival. Bill rafted up to Onward as there were no rental moorings due to it being Opera Cup Race Week.
  • After getting Nautilus settled, I ran the genset only to have it stop due to the thermal cutoff. The infamous Nantucket eel grass had clogged up the strainer. When I cleaned it out there was still inadequate water flow. Bah.
  • We had a reunion over cocktails and snacks before we all Ventured ashore to see the musical Into the Woods. I really enjoyed the play. All of us were seeing it for the first time so after the first half, it seemed like that was it. Just a simpleminded collage of fairytales cleverly combined with music and song leading to a lighthearted happy ending. Then we discovered there was more to come. Sondheim used the second half to explore the dark side. I'm still not sure what message to take away other than all is well in the end only in fairytales.
  • Bill, the dog, had ramped up the sartorial splendor requirements by donning slacks and shoes before departing Nautilus — so I had felt required to do the same. Unfortunately I chose to wear a new pair of Docksiders without sox. By the time we got to the theater they had given me hughe blisters on both ankles. I ended up first stuffing the heel with paper and then just bending the back down so I could walk on it. The result was that I could only wear strapless Crocs for the rest of the week.

15 Aug 15; Saturday; Nantucket
  • Early in the morning, I again tried the genset but there wasn't any water flow. So, I changed the genset impeller which I had found lost a blade. This went fairly quickly but it did not lead to adequate water flow. I gave up in frustration.
  • Later in the morning we Ventured in and grabbed the bus to go back to S'conset for a historical walking tour. The tour was quite enjoyable and we learned of the area's progression from remote fishing camp, to small fishing village, to summer getaway village for Nantucketers to artists' colony and pre-film actors' colony, to summer residences for the well-healed with a smattering of tourists like us.
  • We had delicious sandwiches for lunch before continuing our walk along Cliff Walk. I don't tire of this as it is so beautiful. We walked all the way to the lighthouse. There Peggy chatted up Gail of Gail's Tours and we got a nice van ride back to town.
  • Back aboard Onward,. I tried to find out why there was no water flow but had no luck.
  • I quickly baked some rosemary/olive oil hamburger rolls and the Kimbells provided the burgers so we enjoyed a delicious meal.

16 Aug 15; Sunday; Nantucket
  • In the early morning, I trouble shot the water flow problem and used air pressure to blow back through the heat exchanger to clear it. This had little effect. I then took the intake hose off the water pump and held it below the water line. After a short pause a solid flow of water came out and I reattached the hose to the pump. Voila! Back to normal water flow! I guess the water pump is worn enough not to be able to suck air bubbles out of the intake line. A good lesson there for the future.
  • We Ventured off just after 0800 to watch the "Rainbow Parade" on the last day of the Opera Cup. Nantucket's fleet of gaff-rigged Rainbow class boats — each with its unique colorful sail is much documented in photos and artwork. We had a front row seat as I chased the fleet about near Brant Point Light. Somehow I managed to stand up in the dinghy, steer, avoid power boats and sail boats, and take pictures with the Nikon — and not let it or me fall overboard. We got a lot of great photos.
  • We docked Venture and headed over to the Visitors Center where we caught the courtesy van out to Millie's at the SW tip of the island. We had a great walk along the beach and managed to see one seal. There are so many seals now at the two small outer islands that great white sharks now show up there for their lunch.
  • We enjoyed a leisurely lunch in the second floor dining room with a wonderful view of the W end of Nantucket while being cooled by the sea breeze. That evening Kiran got to have her card fix as we spent a quiet night aboard.

17 Aug 15; Monday; Nantucket
  • I convinced the Kimbells to spend another day here and we headed out at midmorning to do take pictures on a random walk to explore back ways as we rambled our way out to Something Natural for lunch. I scored a nice table under the shade trees and we enjoyed a delicious lunch as we cooled down from the efforts of our trek.
  • On the way back, we passed by the Woods' home as we walked to the Marine Home Center for our annual pilgrimage. After buying a few small tools, I sat under a tree on the front patio while the others browsed.
  • Peggy stopped at the fish store to buy fresh clams, mussels and fish for dinner, After cocktails, her Chioppino was a big hit. Kiran got her final card playing fix.
  • Just before sunset, a familiar vessel came in and anchored near by. It was Bob Osborn and his new boat, Pandora / formerly Ariel. We exchanged greetings as they settled in for the night.

18 Aug 15; Tuesday; Nantucket
  • It was a sad morning to see Nautilus depart early in the morning to head off to Cuttyhunk. Peggy and I spent a relaxing morning aboard before we headed in about noon for a final walk around town. We window shopped and had lunch in the courtyard of the Brotherhood of Thieves. a final grocery provisioning wrapped up our 2015 Nantucket sojourn and headed back to Onward for the end of a quiet day.
  • The Pandoras had invited us over for cocktails but they had a long day in town so we put it on the list for a future encounter.

19 Aug 15; Wednesday; Nantucket to East Greenwich
  • Onward weighed anchor and headed out of the harbor in morning fog at 0630. It was a bit disconcerting t to have the ferry Eagle decide to follow us out of the channel. I'm quite used to navigating by chartplotter with radar overlay and it was no big deal until I decided to steer by hand for a bit. I got totally disoriented and it took a while to get back on the right course with the breakwaters looming on each side. Much better and safer to let the autopilot steer and control it when it fog.
  • We were able to motorsail and the trip went quickly we put into EGYC and were on the mooring by 1800.

20 Aug 15; Thursday; Mt Snow VT
  • At 0815 we were off to Enterprise to pick up a rental car then we headed off to Vermont. It was an easy drive and we were at Peggy's West Dover VT by noon. There we found Lori and her three children and Val and her two children at an ice-cream store along the way so we stopped to say hello.
  • When we got to the condo, we found the new bunk beds. The rest of the day, I was engaged with Peggy in assembling the new beds in the lower-level den / activity room. First we had to disassemble the queen bed that was to go upstairs. I had brought along the large hex key necessary and it was soon apart. The women quickly moved the bed upstairs and the assembly began. The process wasn't hard just a lot of heavy wood parts to bolt together. Lori and I went out and found a 1/2" nut driver bit for my electric drill. This really speeded up the process. By 1800 the two bunk beds and two trundles were all assembled and Peggy and her daughters had installed the mattresses. It was amazing to see how the two bunk beds actually made the room look larger compared to the single queen bed.
  • Peggy insisted on hauling our laundry to VT so besides bunk bed day it was laundry day.
  • We went out dinner to celebrate the completion of the project and I enjoyed a delicious steak. The children had a wonderful time in their new bunks and Peggy's plans were a real hit!

21 Aug 15; Friday; Mt. Snow VT
  • A morning of cleanup and then Lori and her children were off home to Sea Cliff Long Island. We went out and found some 3/4" high density partical board at the local lumber yard to replace the missing bed support for the double bed of one of the bunkbeds. That left the rest of the day to relax. We finished it off with a pizza party and were joined by Val's husband Frank and his brother Jeff. A fine time was had by all.

22 Aug 15; Saturday; East Greenwich
  • After breakfast with the Aloi's, we headed back to RI with Peggy taking some of her back routes. Along the way I got a call from my sister telling me I was invited to a surprise 40th birthday party for my nephew John tonight. So we had a nice drive back, rested up aboard Onward, and then headed off to a family party. What a social whirl!

23 Aug 15; Sunday; East Greenwich
  • We were a bit tired from our traveling and partying so we took the day aboard to rest and catch up on this's and that's.

24Aug 15; Monday; East Greenwich
  • We learned that the Wollins were in Newport so I talked them into sailing to EGYC. That evening we went aboard Nautilus and Bill took us on a cocktail cruise to view the Aldrich Estate on Warwick Neck. We returned to EGYC and walked to Roku Sakura for another delicious asian meal.

25 Aug 15; Tuesday; East Greenwich
  • I was finally able to set up seeing my cousins, John and Joann DelBonis. We met for dinner at Spain Restaurant in Cranston and I invited my sister as well as my sister-in-law Mary Ann and Ed to join us. We had a rollicking good time. I learned from John that his family hails from Itri, Italy. I was further surprised to find that this is only a short distance from Fondi, the town my Mother's family hails from. I've long known that many of the families is the Knightsville section of Cranston came from Itri and that they still celebrate the local patron saint's day each year. John's son Chris imports high-quality olive oil from the family in Italy. So Peggy and I put this on the list of places to visit in Italy.
  • While waiting for our table we were enjoying drinks at the bar. I went over to talk to a couple who had come in about the same time. Since I'd gotten the bartender's attention first, I just wanted to be sure they weren't put out. They said it had been no problem but then floored me by saying that they had been talking about me because I looked just like Bill Clinton! Now that's a new one on me. Must have been the haircut and the lights in the bar.

26 Aug 15; Wednesday; East Greenwich
  • I was up early to get some tasks done that needed completion before we started back to the Chesapeake. The first was to replace the water filtration unit with a new all stainless steel Seagull IV unit that I had shipped to the Acciaioli Mail Service that my brother-in-law Andy runs for us. The existing composite unit had served me well for > 10 years but it developed a hairline crack that sprayed water all over under the sink. In the Bahamas I tried to fix it with epoxy and fiberglass but I could not get good adhesion of the epoxy and the leak returned. I then coated the entire inside and outside with 5200 sealant. This worked for 5 months but the pinhole leak reappeared while we were on Nantucket. The hard part was removing the old filtered water faucet. The mounting nut would not turn. After more than an hour of frustration trying to work in cramped space with no way to see what I was doing, I got fed up and grabbed my portable cutoff saw and cut off the top of the unit. I then found the mounting nut was corroded to the threads so it could not turn. I needed to drill a larger diameter hole for the new unit and this was quickly done as I had been clever enough to buy a 3'4" drill bit "just in case". I soon discovered that there was a fiberglass on the under surface which would now allow the mounting nut for the new faucet to seat! The location cannot be viewed directly and I had to stretch to put one hand on it. I couldn't manipulate my dremmel tool to cut it away. I was really angry and super frustrated by now. I finally took a 2.5" diameter grinding wheel bit for my drill and replaced its arbor with a long 1/4-20 screw. I pushed the new arbor up through the hole from the underside and with Peggy's help fastened it in the drill chuck. I was then able to pull up on it and slowly grind away the fiberglass lip. That done the rest of the faucet installation went easily.
  • To add insult to injury, I managed to damage the shelf extensions under the sink by leaning on them when I was trying to reach the faucet area. These are critical to our storage plan so now I was faced with the need to fix them. But not now!
  • I was really stupid by allowing myself to get so frustrated and angry with the immensely difficult faucet installation so that I was physically ill at the end. I could literally feel the stress hormones throughout my body. Very very dumb. This is a major flaw in me that I need to fix before I hurt myself.
  • I needed to replace the filter cartridge in the starboard Rancor filter. Somehow I calmed myself down enough to do this without making a mess. I then went on to tension the alternator belt. Again, I somehow got it done quickly and calmly. On this note, I quit work for the day at 1330 and had some leftover Pad Thai for lunch.
  • While I was doing all this, Peggy hid out and worked on making travel plans for our trip to Italy.
  • I took the rest of the afternoon off. We had planned to run errands before turning in the rental car but we just gave up on that. We brought returned the car and when we got back to EGYC, I just sat on the porch, rocked, and sipped a club soda.
  • Before going to sleep, I managed to get myself to do the cleanup and preparation needed to reinstall the undersea shelf extensions — then I crashed.

27 Aug 15; Thursday; East Greenwich to Greenport
  • At 0600, Onward dropped its mooring and headed out to begin the trip back to the Chesapeake. This marks the end of Onward's 9th New England Cruise. Wow! Hard to believe. I still remember the sense of traveling into the "unknown" and the tension of traversing the rocky waters for the first time. It was a special time — more special as I got to share it with good friends: Ron Draper and Tina and Ed Burke.
  • Once underway, I went back to working on the under-sink shelf extensions. It is amazing how adding the small extensions immensely increases the amount of storage under the sink. I made new brackets to hold it in place and added additional supports to the front. It is now better than new. The new seagull filter works fine too. Life is good.
  • The day was beautiful and sunny. It was so clear that we could see Block Island so well it felt like we could touch it. When visiting Point Judith in my youth, Block Island was a mysterious place, seldom visible from shore except as a foggy blob.
  • Grandson Kian is very talkative in the morning and had Mom call me to chat. What fun. He asked about lighthouses so now I will send him photos as we pass them. Today I started with Point Judith and Orient Point lights.
  • The wind backed to become directly on the nose by 1000. Of course! The rule in traversing Long Island Sound is: the wind will always shift to head you. As we approached the Race, we added the outgoing tidal current to the problem with the result being 4 kts SOG.
  • We arrived at Greenport at about 1600 and anchored in the crook NW of the seawall in ~ 12'. We then cleaned up and Ventured off to town where we met Peggy's buddy Barbara for dinner. Every time I see Barbara I have to apologize for spiriting Peggy, her partner in crime and travel, off to sea aboard Onward. After dinner we migrated next-door to the Whisky Wind pub to enjoy the weekly Irish music put on by an informal group of locals who sit about in a circle and play and sing songs in turn with their fellows joining in. We got to meet more of Peggy's friends including Richard and Virginia who stopped by just to see Peggy. It was a clear, still, and well lit night that made the long dinghy ride back easy.

28 Aug 15; Friday; Greenport to Manhasset Bay
  • After a calm night, Onward weighed anchor and headed out at 0600. As we approached Plum Gut the ferry to New London passed us by and I sent a video of that and the Plum Gut light off to the grandkids in CA - only to realize it was only 0330 there. Oops.
  • Once through the Gut, the wind picked up from the N and we had the flood current with us. We were soon sailing at > 10 kts. Unfortunately by 0900 the wind had died and it was back to motorsailing. We managed to maintain 7 kts SOG for most of the trip as the wind became calm and the water glassy. We put into Manhasset Bay and picked up one of the town transient moorings at 1600. We decided to have a quiet and restful night aboard.

29 Aug 15; Saturday; Manhasset Bay
  • Peggy Learned that one of her long-time friends from sailing had recently died of pancreatic cancer and a memorial Mass was being held for him this morning. So, it was dress-up time before we Ventured ashore to the Port Washington Yacht Club where her friends Doug & Marianne fetched us on the way to the ceremony at St. Peter's Catholic Churched. The youngest child and only son of Dieter's four children gave a wonderful warm and person eulogy for his Dad. I, who had never met him, was very touched and felt that I had a good sense of the fun-loving and family-centered man he had been. I was also impressed by the number of friends who came to attend the memorial. All this, of course, brought to my thought my own mortality and I began to wonder…
  • A reception was held at the PWYC and I got to meet many more of Peggy's long-time friends. I amused myself by introducioing myself as I had to Peggy's friends at the Irish Pub as: Peggy's Boat Boy.
  • We returned to Onward to change and I got to take an air bath in the warm sunny cockpit. When Lori and the children returned from a day at Jones Beach, we went ashore to the pier at Bay Colony where Peggy's former home was located. Another friend, Linda, greeted us at the pier and took us off to Sea Cliff to spend the evening with Lori's family. There Joe had fun showing me all the work he had done on the grounds. When I had first seen their new home in June, I was very impressed by the huge mature trees on the property and Joe has since done a great job of clearing lesser stuff to allow them to stand out. He also did a great job ob planting shrubs along the perimeter to create more privacy.
  • I got to meet the new dog, Roman, a German Shepherd puppy that is as large now as Vera their first dog. She is the alpha dog and Roman follows her lead in everything. I have never met a dog of this breed with such a calm and peaceful affect; very friendly and well behaved. While the children had a movie night with their friends out in the yard with a projection video setup, Joe played grill man and we enjoyed a steak sandwich dinner before it was time to head back to the boat.

30 Aug 15; Sunday;
  • Onward dropped its mooring at 0730 and we headed W and S for the East River. Along the way we encounter another sailboat, Silk, that we had seen in Manhasset Bay. We chatted on the radio and learned they are also headed down the coast. They were considering going into Coney Island Creek until I told them of the mosquitos we had encountered there.
  • On the way down the river I had a lot of opportunities to send photos of lighthouses, ferries, and bridges to Elena and Kian.
  • We arrived at Atlantic Highlands about 1330 and found the anchorage uncrowded but with a few boats anchored for a weekend outing. Silk came in and anchored later. We launched Venture and went over to Silk to give them a boat card. They hail from Oriental NC and had gone up to cruise Maine. They joined us for a trip into town. I explored the N end of the anchorage for the first time. The marina has been rebuilt since hurricane Irene. The dinghy dock was located at the S end of the marina and I was surprised that there was none near the restaurant. We walked into town and found it quaint with some beautiful victorian homes along the approach. There were good facilities for cruisers — but I did not see a grocery store. Most places were closed on the Sunday afternoon so we walked about and headed back to the dinghy dock. Well, now I can cross that off my bucket list.

31 Aug 15; Monday;
  • I was up at 0500 and weighed anchor at 0530 and headed out. It was a very bright night with a full moon. I've traversed this area in the pitch dark several times and it was good to have some visibility. It was also very nice to have Peggy sitting at the companionway looking out for the small boats associated with the radar returns.
  • We had heard USCG announcements about a temporary green "WR" buoy somewhere in the Sandy Hook channel. We located it near the can at the NW tip of Sandy Hook — just inside to the S. It marks a recent wreck. It would be interesting to know the story associated with it.
  • The forecast had called for W winds eventually backing to SW in the afternoon. We were able to motorsail with the main after rounding the hook. However by ~1000 our course had shifted and the wind shifted to the SW so we had it on the nose. We went from a SOG of 7.6 kts to 5 kts. It later came up to 6 kts as we got near Brigantine Inlet.
  • As we rounded the hook, we found Silk ahead of us. I hadn't noticed that they were not in the anchorage when we departed. We waved as they came about to put up mizzen and main sails. They called us later in the day to say that they were not able to make enough speed under power and were sailing further offshore. They were considering heading down the DE - MD coast for Cape Charles.
  • As we approached Atlantic City, I came across an article in the Atlantic magazine about it. First I learned that in the 1850s, Atlantic City was created as a beach resort for Philadelphia located the shortest distance in a straight line from Philly. It seems the posh resort, supposedly America's first beach resort, of Cape May didn't want the lower class to visit so they kept the railroad out of town so the well-healed could continue to visit by boat. The article also discussed the casinos: there are only 8 open now sharing revenues that have dropped from > $5.5B to ~$2.5B since 2008. The gigantic Revel casino was a project funded by Morgan Stanley and several hedge funds for >$2B! It went bankrupt twice and was sold for $95M to a FL developer who now is in a fight with the electric utility and as a result it has no power to reopen. But it does make a good landmark visible > 20 nm away.
  • We had the best kind of transit of the inlet — totally uneventful and anchored of the USCG station at 1640. The one thing to note is that the shoal shown on the chart streaming out to sea from the N jetty has moved further out. With a foot of tide we saw ~10' at several spots as we cross what should have been well S of it. In the future I will be sure to enter the channel outside of the outermost buoys.
  • We had a quiet night. Peggy continued her diet regimen she started as we left RI. I grilled a couple of hamburgers and made lettuce and taco wraps.