Monday, July 30, 2012

Chatham to Westport

    After departing Nantucket with a favorable SW'erly wind, we made good time on a broad reach to Stage Harbor, MA, the southern entrance to Chatham's summer scene.  We visited the town, sampled the cuisine, and then took the dinghy to Monomoy Island for some deserted beaches and wildlife watching.  Thankfully there were no Great White Sharks visible, but we had the beach to ourself, aside from the copious amounts of biting flies and highly curious pinnipeds.
   We waited in Stage Harbor for the wind to shift to the east, and had another great 2-days of running/broad reaching from the Cape, through Wood's Hole Pass, to Westport, MA where we are visiting family (and getting lots of meals courtesy of G and G), using the opportunity to pick up some supplies and conducting a few repairs to Navigator (including the throttle cable, some line/rope work, a thorough cleaning, and preventive maintenance to the winches and windlass).   In Westport (thanks to Lynn), we have high speed internet, so look for some more pictures and videos later in the week.
   Our short term plans are to visit Block Island, RI next week and rendezvous with Tomkat and Banshee, boats crewed by our salty parents, and then head to eastern Long Island, before moving offshore to southern New Jersey later in August.
   Here are few pictures of the last week or so!

 Kellee fixing the throttle assembly.
 Chris steering while sailing west across Nantucket Sound.
Navigator at anchor in Nantucket.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We left Vineyard Haven and skirted over to Edgartown for a night. Ended up anchored next to a richie rich charter boat that partied well into the evening and was fun to watch. The next morning we took advantage of a north wind and headed out to Nantucket and found plenty of room in the anchorage. Our first day ashore we rode our awesome folding bikes out to Sankaty Head light, the lighthouse that was moved in 2007 and took some pictures which we'll post when we can. Along the way we picked out which multi-million dollar "summer cottages" we could see ourselves in. On the way back we went to the Lifesaving Museum and Brandt Point light, 2nd oldest light in the country only to Boston Light. That night we met up with Anderson Ogg who is spending his summer teaching cadets to be future sailors on the Leadership 44's and gave us a tour. It was really nice to catch up and show him the Navigator. The following day brought blustery winds so we hunkered down and cleaned, did some projects we had been putting off and read. Yesterday we came ashore for laundry, lunch and window shopping, and thoroughly enjoyed the burgers at the "Brotherhood of Thieves" restaurant. Last night brought an intense cold front (pictures to follow when we can post) and driving rain (free H2O!!) with winds gusting over 30 kts. We dragged anchor a little so we re-positioned and were fine for the rest of the windy evening. Today is re-provision day, and tomorrow we plan to make tracks for Chatham and then head back west toward Buzzards Bay.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Newport to Vineyard Haven

   Finally have a decent internet connection!  After Chris wrapped up work in Portland, Navigator departed the Newport Naval Base on Saturday the 14th. After running around town taking care of last minute items (such as bike bags, tacos, and ice), we motored over to Mackerel Cove for the night. It is just around the corner from Newport but enabled us to get off the dock and on our way, a huge psychological hurdle.  On Sunday, we sailed off the anchor and had a downwind sail to Cuttyhunk Island, where we ghosted into our anchorage on the last of the southwest wind under mainsail alone. Overnight there was a huge lightning and rain storm that gave us a free deck washing.
   We did a quick sightseeing trip of Cuttyhunk Island, walking to the western end, and then the eastern end. That took about an hour, so we spent some time messing around with the dinghy and swimming.  In the afternoon we sailed off the anchor and through Quick's Hole for another downwind sail to Vineyard Haven.  We finally had to turn the engine on to get into our anchorage spot on the Vineyard, but it was a good couple days of engine-free sailing.
    On the Vineyard, we racked up some miles on our new folding bikes, biking about 22 miles on Monday from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and the southeast Atlantic shore (and back). On Tuesday we went west, biking another 15 miles to Menemsha to visit an old shipmate and thence on to Gay Head.  Due to an impeding thunderstorm, we took the bus back.
  Today, since the sun is hidden, we are having a logistics day - internet at the public library, grocery shopping in Vineyard Haven, and showers with real soap and water. The little pleasures.
   Our short term plans are to remain in Vineyard Haven overnight and then head east, eventually to Nantucket next week.  The winds are contrary for the next several days, so we may either wait it out or just have a longish sail tacking our way through Nantucket Sound.   Longer term we may try and visit Chatham and Woods Hole before arriving in Westport later this month.
   Some observations so far:
      - Yes we still like each other.
      - Simple boat systems are the way to panels have kept up with our power needs just fine.
      - Folding bikes should be rank ordered just above sliced-bread in the hierarchy of awesome things.
      - Solar shower devices make a huge difference, though they draw strange looks from neighbors.
      - Our reading rate is higher than anticipated; we should have brought more books.
 That's all for now, we'll try and post some pictures on Flickr as bandwidth allows.
 A visitor at sea (Don) on our way from Narragansett Bay to Cuttyhunk.
   The bike ferry from Menemsha to Aquina. These are our folding bikes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On our way...

We left Narraganset Bay on Saturday and did an overnight in Cuttyhunk before arriving in Vineyard Haven last night. Today is a bike expedition around the island with periodic stops at swimming spots. We should be on the Vineyard for the rest of the week and then heading to Nantucket, Chatham, and then Westport towards the end of the month.