Tuesday, July 26, 2016

To Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket and back again!

Time is flying by right now as August is right around the corner.  The weather has vastly improved and we have jumped into the water a few times.  Warm?  Nope, but better....

We had only a few miles to cross over to Martha's Vineyard and we timed the current through Wood's Hole and then .......FOG..   It looked as if it was lifting and we figured we had a window but no dice......the fog came and we could not see a thing!  We could hear the ferry coming through the channel.  "Over to the shallows we said".......It came by and we were just out of the channel.  Even with radar, AIS, horns and eyeballs fog stinks!

Anyone out there!!??

Our destination was Lake Tashmoo but with the fog such as it was we decided to go to Vineyard Haven instead.  The anchorage is wide open and we didn't have to try go negotiate a very narrow cut to go into the lake.  We anchored  at a  nice spot on the bay and had some quiet nights on the hook even though the wind was blowing the "dog off the chain" for a while.

This is a real photo!

sv Alabama

Ferry "Woods Hole"

sv Finn

Harbor view

The harbor was full of beautiful boats but a couple just stood out.  In particular, the schooner "Shenandoah" was there with another schooner, "Alabama "and they made quite a sight.

Sv Shenandoah was lauched in 1964 from the railway in S. Bristol, Maine.  The ship, designed by Captain Robert S. Douglas is the only topsail schooner in the world that is without an engine.  The concept was designed to maintain America's "Golden age of sail" and she was built for the passenger trade.  Hull form, rigging and all materials used to build her adhered to criteria used in the 19th century.  A real "beauty"!!
sv Shenandoah

rear view

Captain Douglas

So, after a few days on the "Vineyard" we had a good day to head to the farthest east we have ever been......Nantucket!  It is approximately 30nm but we had a clear day and a good sail.  Now that we have been there once, we know we will go back again.  It is unlike anywhere else we have been.  Better?  I wouldn't say that but different or unique certainly fits.

There is very little anchoring in the harbor.  We have varying reports of what one can do and where you cannot anchor so we bit the bullet and paid for a mooring.  WOW......$65 big ones per night!  Good thing we don't do this everyday!

We saw a bumper sticker that says it all when discussing Nantucket:

NANTUCKET.......Why pay less??!!

view from the Black Dog Tavern

side streets

the waterfront

Path to the "Chicken Box Pub"

A home on Nantucket

From the museum

another view

A full dinghy dock!

Sailing school in the middle of the harbor!

The Whaling Museum is certainly a highlight.  We spent an afternoon wandering around and seeing all the artifacts.  Very impressive and it makes you start to understand how the settlers of Nantucket are the way they are......nice, unique and different.  Thanks to Mimi & Marie we were able to find the only "local" pub on the island.  Dingh-go is now sporting a new sticker thanks to Anne meeting the owner....go figure!

A 2nd degree fresnell sense light

A 42 foot Sperm whale

scrimshaw artifacts

And they say WWF was hard!

A view of the Chicken Box!

Back to Martha's Vineyard after Nantucket.  We heard there was a multihull rendezvous in Vineyard Haven so we make tracks back and again, had a great sail.  Single reef, full headsail, 18-22kts of wind and Nati flew back.  Lots of fun!!

We were able to get anchored, got Dingh-go in the water and made it to the finish line for the running of the Black Dog Dash.  In the past we always thought it would be fun to do this distance race with one of the tris but never made it.  Now at least we got pictures of the finish,we were invited to the evening dinner and caught up with a few old friends.

A bullet for "Team Gleason"

Very close finishing

home-made gumbo!

Lots of fun

The next day we paid for a full day bus ticket and toured the island.  Made it to Edgertown, Gay's Head and Oak Bluffs along with transferring  in and around the island.  A full day but fun and saw just how beautiful the island is.  It is getting more crowded all the time but still you can find a quiet spot on a beach if you need to.
Oak Bluffs

Unique architecture

Gay Head Light

Gay Head cliffs

On the way back to Nati we came upon a free concert in the park.  We listened for a little while but were getting tired after a full day so we just appreciated what we heard.

Last but not least......."Crusty Olive Bread"!!  Yes,.....I've have already had a couple of slices.  Anne has this recipe down!!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stonington, Noank, Block Island and now Woods Hole.....we be moving!

Since The SSCA GAM that was held in Essex we have now started to move from Connecticut to Rhode Island and now we are in Massachusetts.  We even took a turn south and spent two nights in New York!  World travelers we are........

The weather has started to get better and I have even jumped into the water a couple of times.  Getting ready for Binnacle I guess as it is not what we like for temperature....maybe 68 degrees.....on the surface!  Right now we are in Hadley Harbor and it's quite warm.  We spent most of the day on public transportation picking up a few items and have even seen Falmouth, MA.  But lets go back to where we left off......

Boats..........there are so many pretty boats in this area.  I suppose many of the traditional sailing boats started their life around here so its logical that we would see many types.  That certainly is true as you can see by the pictures:

passing by in the fog

a beauty!

and another

someone did a lot of varnishing

here too

schooners of all sizes

and shape

power is included these two are beauties

even ketches

For over a week or so we bounced from Watch Hill, back to Stonington and then back to Noank to pick up some new cushions for Nati & company.  You can see them soon, promise.  We got a chance to see many new anchorages and some of the towns.  Most of the waterfront is tourist related and some parts are working harbor.  Getting groceries can be a real pain if one doesn't have a car.  But while in Noank we did get a chance to take Dingh-go up the river and see the Mystic Seaport from the water.  We didn't have the time to do the museum justice so we will have to go back soon.  It was very cloudy so many of the pictures didn't come out too well.

The museum in the background

Two British training boats

Noank is a cool little town.  If we ever move back to land maybe our home will look like this....

We grabbed a mooring from Fords Lobster House and it was the best price it town ($20/night)  On top of that we had our first lobster rolls there!  We got take-out since it was chilly and windy but they still tasted pretty good!  Oh yea.....fog.....they really have fog here sometimes!

here it comes...

A different kind of sunset

Real "soup"

Stonington is a cool little town too.  It has real restaurants and two barbers.  I lucked out and got a barber that had spent 30 years cutting Coast Guard cadet hair so you can imagine.....I'm good for quite some time.  There is a lot of stone around here also.  Check out the buildings....

Then it was finally time to get some sailing in.  Block Island here we come.  Overall it was an interesting experience.  The harbor is huge and most of the water has moorings ($45/night) but we still found a decent spot to anchor.  The town, which is a mile walk is mostly tourist related but still has some nice old Inns to photograph.

New Shoreham Harbor

Imagine the nightly rate

Look Bob....

We are talking old!

anchors everywhere

412 miles of stone fencing on the island

and we got a nice sunset

From Block Island we headed to Cuttyhunk.....what a great name don't you think?  Well the island is an absolute beauty.  Not all touristy like Block Island but still a lot closer to what we would think of as "New England" type settings.  We met up with s/v Lime'n and their friends on s/v Raven.  One morning we had breakfast at the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club and had a great time.  The next night there was a concert at the Avalon House on the hill and we had fun listening to "Honky Tonk Knights" dishing out the oldies and some of their own tunes.  Good fun!!

Inside the Fishing Club

Your standard room!

This in not a Holiday Inn!

Room with a view

the breakfast restaurant

Like the flower bed!!??

Now this is New England

Ideas for your next fire pit

more anchors

and lobster pots

Yes the Blues Brothers are on theft

Overlooking the harbor

It was a good climb

How old is your fire hydrant?

The wharf

Guess who??

Gays Head, Martha's Vineyard

The Honky Tonk Knights

a good crowd....the whole island!

sv Lime'n & sv Raven

After that we decided to make a move to Hadley Harbor.  Many people have told us that it is nice here and we have to agree.  We decided not to go inside the harbor since it was warm and we want to watch all the boats going through Woods Hole Channel.  The swimming is good here, the Forbes family actually supplies 21 free mooring inside the harbor and only asks that you leave them (the family) alone.  Other than Cuttyhunk the family owns the rest of the Elizabeth Islands...how many?  Don't know but it's a lot of square miles.


Some of the Forbes sailing fleet

Beautiful scenery

even horses on the island

So you want a fast ferry.???........  This one does 27 knots going by you right through Woods Hole!

We will try for a video of this!

Talking about Woods Hole.....this is another town we would like to see some more of.  The National Marine Fishery Services and MarineBiological Laboratory, affiliated with the University of Chicago are here and one could easily spend a whole day checking it out.

bell tower in Woods Hole

the draw bridge into the hole....not for Nati!

The Marine Biological lab

Want to see quite a sight?  This is what Saturday morning looks like when every person in New England wants to go to Martha's Vineyard for the day or weekend.  Pure insanity with most bikers walking around with their cereal bowls on their heads!
Everyone now stand in a line!

And what is this?  Stiltsville North???  In the harbor of Woods Hole there are a dozen or so of these floating camps.  They are in all stages of build out and condition but overall they sure make quite a comparison to some beautiful schooner moored next door......

Stiltsville North

Enough is enough.....I'm taking a break!