Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stardate 62386.24 - Happy Birthday to Me

I'm going to interrupt the California vacation series to talk about my trip this past weekend. As an early birthday present to myself, this past weekend I went on a sail from Newport, RI to Block Island. It was a pretty cool time, both in temperature and in fun factor. It was the skipper, me as first mate, and one crew member on a Beneteau Oceanis 461 (a 10-year old model). At 46 feet, it was the largest sailboat I've ever sailed. We chartered the boat from Bareboat Sailing Charters in Newport.

We drove up to Newport on Friday morning, and spend the night on the boat there. It was pouring rain all night and into the next morning, so we didn't leave until around 1000, but just as we sailed out of Newport the clouds cleared and the sun streamed down. It was a little over a 4-hour sail to Block Island, where we went ashore for an early dinner.
Sunday we sailed around off of Block Island in the morning, ate lunch on the Island at Oars, then rented bikes for afternoon exploration (we ended up biking about 10 miles). We then returned to the boat for dinner.

Monday morning we were up early and left around 0700 to return to Newport. We had 25 knot winds, gusting to 30 knots, and 3-4 foot waves. It was a tense beam reach up the the first buoy when we turned and broad-reached all the way to Newport. Just short of Newport the winds died down to 15-20 knots and the waves dropped to about 1 foot. We got to Newport in 3.5 hours - a new record for our skipper. After squaring away the boat we drove back to the city. It was a great experience, I got a huge amount of time in on the helm, and I really enjoyed the trip.

Thanks to Cheryl for letting me go! ;-) And thanks to Thomas, our skipper, for organizing everything and for these great pictures!


No comments: