Monday, October 13, 2008

Stardate 62782.21 - Block Island, Days 3 and 4

First, I should point out that most of these photos are Jay's, because on Saturday the rechargeable batteries in my camera died unexpectedly (I had just charged them before I left on Thursday), so thanks, Jay!

On Saturday conditions were perfect for a sail, so Thomas stayed ashore and I took the boat out with the fearless crew for my first solo skippering adventure. (We called Thomas when we were even with the town and he took the above photo of us as we sailed by.)

We departed at 1030 and made it back to The Great Salt Pond around 1530, having completed a circumnavigation of Block Island. Winds started out around 10 knots with 1 foot seas. As we were sailing around the southern part of the island it was so level we brought out food and ate lunch in the cockpit. In the photo below Ed is on the helm as the skipper (me!) keeps a close watch.

Here is a photo I took of the chart-plotter below in the cabin with our position clearly indicated.

These excellent wind and wave conditions did not remain for long, however, and as we cleared the northern tip of the island (staying well outside the green buoy as to avoid the reef), winds increased to 25-30 knots and we had a bit of a pounding as we close hauled back down to the entrance to the anchorage. After clearing the northern-most buoy we once again turned the engine on (just like on Thursday) to speed up our return.

That evening, before we left for dinner, Terry was sitting on the stern seat and the light was so perfect we all posed for photos there before getting into the dinghy for the ride to shore. Here is your intrepid skipper, resplendent in green!

Here is Terry and the photo that inspired many copies!

Jay takes his turn (I think this is his Facebook profile picture now!).

And finally, Ed strikes a pose. I'm not sure why Thomas didn't pose, but maybe he hadn't gotten back in the dinghy yet from his day spent on the shore.

At the Inn where we ate our final dinner of the trip there were bagpipes - the Scottish heritage in me loved it!

And we had a fantastic 2-lobster dinner, which was the perfect topper to a most excellent weekend!

Sunday there is not much to tell - we got up and ate breakfast in the rain. Once it stopped we started our return trip to Newport, but the winds were below 5 knots so we motored the entire way back. The rain picked up a couple of hours outside Newport and while the crew tried to tough it out for a while, only Thomas and I had suitable gear for standing in the cockpit in the rain (and my gear is really summer gear and so I was a bit cold by the end of the trip). Luckily, it stopped raining as we were off-loading the boat so that wasn't too bad.

Terry left to go to his parents' beach house for the week, Jay left for Boston, and so Ed, Thomas, and I ate lunch in Newport before driving back to the city. Thomas dropped Ed and me off at a car service in Queens near his home and Ed and I shared a car back into Manhattan. I think I got home by 8:30 PM.

Alas, no more sailing until maybe the spring!

And here are some more pictures of me from Terry's collection.


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