2011.09.25 – Rockland to Newport

I may have mentioned doing a boat delivery with my folks in the last post, so here’s some elaboration on that little jaunt. With winter approaching it was time for Nicolas to start moving the Swan 77′ south, and we enthusiastically took him up on the offer to help he and Santiago sail the boat as far as Newport, Rhode Island.

After a rainy morning provisioning for the three to four day sail, we dinghied across flat calm water from the Rockland wharf to the anchored Swan. Soon we were motoring past the Rockland Breakwater light, beyond Matinic Island, and into the Gulf of Maine.

Anchor up and headed to sea. Nicolas, Santiago, Mom, and Dad passing the Rockland breakwater light.

Anchor up and headed to sea. Nicolas, Santiago, Mom, and Dad passing the Rockland breakwater light.

Mom dressed for the ocean.

Mom dressed for the ocean.

Mom and Dad navigating while enjoying some chips and home made Spicy Blue Cheese dip made minutes earlier in the galley.

Mom and Dad navigating while enjoying some chips and home made Spicy Blue Cheese dip made minutes earlier in the galley.

Nightfall was quietly escorted in by a steady drizzle and light fog as we motored on toward the Cape Cod Canal. Thus began the first night-watches in the open-ocean (albeit a calm one) my parents and I have enjoyed together in close to 15 years. Various attempts at flying the jib throughout the night were short lived as the wind varied from dead calm to dead on the nose.

Nicolas on night watch in a silent, eerie fog.

Nicolas on night watch in a silent, eerie fog.

Mom and I fixing some breakfast and coffee. (Photo by Dad)

Mom and I fixing some breakfast and coffee. (Photo by Dad)

After a night at sea and close to 160 miles in heavy fog we neared the Cape Cod Canal but could see little of it through the mist. Thanks to RADAR and GPS we found our way and steered clear of invisible ships as little as half a mile away.

Ghosting through heavy fog.

Ghosting through heavy fog.

Santiago keeping watch on the bow for anything the RADAR may have missed.

Santiago keeping watch on the bow for anything the RADAR may have missed.

First sign that we're where we think we are, an outer bouy indicating proximity to the Cape Cod Canal.

First sign that we're where we think we are, an outer bouy indicating proximity to the Cape Cod Canal.

The fog cleared slightly as we made our way through the canal with a favorable current. At times we were making 14 knots over the ground, fun but a little unnerving.

Motoring through the middle of the canal with the sides barely visible.

Motoring through the middle of the canal with the sides barely visible.

Vozrozhdeniya? No, just a power plant on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal. - HDR

Vozrozhdeniya? No, just a power plant on the banks of the Cape Cod Canal. - HDR

Happy to be aboard a boat in the water again!

Happy to be aboard a boat in the water again!

No matter what a chart may say about bridge clearances and what you know about your mast height, this is always a puckering moment. Especially when there's 6 knots of current helping you on your way!

No matter what a chart may say about bridge clearances and what you know about your mast height, this is always a puckering moment. Especially when there's 6 knots of current helping you on your way!

Once safely through the canal we motored a few hours on to Cuttyhunk Island, where we planned to anchor for the night and catch up on sleep.

Mom enjoys the first clear visibility in quite a while.

Mom enjoys the first clear visibility in quite a while.

Dad's "We're sailing!" face.

Dad's "We're sailing!" face.

Once at Cuttyhunk Island, we anchored and dinghied ashore in more fog. After a short hike around the island and some ice cream we dinghied home, cooked a gourmet dinner, and called it an early night.

Anchored off Cuttyhunk Island.

Anchored off Cuttyhunk Island.

The mooring field in Cuttyhunk Pond.

The mooring field in Cuttyhunk Pond.

Mom and Dad atop the highest point on Cuttyhunk Island, which rises about 150' above sea level.

Mom and Dad atop the highest point on Cuttyhunk Island, which rises about 150' above sea level.

Still life with bird on a piling.

Still life with bird on a piling.

Mom in the dinghy and glad to be heading home for the night.

Mom in the dinghy and glad to be heading home for the night.

The next morning the visibility improved slightly and the wind cooperated for a delightful sail to Newport. Close reaching in 8-10 knots of breeze, we made our way across the sound and through a pair of 130′ J-class yachts racing in the fog.

Coffee, wind, and sails raised. What could be better? (Photo by Dad)

Coffee, wind, and sails raised. What could be better? (Photo by Dad)

Dad sailing along at a pleasant 8 knots under full main and jib.

Dad sailing along at a pleasant 8 knots under full main and jib.

If I stand here and look serious will you take my picture? (Photo by Dad)

If I stand here and look serious will you take my picture? (Photo by Dad)

Nicolas and Dad eyeing the knot meter with grins on their faces.

Nicolas and Dad eyeing the knot meter with grins on their faces.

Nicolas and I trying to look important while Santiago does the real work - pushing the button for the hydraulic jib sheet winch. (Photo by Dad)

Nicolas and I trying to look important while Santiago does the real work - pushing the button for the hydraulic jib sheet winch. (Photo by Dad)

A boom that's 4' wide is just begging to be climbed on. (Photo by Dad)

A boom that's 4' wide is just begging to be climbed on. (Photo by Dad)

Mom and I standing on the end of the boom while reaching along at 8 knots under full sail and far from the sight of land. I can't say I know many other great-grandmothers who are this adventurous!! (Photo by Dad)

Mom and I standing on the end of the boom while reaching along at 8 knots under full sail and far from the sight of land. I can't say I know many other great-grandmothers who are this adventurous!! (Photo by Dad)

Mom and I gazing up at quite a wall of canvas. (Photo by Dad)

Mom and I gazing up at quite a wall of canvas. (Photo by Dad)

Soon we were in sight of Newport harbour and suddenly were one of the smaller boats around. We spent the remainder of the day sightseeing and wandering among some of the largest sailing yachts in the world.

Heading into Newport harbour. (Photo by Dad)

Heading into Newport harbour. (Photo by Dad)

Docked in Newport. (Photo by Dad)

Docked in Newport. (Photo by Dad)

A replica of the famous 135' J-class "Ranger".

A replica of the famous 135' J-class "Ranger".

Morning light in Newport before Mom, Dad and I headed back to Rockland by bus.

Morning light in Newport before Mom, Dad and I headed back to Rockland by bus.

Morning light. Note the mast of Mirabella V in the distance on the right, tallest mast in the world at 292' above water.

Morning light. Note the mast of Mirabella V in the distance on the right, tallest mast in the world at 292' above water.

Thanks Nicolas, safe sailing and I'll see you somewhere in the Caribbean! (Photo by Dad)

Thanks Nicolas, safe sailing and I'll see you somewhere in the Caribbean! (Photo by Dad)

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3 Responses to 2011.09.25 – Rockland to Newport

  1. nate owens says:

    What great photos! Thanks for sharing. Does he need any help taking her any further south? Swans are suppose to fly more south of Newport!!

  2. Dave says:

    I have a hard time buying your “serious” look these days, what with that animal that has taken up residence on your face and all. Yes, another beard joke….

  3. An says:

    Great pix!! Take care! x

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