Friday, September 23, 2016

Day Seven - Thursday, Sep 22 - Essex to Rowayton, CT

Points of interest: Essex to Hamburg Cove, pass Old Lyme and emerge from the CT River and swing West to Rowayton.

We awoke at Brewer's Essex Island Marina to a beautiful day, calm, and high temperatures  forecasted. 

The marina is on an island, making it necessary and fun to take a ferry across about 20 yards to the mainland so we could grab breakfast and take a walk around this historic shipbuilding town.

History of Essex

Main Street

The Griswold Inn
Essex is a beautiful village.  Small world category: it just so happened we ran into an old friend of Amanda's out walking her dog.  She and her husband had recently moved to Essex from New Canaan.

We shoved off at 1032 from the marina and headed north up the Connecticut River ....
Ely Warf, Branford
Dared risk the iPhone out on the paddleboard! Hamburg Cove, a mile or so up River; an idyllic spot which reminded us of the Basin on Cape Small in Small Point, ME. We picked up a mooring for half an hour and chilled (?) while John did some paddle boarding to explore the cove.  

Hamburg Cove
Hamburg Cove, which has a narrow channel into the Connecticut River, is fed by fresh water and, for some reason, many schools of fish (bass?) were swarming the surface in this fresh/brackish water. Unfortunately many of the fish were belly-up which created a great incentive to stay balanced on the SUP!  Natural selection?

At 1133 we motored six miles down the CT River, 

Lowering the antennae to pass under a bridge
exited the Connecticut River

Saybrook Breakwater Light with Lynde Pt. Light behind
as we exited the mouth of the Connecticut River

and headed west for the 4 hour trip to Rowayton where we've arranged for a berth for the following week.

Tanker headed in to New Haven Harbor

Made in the shade, one week done!
Today's conditions were ideal with little wind, flat seas and the tide and current helping almost 2 kts.  In fact, the weather conditions for this first leg all the way from Maine to Southern CT could not have been better.  Only one rough four hour day out of 36+ total running hours.

The Lady A Log blog will take a breather for a week or so while we lay over in Rowayton.  We plan to do the next leg from Connecticut to Virginia fairly quickly.  A friend of John's will join as crew and Amanda will take a break for the 3-4 day run. We will continue the story then.
Thanks to all who have paid attention!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Day Six - Stonington to Essex

Wednesday, Sep 21 

Late breakfast at Noah's. We (I) ate so much, that we had to take a brisk walk, touring the Stonington peninsula. Beautiful. The essence of a New England town.

1130 - Shove off after a quick tour of the harbor.

Our planned golf outing on Fishers Island was foiled due to an outing so we decided to explore a few of the rivers in the area.

First, we backtracked northeast to RI and ran with the tide up the Pawcatuck River. 

Partners for Life

Charming river with Watch Hill to the east of the mouth and boatyard after boatyard on the riverbanks.  The swans were amused by the passing boaters .  We made it almost all the way to Westerly. 

Back down the Pawcatuk and ran 3nm over to the Mystic River. We meandered up the Mystic River. Passed through the bascule train bridge to "Red 36" for lunch. 

Had to wait for both the north and southbound Amtrak trains to go through before running downriver.
Bascule train bridge in Mystic

Passed by Morgan Point at the mouth of the Mystic River.
Morgan Point
Then we had a long run against the tide/current across Long Island Sound toward Essex, about five miles up the Connecticut River.  Lot of fun gunk-holing around this coastline. Had to lower the antenna to clear the bridge up to Essex.

1808, pulled in to Brewer's Essex Island Marina. Enjoying a quiet dinner aboard!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Day Five - Clear sailing to Stonington

Tuesday, Sep 20
Newport, RI to Stonington, CT

We woke up in Newport to sporadic, clearing rain.....still among the mega-yachts.

Please Note: The Lady A is tied up at the very end of the dock.
(But so is the one on the left.)

Breakfast aboard and then a brisk walk around town, we shove off at 1044 and take a tour around the beautiful (and some not so beautiful) yachts in Newport Harbor.

Ida Lewis & NYYC
We then headed out across a calm Narraganset Bay and ran down the Rhode Island coast. We couldn't  have asked for better weather conditions. Today's haul of only 35nm was the shortest of our voyage, to date.

Pt Judith Light
Not much to see on this relatively straight coastline but toward the end of our run we altered our course closer to shore to see some of the classic spots and beautiful coastal homes in Misquamicut and Watch Hill.
Ocean House
Entered Stonington Harbor and chose Dodson's Boatyard to hole up for the night. Fueled up and pumped out.  Explored the quintessential New England town of 18,000.   Dinner at the Breakwater restaurant with a beautiful sunset on what seems like the last evening of summer..... wait, maybe it is........

Plans for tomorrow are not yet fully developed.  There are plenty of options including Mystic, Essex, the CT River........who knows.   We will probably get back to Rowayton, near New Canaan, on Thursday to lay up for about a week or so.  This blog will take a breather at that time and restart on or about Sep 29 when I get a new crew member and run down to the Chesapeake.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Day Four, Newport, RI- Lay Day

Lay, Lady, Lay,
Little to report today.
Awoke to foghorns and periodic downpours so we hunkered down in the master stateroom until late morning and watched a movie. Despite the weather, many yachts and other show vessels paraded out of the harbor all day.

We ventured out for breakfast/brunch and took a walking tour of Newport, including Ida Lewis YC, NYYC and Bellevue Avenue. Found parts to repair a burned out anchor light and took it easy.

Dinner at the Revolving Door with old friends. Wind has died so it should be fair sailing tomorrow.
Plan an easy day for tomorrow with a destination of Watch Hill or Stonington, CT.

Red sky at night........

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day Three - Buzzard's Bay!

We spent the night on a mooring and enjoyed the quiet of Red Brook Harbor, spent a beautiful, calm evening, and awoke to some unsettled weather.  Little or no rain in the forecast and only moderate seas expected.  We took our time moving out in order to check the weather again.

Everything started out fine but after coffee spilled on the nav system, we had to batten down the hatches. What we hadn't bargained on was the tide running against the wind which meant that shallow Buzzard's Bay was abuzzin'! Sloppy sledding for a while!

Amanda couldn't wait for the four hour roller coaster ride to be over but was still somehow aware of the shoreline mansions in New Bedford.

We found our way in to Newport Harbor just as one of the country's premier boat shows was winding down.  Lots going on in this town.  We nestled in to the Newport Marina amidst some mega-yachts and caught up with old friends.

Given the forecast, we are planning to stay put tomorrow.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Day Two - Cape Ann to the Southern end of the Cape Cod Canal

We woke up in Annisquam and took a hike to Willow Rest country market for breakfast, hike back after.

Shoved off at 0900 through the Annisquam River, fueled up at Cape Ann Marina, and rushed through tricky currents at the bascule bridge and entered Gloucester Harbor.  We took a short swing through the harbor, and made good time in calm seas across the Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bays, and caught the tide through the canal.
Lady A on watch, (of the auto pilot)

Bourne Bridge

It was a beautiful ride all the way, but then we were met by the broiled seas of Buzzards Bay, so we ducked in to Red Brook Harbor, Palmer's Boat Yard, washed down the boat (and us) and took a mooring for the evening. BBQ ribs and salad aboard.  Harvest moonrise.

Harvest Moon

Friday, September 16, 2016

Lady A Ship's Log

Lady A Ship's Log - Southbound from Chebeague Island, Maine, headed for Naples, FL.

First leg, Casco Bay to Stamford, CT

Day One

With adequate provisions and all systems working, we departed the Chebeague Island Boatyard at 0625, right after a spectacular cloudless sunrise.

Our family provided us with a special sendoff!

Our goal was to get to Cape Ann where the Annisquam River area was recommended as a scenic hangout.  Two hours out we passed Cape Elizabeth, passing Isles of Shoals around 1115. The total trip took seven hours, running 72nm at an average of 10.3 knots. We arrived early afternoon, took a brisk walk and met friends for drinks at the Annisquam Yacht Club. Dinner ashore tonight.