23 August 2014

This time for sure - Block Island

Today we got up a at a leisurely 05:30 after a fairly bouncy night on the free mooring outside of Menemsha. It was so bouncy in fact that we chose to sleep on the cabin settees rather than in the v-berth. The motion in the center of the ship is so much less pronounced than way up in the bow. We both slept very comfortably.

We were off the mooring and underway by 06:15 from Menemsha.

Dawn view of our overnight neighbor

Pretty skyline eastward as the sun rises

Dramatic clouds westward

We were in about a 1 kt opposing current for the first 5 miles or so until we got away from where the water is squeezed between Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth islands.  We watched Cuttyhunk Island pass by our starboard and looked forward to visiting there again later in the trip.  To our port we had beautiful views of the cliffs and SW tip of the Vineyard, Gay Head.

Gay Head Light

Looks like an inspirational poster. I don't know what the message is yet.

Passing Gay Head

Today's destination (again) was Block Island. We still had this steady N-E wind and so we were sailing pretty low. The N-Eer built up some pretty big swells (3-5') in the sound which rolled us around quite a bit for most of the 40 miles.  For most of the trip, we ran with a full main sail and the 90% Jib.

PFDs and Tethers were the rule today

Chin-Chin got quite a ride today and gulped a generous amount of water

Many hours of very alert sailing today from Menemsha to Block Island

Newport Bridge to the north
That's not land, and stop calling me a ho!
Finally after getting bounced around for several hours, Block Island was in sight.

The astute mariner would notice that we crossed the Traffic Separation Zone at a rather shallow angle. There was no activity in either of the shipping lanes during this time
Last time we went to Block Island (in Fujin) we got a slip in Old Harbor on the east side.  This time, we wanted to try anchoring in the great salt pond. This meant going around the north side of the island and then turning south. There is a narrow shallow spot that extends to the north from the island. We stayed about 1/2 miles to the north to avoid the 11 foot areas (11 foot with 5 foot swells... not much room). The bottom all around this spot is over 100 feet deep and so a huge amount of water gets pushed up on this shallow spot and some very big swells and breaking waves get built up here. Once on the other side of this spot, things get very smooth.

Feels very close to the beach as you head in the channel

Looking forward into the pond

Looking aft at the other boats following us in. Chin-Chin is full of water after the rough ride we had
The entrance to the salt pond is very narrow considering the huge volume of traffic that comes and goes. The salt pond itself is a huge area with thousands of boats in it. There are two marinas with slips, lots of town moorings and lots of room for anchoring. Being cheap bastards that we are, we chose to anchor.  Besides, by the radio chatter, it sounded like the town moorings were all taken.

Bob set up the hammock and Linda got first dibs on it.

Bob worked on a couple emails and was falling asleep at the computer so he laid down in the cockpit and was out cold for almost three hours!  Hey, it was a rough morning.

Night on the Town
We've had some cold-ish nights on this trip. Unfortunately, there have not been any nights where we could sleep in the cockpit. But the REAL cold parts have been that dinghy ride (always into the wind) coming back to Argon from whatever town we're in. Well, this time Linda got smart and dressed us both in our full foul weather gear for the ride. Here's us dressed up for dinner:

We ended up at Dead-Eye Dicks and sat at the bar for dinner. The food was good but this bar is really... a drinking bar. There were quite a few colorful individuals there in various states of intoxication. Food was quite good though.

Sunset overlooking the pond

Enjoying her Merlot at D-E D's
The Ride back to Argon was not so bad wearing our foulies.  Chin-Chin's motor was acting up a bit tonight but she got us home (good thing - would have been a long row).

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