More beautiful places to be found!
Fisher’s Island is off of CT, just off the tip of Long Island and across from New London/Groton areas- a real gem. It is a small (4 square miles) private island that discourages transient boaters from coming ashore yet has private and public ferries to bring goods and service people over daily. We were invited to use a yacht club mooring by Anne Wilkinson, a good friend of John Karp’s.
The little harbor is lovely, quaint, quiet and perfect. We picked up a mooring then took turns exploring the edges of the harbor in our kayak, grateful for the exercise and the opportunity to peek at the classic New England homes, docks, gardens, and more. After being on the inland waterways for 2 years, the water looked amazingly clear and refreshing with seaweed, shells, and rocks shown clearly from the shallows, and even the lobster pots looked inviting. We also had cool down swims, including my first lap around the boat of the year. A few other boats joined us on moorings or anchored out further in the bay, but overall it was peaceful and quiet, which we prefer. Still hot and humid, but the swim cooled us down beautifully.
The next morning, 6/28, John was eager to continue his post heart transplant training regime so Dean dinghied us to the yacht club (“guests of Anne Wilkinson”) where we were warmly greeted with a “hello” and “how can I help you?” by the young attendant at the yacht club. We had a (hot/humid) lovely walk exploring a small portion of this island, striding past THE gas station and THE restaurant (The Pequot) and THE post office and THE golf course (which apparently is world famous). This is a beautiful island I could live on! Picturesque. Around 300 people live year round on the island, and there is a K-12 school with less than 100 students total.
After another swim, we cruised across about 2.5 miles to Noank CT where we had another kind invitation to dock, especially appreciated since the weather was building toward thunderstorms over the next several days. We had quite a few wonderful invites for moorings in CT, from my work partner Kirsten and her family at the Wadawanyck Club in Stonington, to an old high school friend, Keith, who offered moorings at the town of Old Saybrook CT. Such kindness, reaching out to us transients and much appreciated! Thank you!
June 29, 2021: The Ram’s Island Yacht Club in Noank is a small beautiful yacht club, which reminds me of the Agamenticus Yacht club in York Maine in that teaching kids and kid’s sailing programs are the focus. There was an Opti group sailing around the docks like little ducks, and it brought memories of when our own boys folded their bodies into those little tub boats to race.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”_Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
John Karp had planted his 1994 GM “Truckster” estate wagon, complete with wood panels, nearby so he had a second workout to walk to bring it to the yacht club. Then he generously loaned it to us to run to the laundromat and the grocery store, all in the 95 degree heat. Phew! Being on land is much hotter than on the water! I had a virtual appointment, then made appetizers for our first “docktails” in 2 years! We had open air drinks and eats with Anne Wilkinson and her parents, Toby and George, with lively conversations about boat racing, sailing camps, all the ways we know and love John Karp, and canal boating in France. Anne is a sailboat racer, when she’s not working in HR, and her parents spent 5 years owning a canal boat in France amongst many other sailboats and adventures. A lovely evening, interrupted only by the seagulls who ruined the remnants of our appetizers when we stepped away to admire John’s road bike. Topped off the evening with a cool shower at the yacht club.
The poor weather was rapidly heading our way and we had concerns about finding a safe mooring or anchorage when the thunderstorms arrived, especially over a holiday weekend. So on Wednesday, June 30th, Dean roused the crew (me) at 5 am, we bid goodbye to John who was heading back to Maine, and we headed off to for a 40 mile cruise to Newport RI.
Our first leg on open ocean water and we wanted to be inland before the swells built, especially through “the race” (so named because of the strength of currents) at the eastern end of Long Island Sound. It was choppy, which meant our trawler rolled a fair amount, but overall it was fine trip. The wind was following as we rounded Point Judith, the current dropped off, and the swells calmed a bit. We arrived in the busy port of Newport RI by 10:30 am, and secured one of the first-come, first-serve moorings, thankfully.
Newport is a yacht-filled harbor, boats of all sizes including an abundance of 120’ or larger mega yachts. It has hosted the America’s Cup races and has a busy schedule of racing events throughout the summer, including their annual Newport Regatta, Newport to Bermuda race, and many more. Dean’s brother John often races from here. We are thankful that a mooring was open for us, a humble little trawler amidst the yachting fleet. There is a lot of money floating in this harbor
We do enjoy watching the boat activities – the large and small boats coming and going at a busy pace, the harbor ferries and shuttles and the charter sails heading out for an evening sunset cruise as well as us crusty boaters in need of showers and supplies dinghying into the yachting welcome center. You have to maneuver alongside and beyond the mega yachts, and it’s fun to imagine who owns and uses these amazing boats – I would like a tour of one someday and Dean would really like to shadow a captain.
We went into shore and had a long walk along the waterfront area through the fancy stores, restaurants, and along the working docks. The Safe Harbor shipyard was readying a new large purple catamaran to launch. Amazing engineering once again! Hot and humid as usual these days and we treated ourselves to a Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream. Dinner ended up being a light salad and bread as we watched a steady stream of mega yachts stream in and maneuver docking with relative ease. The storm clouds gradually built up along the northeast of us and we could see lightning in the distance, but the storm didn’t come over us until later in the night.
Happy July! The first day of July was partly cloudy, with thunderstorms threatening but not appearing until late in the afternoon. We did a variety of work and projects on the boat after sleeping in (past sunrise!) and enjoying a leisurely breakfast. We got in another lively walk between work appointments which we had scheduled since we knew we would be in port. An exploration of the area leading toward Fort Adams was hot, humid, and lovely. The gardens are full of pink and purple hydrangeas and roses of all colors. After the rain, we grilled out, had our evening boat watching, and sprinkle showers to get off the sticky sweat and suntan lotion. Temps are cooling between the bouts of rain. So refreshing after weeks of heat and humidity.
We have ended up staying in Newport for 5 days – long weather pattern to wait out, and a secure mooring in a busy harbor town seemed our best option, especially over a holiday weekend. It rained and stormed on and off each day, with dark tumultuous clouds, thunderstorms in the distance, yet mixed with patches of dryness. We spent each day doing boat projects, planning a fall bike trip, reading, and going ashore for long walks exploring different sections of the island.
The air has cooled, requiring us to wear a sweatshirt layer and a blanket on the bed. So nice to be in fresh cool air, to not be sticky from sweat, yet warm and cozy in the salon of our trawler. The only game we have on board (big oversight on my part) is mancala, and Dean leads 4-to-1. I’ve got to put word games (Boggle, Bananagram?) onboard to redeem myself. The town has come alive on the 4th with red, white, and blue everywhere. We heard the parade pass this morning with fife and drum, but unfortunately the fireworks are weather-delayed by one day and we will miss them.
Open ocean water ahead for us. If the wind holds light tomorrow, we are leaving at sunrise to try to get ahead of the weather arriving later in the week and the wind shift to the east, which would bring more chop and swells than our rolly trawler should be out traveling in. Hope to be home to Maine in 3-4 days for a visit with our boys and their wives, family, and friends.
By the grace of God we go,
~Karen and Dean
More trawler fun. Thanks for the updates and stories.
You know Newport! Busy busy
And thanks for reading and commenting. Xo
Nice pic of you and Dean in front of The Breakers! Thanks for sharing all the accounts, and I can envision all the mega boats in the harbor – it’s a different life they live!
That it is, that it is!
You have had a wonderful trip again. See you soon.
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Such wonderful variety and adventures! Thanks for letting us be a part of it. Continue to be safe and happy. 😘
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