July 14, 2021

We took a calculated risk to leave Stamford on a cold, rainy, foggy morning bound for the Pequot Yacht Club only twelve miles away. We were somewhat desparate as we needed to pump our toilet, dump our garbage, get some water and have a shower. These four things when completed can make life on a boat much more bearable. If ever you wondered about your life on shore, just live for a week on a small sailboat to understand the concept of “Lucky Enough”.

The trip was calm and that evening we sat on shore looking our at our boat on a mooring while we drank pinot grigio and ate a swordfish at the Wednesday night barbecue. Of course we quickly forgot our grounding experience two days ago. There is a saying “Promises made at sea are soon forgotten in calm waters” It probably goes for shallow anchorages as well.

I do not think I have ever had a rotten egg in my house in Sun City West. Well this is another twist to boat life – rotten eggs and rotten vegetables. Our fridge is really small so only perishables are chilled. Your nose is your best friend and helps keep the little yacht ship shape. When you think something is amiss, it probably is. I had forgotten about rotten eggs and lost three to one bad one. I now break my eggs separately before putting them all together for an omlet. “That’s Cruising Baby”.

Time has started to fly for us so it was necessary to be on the move. We were up early to make the 40 miles to Duck Island Rhodes, a little breakwater which shelters boats from the swell for the night. We motored, as again there was no wind but there was fog which came and went. They call that patchy fog and we went through several fog banks. We were traveling with AIS (detects other boats) RADAR (shows other boats and transmits our position) and GPS. The current was with us most of the day and we were doing 8 1/2 knots. We arrived in the early afternoon for some wine and early dinner. Early to bed as we would be up at the crack of dawn again the next day.

For the next eighty miles our trips were determined by the turn of the tide at the RACE which is the tip of Long Island by Montauk. The tidal flow races through this channel and controls the flow of water into and out of Long Island Sound. All boats want to travel with the current not against. If your average speed is 5 1/2 with a 3 knot current you will do 8 1/2 – against you will do 2 1/2. It is easy math – a 40 mile trip takes 5 hours or 16 hours. For the next few days we would get up early and travel with the current – fog or no fog using our instruments to our advantage. By observing the direction of the ebb and flood of the tide we made good time to arrive at Stonington and the end of Long Island Sound.

Stonington. CT is one of our favorite spots from long ago. Our first offshore trip was made from here – a big 12 miles to Block Island in our 18’ Catboat Drummer Boy in 1975. We spent two nights in Stonington mostly eating seafood. So much for the diet but it was fun.

The current to Block was favorable at 7 30 AM, so another early start. We were lucky to get a mooring as you cannot reserve a mooring at Block and anchoring, although permited, is so dicey. Arriving early made securing a mooring easy and we paid for three nights. The first morning we had a bakery delivery to the boat. It was time to find some more seafood.

The local seafood market has swordfish, scallops, tuna, cod, clams, oysters you name it. Our favorite is swordfish and scallops so we had two nice meals. Now we have the dignhy on board and are awaiting a severe weather advisory. A warm front is passing us between 2 PM and 9 PM with big thunderstorms packing potential 60 knot winds. Everything is tied down awaiting this weather. It is a broad front and just perhaps we will get the tail end of it. Our mooring is pretty secure as are the boats all around us. Only time will tell.

Before leaving Block Island a curious event took place. While munching into a slice of pizza, Ed felt something strange and voila – his three tooth bridge fell out. He was “Lucky Enough” to catch it in his hand, not swallow it or accidentally splash it into the ocean never to be found again. Now how would this effect the rest of the trip???

We got back to the boat and called our dentist in AZ. It took sometime for him to get back to us as he with a patient. When he called he was looking at Ed’s XRays and knew exactly what and why it happened. This was an area he wanted to address but Ed was a little too busy to take the time. He said we would be OK but favor the spot but carry on with our trip. The dentist will be Ed’s first stop when we arrive at home.

The thunderstorm severe weather predicted for Block stayed to the north of us – we again were “Lucky Enough” and had a relatively quiet night. We woke up early for the long trip to either Cuttyhunk, 30 miles away or Tashmoo on Martha’s Vineyard, 45 miles away. The currents were not our friend for this trip. We had three current groups to try to win over, Block Island Sound, Vineyard Sound and Buzzard’s Bay. Buzzard’s Bay seemed to win the day and we had a slow go. Underway at 8 AM and anchor down at 6 30 PM but we had some scallops left over from the night before. We were both exhausted but happy to claw our way to Lake Tashmoo where the stillness was incredible. As we put the anchor down a friendly swan came over to greet us and ask for some food (we didn’t give – remembering two years ago the swans that bit my lifelines). The next day we saw this swan had a wife and three cute little chicks that roam the anchorage.

It is July 23rd and we are having a quiet Friday cleaning up from the long trip and going shopping. That is what I say when I go into my boat lockers and grab the food I bought in Sun City West for the trip. My planning is paying off as we have lots of goodies left. Tomorrow we will go to town to pick up some fresh veggies and stretch our legs. My knees are not having fun on this trip but the eliptical will fix that when back in Sun City West.

We met another NorSea owner and had him over for some nachos and beer. (We never made it to town but we did drop the garbage off) We put the dinghy up as we hoped to leave for Nantucket but another front is making some big winds. We opted to stay one more night here and move one tomorrow Monday July 16th. I am making a pepperoni pizza for dinner. It is really blowing and windy outside but the anchorage is comfy and there are very few boats here. It is a good thing I bought so much food as we haven’t been to a grocery since block.

We have eight days before we meet our friend Carl on the other side of the Cape Cod Canal. So that is the next part of the adventure, making it to the canal. We have unsettled weather which doesn’t help our plans but we just take one day at a time.

More to follow Ellen

Sunset on Lake Tashmoo – Martha’s Vineyard

Entr’acte” approaching a fog bank


The beautiful Pequot Yacht Club

in Southport, Ct

Ed slipping our mooring to depart the Yacht Club

Ed hails the muffin men


Cinnamon buns for breakfast



A typical Block Island street


Yummy scallops for dinner onboard at Block Island

Ed prepares the boat for departure on a cold windy morning

Landfalls are hard to see.  Can you find the island???