Last Hurrah for Summer 2016

Wow, the end of summer came suddenly, or so it seemed. After 17 months in the water, Kindred Spirit would soon be hauled to hibernate through the New England winter. The  September weather was cooperating, so how could we resist one last little trip?? We managed to pack up again and depart three days after our return from Block.

We arrived at Napatree in the evening as it became a little foggy, anchoring near Jallao. We were treated to a colorful slide show over the waters.

Foggy silver grayness, but we are here at Napatree before the sun sets.

A foggy silver grayness blankets the anchorage, as we reach Napatree before the sun sets.

Just one hour later, the sky was brushed with a pale rosiness.

Just one hour later, the sky was brushed with a pale violet pinkness.

The pale rose deepened to reds and oranges.

The pale violet deepened to reds and oranges.

Still enjoying my coffee in the mornings, just dressing a bit more warmly.

Still enjoying my coffee in the mornings, just dressing a bit more warmly. Notice that I have a different mug for each of our favorite harbors???

We were only at Watch Hill for 3 days, but every evening presented an amazing array of colors during the sunset.

Trying the panorama setting on the camera.

Trying the panorama setting on the camera.

Mary Jo and I agreed to continue our September birthday celebrations (we are only 4 days apart.) Off to the Olympia Tea Room for happy hour cocktails, followed by ice cream at St. Claire’s.

Fancy drinks at the Olympia Tea Room!

Fancy drinks at the Olympia Tea Room!

Birthday girls with their guys.

Birthday girls with their guys.

September 22nd brought the first day of autumn. We managed to spend the last day of summer on the beach and the first day of fall. Not bad.

A bright yellow sun in a deep red-orange sky says good night to us.

A bright yellow sun in a deep red-orange sky says good night to us.

Al and Dean blow their conch horns for the sun's beautiful performance.

Al and Dean blow their conch horns for the sun’s beautiful performance.

The sun slips below the horizon, leaving a teasing hint of red behind.

The sun slips below the horizon, leaving a teasing hint of orange behind.

That was the last boating trip of the season. 🙁 On October 4th, Kindred Spirit was hauled and put on the hard. Al confirmed that a trawler is much easier to haul out than sailboat. No mast to unstep and store.

~ In the well of the travel lift. ~ Moved over for a bottom washing.

~ In the well of the travel lift.
~ Moved over for a bottom washing.

~ Moving the boat on the travel lift. ~ Settling into her winter home.

~ Moving the boat on the travel lift.

The hauling is finished and Kindred Spirit rests on her poppets. Unfortunately, there is no resting for Al yet. There is still much to be done to winterize the boat. Not to mention all the things that have been brought home for a thorough cleaning and storage.

Kindred Spirit's winter home at SYC

Kindred Spirit’s winter home at SYC

Kindred Spirit will spend her winter hibernation time at Shennecossett Yacht Club. Sweet dreams, little trawler.

Birthday on Block

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When I’m sixty-four.                                  64……                                                             Sixty-four………..

“When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?”

Thanks goes out to the Beatles for immortalizing the 64-year landmark! Hard to believe, but there it is, staring me in the face. But that’s ok, really, because the alternative is, well, let’s not go there. And life is pretty darn good.

Celebrating this birthday began with a pre-birthday dinner made by my sons and their families.

Flowers from my Al. Help from Caleb with the birthday candles. Addie joins the fun.

Reading to little Addie, Caleb helps me blow out my candles, and a bouquet from my love.

 On my real birthdate, we did something that we have done two out of the past three years – head out to sea! The other two times were the first day of our big adventure to the Bahamas in 2013 and 2015 . This time we were just off to Block island! What a great week  and a great place to celebrate a birthday.

A birthday kiss, relaxing on the bow, water spray below the bow.

A birthday kiss, relaxing on the bow, water spray below the bow.

 It was a beautiful morning to go to Block and to begin testing my new camera (the old one died its third and last death). The camera decision was a difficult one that was ultimately made easier when I faced the fact that I am not going to be happy carrying a large camera around. Give me something that is easy to carry in a pocket or bag and fairly automatic. I opted for the SONY DX90V, with a 30x zoom.

As we approached Block, there were no whale sightings on this trip, but to the north we could see one of the BLock Island lighthouses.

As we approached Block, there were no whale sightings on this trip, but to the north we could see one of the Block Island lighthouses.

Salt Pond is nearly empty!! Hoorah!! Block is just too crowded during the summer season, so this post-Labor Day week should be very, very nice. And the weather is excellent.

Much less crowded here after Labor Day. Should be a very nice week.

Much less crowded here after Labor Day. Should be a very nice week.

Birthday dinner at Dead-Eye Dick's with an almost full moon shining above.

Birthday dinner at Dead-Eye Dick’s with an almost full moon shining above.

Al gave me a unique book by Susan Branch. Photos and artwork by Susan Branch are sprinkled throughout and the font style has a handwritten look. Definitely a book that needs to be a hardcover and not an ebook. The book was a really good choice for me. First, it is about Branch’s move to the Martha’s Vineyard  and her life there. Second, I have always wished to live on each New England island for one full year so that I could experience the seasons and feel like an inhabitant rather than a visitor. It’s just a dream, really a fantasy, but wouldn’t that be cool?

one of my birthday gifts was Susan Branch's "Martha's Vineyard of Dreams". What a neat book !

One of my birthday gifts was Susan Branch’s “Martha’s Vineyard  Isle of Dreams”. What a neat book ! The font is handwritten-like, and the text is peppered with photos and Branch’s watercolors. A beautiful book to hold and read. And keep.

We spent the first three days at Block on the SYC mooring and then anchored off by Breezy Point at the end of the week. Salt Pond was so much more peaceful in mid-September, a different place than July or August.

We spent the first three days on the SYC mooring and then anchored off by Breezy Point. Nothing like having your morning coffee on the back deck, looking out over the water. Ahhhhh

Ahhhhh. Nothing like having your morning coffee in the aft cockpit, looking out over the water.

To the beach! Block does have one of the loveliest beaches in New England. 

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A view towards Mansion Beach from our spot on Crescent Beach.

 Using my new camera to study the  waves – 

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Mary Jo and I wiggle our teal toes in the sand.

Mary Jo and I wiggle our teal toes in the sand.

Another flybridge dinner gathering with the crews of Jallao (Dean and Mary Jo) and Gale Warning (LeeAnn and Greg)

Another flybridge dinner gathering with the crews of Jallao (Dean and Mary Jo) and Gale Warning (LeeAnn and Greg)

Whether you are walking or kayaking around the island, the architecture is quintessential “Block.”

Three Block hotels - The Narragansett, the Surf Hotel, and The National.

Three Block hotels – The Narragansett, the Surf Hotel, and The National.

Weathered, but even lovelier than new.

Weathered, but even lovelier than new.

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Top – Built by The U.S. Weather Bureau of the Department of Agriculture in 1903, the stately building was an inn that now appears to be closed. Bottom – The Sullivan House, a favorite place for weddings, overlooks Salt Pond and the inner ponds.

We walked back from our trip to town along Corn Neck Road for a chance of view.

Al stood out on this wooden walkway that once went down to the beach.Hurricane Sandy destroyed it.

Al stood out on this wooden walkway that once went down to the beach. Hurricane Sandy destroyed it.

The monument along the road.

The Block island Historical Society Monument (1942) monument along the road, above the sandy shore.

Kayaking is popular everywhere these days, including Block Island.

Kayaks available for rent or use at both ends of Salt Pond.

Kayaks are available for rent or use at both ends of Salt Pond.

Just had to take this photo - This one is for you, Dan!

A sign on the building near the kayak rentals.                                                                   Just had to take a photo – This one is for you, Dan. Coconuts ARE more dangerous than sharks!

We have been enjoying our kayaks more than ever this summer. They store very nicely up on the flybridge. We took ourselves on a 2-hour tour around Salt Pond and the inner ponds.

The Coast Guard station ahead. Near the rocky shoreline.

The Coast Guard station ahead. Near the rocky shoreline.

Al, kayaking under the low bridge into the pond and checking out a little path in the grass.

Al, kayaking under the low bridge into the pond and checking out a little path in the grass.

Kayaking gives you a close-up view of many things.

Close up looks at the wildlife, in the water, on the water, above the water.

A look at the wildlife, in the water, on the water, above the water.

A black lab swimming in the anchorage. Not so wild, but certainly in the water.

A black lab swimming to shore in the anchorage. Not so wild, but certainly in the water.

Kayaking gives you a close up look at many things, including other boats.

A canoe rests at the edge of the water, near two adirondack chairs.                             First time we have seen a keg used as a mooring ball.

Look at this! The Oliver Hazard Perry, training ship that we saw in Nantucket, slipped inland put of Block while we were there.

Look at this! The sailing vessel, Oliver Hazard Perry, the training ship that we saw in Nantucket. The ship slipped into Salt Pond at Block while we were there.

There is so much to look at and experience, even on simple beach walks. Another walk we enjoy here is out past the Coast Guard Station, along the channel and over to the outside western shore.

A walk past the Coast Guard station and the sandy beach along the channel, leads to the stone jetty.

A walk past the Coast Guard station and the sandy beach along the channel, leads to the stone jetty.

There are still remnants of the rusting iron connectors for the old deteriorated wooden wall. This channel entrance is a man-made, dredged cut through the narrow beach that transformed Salt Pond into "New Harbor."

There are still remnants of the rusting iron connectors for the old deteriorated wooden wall. This channel entrance is a man-made, dredged cut through the narrow beach that transformed Salt Pond into “New Harbor.”

There’s always something interesting to notice on the beach, to ponder and consider. Logs that roll upon the shore and settle in for the long haul, stone towers perched upon a log display stand, driftwood log that suggests the head of an ancient dinosaur.

Natural beach art

Al amuses himself with beach finds and creations.

Al amuses himself with beach finds and creations.

I climb upon a larger driftwood "sculpture."

I climb upon a larger driftwood “sculpture.”

White surf rolls in and over colorful polished stones in the sand.

White surf rolls in and over colorful polished stones in the sand. Wonderful sights and sounds.

 

The evenings were filled with delightful sights as the full moon approached.

September 13th

September 13th

September 15th, almost "full."

September 15th, almost “full.”

September 16th was the full moon and a "Harvest Moon."

September 16th was the full moon and a “Harvest Moon.” It didn’t paint our sky with orange and red hues, but it did put a sparkle on the water.

We left Block on Saturday morning, bright and early. That’s the way to visit Block Island, Monday through Friday,  🙂  to miss the crowds. Especially after Labor Day. We had a relaxing five days – that’s the way to celebrate a birthday!

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Interrupted by Hermine – Hurricane Party!

We weren’t the only boaters impacted by the threat of Hermine. For us, it was a fairly easy decision to cut the trip short and head home. For cruising friends who were far from their homeport, or who had no homeport, a tropical storm or hurricane can be much more than an inconvenience, large or small. Anthony and Annette on their Morgan 44, Magnolia, were in Onset, Massachusetts on the way south from Maine. During our weather consultations, we offered Shennecossett as a safe harbor for Magnolia to wait out the storm and our home for the crew.

There was a LOT of hyperbole from the weather gurus and lots of confusion about Hermine’s track as it stalled and shifted repeatedly.

The spaghetti models for Hermine's track up the coast, changing by the day.

The spaghetti models for Hermine’s track up the coast, changing by the day.

Everyone at Shennecossett prepared their boats for high winds and rains. Magnolia arrived  and slipped into the dock next to us.

Hello, Magnolia!

Hello, Magnolia!

Kindred Spirit and Magnolia, dock neighbors.

Kindred Spirit and Magnolia, dock neighbors under dark skies.

The four of us loaded up our car and headed for our house to have a “hurricane party.” Everything possible had been done for the boats and we were ready to hunker down and wait it out, on land.

Anthony and Annette prepare a delicious dinner for us all. How often do you have guest like that??

Anthony and Annette prepare a delicious dinner for us all. How often do you have guests  like that??

While we ate and drank and enjoyed visiting with dear friends, we also kept an eye on the weather forecasts. It’s a necessary obsession for boaters, you just keep watching and listening. Sunday morning dawned, and ………….. wait a minute……….. the sun is shining……no rain….. no wind……?  Let’s check that forecast again. Hermine was one fickle storm. It was out there, but not as soon or nearly as close as predicted. New plans – let’s take Anthony and Annette on a tour! Why not Gillette Castle on the Connecticut River.? Although we pass it by boat when we traverse north and south on the river, we haven’t toured the castle itself in years and years (maybe an elementary school field trip?)

Tourist time! The four of us with Gillette Castle

Tourist time! The four of us with Gillette Castle.

Gillette Castle was the home of William Gillette (1853-1937), actor, playwright,stage manager,  who is best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a 1916 silent film. It is Gillette who transformed  Sherlock’s appearance into the universally recognizable deerstalker cap and curved pipe stem. He is also credited with the catchphrase “Oh this is elementary, my dear fellow,” (which later morphed into “Elementary, my dear Watson”).

As "Watsons" ourselves, we couldn't help but feel ak kinship with the line.

As “Watsons” ourselves, we couldn’t help but feel a kinship with the line, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

Gillette named his castle, Seventh Sister, building it from local fieldstone supported on a steel frame over a five-year span (1914-19) by a crew of 20 men. Gillette designed the entire structure himself, including the 47 individually designed doors, with unusal doorknobs and puzzle locks.

Without a doubt, Gillette Castle (aka Seventh Sister) is one unique home.

Without a doubt, Gillette Castle (aka Seventh Sister) is one unique home. My finger is pointing  at a series of wooden switches for lighting.

Strained glass fixtures and windows throughout the castle.

Stained glass fixtures and windows throughout the castle.

The castle’s rear, overlooking the river.  Even the window awnings are made from the stone.

A view of th driver from the castle patio. That's where we usually are.

A view of the river and the boats from the castle’s patio.

We enjoyed our tour and a picnic lunch on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The water called to us and the river said come take a ride! So off we went to ride the Chester-Hadlyme ferry across the river, no bridges for us.

The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry - "over the river......."

The Chester-Hadlyme Ferry – “over the river…….”

We are all happy whenever we are on the water.

We are all happy whenever we are on the water.

One last look back at Gillette Castle high atop the hill.

One last look back at Gillette Castle high atop the hill.

The hurricane party continued into the evening with a dinner at Amici’s land home. Ted and Sally invited the four of us to enjoy their company and a delicious meal. on dirt or on the water, it’s great camaraderie.

Dinner at Sally and Ted's.

Dinner at Sally and Ted’s.

One last stop at West Marine for their bottom paint sale. Thinking ahead. Magnolia’s bottom will be blue, Kindred Spirit‘s will be green. Don’t mix the cans up, guys! Or… we could have matching striped bottoms???

The guys and their bottom paint.

The guys and their bottom paint.

So what ever happened with Hermine?? The tropical storm did not impact us very much after all, here in Connecticut. That is a very good outcome. No regrets about taking precautions and being safe. If we had been out on the water, the conditions would have been uncomfortable at best and very likely risky. The best outcome for us was getting to spend time with Anthony and Annette before they continue southward. We sure are going to miss them this winter.