A Block Island Farewell

The weather was outstanding. How could we stay home?? The sun, sky, and sea were calling to us, so off we went to Block Island, late on a Thursday afternoon. It was sparkling. The hydrangeas from our garden a colorful accent to the helm. We passed by an outrigger trawler (fishing boat) working the waters as the birds followed closely for a snack.

On our way to Block Island

On our way to Block Island

We also had a serious purpose for this little voyage. Al’s father, who passed away in July 2009, had requested that his ashes be spread in the waters of Block Island Sound. Al’s mother sent his ashes to us (from Florida) so that Dad’s wishes could be fulfilled. The sailing was outstanding; we moved through the water swiftly with a breeze of 15-18 knots. We dropped the sails and drifted.  With soft music playing and a setting sun, we let Charles Watson go into the waters he loved so much. A single hydrangea followed after him.  Neither of us had ever experienced a farewell ceremony at sea, let alone been responsible for one. It felt right, and it felt comforting. If you love the ocean, there is no better place to be.

CWW cermony

Salt Pond was crowded, but we found a place to anchor, testing our new Rocna – solidly dug in on the first try! These are the days you wish for – sun, cool and calm breezes, and clear water. On Friday we did our chores and continued taking care of assorted preparations for the bigger trip.  Al saw a Catalina 34 leaving the harbor that looked remarkably familiar. Sure enough, it was our previous boat! She was bought by a wonderful family from Long island. It would have been nice to connect with them again, but our paths did not cross closely enough. Almost!

Our first Kindred Spirit

Our first Kindred Spirit

This had to be a beach day. The waters were much calmer than our last stay here and I enjoyed the swimming very much. On our walk along the beach, we were able to go much farther than just a month ago. The beach had changed yet again – the rocks and stones were now covered by sand. We found four pieces of seaglass, “sea pottery”, and a heart-shaped piece of wampum.  I picked up colorful stones for another tower. (Yes, they came home with me. Al is a very patient man, but he did say no stones would be coming home with me from our trip south.)

A sand lobster sculpture -  A stone tower on top of the  rock My colorful stone tower and beach finds.

A sand lobster sculpture
– A stone tower on top of the rock
My colorful stone tower and beach finds.

We enjoyed an early dinner at The Oar sitting outside on the lawn and overlooking Salt Pond. We rarely go to The Oar so this was a treat.  Good food, good drinks, and lots to watch – dinghies looking for space at the crowded dock, people playing the lawn games, and the decor of buoys hanging on the fence.

The view from the lawn of The Oar

The view from the lawn of The Oar

We ended our day with a peaceful evening in our cockpit in the anchorage.

Sunset in the Salt Pond

Sunset in the Salt Pond

Saturday was a perfect day for kayaking, so off we went to Coast Guard Beach and the channel entrance.

Kayaking near the Block Island Coast Guard Station

Kayaking near the Block Island Coast Guard Station

After beaching the kayaks, we walked out along the jetty. Remember Confrey Cottage, the hut made of driftwood, that we stumbled upon on our July visit? This time I brought a black marker pen so that we could add a stone with our names. I placed it next to our friends’ stone – LeeAnn and Greg. The date of their visit was our anniversary, August 6th. See their stone next to ours?

"Our" stone is now at Confrey Cottage

“Our” stone is now at Confrey Cottage

After kayaking, we went swimming around the boat. Al scrubbed the rudder, scraped barnacles off the top edge and inspected the boat’s bottom. I played lifeguard for him. We practiced getting into our dinghy from the water using the new ladder he made out of PVC piping. No photos of that!!

A very pink sunset

A very pink Salt Pond sunset

Our last night at Block was a quiet evening onboard – dinner  and then a nice dinghy ride around the entire Salt Pond as the sun was setting.

We both commented on the number of very large power and sail yachts that were here at Block, something we never saw years ago. By “large” I mean LARGE – 80-120 feet.  We are also noticing some very interesting lighting on all sizes of boats. See the colored LED lights up those masts?

The harbor lights at night

The harbor lights at night

To catch a good current and be back home for an evening engagement, we left Block the next morning at 6:00 am.  It was an uneventful trip home, —  the waters were still very calm and there was no wind for sailing (we call that a “power boater’s dream”).

A sunrise farewell to Block Island

A sunrise farewell to Block Island

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