Block in September

Ahhhh, September.   September is a beautiful month, especially for boating. But only other educators will understand what a little thrill it was to vacation in September. We took our new trawler on a little vacation, beginning Labor Day weekend at Stonington. After two days in Stonington, we left on Labor Day and headed to Block Island, arriving just as everyone else was leaving. 😉

Block Island, the island on the right side of the picture

Block Island, the island on the right side of the picture

These are photos of the channel entrance to Salt Pond during the “rush hour” at the end of the holiday weekend. One of those times when you are very glad you are going in the opposite direction of everyone else.

Labor Day Rush Hour - a little foggy as we entered the channel and then the sky brightened as we looked back after entering Salt pond.

Labor Day Rush Hour – a little hazy as we entered the channel and then the sky brightened as we looked back after entering Salt Pond. A steady stream of boats, leaving.

Block Island is a favorite place for boaters here in New England. We usually stop there 2-3 times each summer for a few days. This summer’s boating season began late for us so a week at Block would be our only significant trip.

An aerial view of block Island, looking south. Salt Pond, or New Harbor, as it is also called, is the body of water near the center.

An aerial view of block Island, looking south. Salt Pond, or New Harbor, as it is also called, is the body of water near the center. The shape of the island is seen on everything – clothing, jewelry, stickers, you name it.

We began the week with three days on the Shennecossett Yacht Club mooring, joining Sonic Sea Dog (Rich and Nancy) and Jallao (Dean and Mary Jo).

On the Shennecossett mooring ball. We are in the center.

On the Shennecossett mooring ball. We are in the center.

Gale Warning (LeeAnn and Greg) was also at Block so the six of us had a chance to spend some time together.

~Dinner on the aft deck of Kindred Spirit  ~ a beautiful day at the beach - Dean, MJ, Greg, LeeAnn, Al and Michele

~Dinner on the aft deck of Kindred Spirit
~ a beautiful day at the beach – Dean, MJ, Greg, LeeAnn, Al and Michele

 This was an extraordinary week in September, summer weather, but no summer crowds. There were just enough people to give a vibrant feel to the island without the suffocation of a typical summer week.

Scotch Beach - one of the best in New England

The swimming in the ocean waters off of Scotch Beach was nearly perfect, the best swimming since our time in the Bahamas — crystal clear, blue-green, and just a bit cooler.

A very creative man built this sand sculpture. His description of it? Neptune is protecting his beer from the shark!

A very creative man built this sand sculpture. His description of it? “Neptune is protecting his beer from the shark!”

A little girl working on her sand fort.

A little girl working on her sand fort.

Al has been waiting for the year that he turns 65. Why, you may ask?? A season’s clamming license at Block was only $1 for folks 65 and older – something to anticipate, right? The fee for the license was raised to $10 before Al reached 65. But this is his year, and Al wanted to clam. The $10 was worth it in fun and good eats!

Getting his license at the Harbor Master's shack. Yes, Al's license is "golden."

Getting his license at the Harbor Master’s shack. Yes, Al’s license is “golden.”

Al's first clam! A memorable moment.

Al’s first clam! A memorable moment.

Al and Dean clammed three times during the week. Reminded me of the hunting and gathering days in the Bahamas when Al and Dan went lobstering.

Al and Dean clammed three times during the week. Reminded me of the hunting and gathering days in the Bahamas when Al and Dan went lobstering with their spears.

The clamming limit for each day is 4 quarts so he used a gallon jug to keep track of his catch. When they finished, the clams are hung off the boat in a net until ready to be shucked.

The clamming limit for each day is 4 quarts so he used a gallon jug to keep track of his catch. When they finished, the clams are hung off the boat in a net until ready to be shucked.

Dean is the expert shucker and chef when it comes to seafood. Lucky us -- Three dinners! Stuffed clams, Pasta Al-Deano, and clam chowder.

Dean is the expert shucker and chef when it comes to seafood. Lucky us — three delicious dinners! Stuffed clams, Pasta Al-Deano, and clam chowder.

 In the old days, we would rent bikes and spend one day biking around the island to Mohegan Bluffs on the southeast side and into town. With all the space we have on this trawler, we are able to bring our own bikes along with us.

Another use for the flybridge - perfect place to carry the bikes.

Another use for the flybridge – perfect place to carry the bikes. Look how nicely they fit on the flybridge while underway.

Getting the bikes to shore in the dinghy

Getting the bikes to shore in the dinghy is a tight squeeze, but it can be done.

Bikes are locked to the fence behind The Oar so that we can use them whenever we want.

Bikes are locked to the fence behind The Oar so that we can use them whenever we want, even just a quick ride to town to shop or to the grocery store.

Dean, MJ, Al and I decided to bike out Cornfield Road to the North Light. The overcast sky eventually gave way to sunshine, but it was still humid.

Stone walls and stone towers around the Block.

Stone walls and stone towers all around the Block.

Almost to the North Light, we pass Sachem Pond. So peaceful.

Almost to the North Light, we pass Sachem Pond. So peaceful.

Looking out to Block Island Sound, we could see sails.

Looking out to Block Island Sound, we could see sails.

Block Island North Light, now a museum. After the 5 mile bike ride, we walked another half mile to it.

Block Island North Light, now a museum. After the 5 mile bike ride, we walked another half mile to it.

More up hill biking on the way back, so we stop for a rest.

There was more up-hill biking on the way back, so we stop for a rest.

We were not and tired so our biking adventure ended with ice cream followed by Coronas at The Oar. ;-)

We were hot and tired after the 5-mile trip back so our biking adventure ended with ice cream followed by Coronas at The Oar. 😉  Does that count as lunch??

It was quite a week! We walked, clammed, kayaked, biked, swam, and also visited Old Harbor, the shopping part of Block Island (“town”).

A little park along the Old Harbor. The quote on the bench says:

A little park along the Old Harbor.

The quote on the bench captures the moment (in memory of Esta and Jack Gray):

“Fine to see the boats go by, ships in harbor, birds on high.
Rippling waves, sparkling seas, rocks where seagulls sit at ease.
Sunny breakers, cooling breezes, sky blue waters, 
sheltered lees.
With all these joys the world is blessed, so do sit here and take a rest.”

The Farmers Market

The Farmers Market at the Manisses parking lot.

A few of the stores in town

A few of the stores in town – cute gift shops, “Juice n Java” the “alternative” coffee house, and “Red Right Return”, an antiques and second hand shop. 

We ate dinner at Dead Eye Dicks, a short walk from the dinghy dock at New Harbor (Salt Pond), and had delicious lobster rolls and lobster salad. It is a special treat for me to eat there because one of my former students is a waitress there in the summers.

Dead Eye Dicks 19 years after 7th grade math class, teacher and student.

At Dead Eye Dicks with my favorite server.
19 years after 7th grade math class –  teacher and student, Michele and Ashley.

Another sunset at Block Island - see the flag silhouette in the sun?

Another sunset at Block Island – see the flag silhouetted in the sun?

Al and Dean sound the conch horn at sunset. Yes, this is becoming quite a tradition.

Al and Dean sound the conch horn at sunset. Yes, this is becoming quite a tradition.

Our 7 days came to an end, sadly, and it was time to return home. I think this was one of our best times at Block. Block shines in September!

Leaving Block Island - no rush hour this time! The channel by the Coast Guard Station is open and clear.

Leaving Block Island – no rush hour this time! The channel by the Coast Guard Station is open and clear.

Good By Jallao! Thanks for sharing good times with us again.

Good-bye Jallao! Thanks for sharing good times with us again.

Blue skies and calm seas

Blue skies and calm seas

My vase of hydrangeas stayed fresh and pretty for the entire week.

My vase of hydrangeas stayed fresh and pretty for the entire week.

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