“Dock Potatoes”

Kindred Spirit in her slip on D Dock

That caught your attention, didn’t it? “Dock Potatoes” as in “Couch Potatoes.” Joan, the new admiral of Kindred Spirit #3, used this phrase which is much kinder than the phrase “dock scum,” which we had previously heard. That’s how I felt about the summer so far. The boat didn’t splash into the water until July 16th and our boat time has been overwhelming tied to the dock, which is not our usual style. Although Al spent 2 days each week working on projects here, my boat time has been limited to weekends because of physical therapy appointments, and because my healing spine could only handle short times at first. 

After the launch and christening we began with a short day trip to be sure I could get on and off the boat and feel comfortable underway. My first trip out on the boat (if it could really be called a “trip”) was with a crew aboard for assistance. Anthony and Annette from Magnolia joined us for a day trip to West Harbor on Fishers Island. I watched while Al was at the helm and Anthony and Annette handled the lines.

We passed Magnolia sitting on our mooring. Note the resemblance? She is Kindred Spirit‘s big sister.
Once we were out in Fishers Island Sound, I took the helm to get reacquainted with the feel of it all. Annette is an awesome captain and a fine mentor. Sometimes a girl just needs another female around, you know?
Company arrived as soon as we anchored. Anthony said this was good luck. Yeah, maybe….. but what if he poops?
Al and Annette work on the intricacies of shade curtain construction.
Anthony, engaged in deep thoughts about boating.
A lovely day ended with dinner together on Kindred Spirit. It was so disappointing that our summer cruising plans were canceled, twice, but we were grateful for the time we did get to spend together.

For 4 weeks we spent a lot of time at the dock.

The view of B Dock from the pilot house while at the dock.

During our “dock potatoes” time, I adjusted to moving cautiously around the boat, trying not to bend, lift or twist (BLT). Haha, that is not easy to do on a boat. Al, of course, did boat chores and more of his projects.

Al laying down on the job.
Bottom photo – Al replacing the ignition on the oven/stovetop.
Top photo – Al is investigating the swim ladder and transom with thoughts of a new project for the winter.
Sometimes Al actually relaxes.
Have loom, will weave. I’m so glad I added this small loom to my collection. Perfect size for onboard weaving.
We almost always eat in the cockpit. Al discovered a new beer can holder. Multi-purpose!

It is harder to socialize these days with covid-19, but it can be done.

Happy hour and dinner with the crew of Cutting Class, Marcia and Dan. Outdoors and 8 feet apart.
Happy hour with Sweet Liberty‘s crew, Joan and Whit. Sweet Liberty is the former Kindred Spirit #3.
We weren’t there, but Lisa sent a text and photo to say hello. 😁
Al (a different Al) on Lady D, across the dock from us, took this photo one early morning at sunrise. We are the third boat from the right. Thank you!

Finally, finally, we took Kindred Spirit out for an overnight away from the dock. This was my first time at the helm to take her out of the dock. I’ve handled the Morgan and the Mariner in and out of the dock, but the Krogen has a much different feel to the controls. Our headsets refused to work (whaaat?) With knocking knees (literally, not figuratively), it was still a successful first departure. Once we were at anchor, Al googled and found the fix for the headsets. Whew, they work again.

Our track – We took a side trip up to Noank and then across to West Harbor.
Sunset at West Harbor. Away from the dock, although only a few miles. Very, very nice to sleep away from the dock.

We returned to the dock the next morning which meant I had to bring the boat into the slip, and back her in. I played around with stopping the boat near buoys out in the Sound. That might sound silly to some boaters, but I know myself and I needed to do that. Al, as always was very patient. Back at SYC, slow and steady worked. Thanks to headsets and Al’s guidance in my ears, I did it. Oh boy, this was a whole new routine, but Al said his magic words, “Fine job, my dear.”

That afternoon, for a delayed 26th wedding anniversary, we drove to Ford’s in Noank for lunch. Our first restaurant meal since….. February?? It was nice and felt safe. Outdoors, of course.

A view of Ford’s from the water when we toured up to Noank the day before.
Nice views of the Mystic River and the lobster shack.
Delicious lobster BLT! We thoroughly enjoyed our first restaurant experience in over 5 months.

So, my conclusion? When the boat is this comfortable, even time spent as “dock potatoes” can be enjoyable.

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