Away, Away!

Away, Away, away from the dock!  The melody from “We Know the Way” (Disney movie,  Moana) with the refrain “Away, Away!” was singing in my head as we left the dock to GO somewhere. Side story here – I was admitted to the in-patient rehabilitation facility four days after my spinal surgery. The office administrator entered my room with paperwork in her hand. She said, with a confused and smiling face, “So, it says here that you are Polynesian…….. I’m thinking that’s not correct??” We both laughed, something I surely needed at that moment. Throughout the 10 days of my stay there, she would pass by and say “And how is my Polynesian friend doing?” A few evenings later, Moana was playing on the TV, so I watched it again and enjoyed it even more. There are “boats” in it.

But I digress……

For our first away from the dock overnight, we headed to Ram Island at the end of the Mystic River. We didn’t go far, less than 5 miles from the dock, but to me, it was like another world just to be out on the water again. Everything seemed new again.

I think I may be getting the hang of this piloting from the pilot house. I feel like a flybridge traitor – never thought I would give up piloting from up there.
The south side of Ram Island as we pass by to go around and into the little nook on its eastern side. There is one house on the island that has been rebuilt since it was destroyed by fire in 2014. 

For a Tuesday, it was pretty busy in the little harbor nook on the eastern side of Ram Island. We have been purposefully avoiding weekends on the water, but it didn’t seem to matter in August.  The boats did provide some entertainment.

Ram Island sits at the end of the Mystic River so you get to see a variety of boats —

We had a nice view of this touring schooner coming in and out of the Mystic River.
Each day these fast little “boats” come in and out of the little bay. Listening closely, we realized they are actually a tour group with a guide.
Other boats, some sail, some power, all enjoying the sun and the little beach. The one on the lower left was a disappointing sight. Trump flag with “no more bull&*%t” Really?

We didn’t do much, just relaxed (I relaxed; Al never relaxes) and enjoyed the boat, at anchor.

Speaking of anchor, Al also worked out his new anchor snubber system. 

Dyneema snubber part
Snubber system

We also practiced using the dinghy hoist system. This is new to us. We have always had davits on the stern for our dinghy which made the dinghy easy to lower and raise. Storing the dinghy on the flybridge keeps the transom free of obstruction and makes it easier for me to board the boat from the dock. Al had already practiced the hoist system but it was now time for me to learn my role.

There are two motors that control lifting and lowering the dinghy, each controlled by a remote. 

Dinghy hoist controls – Al labeled each and I studied the buttons. Boom is easy – the picture nicely indicated up and down. I had to think about the dinghy hoist. “IN” means the line is pulled in which makes the dinghy go up (IN and UP are two letter words.) “OUT” means the line goes down. And “RUN” is the “start” or “go.”
I have the easy part – pushing buttons!
Al has the harder and more physical tasks. Steadying and controlling the dinghy physically.
Test ride for the new dinghy.

What else we learned……. I can’t get into the dinghy from the transom. I stood there and thought and thought and realized that I am not yet able to move my body safely in that way. And if I could get into the dinghy, the water would have to be very, very calm so that I don’t bounce up and down.

While dinghying about, Al took some photos of Kindred Spirit.
The lowest part of Ram Island is just a thin strip of a beach grassy area with these little scrubby trees.
From up on the flybridge, there is a better view of the scrubby little trees and over the thinnest part of Ram Island.
One of my favorite things when we are out on the boat – Coffee in the cockpit.
Latimer Reef Lighthouse in the distance.
A cloudy sky
Dean calls these clouds “mountain clouds.” The deep blue waves above the white puffs do resemble distant mountain peaks.

The next week – a second time away, away! Off to Napatree, doubling our distance from 4 nautical miles to 11 nautical miles.! WooHoo!

Ledge Light
A beautiful bright morning. The Captain enjoys his coffee at the helm.
We passed by fellow SYC members, John and Michele, on Alandor.
Fishing from a kayak by the red nun.
It was really one of those very special mornings – bright sun making the water sparkle, perfect temperature, no humidity.
Views of Stonington
Coming up to round Sandy Point, always a “treat” the first time each season. Where has the marker been moved for this year? How much shoaling has there been? How shallow will the the channel be?
“Row, row, row your boat, gently” …..on a lovely summer morning.
Look familiar? That’s Sweet Liberty, the former Kindred Spirit. We passed each other in the channel going opposite ways. She looks really good!
The Ocean House in all her glory sitting above Watch Hill.
A nice peaceful and unobstructed view of the beach from our anchorage.
A windsurfer entertained us as he zipped by and jumped into the air, all-around and between the boats.
A lovely end to a nice day.

The next day, Jallao arrived on their way home from BI. We planned a socially distant happy hour with Mary Jo and Dean in our cockpit for that evening. 

Mary Jo and Dean arrive at Napatree from Block Island.

Wind and ran arrived just before our get together time. Checking the radar and weather apps told us that we were not going to get together after all. The blowing and rains didn’t end until around 10:30 pm that night. 

The rainy and windy late afternoon stretched into the night. Notice the tennis balls on the Hawse pipe cleat? Al repurposed the tennis balls that he put on my walker’s feet. I’ve made progress!! The walker has not been needed for a long time.

But morning brought a whole new view. 

I do enjoy my coffee out in the cockpit!
What is this? Could it be???? Al is relaxing!!
Our fellow KK39 buddy, Don (who was also the second owner of our KK39) has an eagle eye and noted our upside down Furuno cover! Shame on us! I’ll never do THAT again. 🙃🙄
Lovely bright morning for a photo opp..

We left around noon and headed towards the channel after pulling up the anchor. Then… uh oh….. the engine suddenly stopped. Whaaaaat???? Thankfully, we were not yet in the narrow channel and dropped the anchor so that Al could investigate. We tried to restart the engine, but it did not cooperate. Good news – there was nothing wrong with the engine.  Bad news – Al’s butt had unknowingly and accidentally bumped the fuel filter level to the off position while checking the oil which then starved the engine of fuel. Bad news – He has to “bleed” the engine to restart it which he has never done on this boat.  Good news –  Al read the manual and does it!! The engine starts up and off we go an hour later!

I could watch Al work on the engine from the pilot house. Yup, that is a camera in the engine room. I am continually amazed by all the things on this boat.
On the left – the lever in the wrong position after the butt bump. On the right – Al’s fix so that this doesn’t inadvertently happen again. Zip ties to hold the lever in place with a snipper there to cut the ties when necessary.
Kindred Spirit

Our first two multi-day trips were not to faraway or exciting places, but it still felt very special to me. We are fortunate to live in a region that has so many fine water places, and so close. We are getting acquainted with this new Kindred Spirit and falling in love with her. For me, I am grateful to be on the boat, even if I can’t get off or go for very long. I am trying to be content with what I can do and not mourn what I can no longer do.

Looking forward to more little trips through September!

6 Responses

    • watsons

      We are planning to go to Maine next summer – hoping my back is healed and covid is under control.

  1. Kimberly

    Moana is a favorite of mine too. I’m so glad you were able to get out on the boat – progress! We miss the area and are very much looking forward to spending next summer up there.

  2. Judy

    Oh, how beautiful! Thank you for sharing so I can live the life vicariously! AWAY anywhere sounds like a great place to be!

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