WD-70 Block Island

The WD-70 Extravaganza Cruise departed at 8:00 am from Shennecossett under blue skies and on calm waters. A good start!

Limerick ahead
Kindred Spirit
Passing through Fishers Island Sound we almost thought we were back in Maine. Nice clean lobster buoys and a lobster boat.
Latimer Reef Light
A few of all three notable landmarks in Watch Hill seen from the water – USCG Station, Taylor Swift’s house (is she ever there???) and the Ocean House.
Closer – USCG, Taylor Swift, and Ocean House.
Limerick and the USCG Station
Arriving at Block Island. A work of art in driftwood along the breakwater.
Block Island’s USCG Station

What a delight it was to enter Salt Pond and see NO CROWDS!!!!! We haven’t been to Block Island since 2019 and that was only a quick overnight stop. Honestly, Block does not have the same appeal for me that it once had. It is too crowded both on land and in the harbor with too many idiots and clowns.  The town has added more and more private moorings so the anchorage area has been reduced significantly. It’s sad because it is a beautiful gem.

Because of the weather forecast for rains and high winds over the next 3 days we chose a town mooring to raft on. We had a lot of choices. This is so rare.

A surprise hello from Sharon and Brian and their friends. We met back in our mutual Catalina days and cross paths at Block from time to time. One of the great pleasures of boating is unexpectedly running into other boating friends. Not literally “running into” but you know what I mean.

After settling on the mooring and lunch, we took advantage of the nice weather to take Don and Cindy on a brief harbor tour and for a walk on the beach. 

THIS is the dinghy beach for visiting Scotch Beach on the outside. I know I have photos of dinghies so dense that you cannot see the water or sand.

The skies were clouding over and we suspected this could be our only opportunity to see the beach and the ocean here. We had an enjoyable walk on the beach, surrounded by the simple pleasures of nature and friendship.

Someone worked hard to secure these branches in the shifting sand.
Al dips his toes in the June ocean waters.
The surf was up from the recent windy weather.
Al, Cindy and Don
Cindy and Don enjoying Block Island for the first time since the mid-1990s.
I love building a rock cairn, but haven’t done it in years. The name originates from a Gaelic term that means “heap of stones.” The Scots built carins to mark trails across the grassy hilly landscapes and also used them to mark respect for a fallen comrade. I have built small rock cairns in our front garden back at our house. They don’t require watering while I am off sailing.
Sister ships, Limerick and Kindred Spirit, rafted on BI town mooring #62

Oh, by the way, this is not the same Limerick that visited us last summer. Same people, Don and Cindy, but a new boat that they bought in Maine during their visit with us.  Limerick has grown from 39 feet to 44 feet. What a beauty she is!

I need projects to weave so I asked Cindy what they might like for their new Limerick. We consulted on colors and design and I wove this new runner for the salon.

Our expectations were held in check due to the weather forecast for the next day and were prepared for a so-so day. Ahh, fickle Mother Nature sometimes throws a good surprise! By late morning, the she gave us a gift of spectacular weather.

We WILL get some beach time on Block Island!

Time to dinghy to the beach again.

It was a beautiful afternoon. Still too chilly and too much surf for me to go into the water but lovely just the same.

The stick sculpture was holding strong.
Look — Hardly any people. 😍

More weather decisions to make. Don and Cindy’s wedding anniversary was the next day, but rain and high winds were predicted so wise boaters adjust accordingly. Celebrating their wonderful achievement of 49 happy years together (one day early), we had a delicious dinner at Dead Eye Dick’s.

Dead Eye Dick’s, always a favorite of ours.
Our dinners – clam fusilli and swordfish
Cindy and Don’s – fish and chips and lobster fettuccini.
Thursday’s forecast – Wind speed and gusts plus rain. It did not look like we would be getting off our boats. And that is ok. Sometimes it is nice to just hang out on the boat.
I baked cinnamon buns (Pillsbury, nothing fancy) in honor of the Dahl’s actual anniversary.
The captains spent their time solving problems. Al went over solar panel configurations with Don for his future install and Don helped Al solve our non-working water tank gauge.

By Thursday afternoon the weather cleared although the winds remained strong. Friday was clear and beautiful. We decided to visit the town side of Block.

A beautiful morning! We are so fortunate.
The new dinghy dock is soooo nice with plenty of space this early in the season.
A quick stroll down Payne’s Dock and we saw this posted sign for wharfage. $6 per foot for our boats!!!! That is pretty pricey, IMHO.

It was a perfect day for a stroll, sunny but breezy and not hot, just comfortable. A walk for exercise and an exploration to see what’s new and what’s still the familiar.

The 1876 old Surf Hotel is now the renovated Block Island Beach House with the only beachfront hotel rooms.
A walk down behind the Beach House to see Scotch Beach from this view.
Scotch Beach
The Surf Shack behind the Beach House has outdoor dining right on the beach.
The National on Water Street
Old Town Harbor

We planned on lunch at Finn’s but discovered it was not open although the website was still up. A little googling informed me that the building was sold in July 2021 for $2,000,000. I guess someone has new plans for it??

We continued down the road and ended up at Ballards, a place I generally avoid, but it was a pleasant surprise this time.

Ballards looked fresh and new since the last time we were there, which was probably 20 years ago. We ate outdoors on the covered beach front. The water view was spectacular.
Deep in boat talk.
Pleasantly full tummies and smiles

A short walk up Spring Street past the Manisses Hotel and near the 1661 Inn is North Light Fibers, so I made a request to go there. I enjoyed our visit there so much a few years ago. (Note: I was certain there had been a blog post on this fiber mill and farm but I sure can’t find it now.) North Light Fibers is a micro yarn mill where they produce handcrafted artisanal yarns made 100% on Block Island. We toured the mill last time. This time I resisted the urge to purchase more yarns because I am currently on a yarn diet.

Farm animals grazing
The 1661 gardens
Don and Cindy. 😁 I think they are having a good time.
A nice gallery but the sign is my favorite part. “Smile, It’s Contagious.” It was the theme for the day.

We could not leave town without ICE CREAM! Wasn’t that a promise in the WD-70 brochure?

They don’t look eager, do they?
Ice cream always brings smiles.
Sweet wall display beside the ice cream shop. I think I began to love Block Island again this trip.
A “Good Night, Block Island” sunset

All four of us thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Block. I have a newfound, or refound, appreciation for the island. June is definitely the time to visit this gem.

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