3 weeks, 4 Islands, 6 Harbors – Montauk and Home

We hadn’t been to Montauk yet this summer so when it became clear that Montauk was the only place where Eleanor Q and Kindred Spirit could/would cross paths, it became our last stop of the 3 weeks. We were eager to reconnect with our dear friends from Maryland, Mary Marie and Frank.

Passing by on our way to drop the anchor.

Eleanor Q, a Gozzard 41,  at anchor in Lake Montauk – such a handsome vessel!

Arriving in the “lake” before 1 pm gave us plenty of time to say hello, hug and play. Montauk is a perfect lace for water play. It is very large, about 7-8 feet deep through the entire body of water, and is never crowded with boats. Let’s get out the toys!!

Al drops his little Snark, Petunia, into the water and takes off. There’s that leg again, casually hanging over the side.

Ships passing in the night? Does the afternoon of the solar eclipse count as night?

Mary Marie and I cruise around in our kayaks. Check out the Snark in the background – that’s Frank giving it a go.

A closer look at Frank in the Snark.

August 21st was the day of the big solar eclipse. You might have heard about it? 😉 We weren’t really prepared for the big event – no special glasses or set up for viewing it. I tried a backwards over my shoulder photo, but as you can see below, it’s not impressive at all. Oh well. We were all out playing in the little boats during the prime eclipse time.

Solar Eclipse??? My over the shoulder backwards photo didn’t capture a thing. If there was anything to capture.

After our playtime, rest time, and clean up time, we had socializing time!

Frank and Al relax in Eleanor Q’s cockpit.

Ems prepared a lovely shrimp dinner for us in her galley.

It was awesome to meet up with Frank and Mary Marie here in Montauk!!

A Montauk sunset

The next day wasn’t as sunny but was certainly warm enough for a dinghy ride to get ice cream. Frank has an ice cream problem just like Al does.

Dinghies away!

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Yum! Where were YOU, Anthony?? We were missing the 3rd member of the Three Musketeers of Ice Cream.

These two catamaran style boats cruised around the lake giving tours. Notice the colorful bean bags for seating?

That evening we all had dinner on Kindred Spirit.

My first ride in Petunia, with Al. Two people actually fit in that little hull, but you do get a wet bottom.

Frank takes Ems for a ride.

The Quigleys are really moving along!

OK! Enough is enough. It was time for me to try sailing this little boat. Lake Montauk is the perfect place for a first time.

My first solo sail.

I just might get the hang of this little boat sailing.

 

We decided to go to The Inlet for our last evening in Montauk (when don’t we go to The Inlet when we are in Montauk?? Maybe never?)

The Inlet sits right on the channel into Montauk.

A delicious dinner, a great view, and wonderful company!

Group selfie

Eleanor Q left early the next morning for home, taking the offshore route. We were able to follow their progress on AIS (otherwise known as friendly stalking among cruisers.)

Left side – out and around the tip of Montauk.
Right side – from the eastern end of Long Island to southern New Jersey.

We departed as well and headed home to Connecticut.

Passing by Race Rock Light built between 1871 and 1878 to mark the dangerous set of rocks southwest of Fishers Island.

Race Rock Light, standing 67 feet above the water. Some people it is haunted.

Once we pass through The Race, we know we are nearly home again. The familiar sights greet us.

The Block Island ferries – the “slow” one and the fast ferry passing it by.

Our Ledge Light marking the entrance to New London Harbor.

UCONN’s Avery Point campus.

Shennecossett Yacht Club ahead! And our mooring is just past that breakwater on the right.

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3 Weeks, 4 Islands, 6 Harbors – Cuttyhunk to Montauk

I swear I’m going to finish the posts about the summer vacation trip. Before the first snowfall???

It’s a full day of 8 hours from Cuttyhunk to Montauk so we planned an early departure – 5:15 am. The best part of getting up early is watching the sunrise unfold. I’m not even going to apologize for sunrise and sunset photos. It never gets old when you are out on the water. There’s something reassuring about the sun rising and setting, every day, no matter what.

Just before the dawn.

Peaking above the horizon.

A nice rosy rim around the sun.

Sun is up. It’s always interesting to me how the lighting and coloration changes.

At the end of Buzzards Bay, just past Cuttyhunk, we passed a weather station. Pretty cool. We all live and breathe by weather forecasts and updates in these modern times, and that data has to come from somewhere.

The red pin is the location of this  weather buoy, owned and maintained by NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center.

We discussed taking the southern route below Block Island so that we could see the wind farm from the water as well as up close and personal. We’ve been “watching” that project since 2013 before the actual construction began. On our recent trips to Block Island, we could see the wind mills from the beach.

Our route on the chartplotter shows us approaching the wind farm’s location. – the little boat icon on the right of the screen nearing the four orange markers.

Our first good sighting of the wind mills ahead of us.

Closer.

And there they are! Very big when you are this close.

The “Block Island Wind Farm”  is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States, located 3.8 miles from Block island. The five-turbine, 30 megawatt project (one mega watt = one million watts) was developed by Deepwater Wind at a cost of $290 million.Construction began in 2015, the five turbines were erected in late summer 2016, and it became operational in December 2016. Before the project, Block Island relied on a ferry to bring up to a million gallons of diesel fuel per year from the Rhode Island mainland to power the community. From now on, Block Island’s power will come from the wind farm, and power will also be sent back there for use on the mainland.

The  Block Island Times,  Sept, 2002 to present, has a crush mprehensive history of the project collected in this one link which “includes everything from state politics, economics, the environment, jobs, engineering, technology and — just as importantly — the emotions that people have on either side of the issue.”

Zoomed in for a closer look at the deck and  the stem of the blades, 70 feet above the water.  Must be a great view from that red deck!

The foundation is designed to withstand the “most extreme storm events” in the Northeast, including a 1,000-year Storm.

When we could tear our eyes away from the wind mills, there was the coast of Block on our starboard side.

Southeast lighthouse on Mohegan Bluff

The southwest coast

The next visible landmark was the Montauk Lighthouse, first line in 1797, renovated in 1860, and automated in 1987.

Montauk lighthouse, the easternmost point of Long Island. 110.5 feet high

Entering the channel

Familiar sights of the Coast Guard Station.

We like visiting Montauk, but we had a more important reason for coming here this summer. Our cruising friends from Annapolis, Frank and Mary Marie on Eleanor Q, were there. We had been in communication for the past 2 weeks hoping that our paths would cross. Yippee!

Welcome committee of Mary Marie and Frank on Eleanor Q!

This is going to be fun.

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3 Weeks, 4 Islands, 6 Harbors – Cuttyhunk

Cuttyhunk is a small island of 580 acres and a population of 52 (2000 census). It is the last island in the Elizabeth Islands chain that extends southwest from the southern coast of Cape Cod.

Cuttyhunk has a funny shape. The inner harbor is packed with moorings and most of the buildings cluster around there. The small channel connects this harbor to the outer harbor. We anchor by the outer moorings (yellow star marks the general spot.)

Anchored – You can see the tops of the rocks of Pease Ledge just beyond our bow.

Lots of boats anchor out here but you need to watch your chart and use your eyes to avoid Pease Ledge. We had to warn off a sailboat that came charging in straight for the rocks. Yikes!

Pease Ledge, fore and aft. We are close, but not too close.

Pease Ledge at high tide and low tide

Cuttyhunk homes line the harbor.

The Coast Guard Station.
From the anchorage outside we have a view of the inner moorings.

We decided to spend the next day on Cuttyhunk, something we haven’t done in years.

I was first introduced to the island in 1996 when I was asked to help chaperone a group of 13-year-old boys, including my Adam, who had just graduated from middle school. His friend, Matt, was part of a large family who owned a home on the island. To celebrate the rite of passage from middle school to high school, Matt’s mother, Mary Jane, took the eight boys and 2 older girls to Cuttyhunk for a week. Mary Jane wanted another mother along to lend a hand and invited me. It was a great week. Adam and I have wonderful memories of that time. Once Al and I began to sail out that way, we would stop and visit the Parsons if they were on island. The old family home was sold years ago and we haven’t been there in a long time.

We dinghied to the town dock for our day visit.

We have fond memories of standing on this road trying to get cell phone service on our earlier trips here. 10-15 years ago, it wasn’t that easy to get a signal on an island. This spot was the only place you had a chance for a connection.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning so breakfast at the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club (1864), a bed and breakfast that sits on a hill and overlooks the water was on the to-do list.

The walk took us up the hill past the lily pads.

The garden decor and planters on the lawn. Gotta love the quirky humor. Bed and breakfast theme? I think the breakfast part was missed.

Al strides up the hill to the Fishing Club, eager for a big breakfast.

Breakfast is served on the porch.

What a view that morning!

After that hearty breakfast, we went for a walk and tried to find the path up to Lookout Hill. Our memories didn’t fail us and we walked the 150-plus feet up to the highest point on Cuutyhunk for the 360 degree view. To get to the Lookout, you turn off the residential streets (path?) and follow a road with stone walls on both sides up as high as you can.

The view from the road up to The Lookout.

The Lookout

Looking east – A view of the harbor. The red arrow points to Kindred Spirit.

A closer look at Kindred Spirit. Hooefully, no arrow is necessary.

Looking northward

Looking towards the southwest

Looking west

On our way back down the road, we saw a woman who had driven to this highest point to make a call on her cell phone. I guess there are still connection challenges.

At the base of the road is a cluster of public buildings.

We both remembered attending a service in this sweet little church.

Gosnold Town Hall. Looks like someone is getting ready for a tag sale?

Museum of the Elizabeth Islands. It wasn’t open on this Sunday morning, but we have had the opportunity to visit inside.

As part of our self-guided mini-tour around Cuttyhunk, we wanted to revisit a few more memories, especially the Parson’s House, IF we could find it!

Cuttyhunk’s only grocery store. We remember when it was in the basement of a house!

The Post Office. We were pretty sure that this little road/path would lead to the Parson’s House.

We found it! Just as we remembered – the Parson’s House. Such good memories!

On the final stretch back to the harbor, there is another restaurant with picnic tables covered in bright red cloths lined up on a shelled driveway, next to a frog pond.

“Sopranos” – Pizza and seafood

Outside of Sopranos, Al could not resist the chance to hang with the Blues Brothers. Looking cool, dude. Where are the brothers’ shades?

Back to the docks and harbor…….

Three little eateries just before the docks. None were open this morning. 🙁

The docks in Cuttyhunk harbor.

The ferry, M/V Cuttyhunk. It looks a little bit bigger than the old “Alert”.

Back in 1996, the eight 14-year old boys loved to jump off the dock here.

An afternoon beach walk. The sea glass was more plentiful years ago, but we found a few pieces and some colorful stones.

One last chore. A dinghy line from the davits dropped onto the swim platform and then into the water. The line cutter on the prop cut the line, but Al had to go into the water for a final check and removal. Rookie error.

The sun set on a very full and fine day on Cuttyhunk.

 

 

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