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Javelin
by Richard Rosenfeld
8/12/15
Javelin 2015 Cruise
August 10-19, 2015

Once again, Steve Blecher's 53' J-160 Javelin takes a tried and true Dartmouth grad crew on a cruise. The Crew:
Steve (Dartmouth '64) boat Javelin, home port Westbrook, CT
Rick Van Mell ('63), boat Vanishing Animal, home port San Francisco Bay
Paul Wharton (Duke '64), boat Golden Eye, home port Stamford, CT
Jess Gregory, boat Sea Hawk, home port Keyport, NY

You could call this one the "Best of the Best" cruise, including the well known destinations of Block Island, Edgartown on Martha's Vinyard, Cuttyhunk, Newport, Mystic, and Shelter Island before returning to Westbrook. Here's a link to The Plan, and the Shopping List, but you'll just have to read on to see what happened when the wind hit the plan! .

Pictures by ??? and Rick Van Mell, and are grouped between days. There may even be a few movie clips too.

The table below summarizes daily runs and the date is a link to that day's log. Elasped time is generally time under way and has sometimes been adjusted for lunch stops. Cells with a darker background color represent changes from the original Plan.


Log Summary


> >
Day Date From To Depart Arrive Elapsed Plan Track Ave Engine Engine
Miles Miles Speed Hour Time
HH:MM NM NM Knots Meter Hours
127.1
1 Mon 8/10WestbrookBlock Island9:5614:044:0840.6419.9132.75.6
2 Tues 8/11Block IslandEdgartown5:2512:297:0460.561.28.7139.97.2
3 Wed 8/12EdgartownEdgartown9:2713:404:13030.37.2142.22.3
4 Thu 8/13EdgartownCuttyhunk8:2615:517:2526506.7146.34.1
5 Fri 8/14CuttyhunkNewport9:4717:257:3825.748.56.4148.21.9
6 Sat 8/15NewportNewport (Day Sail)8:1017:149:04056.96.3149.91.7
7 Sun 8/16NewportMystic8:2713:305:0337.539.77.9155.45.5
8 Mon 8/17MysticThree Mile Hbr9:2916:557:2622.547.76.4158.83.4
9 Tues 8/18Three Mile HbrWestbrook8:5018:039:13057.96.31612.2
10 Wed 8/19WestbrookWestbrook---22-0
Totals:236.5433.27.133.9

Note: Day 3, 8/12/15, the Arrival time was actually 15:05, but reduced because we drifted for 1:25 with no engine having lunch and waiting for wind.
Note: Day 4, 8/13/15, the Arrival time was actually 16:25, but reduced because we drifted for 0:34 with no engine having lunch and waiting for wind.

Saturday/Sunday, August 8-9th

Landing 43 minutes early is usually a good thing. Not having a gate available checked up another 17 minutes. Yet Rick still tossed his gear into the back seat of Steve's car ten minutes before the scheduled 1540 landing time and they headed for Steve's house in Scarsdale. After temporarily stowing gear, reviewing (yet again, as always) the weather, and generally catching up, it was off to Steve & Amy's favorite Emelio's restaurant for dinner.

Sunday morning Steve tolerated an 0720 breakfast, and then it was off to do the shopping for the fresh stuff to round out the shopping Steve had already done and either stowed aboard of had ready in the freezer. Two full carts later, the spare fridge was packed to the gills and we headed for Steve & Amy's getaway house on Lake Oscawana.

Sandwiches grabbed at the Putnam Valley market tasted extra good looking out the window over the lake with just the lightest breeze and small boat sailing past. Opting for speed over quiet, Steve and Rick uncovered the motorboat and zoomed around the two mile long lake nosing into coves and avoiding a wealth of rocks and boats towing all manner of inflatables with kids on them.

We returned to Scarsdale in time to watch some tennis finals before Jess arrived in time for dinner. A great diner dinner did the trick, and after, (yet again) reviewing the weather, then confirming (as if there were a choice) that breakfast would be at 0600, we turned in early.
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Oscawana house ...
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boathouse ...
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Amy relaxes ...
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view from deck ...
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a great place.
Go To Log Summary

Monday, August 10th

Steve had coffee brewed, oatmeal packet choices queued up with blueberries and banana at hand, flanked by milk and OJ, and toast coming up. Steve was out the door about 0625 to ick up lunch sandwiches and Paul. Rick & Jess tucked their coffee cups in the dishwasher, then set to work loading their duffels and the food from the fridge and freezer into coolers and bags and then into the back of the SUV.

Steve and Paul rolled into the driveway shortly after 0707, and by 0715 Paul's gear, and special frozen lasagana and chili, were stowed too, and off we all went for Westbrook.

Javelin looked great in the bright morning sun when we arrived at 0845. Four big cart-loads ferried duffels and food from the car to the dock. Steve turned on the instruments and set up the nav station. Paul and Jess set to filling the water tanks, stowing the shorepower cord and the starboard bow line.

Rick worked his jigsaw magic stowing the 59 listed items from the food bags. Some dropped into the freezer, some into the fridge, some into the cracker locker in Rick's aft starboard cabin, some into the two drawers behind the starboard setee, and the last rested in the open spaces in front of the microwave and forward end of the galley counter. And that was in addition to the 71 line items Steve and Paul had already put aboard.

In just under an hour the engine was started. Steve deftly eased Javelin down the fairway and backed her neatly onto the fuel dock. 24.7 gallons of diesel in the port tank, two bags of ice, and one garbage bag dropped ashore later, we cast off for the cruise at 0956.

Four knots of true wind read the wind instrument; eight knots through the water said another, but the biggest smiles were from the SOG (speed over ground) reading from the GPS: 9.6 knots just nine minutes off the dock. Glorious sunshine, air and water temperature in the low 70's, and sparkling diamonds reflecting across the water all said, "It doesn't get much better than this." Well, of course, there could have been enough wind to sail.

It's pretty much a 40 mile straight line from Westbrook to Block Island. With route waypoints on the chartplotter and the autopilot doing the driving, Paul and Jess took turns standing watch at the wheel as the miles raced past. Speed peaked as we crossed The Race, the 5 mile wide gap at the eastern end of Long Island Sound that runs between Fishers Island and Plum Island near the end of Long Island. A standing tide rip had developed and we splashed on through it hitting better than 12 knots over the bottom.

Still under glorious skies, we arrived at the entrance channel to Block Island's "Great Salt Pond" harbor at 1404, four hours and eight minutes or just under a ten knot average for the trip. Like Rick's arrival, it was way early afternoon, but all the public moorings were already taken, and the "private" mooring that the Harbormast can assign, don't become availabe until 1500. So we idled and waited.

Given the forecast of winds in the 15-25 knot range with higher gusts on Tuesday, Steve assigned the crew to set up for heavy weather. We rigged the "check stays" which lead back to the deck from about 2/3 the way up the mast to keep the mast in column under heavy loads. We normally don't rig them if the wind is under 20 knots. In addition, we pulled the tack and clew reef lines tight for the 2nd reef so the mainsail would be considerably smaller when (if) we hoisted it.

Just as we were anticipating a mooring assignment about 1455, a radio call to the Harbormaster of a boat dragging into another boat called him away -- we were put on "hold" again. At 1534 we were finally on mooring 415, secure for the day. Relaxing and log writing and a short nibbles break suficed until dinner.

Captain Blecher, with constant input from Paul & Rick, did an excellent job of grilling the steaks, and the traditional accompanyments of garlic mashed potatoes and salad rounded out a delightful first night meal. Given the forecast, our Captain declared a 0500 crew call, so we all turned in by 9:00 PM!

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Javelin ...
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looking sharp, and ...
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ready for action.
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Paul is too ...
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Jess stows.
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Rick's bunk made.
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Nav station set
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Freezer, fridge & fruit
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Freezer
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Fridge
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Fruit
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Aft shelf ...
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breads.
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Under Way
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Jess chills ...
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Paul chats.
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To The Race ...
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Valiant Rk buoy
rip current
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Instruments say ...
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11.8 SOG
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Approaching Block ...
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almost there ...
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channel ...
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Old CG station
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slow down ...
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lots of folks ...
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1st reef lines ...
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2nd reef lines.
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"V" of check stays
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Working the log
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Waiting for Godot
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Boats & ...
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more boats.
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Got our mooring ...
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All secure.
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Dusk at Block.


Go To Log Summary

Tuesday, August 11th

The electric flush of the forward head was our alarm. 0455 and feet were on the deck. OJ/cranberry juice and instant oatmeal, with blueberries, bananas and craisins were quickly gulped down. Even the coffee water was still on the stove as we fired up the engine and cast off at 0525.

Sixteen knots said the wind gauge as we left the harbor and ran the short 3 miles to the north end of Block Island to turn east for Martha's Vineyard. We unfurled the jib for added speed, but left the mainsail secure under its cover. A red sliver of a sunrise shot between clouds and sea, illuminating a rare sunrise rainbow high in the sky astern. Spits of rain came and went.

We rounded the 1BI buoy at 0602 and headed east. At 0618, wind now at 19.3 knots, the first broadside wave splashed into the dodger with spray across the cockpit. Only 30 miles to go across to the shelter of Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard, with the full sweep of the Atlantic Ocean to starboard every wet mile of the way. Rain toggled on and off. Wind rose and fell between 15 and 25 knots true, with occasional 30 knots across the deck. Javelin screamed along, often at 10 knots, the jib and the engine working together to get across as quickly as possible.

0942 we passed Red 30 into Vineyard Sound and the seas began to flatten. We picked up a Special Marine Warning on the VHF weather channel for a line of rain with potential 34 knot winds. At 1023 we furled the jib to be sure not to have any sail up should that materialize. Rain, in copious quantities, and winds just above 25 we got, but no big stuff. By now we were riding easily along the flat waters on the northwest side of the big island. Until we got to the northern end at West Chop.

Here the wind, east of south, swept around the top of the island, and joined by the now ebbing tide, created a lumpy sea. Pounding into waves with current against us slowed our progress across the bottom to just over 5 knots until we cleared East Chop and worked our way slowly down to the Edgartown outer buoy, Red 2. Steady needles of rain pricked the crew on deck. The 30 knot apparent wind and constant spray mixed salt water with the rain. It was a happy crew that entered Edgartown harbor at 1229, and were secure on a mooring by 1237.

By the time Steve, Paul and Jess had taken off their wet gear and hung it to dry, Rick had a steaming pot of five-bean soup ready for the table. It was quickly finished, and most turned to their bunks for a nap, lulled quickly to sleep by the passing patter of showers across the deck.

Rain continued throughout the afternoon, occasionally heavy and driven by gusts of wind. The advantage of being on a mooring was that Javelin was always pointed into the wind, and the dodger kept water away from the companionway and we could leave it open to get fresh air and enjoy the tattoo drum beat of rain on canvas during the passing squalls.

Refreshed by naps, the crew slowly returned to reading and writing. Piped from the ship's laptop through the stereo, Jims Buffett and Croce, plus Andrea Bocelli mellowed the mind (repeatedly), til Paul rebelled and replaced them with his own iTunes collection. Rick was distracted enough by log writing that Paul's famous lasagana, though now thoroughly defrosted in the open oven, was not put to the heat untill 1645 - assuring an 1830 dinner. Renewed reading and iphone/ipad checking carried us through until a brief libation and delicious lasagana and salad repast. Another early bunk time as the rain tapered off.

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0515 Tuesday
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Sunrise ...
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sleepy heads
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Bright instruments
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Sunrise rainbow!
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Open ocean reach
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Arriving Vineyard Sound
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West Chop buoy ...
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Crossing Vineyard Harbor
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Getting wetter ...
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Can't see much
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arriving Edgartown
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Big boats outside ...
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these too.
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Where's the harbor?
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Edgartown light ...
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fuel dock ...
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from our mooring.
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Evening rain ...
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continues ...
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small house ...
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bigger house ...
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bigger house.
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Wet.
Go To Log Summary

Wednesday, August 12th

Jess captured the morning fog, cool and thick, as water vapor hung upon the rain-drenched land of Edgartown. It dampened not the least the crew's spirit, refreshed by the unreasonably late 0700 rising time and a piping breakfast of scrambled eggs with onions, steak slices, oranges and hot biscuits, washed down with juice and steaming coffee.

Steve's son Jeffrey and his wife Jen recently bought a summer house in Edgartown, and Steve checked in early with Jen to see if she and two of their three daughters would be joining us for a daysail. Jen was up and ready, and with sun having dispelled the fog, Jen, seven year old Ella and just-about-three Olivia (Livi for short) were delivered aboard by the Edgartown launch just after 0900.

Under way by 0927, grandpa Steve had the girls steering going out the harbor looking for wind to sail. Even before we could sail, the girls overheard that there might be Oreos aboard. A hunt was begun. By 1004 we had made sail and the engine was off - the first time on the cruise. With a delightful 8 knots of wind we sailed north as the girls continued their search. Frustrated at first, they cleverly asked if they could play "20 Questions," and Steve (being the old softee he is) played along and thus, in record short time, they found the stash at 1018.

Having mastered steering, found Oreos, and with nothing more to conquer, Livi curled up on the bunk for a nap, and Ella asked the classic kid question, "when will we get there?" We tacked back for the Edgartown dock at 1042, ran out of wind and dropped sails at 1113, and dropped the happy crew ashore at 1146.

The intrepid Javelin crew refused to abandon a potentially good sailing day and headed back to sea, turning off the engine and drifting in the vicinity of Red # 2 buoy with no wind at 1221. Sandwiches for lunch. Even Steve was ready to give up by 1330 with no wind. But Rick spotted a wind line 100 yards to the south, and slowly it crept north until, at 1346, we made sail and sliced along with 12 knots of breeze.

If the definition of a sailboat race is "two boats in sight of each other," your Javelin crew was up to the challenge. Spotting a beautiful 50 foot yawl, close hauled with main, mizzen and jib taughtly starched and a bone in her teeth, she became our first unwitting adversary. Holding our starboard tack approach, we carried on until past her line, then tacked on her stern to begin the chase. Beautiful on the sparkling sea, white sails, driving hulls, but alas not much of a contest as Javelin pointed higher and sailed faster. Though not yet abeam to windward, prudence dictated a tack away as the yawl held on west over the shallow water beyond the channel line. She tacked minutes later and eventually came back to the channel - comfortable with local knowledge as she turned out to be a tourist boat. We saw her several more times that afternoon and added yet another picture of this beauty.

By now we were close to the harbor buoy and spotted a 70' two-masted, classic cruising ketch, almost a fiberglass replica of a British ship of the line, with towering double headsails and main and mizzen drawing. Again tacking astern we began the chase. This took longer as her 20 feet of additional waterline gave her more potential speed. But, despite her graceful clipper bow with bowsprit and dolphin striker, her great bulk was her undoing as we steadily crawled past, clicking pictures as we went.

By now almost out to Red #2 again, we scanned the horizon for any worthy (though unknowing or obliging) opponents. A blue 45 footer was the best we could do, so once again we sailed past and tacked astern. While the chase began, Steve recalled the story of how son Jeffrey and Hank Jonas were once similarly chasing a Swan 60', a much more worthy adversary, and unable to gain ground had started the engine and slowly come up astern. Great consternation could be seen on the Swan as their crew had taken up the challenge and were frantically adjusting sails and acting perplexed. No such reaction from the 45 footer ahead; the extent of their action being a studious photographer snapping pics as we approached, dead on their transom, then dipped to leeward and surged through their wind shadow. Little did we know this encounter was not over!

Quickly approaching the crowded anchorage just outside Edgartown harbor at over 8 knots, with 20 knots of apparent wind across the deck, our transition from sail to power halted kayaks in our path and widened the eyes of young Opti sailors and their coaches. But, no harm done, we under power at 1455 and on our mooring at 1505, leaving astern a 30 mile track of the day's adventures.

Steve's cell phone rang about an hour later. It was a friend he had gone to high school with, but hadn't seen in many years. It was Richard Rosenfeld, the grandson of epically famous black and white marine photographer Morris Rosenfeld who chronicaled the early years of the America's Cup and the heyday of the majestic, 135' J Class yachts. He ahd been aboard that blue 45 footer as we passed!

Ashore around 1630, we walked to Jeff and Jen's house to enjoy their outdoor shower and the antics of the three girls as they performed for us on the deck and grassy yard. Then on to a five-star dinner at The Boathouse. Had we been there yesterday for lunch, we would have had Michelle Obama for company.

A dish of ice cream sitting on the benches at the launch dock finished off the evening. We said our thanks to Jen and were back aboard as darkness arrived.

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Good Morning?
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Steve checks ...
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pea soup.
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Wednesday breakfast.
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Steve says ...
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"here they come," ...
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Ella, Olivia & Jen
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heading to sea ...
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Edgartown is brighter ...
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full of activity.
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Ferry from Chappaquiddick
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Go north, young lady ...
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OK grandpa.
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Ella concentrates!
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Livi's turn ...
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let ME do it ...
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OK ...
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That's better.
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Cookies? ...
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the search is on.
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Jen's turn ...
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Having fun
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Livi naps
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Cockpit time
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Master & Commander
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At the bow.
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Steve is happy
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Chasing a ...
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yawl ...
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very pretty.
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Seen later.
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Next victim ...
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is a big ...
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cruiser ...
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tall, but heavy ...
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beautiful ...
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No Nonsense
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One more ...
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closing in ...
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ready to pass.
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They see us!
by Richard Rosenfeld
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Daysail track
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Island fudge shop ...
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an inn ...
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Jeff & Jen's house ...
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front porch ...
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back deck ...
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outdoor shower!
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The girls ...
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ham it up ...
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Livi & Ella
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Aven too.
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Girls dinner ...
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with Page.
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The whole crowd.
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Javelin crew.
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At The Boathouse.


Go To Log Summary

Thursday, August 13th

Sunny, light wind and cereal with blueberries & bananas started off the day. What little wind there was, was on the nose as we powered out of Edgartown, having thanked the Harbormaster for our stay.

A new destination for Javelin lay ahead: Cuttyhunk at the southwest end of the Elizabeth Islands which separate Vineyard Sound on the south, from Buzzards Bay to the north. First, we powered through Woods Hole, fortunately almost at slack tide, emerging into the upper end of Buzzards Bay shortly after 1030.

Again, the mid-day calm arrived and powered southwest until we were mid-bay off Quick's Hole where we turned off the engine and drifted to make lunch. In a repeat of yesterday, an hour an a half gap did the trick and the sea breeze kicked in at 1224. Though Rick had sandwich in hand to pass on deck, Steve called for the main to be set, lest we waste a zepher of the treasured wind. Lunch complete, we set the jib at 1238 and began to enjoy sailing.



With three boats sailing west-bound crossing our bow, we tacked to port at 1350 and began a chase. At 1434 we caught the last of them, and they proved hardly worthy of a Javelin chase given they were only about 40 feet and towing dinghies.

We arrived at a very crowded Cuttyhunk at 1612 and made our way past two dozen boats in the outer harbor and perhaps 75 more on moorings in Cuttyhunk Pond. Fortunately Steve had not only gotten us a reservation, but we were right at the one and only side-tie at the end of the main dock. Paul walked the short distance to the lobster door and ordered us 4 cooked lobsters, to be ready for pickup at 1800. Pick them up we did and enjoyed them with corn and coleslaw. Then early to bed.

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Thursday morning ...
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old friend yawl ...
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Rick to click ...
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Oak Bluffs Harbor
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East Chop light
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West Chop Light
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Through Woods Hole
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Turning the corner ...
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toward Buzzards Bay.
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Waiting for Godot.
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Jess at BB G 3
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Captain Paul ...
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into Cuttyhunk ...
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big crowd ...
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all around.
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"Welcome" ....
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sort of ...
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except.
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Javelin ...
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looks pretty ...
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and secure.
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Dockside ...
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order lobsters ...
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pricey ...
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but popular.
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More choices.
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Suggestions?
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Dock office ...
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again.
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Tie-dyed store
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Dinner time ...
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for us too ...
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tasty.
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The harbor ...
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peacefull ...
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our mast ...
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last arrival.
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sunset ...
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The end.


Go To Log Summary

Friday, August 14th

Paul trekked the short distance uphill to the Cuttyhunk market in search of a T shirt, but, alas, had to wait for the gift shop at the head of the dock road to open at 0900. With it safely in hand and displayed to the crew, Javelin departed Cuttyhunk at 0947.

The engine droned on with the wind under four knots. But Steve was determined to sail, and when the wind increased to 4.2 knots, we made sail at 1035. At first the going was slow - 3.4 knots, but slowly the wind increased. We took only one tack offshore near Sakonnet Point, and arrived off the entrance to Newport at 1416.

By now the wind was a respectable 14 knots and we tacked down wind past the mansions on Castle Hill and Newport Harbor, then under the gracefully soaring Newport Bridge. Making close to eight knots with true wind peaking at 20 knots, we cleared the northern end of Conanicut Island before turning back south for Newport.

We tucked in a double reef and still did close to eight knots upwind as we enjoyed a delightful day of sailing. On our mooring in front of the New York Yacht Club we dined on Paul's chili and called it a day.

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Cutty Market ...
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Fido hitch.
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Leaving Cuttyhunk ...
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jetty light.
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Newport, Castle Hill ...
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lawn chairs ...
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more modest ...
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starter castle.
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The Dumplings ...
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with bell and bridge
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Tourist boat
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Traffic at ...
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Rose Island.
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Rick's turn ...
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ditto.
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Newport Bridge
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Afternoon odyssey
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New York Yacht Club
Harbor Court
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Checking, checking.


Go To Log Summary

Saturday, August 15th

Steve's comment, "Any morning we get up after sunrise, we slept it." Thus, having finished breakfast, we cast off the mooring at 0810 and powered tothe New York Yacht Club dock to pump out the holding tank, then went looking for wind out in the ocean.

A nice 10 knots was filling spinnakers as the racers in the Ida Lewis Yacht Club Distance Race headed for the finish line back in Newport after an overnight race. We set sail and headed seven miles east for the Skonnet River. Tacking down wind we sailed north up the river another seven miles to High Hill Point. Having just finished lunch, werounded up and beat back out of the river and headed west on a glorious 10-12 knot wind.

Lots of boats were out for a Saturday, and a pretty catboat with a wishbone rig and red sails lay a mile or more ahead. Putting Jess on the helm, we began the chase. As Steve said just moments after picking our target, "She's toast." OK, so testing 53' Javelin and her Geezer crew against a single-sail 35' catboat is something like, "Lions, 1; Christians, 0." It did give as something to watch as we hauled her back and got some nice pictures of the well kept and well sailed pretty boat. They even took pics of us as we did of them. Too bad we don't know where to send them.

It was still early afternoon, so we rounded west of Beaver Tail light and headed up the West Passage at 1432. This route into Narragansett Bay goes west of Conanicut Island for 8 miles on the way to Providence, Rhode Island. We spotted a black, respectably sized mast-head rigged boat with a big jenny heading north a short way astern. With her big headsail she matched our speed on the running course. With the prospect of a dead-down-wind stretch ahead, we gybed into Dutch Harbor and we had gained a bit as we came under the bridge.

We then held high planning to tack downwind for the northern tip of Conanicut, while the competition, which now included a white boat of about 36 feet towing a dinghy, sailed dead down wind along the shore. Local knowledge trumped exaulted theory as the wind shifted 20 degrees ahead and we were left to sail downwind to the point as they reached along at greater speed. We all converged at the head of the island at the same time, crossing just in front of the little white boat, and outside and just astern on the bigger boat.

Now we could determine she was a Hinckley 51, with NYYC burgee flying and soon confirmed as Night Train. The race was on. We both rounded together with Javelin on the outside, and began the 5 mile race back to Newport Harbor. Though we were now ahead, she was inside and to weather. With wind in the 12-14 knot range we were able to foot faster, but she held the weather gage. Two miles later we had to choose between going to leeward of Gould Island or tacking to get to weather. We choose to tack and not get in the lee of Gould, and crossed Night Train on port tack by 50 yards. We held on toward the Conanicut shore as Night Train tacked on our line. But as we held on, she tacked back just to weather of Gould and we tacked to cover as she did. Again local knowledge was looking good as it appeared we had overstood the layline to the Newport Bridge. But easing off just a touch to clear an anchored tanker, we worked ahead until we were dead to windward, then pulled farther ahead as we made two tack to pass under the bridge and aim for Newport harbor.

Victory declared, we dropped sails among the afternoon crowd outside the harbor and picked up our mooring at 1714. The second half of Paul's lasagana made a great dinner, and the happy but tired crew retired early - with Steve leading the way by 2030!

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Looking for wind
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Ida Lewis racers
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Wind at last
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High Hill Point
Sakonnet River
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Concentration ...
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Close hauled ...
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starboard tack ...
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port tack.
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Chasing a cat ...
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Jess in charge ...
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here we come ...
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abeam ...
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clicking pic ...
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thanks ...
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very nice.
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Beaver Tail Light
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Into Dutch Harbor ...
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running free.
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Oil rig?
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windmills?
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The race begins ...
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Night Train
Hinckley 51
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astern, to weather ...
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got him now.
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half mile lead.
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Afternoon at Newport ...
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beautiful head boat.


Go To Log Summary

Sunday, August 16th

Calm. Glassy, mirror-flat calm. Not even eggs for breakfast brought any wind. At 0827 we dropped the mooring, hailed the NYYC tender Navette to report our departure, and toured Newport harbor where there are more superyachts than you can count, both sail and power. Often impressed by boats big enough to warrant three sets of spreaders on their tall masts, three-set boats here look small. Four was more the norm. Masts well above ten story buildings were common, and the most majestic were the giants at Newport Shipyard where the boats themselves were well over 100'.

glad we didn't have to scrub their decks, polish their brass or fill their fuel tanks, little Javelin tip-toed out of the harbor and powered off for Mystic Seaport, 36 miles west. Though the wind was still light, up to 7 knots but dead ahead, the current was with us and as we rounded Point Judith we were making 9 knots over the bottom. We continued west along the Rhode Island shore, arriving at Watch Hill at 1055.

We eased north across Fishers Island Sound, into Connecticut waters, and made our way to the mouth of the Mystic River. It's about 3 miles up a narrow river, lined with marinas and houses, to the town of Mystic and Mystic Seaport. "The American Museum of the Sea." We had a 14 minute wait at the railroad bridge to let two Amtrak trains pass going opposite directions. Then it was another 10 minute wait for the 1340 opening of the highway bridge into the Seaport itself.

We tied up to a big stone wharf,looking very plastic and modern among the wooden beauties which are the hallmark of Mystic Seaport. Getting the air conditioning started and taking showers was top priority with temperatures ashore at or above 90 degrees. Michael and Judy Luskin, friends and occasional Javelin crew arrived about 1430. A grand tour of the Seaport was in order before retreating to the cool cabin for libations and dinner.

As dusk arrived and the Luskins departed, it was still hot and muggy, so the air conditioning ran all night.

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Harbor Court
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3 masts
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4 spreaders
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"just" 3 spreaders
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12 Meter looks small
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more big
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4 and 3
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3 headsails!
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Lots of power yachts
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Glorious!
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More power
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Smaller boat :-)
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This is ...
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Newport yacht Club
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Needs work.
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Tall sticks ...
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giant yachts!
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take your pick.
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Tour boat.
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Sunny side.
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Fort Adams.
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Point Judith.
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Watch Hill
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Approachiing Mystic River
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Marina at the mouth
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Actual entrance.
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Awaiting RR bridge
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Paul & Jess ...
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enjoy concert ...
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big tent.
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Waitnig for bridge ...
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at 1:40.
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Here we go ...
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Mystic Seaport ...
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Schooner wharf ...
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fine classic ...
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ships of the past ...
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waterfront ...
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workshed ...
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repairs being made ...
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our spot ...
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classic catboat.
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Jess, Michael, Steve,
Judy & Paul.
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all secure ...
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ships at rest ...
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setting sun.


Go To Log Summary

Monday, August 17th

It was still hot Monday morning, but the low sun angle provided an opportunity to get some nice pictures before the crowds arrived at 0900. Enjoy a "Seaport Tour" in the pictures and you'll get a good feeling of what this special place has to offer. Most of the building pictured have extensive displays and some have artisans plying their crafts. Plan to spend a full day, at least, if enjoy the nautical arts.

We cast off in time for the 0940 bridge opening, then stopped at Brewers marina to top off the fuel tanks with 62 gallons of diesel. By 1028 we were clear of Mystic River and headed south across The Race toward the outer end of Long Island and Three Mile Harbor.

The wind remained light, but Steve was determined to sail, so up they went at 1102 and we were making about 5 knots with 6 knots of wind. The flood tide pouring in from the ocean into the 4 mile gap which defines the eastern send of Long Island Sound was peaking at 4.2 knots. Though we were making at time 7 knots over the bottom, the tide swept us 3.5 miles west of our straight line course, and we eventually used the engine to get back up and through Plum Gut into Gardiners Bay.

A quick lunch, and a little more wind prompted us to sail northeast to the top of Gardiners Island, then harden up and beat back south around the island toward our destination. A call from Bob Miller, Mast Transit about 13:45 confirmed we were all still on track for a late afternoon rendezvous at Three Mile Harbor. For now it was just nice to be sailing with ten knots of wind and sunny skies.

We anchored about 1730 and had the Millers aboard before the anchor was even set. We even put Bob to work grilling the chicken, which turned out beautifully. It was dark, with a crescent moon ducking behind the clouds when they departed and we turned in.
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Mystic Seaport tour
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A classic start ...
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long and strong ...
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bluff bow ...
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broad stern.
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Toward bigger stuff ...
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the Village Green ...
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Beautiful sticks,
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working sloop,
Emma Berry
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well maintained,
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Sails & Rigging,
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Joseph Conrad
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Whaling ship ...
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Charles Morgan
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beautiful stern.
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Navigation tools ...
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To slake your thirst ...
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a bit of ale ...
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to save your soul ...
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abide within ...
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and cast off sin!
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Another cure ...
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so, restored, perhaps,
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indulge again.
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Then follow on,
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along the path, and ...
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past the Green,
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To ships reborn ...
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mighty oak & pine ...
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await the saw,
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emerge as planks,
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to build a dream.
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A keel remains ...
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built so strong,
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restoring ships,
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is what they do.
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Now hoist her up ...
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and get aboard ...
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she's neat and trim,
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the Captain waits!
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We're under way ...
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but await the bridge.
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To save the day?
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Listening for diesel.
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North Dumpling.
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The off-watch crew.
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Crossing the Race
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Plum Gut light
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Three Mile Hbr ...
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small jetty ...
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cars on the beach.
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city dock ...
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and marina ...
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fishing boats ...
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Nice fleet.
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Nice house!
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East Hampton Marina
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looking in.
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Anchor down
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Bob & Merry Ann
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aboard.
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Dinner
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Moon shot


Go To Log Summary

Tuesday, August 18th

Steve decided we would be best off returning to Westbrook tonight instead of waiting until Wednesday morning when it would likely be a ride under engine anyway. So a quick oatmeal breakfast and were were under way by 0820.

Though the wind was light, Steve insisted on sailing, and we were soon doing 4.5 knots in about 6 knots of wind. We tacked to the channel on the south side of Shelter Island and slowly worked our way in, helped by the flooding current.

Rick was watching the chart below and calling for tacks as we approached shallow water on either side of the channel. In some places there were a fairly wide shelf of depths in the 12-15 foot range, but in others, it could go from 40' to 10' in less than 30 seconds of sailing.

We detoured south into Little Peconic Bay about half way around, beating an additional 4 miles. When we turned to run back out, it was blisteringly hot, so we used the engine to move the boat and the generator to run the air conditioning until we were back to Shelter Island.

A nice 10-15 knots helped us on around and now we were tacking down wind to get out to Plum Gut and our return into Long Island Sound and home port Westbrook. As the wind touched 17 knots, we tucked a double reef in the main and powered against the 4 knot ebb current at the gut. Javelin lived up to her name and sliced through the relatively flat water doing better than 9 knots.

Having sailed 57.9 nautical miles for the day, we tied up for the last time at 1803. By now the halyards were moved forward to keep them from slapping against the mast, sail cover was on, and the heavy dock lines were in place and Flemished down. With the air conditioning on, we enjoyed pork chops for dinner, then turned in.

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Tuesday morning ...
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anchor up.
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Big cat ...
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Gunboat 60 ...
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Sure is!
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Light morning ...
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but sailing ...
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Shelter Island.
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Dering Harbor.
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Orient Hbr light
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Plum Gut light ...
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fighting current ...
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over 4 knots.
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Double reef ...
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great sailing ...
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over 9 knots!
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Westbrook channel ...
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home port.
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It was a great cruise.


Go To Log Summary

Wednesday, August 19th

Up in full swing at 0700 the duffels were being packed, English Muffins sufficed for a final breakfast. Rick packed up the remaining perishables from the fridge and freezer; Steve & Paul hosed off the boat. The bunks were stripped and all ports secured. By 0845 we were in the car and another great cruise was astern.

Go To Log Summary

Clear Sailing.

Rick Van Mell vanmells@ix.netcom.com
If you would like original images from the above, note the picture caption adn numer and email me.




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