Friday, June 27, 2008


As I've mentioned a time or two before, I'd rather be out sailing and one of my favorite summer destinations is Nantucket... By sail from Rhode Island it's wise to make this a two-day passage otherwise you need to carefully plan departures according to the tides, especially in Vineyard Sound. My captain and I usually opt to spend a night off one of the Elizabeth Islands or Martha's Vineyard before completing our journey.

Upon arrival to Nantucket Harbor we contact Nantucket Moorings on VHF channel 68 to rent one of their secure moorings. (During high summer season make reservations before you set sail.)

On this visit my friends and I explored Nantucket by peddling down her many bike paths and picturesque dirt roads. (There are numerous excellent bicycle rentals on the island, many of them near Steamship Wharf where the ferries arrive.)

The highlight of our cycling day was a long rest stop at Cisco Brewery were we taste tested their tasty micro brews...

and then we went into their Nantucket Vineyard tasting room...and finally we entered their spirits distillery where we tasted surprisingly delicious infused vodkas made with their popular Triple Eight Vodka. Each tasting costs a fee but each is worth it. Next time I'll pack a picnic to enjoy at one of Cisco's outside tables while sipping their many fine libations.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stormy Sky, Wickford RI

A stormy view from the decks of Event Horizon moored in Wickford, Rhode Island.

Friday, June 20, 2008


A glimpse of Speedboat as she flew past while practicing for the Newport to Bermuda Race.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Contemplating in Wickford

I've been running around like a mad woman since making landfall in the US. It was a wet trip so there was lots of cleaning up to do once we reached our "home" port of Wickford, Rhode Island, mostly removing salt residue from down below and laundry. Lots of laundry.

Two weeks have already passed and I remain in a state of uncertainty while already feeling the stress and financial demands of being back in the “normal world” – it’s more the fact that you need so much more “stuff”. Apparently I really had simplified my life!

My uncertainty stems from far too many co-dependent decisions yet to be made. Which cell phone carrier (I have a fear of long term commitments such as 1 or 2-year contracts!), what area code, where do I want to call home, or wiser still, where should I live based on income opportunities... believe me the list is long. On the bright side, the world is my oyster so despite my whinging, I’m trying to embrace this period of my life as an exciting time.

But the truth is I’d rather be sailing!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Bermuda to Newport - Day 4

The day began with over 30kts behind us and we kept busy decreasing sail as the wind kept increasing until we had furled the jib and had three reefs in the main. We experienced over twelve hours of high winds well above what was forecasted, including hours with sustained 35-40kts. In truth it didn't seem too bad but that may be because the boat was handling the seas well, which were larger but further apart, and we were making great speed - sometimes surfing over 10kts. Plus we were expecting stormy weather in the evening so we figured things would get worse. I'll share an excerpt from our weather router's email "A pretty significant severe weather outbreak is likely...the potential for large hail, strong damaging winds and tornadoes! As this activity moves off the coast this evening some weakening is likely heading into the night, but some squalls/thunderstorms could still bring you strong wind gusts up to 50+ knots, so you'll want to be prepared for this possibility with the time frame appearing to be 7pm this evening through 3am Sunday. A significant amount of lightening is also likely along with very heavy downpours." So you can see why we were expecting things to get worse. Thankfully we encountered only one squall with moderate wind, no hail and only saw lightening in the distance. Another yacht, with whom we have been keeping in contact and at this point was 50nm behind us, saw plenty of action.

New England welcomed us with dense fog so I worshiped the radar while my captain sailed us clear of any hazards. Not only was the weather exciting - throughout the day we saw several ships, dolphins and a large group of whales just off our port-side.

The day's run was 182nm and another 20 miles this afternoon has put us safely in Newport Harbor. The trip total was 730nm taking 4-days and 3-hours, our fastest Bermuda/Newport passage to date.

We tied up along side Goat Island Marina to clear Customs & Border Protection and then refueled. We've just finished picking up a Old Port mooring for the night so we can enjoy ourselves in Newport. But first, a much needed shower!

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Bermuda to Newport - Day 3

Day three was spent in the Gulf Stream fighting the current and due to very light winds we continued to be under engine most of the day. In fact, we've already used more fuel on this short passage than we did on our combined Atlantic crossings. We saw a few ships on the radar but only one was close enough to sight. Sadly, what we have seen lots of throughout the trip is trash, mostly assorted plastic containers. As the sun rose, so did the wind and sea state. By noon, the close of our sailing day, we had a reef in the 100% jib and were preparing to put a second reef in the main as the wind was over 30kts and climbing. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly things change out here! The day's run was 182nm, an average of about 7.6kts per hour.

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