Monday, July 30, 2007

Mystic Conecticut to Newport, Rhode Island

We’re in Newport, Rhode Island with about 30 other anchored vessels among more than 400 moored vessels. Our sail from Mystic was very nice, with smooth Atlantic waters and south winds, 10-15kts. As we approached Newport, there were many sailors out racing their single purpose sailboats. From 20 feet to over a hundred feet, they were tacking back and forth on beam reaches, going as fast as they could (which was pretty fast for some of these racing vessels). Our anchorage is right next to the channel going from the harbor to Narragansett Bay, giving us a great view of all the boats heading in and out of the harbor. The action is non-stop and very interesting. Most boats sail between all the moored and anchored boats on their way out, like it’s a point of pride to sail as much as possible, or maybe it’s just the challenge of weaving between all the boats under sail power alone that makes it fun for them. As I type this, a 70 footer going 9kts just cleared our anchor chain by 10 feet, making me wonder how deep it’s keel is. The channel leading out of the harbor is just behind our stern, and the 70 footer could have been in the channel, but no, he’s weaving between all of the anchored boats on his way out into the bay, giving everyone on board a good ride I guess.

Newport is awesome! You can see every type and size of boat imaginable. The town has plenty of shops and huge mansions. The harbor is large and well protected, with a designated area for anchoring, which is rare in these parts. Lately we’ve had to snuggle into a mooring area and anchor as close as possible to get out of navigable channels, and hope that no one chases us off. We can’t afford to get a mooring every night at 45 to 60 dollars a night, and slip spaces cost about $4 a foot, so that’s out too. So it is a pleasant surprise to find this designated anchorage with no time limits. There are also 3 different free town dinghy docks, so we can “park” near whichever shops we need to visit (post office, laundry, grocery store), similar to finding a convenient parking space for your car.

We did tour the Nautilus submarine in Groton, as I reported in the last blog. It was eye opening to be inside a nuclear sub and see the spaces which over a hundred men lived in while at sea for months at a time. We wouldn’t be able to sleep in the tight bunks without getting claustrophobia. The sub museum was very interesting with tons of exhibits like working periscopes to peer through, missiles, torpedoes, and a full scale replica of the first submarine built.

The next day we sailed the short hop over to Mystic and squeezed into the mooring by using both anchors. It worked out fine, and we spent a day touring the old Mystic Seaport, which is maintained as the town looked during the 1800’s with shipyards and big whaling schooners. We got a lesson in celestial navigation in the planetarium and watched a short movie with footage of whaling at the turn of the century. The following day we set sail for Newport, and you already know the rest of the story.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like "Chantal" should pass well south of you. I would still expect some lumpy weather on it's fringes. It should be a mild nor'easter.
The weather in FL is typical summer, afternoon t'storms with heavy winds and occasional hail. It extends into the Bahamas as well because of the latest prevailing westerly flow. The Gulf is currently a bit unsettled and is the source of all of this moisture.
I have never been to Nantucket, but would hope to get a first-hand report. The coast of Maine is beautiful, expecially Kennebunkport. It is a charming little town despite it's noteworthy residents.

3:53 PM  

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