Sag Harbor: +41° 0' 27.48", -72° 16' 46.62"
Shelter Island: +41° 3' 1.50", -72° 18' 40.02"
Sunday started the way all Sundays should. John dinghied into town for the New York Times and bagels, and we spent the morning devouring both. In the afternoon, after thanking the Essex Maritime Police for keeping boaters to the ‘no wake’ standard, we kayaked in the North Cove - swans, geese, white herons, blue herons, swallows, cormorants and ducks all making it home - and beautiful wildflowers everywhere. We also got to see the dock that would be our home during the windlass installation by Dauntless Shipyard. Ended the day with dinner in town at the Black Seal.
Finally - Monday arrived - windlass installation day. Piotr came out to the anchorage from the boatyard to help us weigh anchor. The current and the wind teamed up to make the process more difficult than necessary, but we got to the dock. Piotr went through the windlass box we picked up on Saturday and some necessary parts weren’t there. So back to Defender for us to pick them up while he started the install. Once back we figured leaving him alone was the best course so we hoofed it to the Colonial supermarket a couple of miles out of town. Filling four bags with provisions, we waited for the shuttle bus back to the boatyard. We checked on windlass progress and then took a walk to the River View Cemetery that we had seen from our Sunday kayak. About half the grounds have tombstones from the 18th and 19th centuries. And veterans from all America’s wars - Revolutionary, French & Indian, Civil, Cuba, and modern day as well. The family plots have generations of people whose names are all over this town. Really quite an education.
Monday night was our first time at a dock in 5 weeks. We took advantage of the marina showers and internet access. Both were terrific. But, sitting in the cockpit after dinner, we had a strange sense of being closed in. We had gotten used to the openness of an anchorage.
Tuesday. Another kayak this morning - this time around Nott Island - and we took the opportunity to photograph the Connecticut River Museum with the tour boat out front as well as a plein air artist working in a skiff! Never seen that before. Piotr closed in and finished the day with a big windlass finale. Doug (Brewer Dauntless Marina manager) stopped by to see how things were going. Tony ordered us a strap wrench that would fit the oil filter currently on the engine (of course when John went to change it, the wrench we had was the wrong size.) Everyone here has been so helpful through our windlass drama. We certainly recommend this as a place to stop when up the Connecticut River.
Everybody we’ve met in Essex has been really nice and helpful. Today, at the advice of one friendly person, we visited a local laundromat. Ah, the cruising life. Though we have a Wonder Washer, we needed industrial strength machines to wash our bedding and towels. So, here’s the process. Load large bags and detergent and books to read into the dinghy. Drive the dinghy to the dock and tie up. Unload and walk about a mile, each carrying a very large bag. Get to the laundromat and make lots of change for the machines. Wash. Dry. Reverse the process. Nobody ever writes articles about this in the magazines that show all that turquoise water in the tropics!!
Next - we stopped worrying about Bill. He is now downgraded to a tropical storm and isn’t expected to hit land in the U.S. And, since we are inland, no issues for us.
Last, but certainly not least, the shipyard that will be fixing our windlass loaned us a truck so that we could go pick up our windlass that arrived last night from California!! Yay!! Looks like Monday is installation day.
Oh yeah, we’ve been able to get more kayaking in and seen some beautiful places. Also, visited the Connecticut River Museum, which is done very well. Good exhibits, good location. We actually learned something.
Well, the windlass broke. The good news is, we got our anchor down and are stuck in the ground here. The bad news is, we are here until the new windlass arrives (from California - what else - I guess it is good it isn’t coming from New Zealand) and is installed. We tried to get parts and repair the old one, but it was just too old, the parts don’t exist anymore, and that wouldn’t cost enough money!!! So, we’ll support the economy of Connecticut for awhile. Did some windlass research at the Essex library where they have internet access - again - a terrific amenity in the towns we have visited. Having gotten that squared away, we treated ourselves to dinner Tuesday night in the famous old Griswold Inn. It was surprisingly good!
On Wednesday, we went kayaking - needed the exercise after all the emotional trauma of the windlass. And boy, did we go - for 3 hours in the 90+ degree heat, we explored the Connecticut River and Selden Creek. The latter was recommended to us as a hurricane hole should the need arise. Hurricane Bill is churning in the Atlantic and we still don’t know if it will come this way. JUST IN CASE, we are preparing ourselves and the boat. Of course, when/if it comes, we have no way to lift the 88 lb. anchor and 100 ft. of chain so that we can get ourselves to safe ground. But we met some people who said they would help. Let’s hope Bill just goes away.
Essex: +41° 21' 15.66", -72° 22' 42.00"
Saturday... Back to the islands in the dinghy (with Patti, novice dinghy driver at the tiller) so that John could get some photos. Again, a beautiful trip through a magical place. Afterwards, over to Stoney Creek, the town nearest the islands for lunch at Creekers and some off-the-boat time. The trip through the mooring field in the harbor was new and different for us. The small boats are moored to long sticks circled by tires that go up and down with the tides. Makes the harbor look a little strange. More boats in the vicinity today - raft-ups in the channels through the Thimbles. Glad we didn’t anchor there.
Sunday... Cousins Joel and Sarah met us in Stoney Creek today and came out for a spin through the Thimbles - then back to Anhinga for some catching up. A little excitement as we wended our way through the islands -- we hit a submerged rock and dinged our dinghy prop a tad. In any case, it was really nice to see them though we are sure we bored them to tears with stories of living on board. They look great - married life seems to agree with them!
Joshua Cove: +41° 15' 14.94", -72° 43' 4.32"
|* approximate times|
New Haven: +41° 13' 35.76", -72° 56' 8.70"
Saturday, our first day was glorious and we wasted no time. Circumnavigated the harbor by kayak and explored some of the small gems here. Setauket Harbor is just beautiful - a tranquil paradise compared with the comings and goings in Port Jeff harbor. Too bad Anhinga is too deep to anchor in there. Another place that is a real treat is Pirates Cove off Mount Misery Point. This is powerboat raft-up city, but the place is beautiful and the 60-ft. dunes are outstanding. (Our plan was to come back with the Sunday NYTimes, hang out on the beach and climb the dunes. But Sunday’s weather didn’t permit.) Once we finished our kayak, we changed and dinghied into town. The Town Dock wanted to charge us $12 AN HOUR (!!!) to tie up our dinghy! We went to Danford’s Hotel and Marina, and they charged us $10 for the day. Still steep we thought...but better than the megayacht prices at the Town Dock. Port Jeff is cute - sort of Disneylandish - a real touristy town. But, we found the excellent bakery and fresh fish store. So we had swordfish to grill for dinner and almond horns for a dessert treat!
So Sunday comes and the weather stinks. We go get the newspaper and bagels, then back to the boat hoping for sunshine. Finding none, we sit in the cockpit and read. Patti looks up and sees a dinghy with no people on board off in the distance from our boat. John looks and says, “That’s our dinghy!” We leap into action and paddle the kayak over to catch our escaping dinghy. Towing it back home, we re-tie and double tie the dinghy to the boat. Ah the excitement. Well - we needed the exercise anyway. Back to town for dinner at Wave, the restaurant at Danford’s. Really quite good - a great surprise. And, the rain held off so that we could eat dockside.
Monday - a scorcher. We kayak to Pirates Cove, beach the boat and scale the dunes. Gorgeous views of the Sound and the entrance to the harbor. On the beach later we watch the tide come in (now this is the retired life...), enjoy the kids’ sailing lessons (six boats with a very patient instructor), and try not to get too sunburnt. Back to Anhinga for laundry and boat maintenance. Holding our breath that the predicted thunderstorms would pass us by. Not so lucky, but only winds for about 5 minutes, rain for 15.
Tuesday, Uncle Paul picked us up and gave us a quick tour of the Old Field Point area and then back home to East Setauket for Aunt Barbara’s homemade breakfast from their own farm-grown vegetables. Superb! They loaned us a car and we did some more sightseeing in Stony Brook (Avalon Park, the post office with the mechanical eagle flapping its wings), Belle Terre -- the road above our anchorage, and the Setauket library for internet access. Next, importantly, a trip to the Stop ‘n’ Shop and the Wild By Nature supermarkets to re-provision the boat. Aunt Barbara dropped us off at the dock, helping us get the five huge bags of food (including produce from the farm) to the dinghy for the trip back to Anhinga. Great day! Wonderful to see family. Tomorrow, Connecticut.
After a rolly night in the Cold Spring Harbor anchorage, we left for our next destination, Port Jefferson. The general weather pattern for Long Island Sound (no wind in the morning and SW winds in the afternoon) changed, and we had northwest winds; favorable for our eastward trek. We were able to sail pretty much the whole way on a picture perfect sunny day. Downwind sailing - yes! Got to Port Jeff in the afternoon, had to make way for the Bridgeport ferry, but found a place to anchor near the mooring field. Soaking up the sunshine and rewarding ourselves for a sail well done. Tomorrow, exploration.
Port Jefferson: +40° 57' 42.24", -73° 4' 40.50"
Spent an hour at the fuel dock in Oyster Bay filling up on fuel and water; set to head the short distance to Cold Spring Harbor. Found a place to anchor pretty easily...then found out why. There is nothing of any interest in Cold Spring Harbor. First - no town dock. Next - lots of antique and chachka shops, and several empty storefronts. No grocery store. So, not a very friendly stop for cruisers, especially with Oyster Bay competing right around the corner. The one saving grace to this town is the library. Fabulous and new with internet access. If you have to be in Cold Spring Harbor, at least you can read.
Cold Spring Harbor: +40° 52' 30.30", -73° 28' 42.12"
Sunday morning was rainy, but the sun soon came out giving us a chance to dinghy to town, re-provision, and get a Sunday NYTimes. Back to Anhinga just in time. The skies opened and it rained ALL DAY. So what. We had a big newspaper, lots of coffee, and a wonderful enclosure that kept us bone dry. Late afternoon and the skies cleared. Yay! Showers for everybody and dinner in town at Il Piatto. We picked this place to eat after meeting the clammer who sold his catch to the chef. Excellent food.
Up early Monday (crack of 10?) for our excursion to Teddy Roosevelt’s house at Sagamore Hill. Dinghied to the road next to the anchorage - no place to dock so we tied up to the guard rail on the road. Seemed ok, except that it was high tide. More about that later. We walked about a mile to the National Park grounds. Sagamore Hill was just as Patti remembered - animal heads and skins everywhere. It is hard to believe that this house actually served as the summer White House. It is kind of small - and there were 6 kids living there at the time. We walked out from the grounds to the Cold Spring Harbor side of Cove Neck and saw a live horseshoe crab -- all the others we had seen for weeks now had been dead. Walked back to the dinghy and found it 15 feet from the water. Oh yeah, the tides. Well it was low tide and we had to drag the dinghy back to the water so that we could get home. Success (we are so strong...) Invited the other Annapolitans (on a Bristol!) in the anchorage over for drinks and had a nice time getting to know them. Simple dinner, beautiful sunset. Tomorrow - kayaking?
Another beautiful day on Tuesday and off we went on a marathon kayak trip around the periphery of Oyster Bay. Up by the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, back through the mooring field, around Centre Island to gawk at the mansions, into West Harbor to see more clammers at work, over to Mill Neck Creek and diagonally back across the main harbor to our boat. Three hours later we crawled on deck and collapsed. Next stop, the Oyster Bay library to get internet access and a reward for the day with a New York favorite - Carvel ice cream cones. And, it was cruise night in Oyster Bay - streets blocked off with lots of historic cars from every decade as well as muscle cars of the 60s and 70s. If only one unnamed blogmaster could have been there!
Oyster Bay: +40° 52' 52.02", -73° 30' 40.20"
We anchored for three days in Northport Harbor, spending time with family and getting to know the area. Pam and Sophie brought us lunch on the boat one day, then Pam and a friend kayaked out to see us another day. Eileen and Marvin endured perhaps the most memorable dinghy ride ever after visiting us one evening. We got into the dinghy to go back to Centerport, turned the point at Little Neck, and WHAM! Smack into the wind and waves. Patti on the bow is the first to get completely drenched. Eileen and Marvin next. John is protected in the rear. Laughing all the way to the dock we decided we were in no condition to go out to dinner, so we retreated to Anhinga and Eileen and Marvin went home to soak the salt out of their clothes. The next day the whole family got together at Skipper’s Pub for dinner and the outdoor concert in Northport. Earlier in the day we had a chance to explore Northport on foot and took advantage of 2 for 1 bread loaves at Copenhagen Bakery. Later we got in a kayak trip to Asharoken Beach and Duck Harbor. What beautiful scenery.
The last day was supposed to be our travel day to Oyster Bay, but with thunderstorms coming, we stayed put, waiting for sunshine to make our move. The sun did come out in early afternoon, so after listening to the marine weather forecast, downloading a GRIB file, and listening to the local news, we decided it was safe to get some exercise with another kayak expedition. We were wrong. We were out about half an hour when the sky got black, the wind shifted from out the of the north, and we had to fight our way through whitecaps to get across the Northport basin to Anhinga. Again completely drenched (there is a theme here...) we climbed back aboard. Guess what - the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow.
Northport Harbor: +40° 54' 48.30", -73° 22' 16.02"