Block Island

Trip Start Jun 22, 2007
Trip End Sep 25, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Rhode Island
Sunday, July 22, 2007

Early the next morning we were rewarded with reduced winds and mixed sky.  We quickly checked the NOAA weather on the VHF and heard- small craft warnings from Block Island to Nantucket....we had decided not to go out with such warnings.  But wait...this was the offshore forecast.  The forecast for BI Sound was cleaning and winds 10kts...we were good to go. 

The night before winds had been very high...perhaps 20-25 kits.  Getting the dink out of the water, hoisting it 12 feet in the air and landing it on the supports on our 'boat deck' can be difficult.  We have already had a couple of scares and have decided we had enough of that.  We had decided not to hoist it the night before.  But today, we had good conditions and the dink hoisted easily up and over the boat deck rail.  We were ready to go. 

So by 0800 we are making our way out to BI Sound.  It was clear as could be and instead of seeing the expected fog, we could see our way all the way to BI.  What a day.  Slow rolling seas and clear sky.  In fact, it got better as we approached the rocky island.

We had been fortunate enough to have a friend who loaned us his prime Block Island mooring for three days.  Normally its almost impossible to get in unless you are an owner.  In fact the fellow who loaned it to us had had it for 40 years.  We met Jim F. on the Nordhavn Medbound rally as he has a Nordhavn 43 and played a key role in organizing the whole event (see other blog).  He said he would arrange for us to use the mooring without cost for three nights.  What a deal.  So by 1300 we are motoring into what is called "salt pond" where we see hundreds of vessels moored and docked.  It was thick with boats as it was a Saturday afternoon.   Shortly Sue had grabbed the mooring line with the boathook and we shut down the engine.  Great trip and a great location.

I have spent very little time in new england so I didn't know what to expect.  We take the dink in and tie up with 30-40 others at a tight dock.  How Sue got us wedged in there was a miracle, but we did.  I looked down to see crystal clear water and lots of rocks...including some sharp large rocks sticking up in the water.  It made me think of what might be waiting for the First Forty if I have any more mental lapses (see prior post).

We went up and had a lunch at the nearby beach bar called "Oars".  It was great.  In fact, we went there three more times and had a great experience each time.   It was the only place I have ever seen $2 local beers.  Great food and service so I would recommend this place to any reader going to BI.

Now we do the "Pilgrim" act.  I call it that since we don't know a place and arrive by small boat.  I liken it to how the Pilgrims go ashore.  Usually we ask someone and instead of "take me to your leader", we say "where is town" and often get strange looks.   Once in response to a strange look I responded with an equally strange answer, "yes, I parked my spaceship near the beach and I need to know where your settlement is"..the target of the question persisted the strange look and pointed.  Good. 

Then we start to walk...often in abstract directions until success is achieved.  Today we walk up hilly and winding roads for over 2 miles until we find "town".   We found a place with a lot of Victorian and otherwise old wooden hotels.  Very quaint.  Very nice.  How there hotels still stand after 100 to 150 years is amazing.

We spent three days on BI.  The first two were picture book.  Ideal weather: cool and bright.  Unlike the Chesapeake, no sweating, no running the generator to get A/C.  We look for a blanket at night. 

We had a great time.  On Sunday, we rent a car from a rich guy.  We knew he was rich, because we had to pay $80 for a two hour car rental.   It was worth it as we got to see a couple great lighthouses and some amazing landscape: rock walls across rolling fields.  Instead of subdivisions and developments the island has quaint looking, Grey homes of a New England style.  Really impressive.  Of course we saw the place under ideal condx.  We were told normal is more like fog and often rain.  We will accept our good fortune...for today.

The next day was supposed to be bad an it was.  Winds picked up to 30kt gusts.  We had thought that if it were bad, we would use the time to get over to Newport RI.   But when we woke up, it was too rough to go.  So we sat the day out, did some trip planning and otherwise stay low key.  

We liked BI and would like to perhaps return in the fall.
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