4th of July Plans?

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4th of July Plans?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue Jun 30, 2009 6:33 am

I'm just wondering: What are people are planning on doing over the 4th of July weekend?

Assuming that we don't get any tropical monsoons and that the ice pack has dissipated ;) (he said, only half joking), we're planning on heading to Block Island, RI. We'll bash our way there tomorrow and will probably come back on Sunday or Monday, when it looks like we'll have a nice down-wind trip.

-- Geoff
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby THATBOATGUY » Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:25 am

Have enough fun there for us too!

Looks like a perfect forecast for us here. We will be sitting in lawn chairs on Marqueasa with a charged hose right next to me! :) Lots of amateur fireworks in our neighborhood. I say amateur but the combined effect is that of a small towns display and it goes on late into the night...

George
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby Lola » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:03 am

First mate Lisa has invited me to go with their relatives to Bird Island, in their power boat...I'm sure the ICW will be busy....I also am in a small town area and they are all crazy with fireworks...I hope you all have a safe and fun 4th...Lola
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:06 pm

Assuming that we don't get any tropical monsoons and that the ice pack has dissipated ;) (he said, only half joking), we're planning on heading to Block Island, RI. We'll bash our way there tomorrow and will probably come back on Sunday or Monday, when it looks like we'll have a nice down-wind trip.

Well, there were no ice packs, but we certainly had a wet trip. Sue had a family picnic to go to, so John, who loves to sail but doesn't have a boat, came along. When I got up it looked really dark to the west and when I checked the radar, it showed a long line of thunderstorms that were color coded yellow with dark red in the middle, so we decided to wait for a couple of hours until it blew through. It eventually did and we headed down the Narragansett. The winds were really fluky, so we went from great sailing to nothing to wind on the nose to downwind sailing.

As we departed the Narragansett, it started looking quite ominous. We dropped the sails and started motoring to Block Island, which was about 20 miles away. After about 1/2 of an hour lightening started crashing down and the winds picked up. When the rain arrived, it was an absolute deluge and lasted for the majority of the trip to BI. It's amazing how heavy rain flattens the seas, as they weren't bad at all. It was one of the wettest trips that I've ever had!

I think that John was freaked out by all of the close lightening. My view was "what else are we supposed to do? Head into a port and anchor? We've got the same chance of getting hit there as we do at sea." I was just hoping to punch through the other side of the line. We didn't, and we made it in one piece.

I will say that I was really happy to have the AIS transponder when the fog and heavy rain moved in. The rain was so heavy that it completely blanked the radar, but I could see ships and the high speed ferry moving around. It was nice to know that they could see me too. I got a call on the VHF from a couple of vessels.

Here are a few photo memories of the trip...

Departing the Narragansett
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I hate it when you see the wisps forming under the clouds...
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Are we back in Canada?
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby Michel » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:14 am

Geoff,

Nice clouds! But I wondered, what's the function of the upright piece of T-bar on the end of your boom?
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby Mike Holibar » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:10 am

Nice pictures Geoff, This weekend if the weather lifts, I will be carrying on wiith the winter maintenance program. I am green with envy :mrgreen: of you guys on the summer side of the world!
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:56 am

Nice clouds! But I wondered, what's the function of the upright piece of T-bar on the end of your boom?

The T-bar is used to support the sail cover, which is too shor. We'll have it lengthened when we get back to the Chesapeake, where we had it made. It needs to be longer so that the reefing lines can go up cleanly.

I am green with envy :mrgreen: of you guys on the summer side of the world!

Please let me know when summer gets here. In the NE part of the US, the temps have been well below average, it's been rainy and cloudy. In June we only had something like 28% of available sunshine, making it the 2nd cloudiest June in history in the Boston area. Putting it mildly, the weather has sucked! We're hoping for a better July...

-- Geoff
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby Michel » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:50 pm

We've had a subtropical week here at 53 degrees north. Today it broke with thunderstorms and hail and rain.
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Re: 4th of July Plans?

Postby GeoffSchultz » Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:45 am

My 4th of July weekend has been extended a bit as I'm still out cruising and enjoying sunshine and a respite from all of the rain that we've had.

We had a great time in Block Island, as did a lot of other boaters. The number of boats which arrived for the 4th was absolutely amazing. One guide book that I have states that Great Salt Pond (aka New Harbor), can hold 1000 boats. I'd be willing to bet that we were close to that. I just kept watching as boat after boat came through the channel and looked for a place to anchor.

Anchorage from up the mast:
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We arrived on Wednesday, thinking that there was still enough time to find a mooring ball. Wrong...According to some people who had arrived on Tuesday, the last balls quickly disappeared that day. I have no problems anchoring, but I just worry about the rest of the yahoos who never anchor and end up anchoring on top of you and/or dragging. I picked a spot towards an anchoring boundary, thinking that no one would be able to get behind me. That lasted for about a day...Then we had a small boat with no name, port or registration drop their hook very near us. I anchored in 33' of water and had 160' of chain out. They had a lot less than that and used rope, so they swung very differently. We never touched, but we sure came close. For cheap insurance, I put fenders out on their side.

One of the more amazing sights is all of the boats rafted in Old Harbor. I have no idea how they form or dis-entangle themselves when they're done.

Boats rafted at Old Harbor:
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Not to be outdone are the marinas, who charge $8/ft and stack boats up to 4 deep. We noted that the first 4 boats got power and the rest didn't. I guess that's to make up for all of the people walking over your boat to get to theirs. Why doesn't this look like fun to me?

Boats stacked in marinas:
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Block Island always had a great parade and fireworks. They didn't disappoint again and the people watching was great.
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We also got to meet another Freedom 40/40 owner (Bill and Marilyn) from Seas the Dream, who were on their way back from Oriental, SC.

On Sunday we had great westerly winds and decided to head out and head back towards home, with the intention of not getting there...We had 15-20+ kts dead on the stern and had a sleigh ride. We decided to head to Cuttyhunk, which is part of the Elizabeth Islands off of RI and MA and was 33 miles away. We averaged 7 kts for the trip and we hit 10 kts on one surf!

Cuttyhunk is a small island with a nice pond in the interior that they've dredged for a mooring field and anchorage. You can also anchor outside of the pond, but it was blowing 20+ kts and we wanted to head into the town. As a result headed into the pond and were lucky enough to be offered a private mooring ball for free. There's not much on Cuttyhunk other than houses, a great raw bar, a small grocery store and a few restaurants. It's definately a laid back place.

Cuttyhunk Village:
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The next morning we woke up and once again found sun shining, but no wind. Martha's Vineyard lays about 7 miles away, so we decided to head that direction. We headed to the town of Oak Bluffs, which has a wonderful village consisting of ornately decorated cottages which are absolutely wonderful to look at.

Oak Bluffs Village:
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Today we're headed in the general direction of my marina. I think that we'll either stop at Woods Hole or Westport, MA on the way there. There's no wind forecast for today, so we'll probably have to motor.

-- Geoff

P.S. More photos of Block Island are available at http://www.geoffschultz.org/2009_Sailing/Photos/RI_BI/
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