Summer of Work, Wind, and Rain

Summer has been flying by and the weather it has brought has not been a typical New England summer. I almost feel like I am living back in San Francisco as more gray foggy days plague our sunny ones.  Despite the weather, we are making the best of it sailing and working on our own and other boats. The most important thing to always remember is how lucky we are to have these great opportunities and continue to work hard and play hard to enjoy them.

Scruffy ready to work
Dinner onboard in Jamestown.

Designer Series – July 21-23, 2017

The weekend after the Marblehead-Halifax Race, I ran an event called the Designer Series Rendezvous in Bristol, Rhode Island.  The idea of the event is to bring together yachts all designed by the same person in a weekend of activities. Our inaugural year honored Ted Hood, legendary yachtsmen, sailmaker, and boat designer. This event has taken exactly a year to plan and my client and I were thrilled with the results. We had over 25 yachts represented from Mr. Hood’s first design: a 40-ft Wooden Sloop, Robin, to his America’s Cup Challenger 12-meter, Nefertiti, to his last yacht, a 116-ft Sloop, Whisper and then all those in between.

Flying my drone of the event at sunset in Bristol, Rhode Island

Brandon even managed one of the Little Harbors that wanted to attend the event at Jamestown Boat Yard, so it was still a family affair to get this event off the ground.

Swan-devous – July 27-29, 2017

The next weekend was the Swan Owner’s Association Rendezvous. As Brandon’s boat yard and work focused a lot of these prestigious Finnish yachts, this was a chance for them to reunite. I sailed with our friends Bob and Kristen Beltrano on their, Swan 60, Nai’a.  We have raced with them in the past both in this weekend and in the Carribean.Friday we attempted to race out to Block Island but there was no wind so we motored there but did get to cruise a little.

Kristen on our way out Block Island onboard Nai’a

Friday we attempted to race out to Block Island but there was no wind until much later in the day so the racing was canceled so we motored there but did get to cruise a little with the sea breeze filled. We got a mooring and the event hosted a Lobster dinner at Ballards under a beautiful sunset.

Sunset over Block Island from Ballards

Saturday was a North Easter in July! We all bundled up in our full foul weather gear and life jackets to race back upwind to Jamestown under a double reefed main and reefed jib. Sitting at the helm, I watched the B&G instruments hit 40 knots multiple times. We were safe but it was not the most comfortable of rides.

Sailing back in 30-40 knots on Nai’a in July

I learned an important lesson on fire safety on yachts as we hit the dock and immediately we smelled that putrid smell of an electrical fire. Due to the big breeze, the bow thruster on Nai’a had been going full on for about 10 minutes as we docked and due to a faulty connection, the hydraulic motor started burning up. However, in the initial mintues, we didn’t know if it was a fire or not on board. I realized in a moment that I didn’t know where the fire hydrants were. Luckily, aside from the smell and the motor needing repairs, everything was fine but now I know to always ask and learn where fire hydrants are even if it’s just a day sail.

Sunday we raced around the Island in a NorthWesterly (Also odd for a sunny summer day in the summer).  The weekend wrapped with a party on Clingstone, also known as the house on the rocks. The best part was we won! Nai’a claimed the Highland Fling Award, named for a famous Swan racing program.

Winners! Clockwise from Upper Left: Walter, Andrew, Brandon, Bob, Maria, Moose, Me, and Kristen.

Jamestown Boat Yard helps maintain the work boat for the house so, in exchange, the yard rents the house for a week each summer. It’s such a unique place. There is no connection to the mainland so it runs on just solar, wind, and collected rain water. The inside is just as rustic as the outside.  Monday night, we all went out just to have a cookout and relax to watch the two sunsets. Why two? because you can get one sunset on the lower deck, then run upstairs and get a second sunset on the deck on the roof!

Views from Clingstone

Finally getting away again

After two weekends of “working,” we were finally able to get away on our own boat. We had no plans except to provision for the weekend and head out of the harbor. In the end, we decided on Block Island because it was blowing from the SouthEast and we could actually make it there on one tack. We left around 5pm on Friday and were dropping anchor and cooking Steak Tips and Corn by 9pm.

Boys sailing past Castle Hill on the way to Block Island
Boys cruising to Block Island
Scruffy and I on the way to Block Island just after sunset.

Saturday followed the trend for the last few weeks of just being miserable. It was windy and rainy and except for a quick trip to the beach to give Scruffy a walk, we didn’t leave the boat until 5pm. Brandon and the little dog caught up on sleep in the Vberth and I caught up on work thanks to the power of an unlimited data hotspot and the inverter.

Friends of ours rented a house on Block Island and by 5pm it was a gorgeous evening so we loaded the folding bikes into the dinghy and went ashore to have dinner with them. I brought some Tuna Steaks from Dave’s Market and had them marinating all day in Ginger Teriyaki sauce. MMmmm….

Saturday night, was a night of waking up to check on the mooring field quite a lot. Block Island gets really crowded on summer weekends and when the wind shifts in the middle of the night, it can get interesting if one boat doesn’t swing the same as everyone else. Despite a giant catamaran getting closer than comfort to another boat close to us, it was all fine.

Rainy days are for napping and working in the V-Berth.

Sunday, we biked up to Mansion Beach and ClayHead on the NorthEast corner of the island.  It was a beautiful day to be at the beach. Before heading back to Jamestown, we biked to Mahgoney Shoals at Paynes for a mudslide because you can’t come to Block and not have a mudslide. After lunch back on the boat, we were pulling up the anchor and sailing back. It was a Westerly (another weird thing for summer in New England) so once again, we sailed on Port Tack the entire way back to Jamestown.

Strong Westerly in Block Island on Sunday morning.
Mansion Beach and Clay Head on Block Island
Balsamic Chicken Salad wraps with fruit and chips. Scruffy wants in…



Marblehead to Halifax (to Rockland)


Pre Race

A few years ago, my dad decided for his 60th year, he wanted to skipper our family boat, a Catalina 36 named Pau Hana, in the Newport-Bermuda Race. Setting out to prepare the boat was a painstaking process of upgrades and unforeseen expenses, but last summer when my dad pulled into the Great Sound, I was one proud daughter especially given the number of naysayers who didn’t believe a Catalina was fit for the race.  I didn’t sail with him, Brandon was racing on Verissimo, a 62 ft custom Alden, and I was delivering the boat back to Newport but I was there when he pulled in.

Dad entering Bermuda in 2016
Pau Hana crew on arriving in Bermuda in 2016

He didn’t have the fastest (but also not the slowest!) boat and he knows that. Despite comments from many who didn’t know the story behind the boat and the fact he navigator is a Navy Meteorologist, my dad persisted and even finished 7th overall in the cruising class of 50+ boats. Now he had been bitten by the offshore-bug and started planning immediately for another bucket list race: the Marblehead to Halifax and this time I said I would join him.

Brandon sailed on Verrisimo again among a crew of 13 and I recruited my good friend, Morgan to join us on the mighty Pau Hana. 

Pau Hana, in Hawaiian means “finished working.” It’s a phrase used to mean something like “okay now that works over, let’s get a beer and have some fun.”  The phrase couldn’t have been more fitting for our crew as well all put in a 40 hour work week ahead of the race.  My dad sailed the boat up with my mom over the 4th weekend and left the boat on a mooring in Salem then returned to work. We headed back up there the day before the race.

Morgan and I were in charge of provisioning (see the previous post: How to Provision 6 meals in 1 hour) and stashing 3 cars at her parents house in Gloucester about 30 minutes away. This was like solving one of those riddles where the sheep and the wolf need to cross the river but the two can’t be in the same boat with you. How many times does it take the farmer to cross the river?

Side note: Thanks Baird family for letting us use Ramparts Farm for our parking.  Hopefully, helping feed and pet Iggy the Piggy, Hamlet the-pig-who-doesn’t-like-to-get-muddy, and Beau the Goat helped pay down our fee.

“Kate! Iggy the Piggy needs her Belly Rubbed!” – Joann, Morgans mother

The night before the race, We helped Morgan with her BYC minimums by all enjoying some wine and lobster rolls.  Brandon was on the program of making sure he ate delicious crew dinners and showing up on time.  I stayed with him at his hotel the night before the race before heading out to sea.  We have a tradition where before I leave on any offshore sailing without him, he tells me to “stay in the boat.”

Full moon over Marblehead the night before the race. Photo: Morgan Everson

At our Nav briefing from Mike, our Navigator, we learned it should be a great trip with great weather. Downwind the whole way and not too cold and foggy! And boy was he right!

The Nav Table and Charts. Our Navigator plotted on paper as well as Electronic Navigation. Photo: Morgan Everson

The Race

Start of the Race in Marblehead. Photo: Morgan Everson

We started at 1:20 pm on July 13th under sunny skies and a filling Southwest breeze. We had to sail upwind to mark and then a reaching mark first to wave to the Marblehead crowds before popping the chute and heading for Nova Scotia.  We were the 3rd start of 8 or 9 so we quickly got to watch many boats sail past us but we were undeterred. We know this boat will be going great if we can go 7 knots ever but we aim for over 5.

Our watch schedule was 6-hour rotations with someone new coming up every 3 hours for four of us and Mike jumping in to help if needed but mostly focusing on navigating.  Besides my dad, Morgan, Mike, and myself, we also have Jeff, a retired Air Force officer from Newport. My shift was the 1200-0600 and 1200-1800 as I was in charge of dinner during the races.  Morgan was the opposite of me so we shared a bunk which we called the nest as it was really cozy.

Morgan in the Nest.

Brandon’s mom, Margaret, made awesome lee clothes last year for my dad. They help keep you in if the boat heels but they have great pockets for stashing things like headlamps, sunscreen, earplugs, and iPhone/headphones for music and audiobooks.  This trip Morgan has been listening to The Girl On the Train, and I have been listening to Elon Musk’s biography and reading The Handmaids Tale. Things to do on your off watch are important to keep a routine and the mind sharp.

Dad at the helm

The race was more like a really nice cruise, we were on Starboard going down the wind with the kite up for over 48 hours under sunny skies and a clear and bright full moon. About 8 hours from finishing, we couldn’t sail any lower so we took a hitch towards the shore to get right on the Rhumb line. Those last 6 hours were the conditions everyone talks about when it comes to the race: foggy and cold.

We like aqua on Pau Hana

It was also dark. We sailed into a traffic separation scheme with all these rules to keep mariners safe in shipping lanes then had to use radar and AIS to find the final channel markers and finally the finish.  However, after sailing over 5 knots for 55 hours and 360 miles, 0.5 miles from the finish, the wind died. We were adrift moving less than a knot fighting an outgoing current.  It was so painful, 3 of us moved our weight forward and leeward to try and keep the boat moving forward.

Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron

Luckily, with just one little puff, we crossed the line at 0136 Atlantic time (which is an hour ahead of EST), just shy of 60 hours which put us 7th in our class. However, finish scores were never our focus, it was the adventure and camaraderie. O and we ate very well! 🙂

“Lasanga” made with frozen raviolis, garlic tomato sauce, and italian spiced chicken sausage


With our day off, we ate breakfast at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht a club then headed to town.  Breakfast was included with the race but I think we still took the club by surprise as they kept running out of food and coffee. Brandon, Morgan, and I took a cab downtown to explore.

Downtown Halifax is set up nicely for the tourists. The waterfront has plenty of restaurants, food shacks, beer gardens, the Maritime Museum and a distillery.  So we hit all of them!

The Stubborn Goat beer garden had some local beers so we all got different ones and shared. The space is open to dogs so we all got our canine fix in as well as we were missing our little muppets.

The Maritime Museum was interesting and a little depressing at the same time.  In 1917, two ships collided in the harbor one of which was carrying explosives. The blast destroyed much of Halifax instantly killing over 2,000 and severely injuring 9,000.  Massachusetts was instrumental in the support during the aftermath and the strong bond between Boston and Halifax was one of the reasons for the founding of the Race.

There was also an exhibit about the Titanic as Nova Scotia was the closest land to the sinking in 1915. “Survivors went to New York, the dead went to Halifax.” Over 200 of the recovered perished were sent to Halifax and have been laid to rest in the cities’ graveyards.

After that uplifting experience, we got some lobster rolls on the harbor walk from Daves Lobster and then headed to the Halifax Distillery where we sampled rums, beers, and reserves. My dad, Jeff, and Mike joined us there where we enjoyed a little more.  I highly recommend a stop here. Be sure to sample both the Spiced Gold Rum that they infuse with tea so it’s smooth and subtle and the Rum Cream, it’s better than Baileys.

Brandon split from our group to go to a crew dinner with Verrisimo at swanky Halifax restaurant and we headed back the Yacht Club for a pig roast for the competitors. Once again, I think the yacht club was surprised by the fact people were there to eat but it was an okay meal but too hot in the back building where they hosted us.  We went back to the main club for some sunset drinks. It was then that we decided that we had done Halifax and the race festivities didn’t really excite us too much old get a head start on the delivery to Maine and skip the awards ceremony the next day.

The delivery

We enjoyed a nice sleep in and breakfast before heading out around noon from Halifax. It was nice to finally get a chance to see the coast line since it was so dark and foggy for our finish.  The other bonus was that the winds were now East- North East so we could fly the chute once again.

We had to gym a few times down the coast so we were already into 4x the maneuvers that we had to do on the race.  We all settled back into our watch routines nicely and continued to eat and snack our way through the Gulf of Maine bound for Rockland.

Unfortunately, the wind died so we had to motor most of the trip. This made for a pretty boring sail but we did finally get to see lots of Marine Life.

We saw:

  • 3 Humpback whales
  • Countless seals
  • Dozen or so dolphins
  • 2 great white sharks! One chasing a seal!

Note: it was not a sunfish, it had a Dorsel fin and a tail fin that was 8 feet behind that. It was also chasing a seal so I don’t think a basking shark does that either…

Thanks to a Gloucester friend of Morgan’s who was also in the race but left a day ahead of us, he secured a slip at Journeys End Marina for us in Rockland, Maine.  After showering, we followed a recommendation from a friend back home and headed to The Pearl for a delicious seafood dinner and a few beverages.

To our pleasant surprise, Rockland was also hosting a Blues festival. There was a venue next to the restaurant that was playing music when we sailed in but after dinner, the festival moved to Main Street. They shut the street down and different blues bands played every few blocks. People were popping in and out of bars, strolling, dancing, and grooving to the half dozen music groups. It was pretty neat and a beautiful summer night for it.  For us, it was a great way to cap off an amazing trip.

We all slept back on the boat, some stumbling back later than others. The next morning, we recovered our sore brains with some mouthwatering grub at a local diner.  All 5 of us joined the clean plate club at the Brass Compass Cafe. I highly recommend the Penobscot Crab Benny!

By the time we walked back to the boat, my uncle Lee had arrived with Jeff’s truck. He had flown in from Washington State to Boston the night before, gotten the truck loaded with all the cruising stuff and drove up to us.  He and my dad are taking a week to cruise down the coast back to Newport.

We piled in the truck and headed to Morgan’s parents back in Gloucester to retrieve our cars and undo the tangle of logistics from over a week ago. It’s hard to believe we have done a great loop of the Northeast in just a week.

At the time of this writing, it was exactly one week ago that we were popping the shoot and aiming for Brazil Rock off Nova Scotia 250 miles away. It already feels like it was all just a dream. For me, this was an amazing adventure to be able to sail with my dad and closest friend while also getting to know new guys.

Thanks to my crew, dad, and all you for reading and following along on another Persistence Adventure.



How to Provision Home Cooked Dinners for 6 days Offshore in 1 hour

Sunday we head off on an adventure but this time we are leaving Scruffy and Persistence behind. Brandon and I are racing in the Marblehead to Halifax Race but on separate boats.  He will be on Verissimo, a 62-foot custom yacht, which is the same boat he raced with for Bermuda. (Poor guy…)

I will be sailing with my dad and friend Morgan on his Catalina 36, Pau Hana. Needless to say, Brandon will get to Canada before me. Morgan and I are in charge of provisioning so we divided that she get all the snacks and stuff to make Breakfast and Lunches. I took on all the dinners to get us to Halifax and then onto Maine after the race.

I am a little stressed with all the “real work” I need to get done before I go so I took the speedy approach to getting this done. One pan meals that each combine a starch, veggies, and a meat.

  1. Lasagna made with Raviolis and Chicken Sausage
  2. Chili with Sausage, Onions, Peppers, Tomato Paste, and Beans
  3. Beef Stir Fry with Veggies in a Teriyaki Sauce
  4. Chicken Korma inspired dish with rice and veggies
  5. Buffalo Mac and Cheese
  6. Beef Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, and Celery

By using a grill to cook all the meat at once and then utilizing the 4 burners to cook the rest of the ingredients. I was able to prepare 6 dinners in just under an hour.


Then it took me an hour to clean up…

Should we just gybe and SEND IT?

July 5th, 2017

Well I finally got this blog on the interwebs. I should be doing my “real work” that actually helps fund all the gallivanting on the water.

Wait… Let’s do both:

Do you need a website? Graphic Design? Email Marketing? Tech Coaching? Check out my company and contact me for help!

There, I did some work…

Wait let me plug Brandon, too:

Do you need some boat work done? Refit? Mechanic? Systems? Visit Jamestown Boat Yard!

Ok now back to the cruising blog.

After a delicious dinner of freshly caught Scallops cooked in White Wine with Garlic and Butter, we headed back ashore to get some ice cream. I saw a place earlier on our walk, BuddhaBerry, so we decided to check it out. It was good but WOW was it busy. It was one of those places you add your own toppings but it was so crowded that your cup was melted before you could even pay.  So we ate our soupy cold treats before headed back to the boat.

Apparently, we missed the Fireworks that were the night before, we could just see the Fireworks in Greenport as we puttered back to the boat. This was probably a good thing as our little guy is not a fan of fireworks.

The next day, we woke up and headed to the Market for bagels and lox. Brandon came here in the Fall to check out a boat in need of repairs and remembered they were good. Sag Harbor reminded me a lot of the quaint towns of Nantucket, Newport, and the alike with a more New York City vibe. There were a lot of people!

The winds were light out of the West when we headed North and East for Fisher’s Island. We looked at the Currents in our Eldridge and were confident if we left by 10 am, we should be in fair currents the entire way. We did a little motor sailing and then around 11 am, we were able to turn the engine off and sail.

The current through Plum Gut can rip a couple of knots, so we motor sailed through there to keep up momentum. By the time we were through, we turned down (for what?) and put up the Spinnaker. We fly an OOOOooollllllddddd kite. It has a stamp that it was used in 1978 and it represents the best of the 70s in all its glorious colors. It’s a Rainbow!

We also have a symmetrical spinnaker which means ALOT of lines. Once we decide to fly a kite, it means there are at least 15 minutes of getting the pole, lines, and kite set before we can haul it up.

Lines needed to get the kite up:

  1. Port Sheet
  2. Starboard Sheet
  3. Port Aft Guy
  4. Starboard Aft Guy
  5. Fore Guy
  6. Line to attach the Fore Guy to the Deck
  7. Topping Lift from the mast
  8. Topping Lift Connection on the Pole
  9. Spin Halyard
  10. Pole height line
  11. Cone Up line
  12. Cone Down Line

Gear to get the kite up:

  1. Pole
  2. Spinnaker with Sock
  3. Port Spin Block
  4. Starboard Spin Block
  5. Port Guy Block
  6. Starboard Guy Block
  7. Reaching Strut and a sail tie to hold it back

Not complicated at all.

However, once we got it going, we cruised at 7 knots through the water and nearly 9 with the current.  We were at the Race, the cut that starts Long Island Sound between Orient Point and Fishers Island, in less than an hour.

It was such great conditions that we decided to check the forecast for Tuesday the 4th one more time. It was forecasted to be light and we have already been to Fisher’s last year so we decided to “send it” home to Jamestown and stay in Dutch Harbor.

Back Blog/ Side Note: We sailed there on a long weekend in August last year staying on Block Island Thursday night then sailing there on Friday morning. Neither of us had been there before so we went to West Harbor and then dinghied into the “yacht club.” The Fisher’s Island Yacht Club is a little adorable building on a small grassy lawn with a beautiful porch and rocking chairs.  When we walked around the island (this is pre-folding bikes and this trip is the reason we asked Santa for them.)  we were shocked how we didn’t see anyone. It was almost creepy because there were all these houses yet no cars or people. 

With the autopilot and the kite full, the highlight of our trip was taking the bean bags to the bow and lounging in the shade. I think Scruffy was most happy with this as well.

Instead of heading to the East side of Jamestown, we went to Dutch Harbor. A place we travel just a mile by car but 9 miles by sail away and its another world. It is always low key and peaceful.

Our friend Cassie’s family lives on Watson farm so we took the dinghy in for a fire and a cookout with friends and family. Scruffy immediately saw a skunk on the beach and even was able to catch up to grab some fur. By some grace, we were all spared an very unpleasant evening escaping with our noses in tack!

We made it back to the boat after some merriment and fireworks (poor Scruffy). We had a nice sleep in on the 4th coupled with breakfast and a swim before heading to the other side of the island to put her away.

It was an amazing mini trip and I was finally inspired to start this blog. Thanks for reading. I plan to update with recipes from the boat, notes from our refits, and tales of our Persistence Adventures!




This would be great for the blog

It’s been an ongoing joke onboard Persistence, our C&C34 that we have had for nearly 4 years that “this would be great for the blog.” So here it is, a few years late but not too soon, a blog on the adventures of two 30-something sailors and their little dog, Scruffy.

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

I start this blog sitting in a bean bag chair with a glass of white wine left over from a dinner party on board last weekend back in our home port of Jamestown, Rhode Island.  I am looking at the sea wall of Sag Harbor, NY. Scruffy, our 8-year-old Silky Terrier, is snoozing in his bed behind me in the shade of the boom. He likes to make himself comfortable. Brandon just got back on board from a swim/snorkel where he found a couple of scallops. I plan to cook those up with butter and garlic tonight with a little more of that white wine for dinner.

This is our first time cruising to Sag Harbor and Long Island. We have taken a mini 4th of July vacation to find new places to cruise and thought given our 5-day break, we’d venture beyond our usual Block Island and Cuttyhunk 20 mile jaunts and go a little further.

We left Narragansett Bay on a whim on the evening of Thursday, June 29th.  Our plan was to try and leave early Friday if the forecast was right as it was looking to blow from the Southwest and Long Island is exactly south and west. The backup plan was to just turn downwind and head to any of the Elizabethan islands. We accepted full well that everywhere would be crowded for an extended 4th weekend.

However, after sailing myself on Thursday as part of a weekly J24 series in Newport. The wind was down so we decided to “send it” to Block Island go get a jump on the projected wind.  The boat was already provisioned so Brandon scooped me right on the docks of Sail Newport around 8 pm and off we went.

The wind was nice and calm so I went down below and brewed some coffee in anticipation of a late night. Then I made some beef stir fry for dinner. Sadly, we were lured into a false sense of calm as the wind picked up by Point Judith and we slogged upwind in the dark for four more hours. Both of us have pretty solid stomachs, but l let’s just say we both got to taste that stir fry again…

Scruffy loves the boat….Most of the time… It took hugging him the entire way to Block Island coupled with a half of a doggy anxiety pill to get him there.  By 2:00 am we were pulling into the Great Salt Pond. Luckily, for us we have been here countless times, I even lived here most of my college summers, so we are comfortable in the anchorage.  We actually found a private mooring and assumed no one was coming to grab it at that time of night.

Once we were settled, both of our sea sicknesses immediately dissipated. Of course, cruising with a dog means sleep is still a dinghy ride to shore and back away. By 3 am, it was finally lights out.

Friday morning we didn’t get up until nearly 11 am, I felt hungover from the seasickness.  We are fortunate to have a dog with a camel’s bladder so it wasn’t until nearly2 pm after I made breakfast bowls of eggs, sausage, onions, peppers, beans, and avacado that we made it ashore. It was still blowing well over twenty knots so we decided to stay another night instead of trudging upwind again.

My parents gave us folding bikes last Christmas so we loaded those for the first time in the dinghy. They fit perfectly in the sail bags for our main and jib as not scratch the floor boards and bodies. We went to shore, put scruffy in the milk crate we affixed to the back of Brandon’s bike and headed to town for errands. Brandon needed a hat as we left in a hurry and his was in the car. I also left my sunnies on the J 24.

Having bikes is awesome! It gives us the ability to quickly venture with the dog a little more than we could. After some errands, we went to Paynes and Mahagony Shoals for a mudslide because you can’t come to block island and not have a mudslide…

Then we headed back to the boat around 5 pm, we were both still exhausted from the adventure the night before, so we took naps then arose 8 pm8pm to have some gourmet dinner of Annie’s Mac and Cheese with some leftover chicken. We took Scruffy in for one last relief then promptly went back to sleep.  All in all, we did a lot of sleeping on Block Island but it was grey and windy, so what else is there?

We woke up leisurely on Saturday and I made blueberry pancakes, took Scruffy to the beach to tire him out before heading out again. the wind was down to 15 knots now but we decided to head towards the forks of Long Island which would be a close reach. The funniest part of our dog walk was Scruffy was thirsty and we found a half filled water bottle. I opened and took a whiff, it was Bacardi… I almost vomited on the beach.

We left around 11am from Block and headed 270º W to Shelter island.  It took us 5 hours to go 31 miles which is great for us.  We had a reef in the entire time. The wind would go from 17 down to 12 and the sun would peak through just long enough to get our hopes up before disappearing again.

We anchored in Coecles Harbor on Shelter island around 4:30 pm. The cruising guide informed us that this is one of two allowed anchorages on the island. There’s nothing here but an anchorage. The land is a nature conservancy for birds so kept to the shoreline to walk Scruffy.

That night I made bruschetta as an appetizer with Gin and Tonics made with my favorite gin, Barr Hill gin from Vermont. For dinner, we had boat stuffies. Brandon dove in Block Island next the boat and I kept them In the fridge.  To mKe them, we fire up the grill and put them in cold.  You keep an eye on them and as soon as they open, you dump the clam juice in a bowl and shuck out the meat. I cooked up some onions, garlic, peppers, and sun dried tomatoes down below the. Mix the juice, clam meat, cooked veggies, bread crumbs, paprika, worchestire sauce, and a little cayenne pepper with an egg to make the batter.  Then I put the batter into the shells in the boat oven for however long it takes to drink a G&T. When they are just crispy on top, grab a fork and eat em up.  No hot sauce needed, the cayenne is just the kick to balance the salty brine.

After dinner, we turned the V-berth into a movie theater. We have a mini projector that can connect to an ipad and using a white shirt, we can watch House of Cards all night long. However, once all three of us snuggled and got the Netflix going (I downloaded it prior) we were asleep before the opening credits were over.

I awoke around 8 am on Sunday to blue skies and calm wind! Something we hadn’t seen since Thursday. I love cruising but my biggest peeve is when everything is just a little moist. So when I woke up to dry conditions, I got everything clothes pinned to the lifelines to dry. A dry towel can make all the difference on board.

I brewed up some coffees and we took Scruffy back into the Nature Conservancy shore walking him North around the spit that makes the channel.  I wish I had my camera because the little guy just laid down in the water for a while like a mermaid. I called him a mer-dog.

We headed back the boat and soon after setting sail for Sag Harbor just 5 miles away. It was a light westerly which made for a lovely Sail. We anchored outside the break wall next to one of Brandon’s customers, a Swan 53 called Auroa. Francesco, the owner, came over to say hi.  Poor Scruffy was so excited to see him that he fell overboard as he wagged his body so hard as he approached by dinghy.  Aurora broke free of her mooring last fall here in Sag Harbor and ended up on the sea wall so we have gotten to know Francesco this winter as his boat was at the yard getting repairs.

He invited us on a sail, but having just arrived, we decided to go ashore to check out Sag Harbor.  We loaded the bikes and Scruffy once again and docked on the town docks.  We biked around a little to see the homes. My dad texted me the night before and said “you’d like Sag, it’s quiant.” He’s right.

Like I mentioned, having the bikes are great because they extend what is possible while cruising. Last summer, we went to Fishers Island for a weekend and we were stuck walking within a mile or so of where we landed. If you’ve ever even to Fishers, there’s not much within a mile of the Yacht Club.  That is when we thought bikes would be helpful in our pursuit of exploring the places we cruise. So thank you, parents, for these great Christmas presents!

We are also thankful our little dog puts up with all our adventuring antics. We affixed a milk crate to the back of Brandon’s bike and lined it with a towel, attached a harness, and off we went. We practiced last weekend in the neighborhood first to make sure he could handle it. He basically just sits in it and sniffs the air.

So back in Sag Harbor, we went for a ride then locked up the bikes and walked Main Street.  Scruffy met a lot of other dogs.  Sag is very pet friendly. Every shop and restaurant has a dog bowl our front. Like some of us may bar crawl in a town, Scruffy did a dog bowl crawl. Sampling every dog bowl in town.  Thank goodness for his kennel cough vaccine…

Around 3 pm we came back to the boat, I went for a swim and then Brandon tossed me our float. Scruffy doesn’t like it when we go swimming. He cries and barks and plays lifeguard. So Brandon put his life jacket on and lowered him the float. Then he was happy:

After I got out, I decided it was about time to start this blog. So if you have read this far then you are a true friend. I’m now own to Rosé and Brandon has rigged us new jack lines.

I have also been watching these crazy skimboard/ jet skis/ don’t-know-what thingies flying around us. See photo.

Now I’m off to make scallops and pasta. The plan is to head to Fishers tomorrow on our way home.