Newport, RI

To the visiting yachtsman Newport is like nirvana. The sheer number of beautiful boats is almost overwhelming. Today we went on a walking tour of the historic part of the city and we also visited the boatyard that is home (or at least temporary home) to the J boats as well as a host of other beauties.

The J boats were originally built in the 1930s for america’s cup racing and I believe that about 10 of these 130′ loa beauties were constructed. By the 1980s only three were left but there was an interest in reviving the class so some well-heeled racers built six new ones. They are spectacular.

Jim Clarke’s (Netscape, Silicon Graphics, s/v Comanche etc.) 260′ boat Athena was also at the yard today.  Beautiful. As you can see below, the 62′ Gunboat, s/v Elvis was also present. Great day!IMG_0312IMG_0314IMG_0316IMG_0320IMG_0321IMG_0322IMG_0323IMG_0324

Guilford, CT to Newport, RI

Today we made the 62 mile run from Guilford to to Newport. We had a mellow southerly wind but also got our first taste of the open Atlantic Ocean. It took us about 9.5 hours to get to Newport and our biggest challenge was picking up a mooring ball. The harbor master was kind enough to let us use one of the buoys normally assigned to a tall ship. Otherwise this harbor is pretty darned full! This is the largest concentration of large vessels I have ever seen!

Tommorrow and the next day looking forward to seeing some of the J boats that are freshly back from the Bahamas and visiting all the various nautical exhibits as well as the historic Newport Yacht Club. I’ve never been to Newport before and I am super impressed⚓️. A few moments ago a former America Cup vessel sailed by as well as a beautiful schooner. Wow!

Milford to Guilford, CT

We had a very lovely visit with my cousin Debbie and her husband Scott who live near Milford. They are both wonderful folks…only downside was that we were not able to visit with their daughters. Hopefully do so as we head south. We then sailed from Milford to Guilford in a nice warm southerly breeze to the thimble islands where we hoped to spend the night. Unfortunately we couldn’t locate a suitable (i.e. uncrowded) spot so we proceed further up the coast to Guilford Harbor where we found a great spot on the East River in and amongst sedges and reeds and a plethora of bird life. A mama osprey is nested less than 100 yards away.  IMG_0290IMG_0292IMG_0293IMG_0294IMG_0295

Stamford to Milford, CT

Last night we stayed at the lovely Stamford yacht club. It’s a beautiful facility and has everything a visiting boater might need. We met up with our friends Dave and carol on Friday evening and in the early afternoon of Saturday we had a nice cruise from Stamford to Milford. When we headed out we anticipated decent sailing conditions but, aside from a short time in the afternoon we motored. We are now tied up at the Milford Yacht Club and looking forward to visiting with my cousin Debbie and her husband scott for a little brunch get together.

Arrived Stamford, CT

Sam, Stewie, Bonni and I sailed from mamaroneck to Stamford this a.m. Encountered our first squalls and blustery conditions. No problems aside from getting a bit wet and discovering a couple of leaks on deck. Eric and Lal departed yesterday evening and we are looking forward to hosting our frequent cruising companions from Canada, Carol and Dave, starting tonight. Sam Alpert and I plan to sample the SYC bar.

Ode to Colin Prior

An ode to Mr. Colin Prior. Several months ago, as our plan to purchase a boat on the East Coast came together, Colin Prior offered to accompany stewie the corgi and me on the drive across country and help me with preliminary boat set up. I jumped at the chance because Colin is good company, there’s just about nothing he can’t fix, and he knows his way around boats. Colin, stewie and I had a fun trip driving across country and because colin enjoys off road expeditions we even tried some four wheeling in the rental truck. After five days of driving we got to Annapolis, unloaded the truck and started work on the Bonni Jean ll. Bear in mind this guy has been with me for a week and I had not seen him angry, down or pissed at me or anything else! Nothing but a “get her done” attitude. I loved it.

Anyhow, we had a very long punch list and Colin just tears into it. Nonstop. No questions asked. Of course as we fix one thing we find something else to repair. Colin never misses a beat! (I forgot to mention that the first day on the job I fell off a ladder and wrenched the heck out of my back, could not bend over and was unable to lift anything…in other words fairly useless.) Anyhow, we work our way through the list and when it becomes clear that we aren’t going to complete the fixes Colin offers to stay and help. He even extended his stay a second time to help me finish off more critical fixes. I won’t list all of the things he fixed or installed but trust me it was extensive and we needed a spreadsheet to manage it.

I cannot thank him enough for his friendship, support, expertise and joy of life! It is true, there is virtually nothing that he can’t fix or figure out! What a guy! Although I had sailed and socialized with him in the past, I now feel as though I now have a solid lifelong friend.

Admiral Bonni Alpert has decreed that colin be named honorary and permanent crew. We look forward to cruising with Colin and his first mate Meg King (thanks for sharing him with me!) and ask all of our friends to lift a pint in his honor! THANK YOU COLIN! Stewie and I will miss you when you leave today. You are truly a prince!