Monday, July 14, 2014 (Newport, RI): We left Greenport, NY, after a very pleasant two days. The trip up to Newport is about 55 nM. We wanted to arrive midmorning, which meant shoving off around 06:30. The tide is not quite low. Nevertheless, it is low enough to show us how skinny the channel into Greenport really is.
With a light breeze we retraced our track to Plum Gut. The tide hadn't turned, yet, and the foul current racing through slowed us down. As soon as we cleared the gut and the light we pointed the bow and Blackthorne at Point Judith, RI, and put the hammer down.
The estuary leading into Fall River is chopped up with the wakes of small and large vessels getting busy with the regatta and all claiming the right of way. We are off Brenton Point an hour later than planned because of the traffic. Point Judith is opposite the mansion on Brenton Point. We call the Newport Yachting Center. They are expecting us and give us a slip assignment.
We pass Fort Adams on the right and turn into the mooring field. We pick an aisle through the moorings that takes us to the flagpole. After getting Sequel squared away in her berth, we went ashore to find a light lunch. We spent our first afternoon walking Thames Street, America's Cup Avenue, and Spring Street.
We came upon the Maritime Museum and the Touro Synagogue. It was too late in the afternoon to go into the synagogue but we would do that tomorrow and perhaps take in the service to welcome the Sabbath.
As the afternoon wears on, the sailors come home from the sea and the bars and restaurants fill up Every joint with a chair and a table is shoulder-to-shoulder. Rather than fight the mob we go back to the boat to dine on board. It was a good choice because of the comfort and comparative solitude.
Newport is all boating. The four days preceding the date of this post seem to have been the culmination of a race week that gathered many classes of sailboats, their crews, and support people. Also, the town is populated with sailmakers, hardware manufacturers, and other chandlers.
We are expecting son Judah to come to town from Florida to join his buds on a J-70. We anticipated his arrival around suppertime but learned that his flight was delayed. By sailors' midnight we had no word and went to sleep, leaving feeding instructions and berthing arrangements-the aft cabin we have labeled the bat cave. At the close of the day we were treated to a lingering sunset of magnificent proportions.
The expected arrival roused the Admiral but I was oblivious. Upon arising at my accustomed hour of 05:00 I found too much junk to have been deposited about the salon by only one person but didn't think about it then. Maybe Judah and one of his buds crashed in the bat cave. I did the usual morning chores not mindful of my commotion. I swept down the deck making use of the fresh water of a heavy dew fall.
I made coffee for myself and the Admiral. Judah staggered out and took his morning eyeopener-a can of Mountain Dew. We had breakfast of eggs and toast on deck with a side of chitchat before Judah was to take off to find his shipmates. At that moment number one grandson, Eitan, emerged from below. I was shocked, not having expected him to fly from California for the weekend.
After Judah went off to sail, we walked about the town with our grandson. I needed a haircut and the young fellow needed more grub. While the Admiral and her charge were strolling about Thames Street, I walked into the first barbershop and got a cueball, smooth as a baby's a--.
In the afternoon we took a bus tour of the island and viewed the homes of American royalty. After the bus ride we went back to the synagogue and found it open for tours. The early Jewish Community of Newport paralleled the same 300 years as Charleston's and featured many of the same cast of characters.
We spent Saturday watching the sailing races. Eitan, armed with one of our cameras rolled off several hundred frames. Several keepers are featured below.
On Saturday night Judah took us to a sushi restaurant for the Admiral's birthday. Judah is familiar with the good spots in Newport because he has raced out there on many occasions.
On Sunday we toured the race courses on Sequel. Each class raced Olympic WLW courses spread out up and down the estuary and out in the ocean. The J-70s and larger classes were on the outside. We set up on the side of the course, watched, and photographed.
Upon our return to shore, a flurry of activity ensued. Judah and his team finished leading the J-70 fleet and were headed to the nationals the next weekend in Buffalo, NY. Judah and Eitan had planes to catch in Providence. While Judah was packing up I put our green crew to work hosing the salt off of Sequel.
After the young gents climbed aboard their limo to the airport, we took a breather and went out for a celebratory dinner by ourselves. Destination Chocolate is always dessert.
We had our own chores to do prepare for our departure in the morning. The crossing to the Vineyard is only 60 nM. I needed to check the weather forecast and surface conditions. We had seen mare's tails all day and the day had grow overcast in the late afternoon. We weren't desperate to leave but we did want a few days on the Vineyard mostly to ourselves.
Classes headed for the leeward mark.
J-70s leading the pack, Judah's team in front on the right.
Classes spread out on the ocean courses.
Not great racing attitude.
Rose Island Lighthouse.
Competitive Farr 42s on the windward leg.
For the past four days we have enjoyed Newport and the sailing regatta but it is time to leave. The Newport Yachting Center was an excellent jumping off point and a first-rate facility. We are heading to Martha's Vineyard to meet up with our friends from Charleston who will arrive later in the week and other friends who vacation overlooking Vineyard Sound on the bluff midway between Menemsha and West Chop.