Hi Girls and Guys:
Well the Tern & I have settled into summer sailing in New England. We arrived at our summer home at the Newport Navy base the first day of summer. I rested a couple of days, reunited with my grand children and visited my two great grand children, Colby 3 years old and Nathan 2 months old. Then provisioned the Tern and headed out to the Vineyard to reunite with my old friend Edgar! Some of you may remember the last time Edgar was aboard the Tern the County Sherriff in Florida gave him a ride ashore. This time was much different as he did not come aboard the Tern and we spent the day at his house commiserating on the old island days and tasting his version of Bathtub Gin! It sure had a punch and along with the Rum, I failed to get back to the Tern before the harbormaster went home which meant I could not pay him for the two days mooring. No southern hospitality here moorings are $30 a night which does not fit in my budget! Oh well I will try & catch him next time I am in Oak Bluffs!
Now for the “Fickle Fingers of Fate”. Here in New England the winds are far more unpredictable than in the southern climes! When I left Newport Saturday for the Vineyard the weather forecast called for northeast winds for my return to Newport on Sunday! The trip over was in gentle, 8 to 12 knots southeast winds which meant I could fly the Italian flag (reacher drifter) all the way! When Mike & I left Atlantic City last week we had forty gallons of fuel onboard when I arrived in Oak Bluffs I had 32 gallons left. Some of you may remember the Windflowers Poem and for you newcomers here it is “If I were a bird that lived on high, I would lean on the wind when the wind came by, I would say to the wind when it took me away, that’s where I wanted to go today”. My sailing plans were changed when I awoke Sunday morning to light southerly winds and a hint of fog! What that meant was another day of commiserating with bathtub gin and rum and of course a beer or two at the Ritz Café!
I awoke at 0500 hours (5am) Monday morning with the sun rising over a bank of clouds which means we could expect high winds today. The wind was already brisk out of the southwest and had lifted the fog away. I quickly put a reef in the mainsail and without starting the engine I quietly slipped the mooring line and sailed the Tern out of Honky Tonk town for a quieter & cheaper place! There was no hope of returning to Newport with 25 to 35 knots of southwest wind so we headed north by west with the wind on our quarter! Within an hour we had sailed through Woods Hole passage still without the engine! Upon entry to Hadleys Harbor I did have to start the engine to gain the narrow entrance to the harbor. I still have 32 gallons having used less than a cup of fuel!
Hadleys’ Harbor is nestled in behind the islands of Noonamesset and Nashaun. These two islands are part of the Elizabethan Chain of islands that extend from Woods Hole to Gay Head on Martha’s Vineyard. The chain consists of seven islands stretching over 15 nautical miles south! Three of the largest islands are privately owned by the Forbes’ Family Trust and they have huge mansions all over the islands. One island Penikese was at one time a Leper colony and later a Massachusetts Penal Colony for boys. The only public island is Cuttyhunk which is a favorite harbor for weekend sailors! About twenty people live on the island year round. Thirty years ago I got blown in there while out cod fishing on a bitter cold January day and it was impossible to get a cup of coffee, we could see the shades lift a little as we approached but no doors opened! I have not been back there since! For the newcomers and those of you that may have lost the Terns SPOT go to the following link to track the Terns’ movement http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0bSOdm4GL866smKtuIfbPRYennRmvNZv2
Ciao! for Now!