Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 3 - Pt. Judith to Newport

Today we woke up in Pt. Judith at the ungodly hour of 6am.  Why would anyone get up at that hour while on vacation you ask?   Well if you anything about the Pt. Judith Marina, it's for the blueberry pancakes over at the Snug Harbor Marina!  I can tell you that when Captain Mike first suggested going over there for breakfast before our departure, I thought who cares about breakfast when I can catch another 1/2 hour of sleep?  Since I have a weakness for blueberries in any way, shape or form, I was easily persuaded.  Thanks Mike - those were the best blueberry pancakes (aside from my husband's) that I had ever eaten!  While we ate, we chatted with the owner who has been making wonderful pancakes and burgers there for the past 31 years.  The best part of traveling is getting to chat with the locals - imparts a special touch to the trip.

Fortified with those pancakes, we cast off and were on our way by 7:40, headed for Newport.  We had an uneventful departure and enjoyed glorious sunshine, a bit of wind and flat seas (yay and yay) for the first 15 minutes of the trip.  By the 16th minute, we entered a fog bank so dense that we could barely see ahead of the bowsprit.  Fortunately, the wind had calmed down and was now to our backs so that running Serenity from the flybridge was very pleasant (besides we could "see" a lot further if there was anything to see).  It was the first real fog I had ever experienced and let me tell you there is nothing more eerie than being completely engulfed by fog with only the radar to point out objects.  That beautiful radar was quite busy pointing out objects - we were obviously not the only ones out there that morning.  Talk about nerve jarring time - we needed to use the horn on 3 different occasions.  At one point, we were passed by a boat doing close to 20 knots - one minute we were alone and the next minute, we saw his rooster tail as he sped by us.  For the next 45 minutes, we huddled over the radar screen not saying very much to each other, except to comment on the fog and all the "blips" on the radar screen.  We actually passed by Block Island (our destination after the Boat Show) without ever seeing it!

Well all good things come to an end, and so came an end to the fog.  Once the fog lifted, we were treated to glorious sunlight.  At this point I asked Captain Mike to take the helm, took Serenity off autopilot and spent the next fabulous 45 minutes steering her to Newport.  If there is anyone out there fortunate enough to have a trawler, and even more blessed if it's a KKY, who has never been at the helm, you don't know what you're missing!  Serenity handles like a dream.  Since our path was clearly plotted (it actually looked like a helix), it was easy to keep her on course.  She responds to the slightest touch of the wheel like a sweetheart.  Once I overcame my tendency to oversteer (quite apparent when I looked aft and saw my path), steering became pretty tame.  Never mind I had not one, but 2 captains holding their breath behind me, on we pushed - until I encountered too many boats doing too many different things - all on their way into Newport Harbor.  I can't wait for my next opportunity to steer.

Our approach to Newport Harbor was breathtaking!   Yachts the size of hotels lined the harbor, while sailboats of every size and type glided past us.
Our arrival was greeted with a frenzy of radio calls, line handlers instructions and docking directions.  We were asked to tie up at a temporary dock so that the captains could be shown our show slip.  Good thing too cause when I saw where we were going, I thanked the sea gods that I was not at the helm!  The boats are put into the narrowest slips ever created.  We were put into a slip with a smaller boat's bow on our starboard side and a show float to our port side.  Once docked, we all heaved a collective sigh of relief.  Since we arrived 2 full days before the show's official opening, we were treated to beautiful sailboats coming and going and less fortunate boats needing to be moved several times.

After I served the captains lunch (yes, I found my way to the galley and actually put together a nice lunch that didn't involve the stove), Mike and I decided to do a bit of exploring while Tom "protected" the boat.  We picked up our exhibitor's passes and headed to the shops where I had little difficulty finding the perfect gift for Christina and Tucker.

With my purchases clutched in my hand, we then went in search of a place for dinner.  We found 22 Bowen's which was recommended by a dock friend in Huntington.  After making a reservation, it was back to Serenity to watch more show preparations and slake our thirst with some fine wine.  I can't tell you how exciting it is to be in the center of such a prestigious show of which your very own boat is a part of!  Newport clearly turns out for this show!
After dinner consisting of incredibly delicious steaks and great wine, we headed back to Serenity to enjoy a serene evening at the dock.   The KKY folks, boat interior cleaners and a host of other people are arriving tomorrow, the last full day before the show opens.  Gotta get ready for show time.

We came across the most incredible, refurbished Boston Whaler.  Since Serenity is in need of a dinghy, I took a closer look.  My interest was so piqued, that I ran back to the boat, dug out a tape measure and took critical measurements.  Can't wait til the Whaler person is in his tent tomorrow to get the details!

The KKY folks arrived a bit before 4pm.  How wonderful to see our "family" again.  Luckily, the carpet installers finished installing the carpet in the tent seconds before the crew arrived.  In no time, KKY staff had their stuff ready to go.  Once everything was set up, it was time to get our stuff off the boat and head for the hotel.  Kinda odd to be spending a night on land, but's show time folks!

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