Monday, November 7, 2011

Serenity Makes Her Last Trip of 2011

What better thing to do on a gorgeous though chilly fall guessed it, cast off Serenity's lines and head for the hills - of Port Jefferson that is.

When one of our dock neighbors broached the idea of spending the weekend on our boats in not too distant Port Jefferson, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.  The captain agreed (actually more quickly than anticipated) and the planning began.  Though we would only be gone overnight, it does take some planning.   We need to be sure we have the most important things aboard - lots of wine and other spirits, snacks, a charged phone, laptop, camera, etc.  Luckily, our house/cat sitter was available, one of the barn brats was available to ride Wiggles and the cleaning woman was arriving before we left.   Everything was in place.

One of the greatest things about traveling on your own (exceptionally comfortable) boat, is that minimal packing is required.  We keep a double set of everything we need aboard, so only need a change of clothes and the electric toothbrush and brush heads.  In fact, as I said before, the greatest thought is given to what we'll eat and drink during the trip.

On a clear, sunny and slightly chilly (temps in the low to mid-50s) Saturday, we did what we dream of doing every morning before heading to work - casting off Serenity's lines and heading out.   Our departure was like a ballet - no shouting, rushing or confusion.  I handled my lines like a pro and the captain got us away from the dock like he does it every day.  Since we both enjoy running the boat from the flybridge regardless of the weather, we armed ourselves with several layers of clothes, the Bose remote, some snacks and water, and we were off.

In spite of the persistent wind in our faces, the trip was exhilarating!  Very few boats were out, fewer boats were still at their moorings and the usually chaotic Huntington Harbor was ours.  The foliage along the shoreline was changing so that we feasted our eyes on shades of russet, gold and just plain red.  The seas were fairly flat for a good part of the trip, with just a bit of pitching in the more open parts of the Sound.  Our stabilizers worked like a charm so that we were very comfortable.

In less than 3 hours, our destination was in sight.  Luckily for us the ferry had already entered the breakwater so that we had the entrance to ourselves.  After a brief chat with the dockmaster, we saw our slip - and our friends waiting to help us with our lines.  Our friends have a gorgeous Post that goes like a bat out of hell.  They left an hour after we did, passed us enroute and were having cocktails when we arrived.  Never mind that they can't hear themselves think during the trip and can't really mosey about their boat, they got there in 40 minutes.

After some good natured banter about aging during our trip, we were tied up and soon basking in the fall afternoon sun.  There is something wonderful about sharing such good times with good friends - and in our neck of the woods, to be doing this in early November is even more wonderful!  It wasn't long before I put out some fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, followed by brushetta on seasoned toasted bread - accompanied by very nice wine - and cocktail hour was in full swing!
We had dinner at a perfect window table overlooking the marina in the Wave restaurant, which by the way, is under the direction of a new chef.  He apparently started in mid-summer when the management realized a change in chefs was needed pronto.  We feasted on local specialties and had a pleasant evening.  Since the captain is a most gracious entertainer, we invited our friends back to Serenity for brandy.  It wasn't long before we were all yawning and reluctantly bid the day farewell.

The next morning was as beautiful as they come!  Tom and I enjoyed coffee on our back porch while we  watched the ferry unload and load its passengers for the trip to Bridgeport, CT.  Since the real world awaited us back in Huntington, we set out for home by 10 am.  Again the wind was in our faces for the entire trip, but the seas were flatter and the ride was heaven.  I whiled away the time by entering our trip into the log book we were presented when Serenity won "Best in Show" at the Ft. Lauderdale Trawlerfest back in January and updating the log with the names of all Serenity's visitors during the season.  I filled several entire pages!

Again our friends left about an hour after we did and passed us along the way.  This time, they had a treat in store for us - they took pictures of Serenity under way.  We were dying for these pictures, but would have had to pay a photographer a king's ransom to get them.  Take a look...........
                                                She is an absolute beauty, don't you agree?

Within the next couple of weeks, Serenity will be winterized and put into her winter pajamas.  We are having a small door zipped into the shrink wrap so that we can visit her during the impossibly cold winter days from December through February.  The only good thing about this whole process is that once she's wrapped, the worst is over and we can start counting down until she emerges from her winter nap, ready to explore new frontiers with her mom and dad.

Even more to look forward to is that our Tucker will be old enough to fit into a life vest and will be able to accompany us on our shorter trips.  He'll be 6 months old on the 15th of this month (how can that be?)!  Can't resist giving you a quick peek at our beloved angel... (he's in his lion Halloween costume).

Don't worry, I'll be sending another picture or two of Serenity in her pjs, so stand by.  We're not done yet!

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