Keeping Relentless and ourselves refreshed
Refreshed and rested from our stay at The Maidstone (see the previous post), we were back on Relentless for one more night on our Sag Harbor mooring.
We tackled some boat work, namely changing the oil in our two Volvo diesel engines for the first time. Although it was not easy in a tight space and hot weather, Steve embraced the job, which took the better part of the morning. I changed the filter in the watermaker, also for the first time. I was very proud of us for our self-sufficiency.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner on Main Street before making preparations for departure the next morning.
Off to Fishers Island we go
Fishers Island, New York, was our next destination, which is an easy 23 nm from Sag Harbor and just 2 miles off the southeastern coast of Connecticut across Fishers Island Sound.
There was a moderate breeze, and we completed the route in just a few hours. We made sure to avoid "The Race," a strong current that winds around the east and south end of the island, making the waters swift and choppy.
Arriving at our anchorage a few hours later, we were met with a huge surprise...
...Hanu Nui, an Outremer 45 owned by Ruth and Peter Emblin. Outremer owners are like a family, and many are active on the Outremer Owner's Facebook Group. Ruth is no exception, and we heard they were here in New England.
No sooner had we gotten settled in on anchor, than Ruth and Peter dinghied over to invite us to sundowners (boat speak for cocktails) on their boat. We had a great time sharing stories of our adventures with them and their three friends – Laurel and Terry from Ivoryton, Connecticut, and Tody, a longtime friend who hails from Bulgaria and has lived for years in New Jersey.
They shared many tips on places for us to go, one of which was Watch Hill, at the southern end of Rhode Island. This anchorage has a challenging entrance, so they talked us through their experience here earlier in the week so we could be prepared. We would be going there the next day.
Retiring the flag and beginning friendships
At sunset, we all stood at attention to retire the flag. Taps was played along with a recorded cannon blast. Terry loves yacht club etiquette, having been past Commodore of their club, Essex Corinthian, and carries out this nightly ritual.
The ceremony has become familiar to us after spending so much time in Newport, Rhode Island, and we have come to love the tradition. We first experienced it years ago when we visited the Annapolis Yacht Club. While dining there, Taps was played and the whole room stopped and stood for the retiring of the flag. We were very impressed!
Terry leads us in retiring the flag
We had such a great evening with wonderful people and new friends, who we hope to see here on the east coast next season. They invited us to their yacht club if we get to Connecticut. We hope to take them up on it sometime in the near future as we move south. And, if they come out our way, we’d love to host them on the west coast at Del Rey Yacht Club.
Heading to Watch Hill (Thanks for the recommendation!)
The next morning we said goodbye as Hana Nui departed the anchorage for home. Shortly thereafter, we headed on to Watch Hill, a 31.8 nm sail from here.
Tody was right. It was a very long, narrow entrance – well-marked, but a narrow dredged channel in a very shallow bay. We got through safely and anchored just off the sand spit. After securing our anchor, we headed for shore toward the dinghy dock a fellow boater pointed out to us.
Once on shore, we went to the highly recommended Ocean House Hotel for a beautiful view and dinner. This historic hotel was all the rage back in post-Civil War days but was shut down in 2003 after it fell into disrepair. It has since been rebuilt to look just as it was on the original footprint, but with all the modern conveniences (History of The Ocean House Hotel).
It was a little early for dinner, so we enjoyed a glass of wine while strolling through the lush grounds. We listened to the birds and insects buzzing around us, while watching the playful rabbits come out of the tall grasses and rummage for food. Dinner on the patio at sunset was beautiful, and the balmy coastal weather made it all the more enjoyable.
Good lesson learned!
Returning to the dinghy we were met with a little challenge. Apparently, this was not the dinghy dock as we were told, but rather a private yacht club. The gate to the dock was locked!
But, fortunately for us, the tide was low enough that we could walk out on the exposed beach to reach the dinghy and climb in the stern. Whew! That was a close one – and another very good lesson for us.
A celebrity lives here
One claim to fame about Watch Hill, aside from the Ocean House Hotel and its history, is that Taylor Swift built a house upon the highest point in town. Our niece Jacqui, who is a big fan, told me all about her song The Last Great American Dynasty that she wrote and recorded about the house. Apparently, Taylor created quite a stir in town, like the original owner, with the purchase and construction. We got a nice photo on our way out from the ocean side, although it was kind of gloomy that morning.
Back to our home away from home
Watch Hill was a good last stop for us before motoring back up the coast to Newport, Rhode Island. We planned to regroup, reprovision, and move north to meet up with some dear friends from home who are vacationing on Cape Cod. Read on for more about that...