Sunday, July 30, 2017

1983 (6) – Painting Tropic Moon’s Bottom

Aquarium.  An art quilt.  30" x 34"

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

It had been over a year since we’d painted the bottom of the boat; the hull was covered with a weedy, green beard.  Ed had seen too many pictures of people who took their boats in to a shore at high tide, and painted the boat's bottom while the tide was low.  He decided we would try this with our 20-ton sailboat.  My protestations that Tropic Moon would fall over made no difference.  I was somewhat mollified when Ed found a tripod of logs by the marine store, where they told us we could lean our boat.  

Aquarium.  Detail.

The next day was an auspicious one with high water at 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and good weather predicted.  We tied Tropic Moon to the tripod, set out bow and stern anchors, and ran ropes into the trees.  We felt quite sure she had nowhere to go. 

We were wrong. 

Tropic Moon went down - the front of the keel sunk about three feet into the mud we hadn't known was there.  The rear of the keel and the rudder and propeller were high and dry.  As the tide went out, we worked from the dinghy, scrubbing off the green weed, and hand-sanding the hull.  With the water gone, we continued the job standing in the mud.  Ed had less trouble than me because his boots fit, while mine were a size too big.  With the mud up to my ankles, when I'd try to move, my foot would come out of the boot.  

Aquarium.  Detail.

By the time we were ready to paint, the water had started to return.  It was a frantic race with the tide, rolling on the quick-drying paint before water covered an area.  As the water rose, we had the paint can and roller pan in the dinghy.  It felt like I had a lively dog at the end of a leash, hanging on to the rope as the dinghy pulled with the tide.  With my other hand, I was using a brush to paint the waterline freehand. 

I started to worry that the water would cover my boots, but then quit worrying.  By the time we were ready to climb back into the dinghy to finish the stern area, the water had reached my hips.  I would occasionally feel something on my leg, and lift it up to pick off a water bug.  When I finally walked out of the water, there was a snail clinging to my boot.  It was an unusual way to paint the antifouling, but, on the whole, it went pretty well. 

And mark that one on the list of things I never need to do for a second time…

Thursday, July 27, 2017

1983 (5) – Buck’s Harbor

Tropic Moon, posing for her glamour shots.  Buck's Harbor, Maine.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We arrived in Buck’s Harbor on a Tuesday, which happened to be lecture night at the yacht club.  We saw a notice on the bulletin board that read, “Talk on Whales, 8:00 p.m.”  The speaker was from the College of the Atlantic, located in Bar Harbor, Maine.  He gave an excellent talk and slide show on how to identify the different types of whales in the Gulf of Maine.  He passed out sighting forms to everyone so that when a whale was sighted, we could circle the particular part of the whale we saw.  An example would be a humpback’s white flippers.  Then mark your location, and mail in the form.  He said they got a lot of help with sightings from yachtsmen. 

We were anchored in a cove at the far end of Buck’s Harbor, to avoid the hustle and bustle of the yacht club.  A seal visited our little cove daily.  I was sitting on deck one morning when I heard what sounded like a sneeze.  Looking down into the water, I saw the whiskered face of a husky seal staring back at me.  He sunk below the surface when I called Ed.

Tropic Moon (I was rowing around in the dinghy.)

Dave and Doris Baardsen (Ed’s brother and sister-in-law) visited us for a long weekend while we were at Buck’s Harbor.  They drove down from New Brunswick, Canada, on a Friday.  On Saturday, we sailed/drifted to Holbrook Island.  On Sunday we sailed back to Buck’s Harbor.  They got right into the spirit of life on the boat.  Dave and Doris were so completely relaxed; we practically had to pour them off Tropic Moon when they left on Monday.  They were quickly, and rudely, brought back to reality by a dead battery in their car.

We kept an eye peeled for interesting places to eat for the occasional dinner out.  Ed and I supped one evening at the Buck’s Harbor Inn.  The Inn offered one entrée nightly.  A typical week’s menu would run something like:  Tuesday – Leg of Lamb, Wednesday – Roast Beef, etc.  Reservations by 11:00 a.m., and bring your own drinks (no liquor license).  We reserved on a Thursday – Fish of the Day.  We picked up a bottle of wine at the market. 

Yes, she was very photogenic.

The innkeeper, on our arrival, told us all the hotel guests were visiting friends or relatives.  That night, all the dinner guests would be boat people.  There were two tables besides ours - an older couple from Kennebunk, and a young couple, with a small daughter, from New York.  The others were vacation cruisers, rather than live-aboards.  One of the men told us they’d read about people like Ed and me in Cruising World.  We were able, in the small dining area, to carry on a conversation through the evening.  We answered many questions about the cruising life.

The food was delicious.  A clear soup with rice and fresh peas, a tossed salad, flounder in a butter-lemon sauce, boiled potatoes, steamed carrots and spinach, and warm rolls.  The portions were adequate, but not overly generous; everyone was pleased when the innkeeper came in to offer us all seconds.  Dessert was a pound cake topped with vanilla ice cream and capped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  Everyone just groaned when we were offered seconds on the dessert.
Buck's Harbor.  That's not Tropic Moon, just a boat on a permanent
mooring.  If you squint, you can see the main anchorage in the distance.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

1983 (4) – The Great Schooner Race

Sunset, Pulpit Harbor, North Haven

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We heard that the annual "Great Schooner Race" would be starting at 10:00 a.m., July 8th, from the main harbor on North Haven.  We decided to anchor in Pulpit Harbor, and walk across the island to watch the start of the race.  North Haven looked pretty narrow on the chart, about 2-1/2 miles across. 

Ed, waiting for the start of the Great Schooner Race

Three people left Pulpit Harbor on foot just before us.  As we didn't have a map, and assumed they were also going to the race, we just followed them when they made decisions at the forks in the road.  Fairly close to our destination, we caught up with them - an older couple and their grown daughter.  They were running out of steam, and were hoping to be offered a ride.  The man said something about the unlikelihood of five people being picked up, so we took the hint and started to pull ahead.  I turned back to say there was only half an hour left till the start of the race.  I got a "What race?" in reply.  The man couldn't believe they'd start a race of the big windjammers from little North Haven.  He bet me a nickel I was wrong.  A short time later they passed us in a truck that had stopped for them. 
Another shot of the Great Schooner Race

As we approached the town, we could hear the roar of cheering from the harbor.  I asked the first person I saw where the race would be.  She led us along a dirt road to a public boat launch.  We had a ringside seat, gazing out on the twenty or so large wooden schooners taking part in the activities.  (The people we had met on the road watched the race from town, and I never did get my nickel).  We had binoculars and camera with us, and lots of time to catch our breath, as the race started an hour late.  A booming cannon signaled the start, at which point the captains rowed out from shore in their dinghies, to board their ships, and begin the sail to Rockland, a couple hours away.

Tomb with a View

 Our walk back to Pulpit Harbor was more leisurely.  We stopped several times to take pictures of scenes we'd noticed on the way over.  I was particularly drawn to the beautiful old cemeteries that were set in incomparable scenery.  One cemetery overlooked a lovely cove, and was surrounded by the piney woods.  I started taking shots of these cemeteries, and was toying with the idea of a series called "Tomb With a View."  The road across the island was lined with thousands of daisies, and passed through heavily wooded hills.

Tomb with a View

Monday, July 24, 2017

1983 (3) – North to Maine

The anchorage at Monhegan Island, Maine

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Our winter, working as weavers at Nantucket Looms, was followed by a marvelous summer of cruising in Maine.  We left Nantucket on June 11th, crossing Nantucket Sound, and putting in at Hyannis Port on the southern coast of Cape Cod.  Traveling west along the southern Cape, we spent two nights at Hadley Harbor near Wood’s Hole.  Our next leg took us up Buzzards Bay to Pocasset, where we spent another couple nights before motoring through the Cape Cod Canal.  After crossing Cape Cod Bay, we entered the harbor at Provincetown.  We were there for almost a week, waiting for the fog to lift.  Leaving Provincetown, we headed into the Atlantic, motoring for 24 hours, to reach Monhegan Island, Maine, on June 22nd.

Monhegan Island.  We're the sailboat out in the anchorage.

Though we anchored in over twenty different harbors and coves, we explored only a small section of the Maine coast, which included both the Penobscot Bay and Mt. Desert regions.  The summer was filled with sunny days, blue skies, little fog, even less wind, spectacular scenery, and friendly, small towns.  Seeing the wildlife, exploring small islands, and hiking on hilly trails was our excitement for the summer.  

Monhegan Island

There was very little wind and, for all our cruising, we only had three sails either of us considered decent.  We took up a new sport - drifting!  We'd go from place to place when the tide was favorable.  More than once, the 1-2 knot current was the only thing moving us along.  We spent the summer sailing slowly, drifting lazily, or, as a last resort - resorted to fairly frequently - motoring to our destination.  I think the lack of wind had a lot to do with my serenity, peace, and contentment.  The scenery ranged from very nice to spectacular, and the wildlife was plentiful.  We saw whales, dolphins, seals, osprey, cormorants and eagles.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

1983 (2) – Spring in Nantucket

Mickey and Minnie in the Daffodil Festival parade.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

When spring arrived, Ed was spending all his free time working on Tropic Moon.  So many boat problems cropped up, Ed was starting to wonder if we’d ever be able to leave Nantucket.

Daffodil Festival Parade, Nantucket

Sending out samples of the wall covering fabric worked a charm.  By early April, Nantucket Looms had orders for 1500 yards of the linen/ramie material.  We had planned to leave our jobs at the end of April, but Ed offered to continue weaving through May, on a rainy-day-only basis (when he couldn’t work on the boat).  The owners gave Ed bonus checks, as enticement to continue with the project.

The three children were daughters of Nantucket Looms staff

At the end of April, Nantucket held their annual Daffodil Festival, which was a series of events to celebrate springtime awakening on the island.  Included was an antique car parade.  Nantucket Looms was open on Saturdays, so while we were all there to work, not much got done as we spent most of the morning watching the parade.  A tailgate picnic in Siasconset followed the parade.  Bill and Andy (the owners), locked up The Looms, and we all took food we'd prepared out to 'Sconset for the picnic.  We had about twenty in our group.  There were several hundred people at the picnic.

Bill, one of the owners of Nantucket Looms
When May 1st rolled around, The Looms’ had orders for 500 yards of the linen/ramie that were due June 1st.  That meant six warps, with Ed doing one or two of them, and another four weavers taking on the other four warps.  Only Ed wove fast enough to do two of the warps in one month.  Ed’s salary went from $6/hour to $14/yard.  (The wall covering sold for $100/yard.)  Since I’d stopped weaving, I’d go in to The Looms to wind bobbins for Ed.  In 45 minutes, I’d wind enough bobbins for Ed to weave for three hours.

At the 'Sconset picnic.  Andy, the other owner of Nantucket Looms,
is on the right, Sam is in the back, and Philip is bent over the food.

The extra money Ed earned was much appreciated.  As we well knew, Tropic Moon embodied the definition of a boat:  a hole in the water into which you pour money….

Winner for Best Window Decoration during the Daffodil Festival

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

1983 (1) – Nor’easter

Tropic Moon, in the Nantucket marina.  An early winter photo.  That's snow
on the decks, and some ice in the water.  Faith Jones is on the left in the photo.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

In February, Nantucket was hit by a nor’easter.  We didn’t know how much snow we’d gotten, but guessed it was around two feet.  No one could measure the depth.  The wind was so strong there were places completely blown free of snow, and other areas where the snow had drifted to six feet. 

After dinner on the night of the storm, Ed went to the marina to spend the night on Tropic Moon.  When he got there he discovered that our neighbor, Faith Jones, a 50-foot wooden boat, had broken loose.  It was banging against the pilings between the two boats.  The force had shifted one of the pilings, so our ropes had slackened, and Tropic Moon was hitting the dock.  Faith Jones had ripped out part of her deck and cap rail.  There was a big, gaping hole near the stern that matched the hole on the other side of the boat caused during an earlier storm. 

Ed got someone from another boat to help.  (Faith Jones’ owner was in California, and a local person was supposed to be watching the boat.)  The two of them worked to get Faith Jones retied.  It took them till 2:00 a.m.  Ed didn’t get much sleep that night because he was checking on things all night long.  That was a Friday.  We had Saturday off from work because of the storm, and Ed slept most of the day.

It was two or three days after the storm when Ed went back to the marina to check on Tropic Moon.  He noticed that Faith Jones was sitting very low in the water.  The waterline was six inches under water!  There was an old man on a barge houseboat nearby.  When Ed pointed out the problem to him, the man agreed that the boat was sinking – and then went about his own business…. 

Ed walked to the Chandlery and told Pete, the owner of the marine store.  Pete came to look at Faith Jones, but wouldn’t call the Coast Guard.  Instead, he phoned the local guy who was supposedly watching the boat.  When that man arrived, they called the Coast Guard, who came with two pumps, and pumped out the boat.  A hose inside Faith Jones wasn’t connected to anything, and had started taking in water.  The boat was definitely headed for the bottom.  Ed gave the man one of our wooden plugs to stop up the hole.

During the storm, another sailboat, unattended, had banged into the dock until it broke off a six-foot bowsprit.  There was quite a bit of damage around the harbor.  Thanks to having a steel hull, Tropic Moon only lost a little paint on the rub rail.  But she was suffering the effects of a long, cold winter.  The teak on the cabin top had contracted in the cold, and the varnish had lifted off in sheets.  The hull paint was peeling; Tropic Moon was looking a little shabby.  With a long list of boat projects, we had our work cut out for us, before we’d be able to leave in the spring.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

1982 (15) - Jean's Weaving

After finishing this small weaving, I added the flowers using cross stitch.
I had dyed the yarns.

As I mentioned in the last post, these are some examples of my weavings from our time in Ann Arbor.

Airy-Fairy Weavings (my name for them...):

Small wall hanging.
Large Wall Hanging
Weft-faced Weavings:
In these weavings, the warp threads are spaced far apart.  When you weave, and beat down the weft yarn, the warp is totally covered - hence, 'weft-faced.'

Large wall hanging; hand-dyed yarns
Large wall hanging; hand-dyed yarns
Large wall hanging; hand-dyed yarns
Large Wall Hanging.  Purchased yarns.

Warp-faced Weavings:
In a warp-faced weaving, I would double up on the number of warp yarns I threaded on the loom.  When I wove, the weft would be totally covered by the warp, and disappear inside the weaving.

Warp-faced table runner.  Hand-dyed yarns.
Warp-faced table runner.  Hand-dyed yarns.
Next post:  back to Nantucket.

Friday, July 14, 2017

1982 (14) – Ed’s Weaving

Ed's hand-dyed and hand-woven scarves

When we lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan – before we sailed off on Tropic Moon – we both had looms and wove as a hobby.  With our previous experience, we felt confident enough in our skills to take the jobs as weavers at Nantucket Looms.  I thought I’d provide some background pictures.

Ed’s start as a weaver came when he asked me to weave a winter scarf for him.  I bought some brown wool and produced a scarf.  It was fairly rough wool, and when Ed wore it, his neck broke out in a rash.  He suggested that I might weave another scarf, maybe in fine mohair this time?  And since I was dying the wool I used, maybe I might dye the mohair and weave the scarf using a Scottish tartan pattern…?  Among other comments I made, I suggested he do the project himself.

Ed found a reference book on Scottish tartans at the University of Michigan library.  He bought white mohair yarn, dyed the colors he needed, and wove the scarf on my loom.  He even did the unforgivable – not dye enough yarn in one of the colors he was using.  He discovered the problem when he was most of the way through weaving the scarf.  Of course, he dyed more yarn and got the color to match.  In the end, Ed wove five scarves in traditional Scottish tartans.

Ed decided to weave some yardage in a tartan pattern to give to his mother for Christmas.  He wove three yards.  When Grace opened the gift, she admired the fabric.  Even though she knew Ed was weaving, I could see she didn’t have a clue. 

“Your son wove that fabric for you,” I told her.

A few tears were shed.

Grace made a lovely pleated skirt using the yardage Ed had woven for her.

Ed's mom, Grace, wearing her hand-woven skirt.

Next post:  some examples of my weaving.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

1982 (13) - Weavers

Main Street, Nantucket

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

The first month working at Nantucket Looms went really fast.  Ed and I both finished our warps of stoles - fifteen each - and they all sold.  We each did a scarf warp, also mohair, which yielded nineteen scarves.  It took me 2-1/2 days to weave my nineteen scarves.  Those sold too.  The mohair items really went like hotcakes! 

My next warp was navy blue wool, which would produce tweed fabric.  (The tweed fabrics were made up into wool shirts that were sold in the store.)  I dressed the loom with a warp that was 36 yards long.  There were 800 threads in the warp - 40 inches wide, at 20 warp ends/inch.  Back in Ann Arbor, I never would have believed I could weave 36 yards of anything….  I wove the first sixteen yards in four days.  I was surprised at how much I was enjoying the weaving.

Nantucket Harbor

It wasn't long before I was off the big loom.  The second week, Karen (another of the weavers) was late one day.  Sam, the manager, asked me to go downstairs and weave with him.  Just then Karen arrived and I told her, half-joking, "Boy, am I glad to see you!  I was going to have to go downstairs and weave with Sam."  Later Sam asked me if I didn't like working on the big loom.  I told him I was more comfortable on one of the smaller looms, but that I didn't really mind weaving on the big loom.  Sam said there wasn't any point in my doing it, if I wasn't enjoying it (seriously??), and that was that.  Ed was fine on the big loom, so he did the afternoon shift with Philip.  Sam and Karen wove on the large loom mornings and evenings.

When Ed finished his mohair scarves, Sam asked him to do a sampler similar to the project downstairs, which they would cut up and send to potential customers.  Ed worked on that project in the mornings.  The warp was fine linen, and there were 1200 warp ends, 30 ends/inch.  It took a while to thread a loom with 1200 warp ends!  For this special fabric, the weft was a thick plant fiber called Ramie.  For the sample project, Ed would weave with one, two, three, and then four thicknesses of Ramie.  Ramie was a naturally fireproof material.  This fabric was sold as wall covering for upscale offices in New York City. 


Ed also did some repair work on the looms.  The tie-ups to the treadles on the big loom were faulty - they had metal snaps that kept breaking.  Ed redid them with Dacron rope.  It also improved the ease of weaving on that loom.  When he started working with the linen on his loom upstairs, his brake kept slipping, so he rebuilt that too.  At first we were hearing, "But we've done it this way for 18 years....”  It wasn't long before they just let Ed go ahead and repair and improve things.

Monday, July 10, 2017

1982 (12) - Nantucket

This building housed Nantucket Looms when we worked there.
When we revisited Nantucket in 2010, Nantucket Looms
had moved up Main Street, and this building was Ralph Lauren.

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE. 

Needless to say, we didn’t store much winter clothing on Tropic Moon.  After committing to jobs at Nantucket Looms, we did some really quick traveling.  We sailed to Newport, Rhode Island, where we met up with my folks, and some of my Connecticut relatives.  My parents, who were living in Florida at that time, had been visiting family in Connecticut.  When my parents were ready to head south again, I drove with them to my sister’s home in Virginia, where I collected my winter clothing.  I returned to New London, CT, by train.  A cousin drove me from New London to Newport, Rhode Island, where Ed waited with Tropic Moon.

From Newport, Ed and I sailed to Orient, on the eastern tip of Long Island.  Ed’s parents met us there on Labor Day, with the remainder of our winter things, including jackets and boots.  We sailed back to Nantucket, and started working at Nantucket Looms on September 14th.  We moved into the studio apartment on October 1st.  I got a library card, and we opened a checking account at a local bank.  It was surprising how quickly we could revert back to land life.

August 19th was the annual Sandcastle Competition at Jetties Beach.

The first week of work at the Looms set the tone for the winter.  We were both trained on the large loom on the main floor.  That loom was seven feet wide!  Two people wove at the same time, throwing the shuttle back and forth to each other.  The major wall covering project - and the reason we were hired - was being woven on that loom.  Ed and I also each had a loom upstairs, where we put on about forty yards of warp to weave off mohair stoles (22" x 84").  One warp would produce fifteen stoles.  We were told we were supposed to weave 3-4 stoles in a day. 

A sand castle, altered in Photoshop

After Ed wove his first four stoles, he had to cut his warp to remove them, because someone was waiting for a gray stole.  That one sold, and two others were gone in two days.  The first stole was considered a "throw-away" because that's when you're getting used to the technique.  The Looms were continually out of stoles - they would sell as soon as they were woven, some customers buying three or four.  Another big item was mohair "chaise throws," (translate to blanket), that were 4 x 7 feet.  They, too, would sell out right away.  Mohair scarves, called “ascots,” were also very popular. 

A view down the beach.

The first Friday in October, a gale hit Nantucket with winds of 45-50 mph.  Torrential rains turned Main Street into a river; the sky was as dark as night.  After work, Ed went to Tropic Moon to check on her.  I went to the supermarket to shop for my first dinner in the apartment.  I bought a gorgeous steak, and little potatoes, and corn on the cob from a local farmer.  I also had some small onions to boil, and a flan for dessert.  When I reached the apartment, the electricity was out - no lights, heat or stove.  I made sandwiches before it got totally dark.  When Ed hadn't shown up by 6:15 p.m., I headed to the marina.  Since Tropic Moon’s electricity came from a bank of batteries, I knew the boat would at least have lights.  I told Ed I'd come home again.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

1982 (11) – A Change of Plans

Nantucket Lighthouse.  Acrylic Painting, 16" x 20"

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, was a harbor that offered lots of services, most of which we passed up on, as they all cost money.  But we did take advantage of the launch service, as we were anchored a mile down the harbor from the town.  Launches ran frequently, and responded to three toots of the horn.  We depended on the launch while we were at Edgartown, and never even took the dinghy off the deck, where we stored it on passage.  We went in to town for a movie one night, and were returning to the boat at 9:00 p.m.  It was so foggy, you couldn't see from one boat to the next.  It was really tricky locating people's boats, as there were over a hundred anchored in the harbor. 

After Kathy and Bill left on August 9th, the weather turned bad, with rain and fog.  We had been down in the Caribbean for too long.  When the temperature dropped to 70 degrees in the boat, I was wearing my thermal underwear, with a floor-length flannel nightgown, and we were buried under wool blankets.  We were planning to sail from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, and we waited a few days before leaving.  Thanks to the fog, the weather report was listing zero visibility at Nantucket.

Kathy and Bill had asked us what we’d be doing for the winter; we answered that we had no set plans.  We assumed that, after summering in New England, we would spend the fall in the Chesapeake, and then head south to Florida for the winter.  All those plans went out the porthole when we sailed into Nantucket the following week.  While walking around the lovely old whaling town, we stopped to visit Nantucket Looms, where people were working as hand weavers, producing beautiful crafts and fabrics. 

Mileage chart on the side of the Nantucket Looms building.

We hung around; we talked about our travels, and the fact that we'd both woven as a hobby, back in Michigan.  We chatted with Andy, the head weaver, who was also one of the owners.  I left for a while to satisfy a craving for French fries.  By the time I returned, Ed had been tentatively offered a job.  He was enthusiastic at first, but then decided it would be boring, since it involved weaving hundreds of yards of fabric.  But by then I knew I wanted to stay at Nantucket, and talked Ed into it, despite our qualms about wintering the boat at the island.  Since I wasn't willing to spend another year sitting around while Ed worked, like I'd done in Tortola, we told the folks at Nantucket Looms that we'd both like jobs.  They had large orders to complete over the winter, and we were both hired.

In one week on the island, we not only landed jobs, but I found us a studio apartment, and arranged dockage (winter storage) for Tropic Moon at the marina.  The cost for the boat slip was $350 for the whole winter!  The studio apartment was on Easy Street.  (Yes, I loved telling people we were living on Easy Street).  The apartment was within two blocks of Nantucket Looms, the boat basin, and the supermarket.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

1982 (10) – Martha’s Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard.  Postcard

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

We spent the month of July with Ed’s folks.  In early August we sailed from the south shore of Long Island to Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts.  It was a long trip.  We motored most of the first day and night.  When we reached the eastern tip of Long Island, we couldn't see Montauk light because of the fog.  The second day we stopped at Block Island, in Rhode Island, and spent the night.  We motored again most of the third day, and spent the night at Menemsha Bight on the western shore of Martha's Vineyard.  On the fourth morning, we traveled to Edgartown with a favorable current, taking four hours to cover the distance along the northern coast of Martha's Vineyard.  We were rendezvousing with friends, Kathy and Bill, from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (A couple years before, we had met up with them during their vacation at Caneel Bay, St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.)  We reached Edgartown one hour before they arrived!        

One day the four of us rented bicycles and biked around Edgartown.  Then we took the ferry over to Chappaquiddick and biked all around that island.  We stopped to see the bridge that Ted Kennedy had made famous, and went to a beach.  After a mid-afternoon lunch, we took their car and went to a winery on Martha's Vineyard.  We enjoyed an interesting tour, and Kathy and Bill bought some wine.

Bill, with the bluefish he caught.

The next day we took Kathy and Bill out sailing, and had lovely weather, but not much wind.  That was fine with them - they were happiest when we were ghosting along at two knots.  Bill loved to fish, and had brought along his rod and tackle box.  While we sailed, he had a line over the side.  When we were eating lunch, a fish got hooked, and there was utter pandemonium on deck as Bill tried to get control of the line.  We were doing four knots, so we headed up into the wind to slow the boat, and dropped the genoa.  Bill reeled in the fish and Ed gaffed it, while Kathy took pictures.  Bill had caught a beautiful 10-pound bluefish.  He filleted it before we reentered the harbor.

Bill and Kathy, enjoying littleneck clams.

We were having drinks on deck when a "Raw Barge" came by, with a sign offering Littlenecks.  For $5.00, the two men cleaned a dozen clams, and served them on the half shell with cocktail sauce and lemon slices.  Kathy and Bill thought that was really great, and got a dozen.  They managed to talk Ed and me into each trying one, but we did so without much enthusiasm.  For dinner, I fixed a rice and tomato dish, and Kathy sautéed the bluefish that Bill had caught.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

1982 (9) – Trade Wind

Trade Wind, under sail, with the Twin Towers in the background.
Photo, courtesy, Gene and Francesca Stauss

To go to the beginning of this book, Tropic Moon: Memories, click HERE.

When we reached Long Island on July 1st, we put in at the Hempstead Marina.  We were only there three days.  Ed’s mom (Grace) found us a place where we could moor for free.  Driving around her neighborhood, Grace had spotted some masts sticking up above the roofs of the nearby houses.

I'm sitting with Gene, and Fran, with Ed

Grace discovered a large sailboat moored in a canal.  She went to the door of the house, and met the owners.  She told them about us, and Tropic Moon.  (You have to admire her chutzpah!)  Before she left, Gene and Francesca had issued an invitation for us – whom they’d never met – to tie our boat alongside Trade Wind.  We moved Tropic Moon on the 4th of July.

Lunch on board Trade Wind

One day Gene and Fran planned a day sail with Trade Wind to New York Harbor.  They invited us along.  Trade Wind was a 70-foot, traditional wooden schooner.  We had a lovely day, including lunch on board.  However, it was a windless day and we motored.  After the difficult passages up from the islands, I didn’t mind one bit that we couldn’t sail!