Thursday, 6 September 2012

No 30 Marthas Vineyard

Hi from Clare,                             Wednesday, 5th September

We are anchored in the harbor at Newport, Rhode Island. We are in front of the New York Yacht Club, and once again I guess this is a close as we get. The weather is windy, the sea is choppy and it's pouring rain. A great day for having our new main sail delivered to the boat. It's funny how we always picture events in perfect sunshine and flat conditions. I thought I would take plenty of photos and there would be smiles all round. Andrew has just gone ashore to meet the sail maker who is delivering the mainsail fully battened and assembled in the boom bag. So they will be transferring two men, our headsail and a 16 foot boom bag from the shore to our boat in a 9 foot dinghy - should be interesting! I'm glad I haven't been invited to join in this adventure.
Newsflash: They have just arrived - mission accomplished, Andrew said it was much easier than he expected. So now the guys are fitting the new sailbag and mainsail to the boom.

New Main arriving and being fitted

The Sail Maker (Doyles) had both our old sails while making the new ones so they could observe eight years of wearing and reinforce those areas on the new sails. The new Headsail will be ready next week and delivered to us in Port Washington. For the past week we have been without sails and we have motored some 100 miles from Salem to Martha's Vineyard and then to Newport.

Martha's Vineyard is a good stop for a few days. The excellent bus system makes traveling between towns very easy. Even when the bus breaks down, a replacement is just fifteen minutes away! We firstly went to Oak Bluff which is a famous US Methodist camp dating back to the late 1800s. Instead of canvas tents, hundreds of whimsical multicolored "gingerbread" cottages were erected. There are about 300 houses built around 1870 lived in today and as you can see by the photos, lovingly maintained even if at times a little over the top.

Some of the many "Gingerbread" houses

We went to the main centre of Edgartown, established in 1642. We visited the Vincent house (1670) which is the oldest unaltered house on the Vineyard and also the Fisher house. This rather grand Federal-style house (1840) was owned by Edgartown's most successful whaling entrepreneur. Edgartown has an appealing harbor and it's the place to see endless boutique shops and lovely galleries.

Vincent House (1670) and the Methodist Church (1843)

We pretty well circumnavigated the island by bus. We traveled through Chilmark where celebrities own large and private properties facing the Atlantic Ocean, the area of Aquinnah where many of the 400 year-round residents are descendants of the Wampanoag Indians, West Tisbury where many a sea captain once owned the largest houses in town and finally Vineyard Haven which is the busiest port on the Vineyard. We anchored in Tashmoo bay which was an easy fifteen minute walk into Vineyard Haven. We enjoyed very peaceful conditions and caught up with friends Monica and Fred on 'Sagitta11'. Monica (see photo) is the delightful lady who at the age of seventy ran rings around me scaling a mountain in Maine a few weeks ago.

The Fisher House

Bus broken and Clare, Andy and Monika

After seeing the island we spent the next couple of days doing boat chores. Andrew fixed an air leak in the water maker and a water leak in the engine sea water pump. He then sanded, cut and polished the blue stripe along the side of the boat and washed the slime off the bottom of the boat. I took all the canvas off and washed it in the bathroom and polished the stainless. The canvas is now spotless but it is no longer waterproof.

"polishing the silver" as Clare calls it, and that Bavaria Blue stripe

When it stops raining we will go the West Marine (some five miles away) and buy a water proofing agent for our canvas covers. We are anchored with Bert and Prue on 'Exuberant' and so we have good company and someone with whom to share stories and evening drinks. Bert has offered Prue's bike to Andrew so they can peddle to West Marine together. Yesterday the bikes were offered to Andrew and me for supermarket shopping, but as I haven't ridden a bike since I was a kid, I decided that amongst the traffic of Newport wasn't the place to reacquaint myself with the intricacies of push biking and balance - one can't carry enough band aids!
Tomorrow, weather permitting we will "sail" to Block Island. The new sail bag looks fantastic but so far we can only wonder what's inside - just like a Christmas present.

Love Candy xx

At 12:23 PM3/09/2012 (utc) our position was 41°27.31'N 070°37.50'W

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