|The beginning of July found us in Newport, Rhode Island for
a couple of days. A mooring ball cost $45 a night and we thought that was the most
ridiculous amount (until we got to Nantucket and found out how high the
price of a mooring ball could go). Newport Harbor was completely
full with hundreds of boats moored from shore to shore. We enjoyed walking around Newport
and eating the food, but we were eager to get to Bristol where we were
meeting Mark and Darlene Frederick.
We actually sailed all the way to Bristol, Rhode Island, with only the
genoa, no mainsail. Remember, our mainsail clue block snapped last month.
are on order. A nice breeze on the beam kept us moving at close to 7 knots
most of the time. What a glorious difference from all the motoring we were
doing in June.
We picked up a mooring ball in
Bristol Harbor for a week, but we actually
stayed at Mark and Darlene's beautiful home in their comfortable guest
room. They live so close to the water, that it was easy to go down to the
boat each day and run the generator to charge the batteries. Oh my gosh, Bristol is
pretty! It is also a very patriotic city. Being there for the
4th of July was amazing (as Darlene had promised it would be). Bristol
holds the record for having the oldest consecutive Independence Day Parade in
the country. Drill teams and bands come from all over the country.
The entire city is decorated in red, white and blue. Events are scheduled
throughout the week and everyone gets into it. It was so fun! I
loved spending time with Darlene. She is the only thing I miss about not
working anymore (except for Russ, I miss him, too).
had a full house as her daughter, brother, sister-in-law, and niece also
came for the weekend. Lucy got to play with 2 other dogs and she was
in heaven. Darlene's daughter, Kristin, walked all the dogs daily
and taught Lucy how to walk nicely on a lease. But it didn't
stick. She still pulls and darts back and forth when we walk
her. We've given up and just accept her bad leash manners.
She's so cute and sweet that we just accept that she's got to have some
|Our new sails arrived and we got them installed.
"Installed" sounds funny. I wonder what the right word
is? Anyway, they are beautiful .. white, firm, nice shape. The
old sails were getting saggy and tired looking. I can relate.
Our next stop was Swansea,
Massachusetts where our friend Sue Burton has a vacation home on the
help of her house co-owner, Michael O'Riordan, we got tied to their
mooring ball, took our dinghy to their private dock, and enjoyed drinks
and sandwiches on the patio with Michael. We were made to feel most
welcome as over the next few days Michael invited us to a neighborhood
cookout, and introduced us to his friends and family.
We rented a
car for the weekend and drove to Boston (Quincy, actually) to visit Mike's
friends and relatives. We spent an afternoon with his best friend
from high school, Jimmy
Wilson and his wife, Cindy. Cindy has been battling cancer for over
5 years and is the most positive, courageous person you could ever
meet. Surgeries and chemo are an on-going part of her life as new
spots are discovered all too frequently. Of course, Mike had to have
fried clam strips at the Clam Shack, one of his old haunts, and a visit with his beloved Auntie Cleta, Auntie Julia and cousins
Gary and Charlie.
While waiting for Sue and her girlfriends (Julia and
Yvonne) to arrive later in the week, Mike and I sanded and varnished our
outside teak rails and fiddles. There is more varnishing to do, but
that will wait until we get back to Virginia in late August.
Sue's boat (a Boston Whaler) at the end of the dock in the picture above. Sue took us
out for a rousing day of flying across the water full throttle all the way
to Jamestown, R.I. At one point, we hit a series of wakes that sent
Julia and I airborne (we were at the bow). In Sue's defense, Mike
had encouraged her to speed across the wakes, thinking that we would ride
across the top like we do in our dinghy. Didn't happen that
way! After that, Julia took her bruises to the stern of the boat
where the ride was less bumpy. We circled Newport and returned to
Swansea via the Pawtucket River, stopping for lunch at a waterfront seafood restaurant (can't remember the name!), and covering
about 30 miles in our loop. Our day ended with drinks and snacks
aboard Aquila. What a fun day!
midnight, my sister Valarie and my aunt Nola arrived at Providence
airport. We all got a few hours of sleep and got underway at sun up heading to Martha's Vineyard. After leaving the river and
getting out into the Atlantic Ocean, it was a rough 12-hour voyage and my
sister got seasick. What a way to start her vacation! But she
is a real sport and not one word of complaint came out of her. In
fact, in retrospect, she said she valued the experience as it was a part
of the whole package! Now that's the spirit!
anchored for a couple of nights in Vineyard Haven on Martha's
Vineyard. Oh, the hydrangeas! Everywhere we looked, so much
color. Beautiful! Then we sailed over to Edgartown on Martha's
Vineyard for a couple of nights. We ate, and shopped, and walked
around the lovely flowered streets. A very pretty island. It
was dog friendly, in that we could take Lucy on the bus, but they wouldn't
allow her on the patio restaurants. Mike took Lucy back to the boat
so we could have lunch at the waterfront Seafood Shanty.
|It took about 4 hours to sail across to Cape Cod. At
first we anchored in Hyannis, but it was a long dinghy ride
to go to town. It was also windy and the water was choppy, so we
decided to get a slip at the Bismore Park Marina in Hyannis for a couple
of nights. It was a perfect location! We were right near all
the action. We were one block from Main Street, with a pirate ship
on one side and big fishing boats on the other, Spanky's Clam Shack at the
end of the dock, green grass and colorful artist's cabanas off our
bow. We were right on the boardwalk, so we had lots of
admirers. Many people stopped to take their picture in front of our
boat. Nola was our ambassador of goodwill, greeting people and
answering all their questions. It was so cute.
|One day we rented a car and drove to Provincetown for
lunch. Wild. I don't know what we expected, but it probably
wasn't that. Crazy place. Definitely good for
people-watching. Lots of people! We had lunch at a
patio cafe, walked around just a little bit more, then got the heck out of
|The beach at Chatham Lighthouse was recommended to us to
see seals on the beach. We stopped there and walked along the beach,
but we didn't see any seals. Still, it was fun to take off our shoes
and walk in the sand! We stopped at Marion's Pie Shop and bought
dessert. Nola and Valarie have a sweet tooth that rivals Mike's if
you can believe that. Among the three of them, the boat was well
stocked with sweets! Pastries, fudge, saltwater taffy, gourmet
cupcakes, raspberry squares, berry pie, AND we had to go out for ice cream
every day! (I'm on a diet now that they are gone. Gotta get
rid of this muffin-top. Jeez.)
Valarie had to get back to work, but Nola stayed with us a few more
days and sailed to Nantucket with us. We had enough wind and we were
enjoying a good sail, when dark clouds appeared on the horizon. They
got closer and darker and then WHAM, we got hit with 40+ winds and
sideways rain. The boat was healing over and bouncing around and we
got totally soaked reefing the sails. It was gone within 20 minutes
and we mopped up the water, reset the sails and continued on to
Nantucket. Another exciting experience for Nola!
After a couple of days on the lovely Nantucket island, we sailed back
to Hyannis, Cape Cod, where Nola caught the bus to Providence airport and
returned to Texas. We enjoyed their visit very much and look forward
to having Valarie and Nola visit us next year in the Bahamas. Nola's
already got her bag packed!
|Mike and Lucy and I returned to Martha's Vineyard for a
couple more days. Took the bus to Oak Bluffs and liked it alot!
We were told that we should skip Oak Bluffs, but I'm glad we didn't.
It was very pretty and our weather was perfect. We had lunch at the
Sand Bar & Grille. I set the camera on a park bench with the
timer to get a picture of the 3 of us, but I cut our heads off.
However, Lucy was so cute, I kept this picture anyway.
|If you've read my letter this far ... I know it's a long
one ... then you get to be one of the first to know that we plan to sell
Aquila. We've been living aboard for 6 1/2 years and have been to a
lot of places that we wanted to see. I don't have another ocean
crossing in me. So, if we continue sailing, we will just be
repeating the places that we have already been. We're both feeling
ready to start another adventure. We will be listing the boat soon,
but it may take some time to find a buyer. We're pretty sure that we
will be heading back to the Caribbean in November. But we are hoping
to sell her within the next year. We are savoring every moment now
that these days are numbered, but we are also excited about what we'll be
doing in our next chapter of retirement. Stay tuned! Love to
|Click here to view the Photo
Album for July.
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