Friday, January 30, 2009

Post Hanna

Tammy here...

We're sitting on a mooring in Great Salt Pond at Block Island, RI watching a major thunder and lightning storm - I think we all liked storms a lot more when we weren't so much at their mercy! Today was a rough crossing from Newport to Block Island with up to 4-6 foot seas; we left early again to try and beat Mother Nature to the punch. You'd think I'd have learned by now - she does whatever she feels like and usually not what or when NOAA says! The boat kitties were not having fun - they curled up on our bed together for safety but looked very accusingly at us every time we went down to check on them. I sent Doug most of the time so they would think it was his fault - only kidding. Now that the boat has stopped rocking, they are doing fine - who says you can't bribe cats with treats!

Yesterday was one of those amazing cruiser days - the seas were still really hopping from Hanna so we decided to stay an extra day in Newport. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the winds were blowing about 15 knots under glorious sunshine - perfect weather for a long hike. I suggested to the crew that we should do the Cliff Walk which is about 3.5 miles (or so it was advertised). With all in agreement we dinghied in to the dock (dry for a change - more later), tied her up at Bowen's Wharf and set out. Well it turned out that it was about a mile and a half walk to the start of the Cliff Walk - oops.

But the Cliff Walk was worth it - it is a spectacular walk/hike that parallels the ocean while passing many of the famous Newport mansions and other summer homes of unbelievable size. All of our cameras worked overtime! We started to see numbers along the walk and came to understand that they were mile markers. All was good with the crew until we passed the 3.5 mile point with no end in sight...nothing to do but press on.
'cliff-walk-2a.jpg' At about 4.5 miles (plus the 1.5 m to get there), I was no longer looking like the hero! Finally after almost another mile we came to the end - what an awesome, albeit long, hike! 'cliff-walk-3a.jpg' It being late, everyone's thoughts immediately turned to an icy cold beer - oh yeah and lunch (did I mention it was about 3:30 by then)! Unfortunately (for me) that was not to be for awhile since it was another mile and a half back to civilization. Finally we found a little pizza place, Firehouse Pizza, only to be told it was BYOB. No problem for these cruisers since across the street was a liquor store! It was amazing how quickly our humor returned once we had cold beers and a couple of really good pizzas in front of us! 'cliff-walk-4a.jpg' The proprietor even gave us some tips on where to spend hurricane season since he had lived down off the coast of Venezuela for 10 years! You just never know!

While we had been on our "walk" the winds had picked up and therefore the seas in the harbor which meant that Colleen and I got very wet on the dinghy ride back to the boat - somehow the boys always wind up in the back. I think they have a plan! Next dinghy trip no matter how nice it is when we leave, I'm bringing my lightweight foulies!!

Once back at the boat, we were again reminded how great the cruising community is - Will from Ragtime, the sailboat we shared our float with during Hanna and who we had some great conversations with over the past couple days, had left us a bottle of wine on the back of our boat when he headed out as a bon voyage/have a great trip present. How kewl was that! Another one of our "neighbors" through the storm who was just finishing up his several year cruise and heading back to Arkansas with his wife and 3 kids had come over that morning to give us his fishing pole and a bunch of food that he couldn't use any longer - he even offered us his charts for the Caribbean. He was so excited for us starting out on what he knows will be the adventure of our lives and his comment to us was just to help out some other cruiser when we were done cruising - done cruising?? Does not compute!!

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