Thursday, May 29, 2014

Back On The Boat in Connecticut

On Monday morning, May 12th, we finished packing up the car, closing up our Florida home and headed north.  We arrived at Ed & Marsha's home in Southington, CT on Wednesday and spent two days with them.  They are currently selling their Southington home and will soon be living in Florida a short distance from us!  Upon arriving at our boat in Mystic, we immediately went to work.  It was still shrinkwrapped and all the flybridge cushions were stored below inside.  Before we could sleep on the boat, we had a lot of work to do.  We made short work of peeling the shrinkwrap off, getting the canvas and windows reinstalled and all the cushions removed from below and placed on the flybridge.  Finally, Friday was our first night aboard, although we were still on the hard.  On Saturday, we witnessed an historic event, the moving of the whaling ship, Charles W. Morgan.

The "Morgan" being moved down the Mystic River
The Charles W. Morgan

 The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in New Bedford, Mass. in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat–only the USS Constitution is older.  

On May 17, 2014, the Morgan left Mystic Seaport and was pushed down the Mystic River by a tugboat, and then towed across Fishers Island Sound and up the Thames River to New London, where she berthed at City Pier. This was the first time the ship had left the Museum since her arrival in November, 1941. A month-long fitting out period will take place while the ship is in New London. Due to the shallow depth of the Mystic River the ship could not be properly ballasted for sailing at her berth at the Museum, and New London also offers easy access to Long Island Sound for sail training.
On June 14, the Morgan will leave New London and begin her journey up the coast of New England to Newport, Vineyard Haven, New Bedford, the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Boston, and then back to New London and Mystic with a stop at the Cape Cod Canal to participate in its centennial celebration. Sailing the 1841 whaling vessel will be a maritime event not seen since the 1920s. Due to her status as a National Historic Landmark, the ship will proceed to each scheduled port on a one-day sail so she can be safely berthed in the next harbor by nightfall. As weather conditions are a determining factor in the decision to head to sea each day, each port transit is scheduled with a three-day window of opportunity with the intention that the ship will sail on the first acceptable day.

We continued working on Erika Lin, and finally, on Tuesday May 20th, she was ready to launch.
All shined up and ready to launch
Just look at that shine!!

 Here we are, back on the water.  Not sure what our cruising plans are just yet, but we hope to do some traveling with fellow dockmates.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Visitor


Living in Florida, you have to expect to see alligators. We have been wintering in Cape Coral since 2012, and although we have a lake behind our townhome, we have been fortunate not to have these creatures visit us. Not so any longer! We now have a 3 1/2 foot gator that appears to enjoy swimming in our lake, and is not afraid of us humans!
Pet owners and families with small children beware!!

Soon our time in Florida will come to an end.  After Mother's day, we will head north and return to Mystic.  We are looking forward to once again living aboard m/v Erika Lin and resuming our cruising adventures.  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey Day

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day whereever you are!  And remember if you are in the Ft. Myers, FL area, either at Legacy Harbor or the municipal marina, let us know.  We would be happy to provide a ride to any of the area merchants.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Historic Re-Launch of the Charles W. Morgan

The Morgan, a National Historic Landmark built in 1841, is the oldest American commercial ship still afloat. The whaling ship has been undergoing a comprehensive restoration in the Mystic Museum’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard since November, 2008.  The Morgan was relaunched today and christened by Sarah Bullard, the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles W. Morgan (the ship bears her ancestors name).  Click below for a link to a news article by "The Day" of New London.

Since Mystic is our homeport, we got to partake in the day's festivities!
Mystic Seaport

Ships on the Mystic River

The crowd has assembled and waiting patiently

The lady in dark blue is the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles W. Morgan and about to christen the ship

The ship's keel is in the water!

The "Morgan" has been launched

The exodus of spectators has begun

A spectacular sunset for an historic day

Monday, July 15, 2013

Invasion and Instruction

Recently Bob and I were walking down our dock and noticed a huge swarm of insects above our heads.  We couldn't tell what they were, but we were able to pass under the swarm and they didn't seem to mind that we were there.  A short while later, we returned to the top of the dock and found this....
A huge swarm of honey bees!!  The yard manager claimed they wouldn't bother you if you didn't bother them and placed his hand just under the swarm.  He was braver than I would ever be!!  He contacted a local beekeeper who arrived the next morning and removed the bees.
He didn't were a protective suit, simply used a small brush and pillow case and swept the bees from the table into the bag.  Fortunately he was only stung once!  After he left, there were a few stragglers, but they were gone within a couple of hours.

This past weekend, we attended our first MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) Northeast Rendezvous , held at the Mystic Seaport.

A number of helpful, informational seminars were provided.  One on the proper way to use a fire extinguisher and put out a fire.  A fire extinguisher was connected to a video screen that displayed flames of a fire.  Just as in an actual situation, you only had sixteen seconds to put out the fire before the extinguisher ran out!!  It was more difficult than you think!
Another seminar was how to light a flare and then hold the lit, glowing flare.  This was extremely helpful, since it is unlawful to set off flares unless there is emergency.  We hope we never have to use them, but now know the proper procedure.
A group of MTOAers setting off flares

Don't let the ashes fall on your toes, Lynda!

Lynda shooting the flare gun  
The 93-foot wooden Honey Fitz served five presidents and is most widely known as the boat used by John F. Kennedy. Dubbed “The Yacht of Camelot,” Honey Fitz hosted first-family vacations and was a mobile office for high-level meetings. After falling victim to neglect, Honey Fitz recently received a two-year refit, bringing her back to presidential standards. The current owner is looking to reintroduce the country to this historic vessel through Honey Fitz Yacht Charters, which is organizing a summer goodwill cruise up the East Coast to raise money for an array of charities. Honey Fitz will host fundraising cruises from her Palm Beach, Florida, home port to her old New England stomping grounds of Newport and Nantucket.  We were graced with this beautiful yacht outside our back door tonight.
And here is tonight's beautiful sunset as seen from our back door.

Thursday, July 04, 2013



Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Very Busy Week!

Since June 14th we have been busy and on the go!  The 14th was Lynda's birthday, so of course, there was a birthday celebration.  We went out to dinner at Anthony J's in downtown Mystic and enjoyed an excellent meal along with being able to see downtown decorated for Flag Day.

Happy Birthday with an Almond Joy Martini!
Downtown Mystic decorated for Flag Day
The following day, we headed up to a vintage car show in New Britain with friends, Vinny and Diana.  This was one of the larger outdoor vintage car shows we have seen, some of the cars were amazing!
An amphibious vehicle!
So shiny you can see yourself!!
Motorized Bicycles
Front grill on the car above
An Auburn boat-tail speedster
Oldest American 4 cylinder car still running!

We were excited to get back to Mystic since we had received a call from friends we had traveled with on the Great Loop, Jill and Glen Moore on Last Dance.  They are from St. Augustine, FL and were currently docked in Mystic for a short visit!  We visited with them at their boat and decided to travel with them for a few days as they made their way to Maine!

So on Monday, we were up bright and early and underway at 7 am.  Well, early for us, since we usually don't get up until almost 9!!
Heading down the Mystic River

We followed them for awhile (as we had done for approximately 1,000 miles on the Loop)
and then led the remainder of the way on to Cuttyhunk Island, Massachusetts, where we each grabbed a mooring.  We both launched our dinghys and landed them on the island.  This island has 16 full-time residents, two of which are children.  During the summer, however, the population is much more.
Last Dance and Erika Lin
Cuttyhunk Harbor from a viewing platform
Sunsetting on Last Dance in Cuttyhunk

On Tuesday, we left Cuttyhunk
Can you see Erika Lin in this picture?  How very tiny!!
Surrounded by diamonds!  (Thanks Glen for these two great pictures)

and moved on to Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and again picked up moorings.  It is one of the island's principal points of arrival for summer tourists, and is noted for its "gingerbread cottages" and other well-preserved late-nineteenth-century buildings.
On Wednesday, we used the island bus system to travel to the different towns on the Vineyard.  For $7.00 per person ($3.50 for over 65) you can travel all day on the bus, getting off and on as often as you'd like.  Using this bus, we stopped in Edgartown, Aquinnah (formerly known as Gay Head), Vineyard Haven and back to Oak Bluffs.

Thursday morning we left Oak Bluffs, went through Woods Hole and went into Quisset Harbor for a brief stop to wait for the tide to turn.  Around noon, we left Quisset Harbor and headed to our final destination for the day, Onset Harbor.   Fortunately for us, two of the three town moorings were available so we didn't have to anchor.  Glen had been in touch with another Looper friend, Joe Appicella, who lives on Cape Cod.  Joe and his wife, Pat, were on their way back from Virginia where they had just purchased a new (to them) boat! Onset was on their way home and they wanted to stop and meet us for dinner.  We hadn't seen Joe and Pat since somewhere along the Loop!!  Glen and Jill and Bob and I went into town, found a great place for dinner, The Stone Bridge Restaurant.  Joe and Pat joined us at the restaurant and we had a great time catching up with who did what and learned the news of Joe and Pat's new boat.
Joe, Lynda, Jill, Glen, Bob and Pat
Sadly the evening came to an end and even sadder was the fact that Bob and I had to say good-bye to Glen and Jill.  They would be heading north tomorrow and going through the Cape Cod Canal and on to points north.  Bob and I would be heading back toward Mystic.

Friday morning sunrise

Friday morning we bade a fond farewell to Glen and Jill and headed Erika Lin in the direction of Bristol, RI.
Safe travels Glen and Jill!

Our trip Friday was not one of Lynda's most favorite.  The winds were from the Southwest, no unusual as this is the predominant wind direction.  However, the waves were on our nose, 2-4 feet, very steep and extremely close together.  This made for a very rocky and extremely uncomfortable ride.  Once we got to the Sakonnet River, just east of Newport, we headed up the river and the ride was much smoother as the waves were now on our port quarter.

Along the way, we saw this very strange boat.  After some research we learned the following:
         MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, known under the project name PlanetSolar, is the largest  solar-           powered boat in the world.  The vessel was designed by LOMOcean Design, built by Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany, and launched on March 31, 2010.  In May 2012, it became the first ever solar electric vehicle to circumnavigate the globe.

When we reached our destination, we went ashore and visited the Herreshoff Marine Museum.  Rhode Island's oldest boat, SPRITE, (claimed to be the oldest existing private yacht in the US), and RELIANCE, the largest America's Cup boat ever built, were Herreshoff designs. The first United States Navy torpedo boats, the finest light weight steam machinery, pioneering fin-keel spade-rudder boats in the 1890s, innovations in boat/yacht fittings, mammoth schooner yachts and the principal one design racers of the New York Yacht Club were designed and built by the Herreshoffs. Their most legendary accomplishment was the construction of eight consecutive successful defenders of the America's Cup from 1893 to 1934.

Besides the yachts and models, the Museum has catalogued and displayed hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia significant to the Herreshoff legacy. This impressive collection includes ENTERPRISE's bronze stemhead, RESOLUTE's capstan, a quadruple displacement five cylinder steam engine from J.P. Morgan's yacht NAVETTE.  Photographs, correspondence, silver and china, tools and even Captain Nat's notes and spectacles are on display.

A reproduction of Captain Nat's model room as it appeared in his home, "Love Rocks" in Bristol, RI

Today, Saturday, we traveled across Narragansett Bay and stopped at Brewers Wickford Cove Marina.  Before we did anything, we needed to wash the salt off the boat.  When we were done, I think the boat was 10 pounds lighter!  Bob and I walked into town, had a light lunch and headed back to the boat where we sat and relaxed on the back of the boat, each reading a good book.  Tomorrow we will head home to Brewers Yacht Yard in Mystic, CT.  Remember, if you are going to be in the area, we would love to have you stop by and say hello.  We are in slip B21.