Monday, June 12, 2017


Monday, June 12, 2017

FINALLY we managed to leave the mooring and put up both the jib and the main and TURN OFF the smelly, dirty engine! We had a glorious SAIL  to Cuttyhunk and anchored in our favorite spot. 

Full sails. 15 knots wind-beam reach-7 knots.  

The pond was practically empty and we waited for the Raw Bar but found out they were up the bay in Wareham for the weekend. 


Oh well, another time. We did venture ashore, nothing was open, so we wandered the streets for a bit then went back to Obsession to enjoy the swans, ducks and egrets. Thunderstorms and scattered showers in the area provided us with spectacular weather photos and rainbows. 





We moved on to New Bedford on Sunday, knowing that the sunny, albeit chilly weather was to end later that day. The 1-2 hour sail/motor to New Bedford turned into a Gilligan's adventure with the engine quitting, the wind shifting, a call and a tow into Niemiec Marine by SeaTow. We have sailed together for more than 40 years. This is the 2nd time we have had to be towed by SeaTow on this boat. 





New Bedford is a unique place-in time and space. It has such a rich Whaling and Fishing History as well as being a city of mills and factories. The old cobblestone streets ooze of history. The fishing fleet is a huge and picturesque presence and still provides us with some of the freshest fish and seafood around. As I walked the downtown area I could almost feel the presence of those ancient whaling mariners. 





If you have never been to New Bedford, please, put it in as a stop on your next trip to Buzzards Bay, or if you're traveling New England by car, spend a day or two here. Dockage rates are decent, there are plenty of moorings available and there is a launch service as well as dinghy dock space. 


After two days of mechanics working on the engine and aligning the prop the verdict was:

-Fuel sensor needed to be replaced, a few adjustments to the air-intake and injectors and we were good to go. 


We motored all the way home to Newport and the dark smoke seemed to disappear, the engine didn't seem to be laboring as much, and we are thinking we will be able to wear our "sailing pants" more often this summer. 

As for the reference to "sailing pants"-with apologies to Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lopez, David and I just might have to revive their skit-"Got my tight pants on...". Several years ago I came across a line of Capri pants, lightweight, elastic waist, comfortable and in many colors. I now own at least 10 pair, mostly white and khaki, a black pair and a blue pair. I wear them mostly on the boat-they are loose, comfortable and not at David's "sailing pants" are khaki cargo shorts. Comfortable, with many pockets. 

This panoramic photo of us hangs in our forward cabin. It was taken on a trip to Block Island a few years ago by our friend Lori. Not only do we have our "sailing pants" on, but we are sitting in our favorite spots. We are creatures of comfort and habit. 

Back in Newport we now have to work on a plumbing issue-the aft head is acting up. Always something to tinker with. We'd like to explore the possibilities of installing an electric head that would use fresh water to flush. I'm assuming that the water in the ICW will have more organisms  that will create a more horrible odor than even the salt water we've been using. We shall see. 



Elvis came to town one evening-just a quick trip around the harbor. The Chowderfest at Fort Adams not only provided excellent chowder samplings but views of a busy Newport Harbor. Our own Tall Ship, the Oliver Hazard Perry sailed up and down the bay most of the afternoon. A side note-David's school, BP-Tech, won best Red Clam chowder and took second place in the seafood chowder category. They also got my votes!

Meanwhile we enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes of all the harbors we visit.  As familiar as they are to us we revel in their beauty, remember and rejoice in their heritage and history. We are also looking forward to making similar memories on our trip south this winter. So many beautiful harbors to visit, so much history. 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away!! Janice and David want to play!

May 26, 2017

It has been a rainy couple of weeks here in Newport.  Not only that, but other than two or three days of significant warmth earlier this month, it's been on the cold side too.  We purchased a small propane heater that uses the 1 pound propane canisters, and it's been very comforting (to say the least) on some of the colder nights lately.  Since we don't have the convenience of electricity it has proven to be a worthwhile purchase. 

I was up early one morning-sunrises can be pretty too. 
Some evenings have been just beautiful though.  The harbor is beginning to fill up with boats and we have enjoyed the sights and sounds of Newport Harbor. 

Darth Vader Shields in Newport Harbor 
A Darth Vader Shields sneaking around the harbor kept us entertained one evening. 


But we never tire of the sunsets. Top photo is from Obsession on Mooring 267, our Newport Home. The one below is from Goat Island overlooking the Bay and Newport Bridge. 


We did manage a short trip to Cuttyhunk, but nothing was open.  We tried out the new windlass and anchor chain - it handles differently and there was a learning curve. For the first time ever-we dragged anchor. After some serious discussion we realized we both made serious errors-David only put out 40ft. Of chain(we usually put out 60ft) and Janice didn't back town and "give it a little tug". Anyway, we took a mooring that night and the next day we re-proved our anchoring skills. 


The two solar panels are handling the load of the refrigerator and a small freezer nicely.  David's hard work and determination with re-wiring the alternator as per Balmar's instructions has proven that last year's problems were not ours, but the incompetence of the electricians we hired last spring and summer. 

New Bedford will be our next trip after Memorial Day. The propellor needs adjustment and we'd see if Niemiec Marine can figure out why the engine puts out gray exhaust. Otherwise, we are "Good to go." 




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

TRAVELING SOUTH - Dock to Mooring 3/4mile

May 11, 2017

In four days we will move from our little corner of the world at Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina to our mooring in the middle of Newport Harbor.  We will be starting our trek south (by only 3/4 of a mile).
OBSESSION in our little corner of the world at Newport
Harbor Hotel and Marina

Living dockside has it's pluses and minuses over being on a mooring.  A few examples of pluses include: Easy access to shore and our car and hot water and electricity.  When we are on the mooring, we will have to call Oldport Launch to pick us up or take our dinghy (OCD) to shore.  I will only do dishes when I have to - paper plates will become our best friend, and I will periodically have to heat hot water on the stove to wash and rinse the dishes.  We can use a sun shower (when and if the sun ever shines again) and we can run the engine to get hot water, but we tend to come ashore and shower.  It's a routine we have gotten used to over the many years of boating.  However, we are looking forward to being on the mooring where it is quiet and serene, the sunsets are unobstructed, and where we can sit for hours in the cockpit watching and listening as the harbor starts to come alive again.

A view of the empty Newport Harbor on a beautiful spring night

Getting ready to leave the dock included removing the shrinkwrap, and getting rid of and storing winter clothes/shoes that we won't need for a year or more.  (Been there, done that last year).  We spent a fair amount of time poring over the charts and Eldridge preparing for our September 20 departure, as well as planning out our summer.
All the pre-planning will be well worth it.
Everything is weather dependent.  

More and more of our dockmates have come down to prepare their boats also.  A few have come back from down south sporting healthy tans under their zipped up parkas and bare feet.  Am I jealous of them?  Yes, a little, maybe.  But I know that will be us next June.
This family went to Antigua for a good portion
of the winter.  Olivia drew this water scene
on the inside of their "door" before they left.
I just had to share it with you.

Speaking of next year.  We welcomed the Volvo Ocean Racing Crew of Vestus and 11th Hour Racing to Newport Harbor a week or so ago.  They arrived on a cold, rainy, miserable day to a small crowd of us at Newport Shipyard.  They and the rest of the fleet will be stopping in Newport next May during the Volvo Ocean Race that starts in Spain in late October.  We will follow them all winter, and I hope those of you back home in Newport will get a chance to see them all again in May 2018.  We will be traveling north on the ICW, probably somewhere in the Carolinas then.
I am so glad I'm not sailing this
"machine" down the ICW

We still have things to do - install the new helmseat, put up the sails, test out the new windlass, and most importantly get Obsession's engine and electrical system running like new.

The next blog I will try to do from the boat using only the iPad and my iPhone.  I have to figure out a way to get the pictures from my phone to the iPad.  Is there anyone out there who can offer some advice?