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?

Thursday, April 27, 2017


April 27, 2017

December, 2016 - April, 2017.
Time to catch up on our winter aboard Obsession at the Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina.  It's been a fairly mild winter, just a few storms, but the wind from the west was brutal. It would hit us broadside and there were a few nights that we rocked and rolled so much I thought I might roll out of my berth!  We used up some of our timeshare points and stayed at the Inn on the Harbor on Thames Street, The Inn on Long Wharf a few times, just to get away from the boat.  Christmas we had a 2 bedroom suite at the Long Wharf Resort, and, just in time for Perrin's return from delivering a boat to Antigua, we had an extra room for him.

A December sunset from Obsession dockside at
Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina

Wreath with a tribute to
Key West

Gel stickies on the doors. I bought more for our
trip south this winter
Our Cockpit tree, just colored
lights and snowflakes

A group of carolers strolled all around Newport this
sunny but chilly day.  It's one of the things
that made living aboard Obsession in downtown Newport
fun this winter

Christmas Dinner became a logistics production, but the staff at the Long Wharf Resort were most helpful. My sister Marilyn brought all her Christmas china and linens down from New Hampshire.   I pulled out the silver service from our storage area in Fall River, we decorated a small Christmas Tree and enjoyed a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings with the entire family.
We have decided that IF we do this again we will use clear wrap 
over most of the boat.  We sometimes wished we could see out 
and have more light.

Boat life aboard this winter hasn't been too uncomfortable for us.  With a Verizon Wireless upgrade to unlimited data we have enjoyed Netflix and our new Apple TV. Those long winter nights we were cozy and warm in our cocoon with an electric heater that simulated a real fireplace.  We watched the Patriots all winter with our friends at the Landing in Fall River, and celebrated the unbelievable historic comeback win with some team members in Providence.

A trip to DisneyWorld in mid-January was David's choice for a celebration.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Wyndham at Bonnet Creek Resort.  We had a "room with a view" of Disney fireworks every night, and relaxed in the warmer temperatures.  Once we figured out how to use the Fast Pass System we made sure to take in our favorite rides, Space Mountain, It's a Small World, Dumbo, Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Test Track, Soarin' and more.

Our traditional trip to Defender's Spring Sale resulted in new anchor chain, a new windlass, and the final paper chart for our trip south.  We met up with our friends Mariah and Bob, and and  introduced Perrin to our custom of going to Mystic Pizza on the way home.  We can only hope that he will continue our tradition while we are away - or we will have to return just for this rite of spring. There's something about that yearly trek that puts a smile of anticipation on our faces.  It is a promise that the summer is indeed coming and good times on the boat are in the near future.

I spent an afternoon marking the 200+ feet of chain every 10 feet to help us when anchoring.  Back breaking work, I must say.  Only one small drop on the dock though.  It's a good thing we and someone else at the marina ordered pizza the night before.

David has been issued a clean bill of health.  His last CT Scan, Colonoscopy and blood work show no signs of cancer.  Meanwhile he is gaining strength and we are getting excited about planning for the summer and our trip in the fall. He has been busy installing the new solar panels, re-wiring the electrical system, and built a bookcase/shelf under the chart table.

 It was a two person, two-day job to remove the shrink wrap and frame.  With the warmer, longer days and later sunsets we emerged from our cocoon, enjoyed evenings in the cockpit, a steak dinner on the grill, and chat with our neighbors as they came down to uncover their boats. 

We enjoyed the Daffodil Days Festival in mid-April. There is something about yellow daffodils in spring.  I'm a little upset with Crayola for removing the color Dandelion from their crayon packs. Maybe they could keep it and just re-name it Daffodil!  This is the Preservation Society's Retail Store window in Bowen's Wharf.

In less than a month we will be on our mooring in the main harbor.  As I write this, it is 45 degrees, raining and downright cold.  We've had a few delightfully sunny days. (Notice I said A FEW). But those days in April are just teasers, we've come to know and understand that.  There are only 2 boats on moorings in the harbor, but I'm sure in the next few weeks they will start trickling in.  I'm sure we won't be alone.

We have a date in New Bedford the first week in June with Niemiec Marine.  They are going to align the prop and give the engine a look-see.  It's still putting out a bluish/grayish smoke.

Our calendar for the summer is filling up.  Besides the trip to New Bedford and of course Cuttyhunk in June, we will probably also hit Block Island.  We have a Superbowl celebration re-union harbor cruise with our friends from The Landing planned for June too.  Of course we will be in Newport for the 4th of July Fireworks, and probably head up the Bay for the Fireworks in Bristol.  Mid-July David's niece, Katie, is visiting from Texas.  We will celebrate David's birthday the end of July in the Vineyard then to Cuttyhunk early August for fireworks and then back to the Vineyard for the Oak Bluffs Fireworks.  In case you haven't noticed, or didn't know already, we enjoy watching fireworks from the boat.

Once September rolls around we will have a little less than 3 weeks to make final preparations for our trip.  Our plan is to leave on September 20.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


The USS Zumwalt docked at the Newport Naval Base.
It is HUGE, (picture doesn't do it justice) and blends in
with the background.
Since last August we have been hunkered down in Newport except for one trip to Cuttyhunk and the Vineyard.  We visited our new favorite restaurant in Oak Bluffs, the Red Cat, and of course the Black Dog. 

From August to October 15 Obsession didn't leave Newport.  David's treatments continued, and his days of feeling fatigued increased from 2 to 4 days.  The engine and electrical problems on board continued to plague us, so we just decided to enjoy being on the boat in busy and entertaining Newport Harbor.  During that time we watched the Island Moving Company rehearsing for a Peter Pan Production on board the Oliver Hazard Perry, went for a few motor boat rides on Perrin's new toy, Tinker Toy, and walked the streets of Newport. When a tropical storm moved close to New England in early September we graciously accepted an invitation from our nephew and niece Morgan and Jenn and family to stay at their house in Middletown. Later that week the USS Zumwalt sneaked into town without much fanfare, but certainly drew a crowd of on-lookers.  Truly a technological marvel and a sight to see.

We enjoyed many sunsets, shared dinners with Oldport Launch Drivers as they headed back to school, a road trip to Jamestown and the Boat Show were some of the highlights of September.  At the end of September on the spur of the moment we decided to take a longer road trip to Niagara Falls.  It was a wonderful get away, David was feeling a little stronger, and we took advantage of that. It is truly a  magnificent sight.  For some reason we can never leave water - and over the course of the 3 days we managed to wear 3 different color rain ponchos - pink, yellow and blue.

October brought not only shorter and cooler days, but Patriots Football and Presidential Debates.  We had to purchase new winter coats, (I threw mine of 20 years away, David's was hidden somewhere in storage), hats, glove, winter sweaters and jeans, and boots.  David agreed to help Perrin sail his newly purchased "home", Escape,  an O'Day 322, from the Connecticut River to Newport Harbor and Hotel and Marina where he joined us living aboard for the winter.  October 15 we began to settle into our winter home, met some new boating friends and looked forward to the end of chemo treatments the end of November.  We spent a few nights at The Inn on the Harbor and The Inn on Long Wharf in November and December, enjoyed the Annual Holiday Boat Parade with Perrin and Kenny aboard the Amazing Grace.

 Here are some pictures of the highlights of these four months.

The early September storm from Fort Adams.

Moon Rise over Boat Show Mid-September

Perrin joined us in Cuttyhunk aboard Tinker Toy in August.  We had
to tow Tinker Toy home to Newport.  Engine wouldn't start.  

I can honestly say this is one of my most favorite bars to enjoy
dinner in Oak Bluffs.  The Red Cat.  Small, but quaint and inviting.

Our only cookout in Cuttyhunk this summer.  But, as always,
a perfect setting, and albeit simple (hotdogs and wings) food,

A walk along Bellevue Avenue.  The LaForge Casino always
boasts beautiful flower boxes.

We spent a few days dockside at Fort Adams, The Alofsin Pier.
Niemiec Marine came down to work on the engine

The Opti Nationals happened during the time we were dockside.
We were treated with this scene every evening after a full
day of racing on the bay.  There were HUNDREDS of these
boats and kids competing and having a blast.
A trip under the falls for a close-up view

Aboard the Hornblower to view the Falls on the Canadian Side
Add caption

The Opti Nationals happened during the time we were dockside.
We were treated with this scene every evening after a full
day of racing on the bay.  There were HUNDREDS of these
boats and kids competing and having a blast.

Escape - Perrin and David arrive at NHH&M
October 13, 2016.  The happy boat/homeowner, Perrin
is on the bow.

As the end of David's Chemo approached we stayed at
the Inn on the Harbor a few nights so he could sleep in
a real bed and be warm and comfortable.  We enjoyed
watching the harbor become empty of boats.
A family gathering for two birthdays.  Peggy and Lucy, in
early November.

The debates are over, the election too
Our President is...Donald Trump! I stayed up
all night on the boat election night waiting
for the result.  Only to wake up later to
the fact that he DID win.
A beautiful moon over Trinity Church as we head
to Benjamin's one night for dinner.
Dressed and ready to watch
of the games with our friends at The Landing in Fall River.
What a season, Way to go, PATRIOTS.

The hair is growing back, and he is sporting some
of the new winter clothes we had to buy
A beautiful (one of many) sunsets from the cockpit of Obsession
dockside at Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina (Treadway to us).

Nephew Kenny sports his Christmas Sweater at
the annual Boat Parade Celebration
My pictures don't capture all of the beauty, the lights of
Trinity Church, the moon in the upper left hand corner, the
boat lit up like a candle.  All part of the Annual Boat Parade that
we we privileged to view from aboard the Amazing Grace
with launch driver friends from the summer.

David ringing the bell at the Cancer Clinic on November 30, 2016.
The last day.  Hooray!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Time Can Be So Magic

This is the title song from an album of
children's music that our kids loved to
listen to on the boat.  
Over the course of the last month we've experienced many ups and downs.  David is continuing with chemo, he feels great most of the time, has occasional days when he's weak and has little energy, but overall he's been doing fine  He has lost all his hair, so decided to shave it all off, and I'm getting used to his new look.  It's even been an adjustment for him.  He says he used to run his hand through his hair, and occasionally he still goes to do that, and encounters no hair, just a bald head!

The engine and electrical system on Obsession are still presenting problems.  Bluish smoke and fumes from the exhaust sent us to New Bedford for a few days to have it checked out.  We got no definitive answer, and had to return to Newport.  A week later we spent a lovely week in Cuttyhunk. On our trip home the engine just stopped runningoff of Sakonnet Point.  Luckily there was enough wind to sail into Newport, and we called Sea Tow to tow us to a slip at the Alofson Pier at Fort Adams.  We have been there for a few days now, awaiting the mechanic.  The Opti Nationals were going on during our time dockside, and we have had a prime seat watching them leave every morning and return every evening.  Pictures can't do justice to the vision of 400+ kids in Optis, plus all the support boats.  It's quite an undertaking.  We are thrilled to see Newport hosting such a great event.  It brings back fond memories of our days of racing and volunteering as race committee.

Facebook has an app that reminds me every day of things I've posted in years past.  I share some of them on Facebook, but more importantly it has served as a pleasant reminder of all the wonderful travels we've had aboard Obsession over the years.  We have truly enjoyed our summers on the boat. This summer is quite different, and we are trying to make the best of it despite a few setbacks.

We've only been to Cuttyhunk and Block Island. We have enjoyed more time in Newport on our mooring, and found that using the launch service to get around the harbor is THE way to go. We also can spend hours listening to the VHF.  Other boaters coming into Newport to find moorings, dockage, anchorage etc.  It is a different summer for us.

Here's a pictorial overview of our travels/experiences with captions.

The gradual loss of hair.

Sunset from  Pineapples at The Hyatt, Goat Island - 

A trip to Block Island with Perrin and Kenny.
Another one of my famous "butt" shots.

Are you really steering that boat, Kenny? 

The winners!  A game of Corn Hole at The Oar.

Some pictures of Cuttyhunk - you see the most
interesting sights there.

I never saw anyone sitting/lounging on the
"pink flamingoes".

We finally had dinner with these guys - well not
really, we took the pizza back to the boat.

It wouldn't be Cuttyhunk without at least one
boat aground in the pond.

In our spare time (we ARE retired) we practice
taking selfies.  We need MUCH more practicer.

Scallop and Bacon Pizza from Sopranos in Cuttyhunk.
It's like a scallop and bacon appetizer

New Bedford/Fairhaven swingbridge.

Friends CJ and Lori from Borden Light met us for dinner
in New Beige (New Bedford) Fun night.

The fishing boat masts help create an interesting sunset.
This is only a fraction of the fishing boats
docked in New Bedford.

This will always be one of my favorite views from our
favorite anchor spot in Cuttyhunk, our favorite place.

On Chemo days we do laundry back at the Landing at
South Park (our condo).  This is our view.  Not bad, huh?

In contrast to New Bedford, the masts of these maxi-boats
also provide an interesting skyline, day or night.

Jazz Festival Weekend we had visitors, neighbors of
my sister Nancy.  Kim and Sean.  They had a great day
at the festival and joined us for cocktails before heading back up
the bay.

Another selfie.  Happy Birthday, David.  (Notice the bald head?)
Champagne at 41North and dinner at 22 Bowen's.
It's almost becoming a tradition.

A Cuttyhunk Sunset

A Newport Sunset from Fort Adams.

7 little Optis - all in a row.  There were over 400 of them
buzzing around the harbor for three days.  It was a National
Championship Regatta hosted by Sail Newport

Perrin's new (to him) boat - Tinker Toy, alongside of
Obsession.  He was one happy guy the day it was launched.

Taking the guys for a ride.  At least he could go fast
when I wasn't aboard.

A final "butt shot".  I was sitting in the inflated "couch" in the stern.
Fun ride.