Sunday, October 15, 2017





SOUP-chicken soup, kale soup, minestrone soup, sausage soup, mushroom soup beef barley soup-cuz it smells so good

ROAST CHICKEN DINNERS-mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, squash, green beans, creamed onions AND cranberry sauce-cuz it smells so good

TOAST-(ok-so I COULD have a toaster on board, but it makes a mess and takes up space) . English muffins, raisin bread, bolos, plain old white bread-cuz it smells so good

POT ROAST-my very favorite meal. And it smells soooo good!

A little different from boat food-a lot of seafood and burgers or steak on the grill. 


DISHWASHER-no more dishpan hands or paper plates

Sometimes the dishes pile up in the sink 

waiting for the maid. 

WASHER/DRYER-just 13 steps away. No quarters needed. 

What would we do without these prescription bottles?

8. ICE CUBES-unlimited, with the push of a button

Now, that's an ICE CUBE! 

7. SHOWERS-Hot and long 

The shower on Obsession

6. SPACE-so David and I can be more than 42’ from each other

Main salon of Obsession. We each "own" a side of the table. 

5. KING SIZE BED-that doesn't move

The brochures for the Catalina 42  say it's a queen-I buy double size sheets for it. Just sayin'!

4. SNOW-that gets shoveled/plowed by someone else so we can sit inside by the fire and enjoy it 

The dock during a snowstorm Last year at NHHM 

3. DECORATING-Snow Village here we come!

My favorite Snow Village house. 

2. EXERCISE ROOM-so next summer I can wear a bikini and David can wear a speedo (NOT!)

NO PICTURE! (Maybe next spring)

1. CHRISTMAS DINNER-with family at the condo

We are dockside at Borden Light Marina in Fall River until November 1 when our condo will be ready for us. The decision to cancel our trip wasn't an easy one to make, but we are even more determined to make the ICW trip happen next year. I'll post a blog reporting on the past month’s travels and events later this month and also record our November trip by CAR to the Chesapeake area that we would have traveled this fall on Obsession. 

Saturday, September 30, 2017


I Can See Clearly Now

Johnny Nash

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)

Sun-Shiny day.

We have spent the last few weeks trying to overcome the obstacles and dark clouds in our way to leave Newport and start our long talked about and dreamed of Retirement Trip down the ICW. Most of you have been on this journey with us. This song pretty much sums up our feelings at this point. 

While the storms have passed, they hace dramatically affected our plans.  Recent reports from Marinas.and other boaters traveling the ICW say that some of the inlets have shoaled over and many areas have yet to recover from last year’s hurricane Matthew never mind the effects of Irma, Jose and Maria.  We worry that the trip may be ”muddied” with hazards and it might be hard to find dock space etc.   

Sunset from the Mainstay Hotel one night while we waited out Jose

Sunset from the Mainstay Hotel where we 
waited for Jose to pass

Our renter will be leaving on November 1.  We (and he) had hoped he would be able to stay on through the winter, but his company is transferring him back to NJ. 

With the weather delay, the uncertainty of a winter rental, coupled with the fact that Obsession could use a good bottom and hull cleaning, we have been thinking that it might be best to wait until next year. We will make our final decision on October 15. We can be ready to go with two days notice, so it's not a done deal…yet. 

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone

All of the bad feelings have disappeared

Here is the rainbow I've been prayin' for

It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)

Sun-Shiny day.

But like the song says-we can see clearly now, we can think it through with less emotion and heartache. Those rainy days and clouds are gone. We are even starting to talk about how we would use/spend our time at home over the winter.

A sunset picture from our condo deck. 

Our time in Newport for the past two weeks was spent preparing for Jose and possibly Maria. We stayed ashore for the worst of the Jose, returning to Obsession to enjoy a beautiful evening of cocktails on the bow. 

The next morning we woke up to fog horns, and an eerie looking harbor. 

We stayed up long after our bedtime to attend Newport After Dark at 41North, another one of those “places to be” events in Newport.  It was a fun night, filled with laughter, good food and interesting people. 

We are still treated to beautiful sunsets, albeit a bit on the early side-before 7pm. As the temperatures drop we pull on our jeans and sweatshirts, hoping that it won't get much colder in the next few weeks. 

No matter what our decision is on October 15 we “can make it now”. “The pain is gone, the bad (and sad) feelings have disappeared” we “see nothing but blue skies” and it will be a “bright, bright sun-shiny day.”

Look all around, there's nothin' but blue skies

Look straight ahead, nothin' but blue skies

Friday, September 22, 2017


Cosmo helps us make a schedule and then revise 

it because of the weather. 

I know, I know, I KNOW!

We were supposed to be on our way Wednesday. But where are we? Sitting in a timeshare in Newport waiting for Jose and Maria to go away. 

Although Jose did not make a direct hit on our coast, it is sitting to the south of us, churning up the waters and delivering high winds along the coastline. And, as we watch the devastation Irma and Maria have brought to our favorite and future cruising grounds we still worry that Maria will take a turn to the west or even stall off the coast like Jose has. 

I have Hurricane Fatigue.  I can only hope that once the sun shines again that my mood will change. 

We were supposed to be provisioning, storing, fueling and smiling. Instead we were removing and stowing all the canvas and cushions down below, turning off all refrigeration and removing all perishables, tying up the sails and lashing down the dinghy and heading to shore with forlorn looks on our faces.

All canvas removed and stowed, cushions down below. 

Mainsail all tied up. 

 Our Time Share points have and continue to serve us well, one night at The Inn on Long Wharf, two nights at Newport Onshore, and maybe one or two more since Jose is lingering off the coast and the forecast is for stronger winds. 

View from Newport Onshore-Obsession is in the middle of the harbor. 

All our laundry is done and Perrin joined us for a few nights. The shower and jacuzzi tub are a special treat along with the king size bed. Add a  toaster and an electric drip coffee maker  to that list and we feel like we are living in luxury. Although we have a water view, we can barely see Obsession as she rides out the weather all alone. 

The Boat Show was a fun and different experience. We only went aboard one boat. We spent our time in the tents, bought new “clicky chairs”, lightweight and super absorbent cotton bamboo towels and we spent considerable time getting advice from fellow ICW cruisers. 

The predicted weather pattern does not give us an opening to leave until the end of the month. Besides putting Obsession back together we will have to re-plan our passage down Long Island Sound, The East River and Jersey Coast. So, we will have another opportunity to watch a Patriots Game, maybe take in a movie or two, and attend Newport After Dark at 41North. 

birthday dinner at Clarke Cooke House

In case you're wondering, yes, we have entertained the idea of hanging it up for this year. Our condo will be empty on Nov. 1 and we worry if all the magical places we've heard about along the ICW will need a winter to recoup from Irma. They were just starting to recover from last year's visit from Matthew. As we approach October, we realize the colder weather and shorter days are also a guarantee. Someone reminded me, we are retired. TIME is what we have. Yes-TIME to wait out these two pesky storms? TIME to wait until next year? Only TIME will tell. 

TANGO -T is for TIME

Wednesday, September 13, 2017



The New Sail Newport Building at Fort Adams. 

All lit up for her debut. 

All our friends know that as sailors we have become avid weather watchers. The low pressure systems and the high pressure systems literally run our lives. These past few weeks the lows and highs became more than just weather phenomenon though. We seemed to be riding a roller coaster of highs and lows and twists and turns. 

HIGH-Sail Newport Gala Saturday, September 9, 2017. What a night. It was THE place to be  that night in Newport. From being met at the entrance with a glass of champagne or a rum punch, to the beautiful skies on the walk back down the waterfront of Fort Adams to our boat docked at the  Volvo docks later that night, it was a glorious night to support and promote sailing of all shapes, sizes and forms. The new building was shining in the clear night sky, the food  was exquisitely prepared and served with a Caribbean Flair and the evening of fun and laughter that allowed us all, for a few hours, to set aside or concerns for those in the path of Hurricane Irma. 

Dr. Robin Wallace along with many of our sailing community friends had a vision for a World Class Sailing Center at Fort Adams in 1983.

Dr. Robin Wallace and many of our sailing community friends had 
A vision for a world class sailing center in 1983 
after our devastating loss of the America's Cup.

Our friends Mariah and Bob at the Gala.

 Oh, what a night!

LOW-Hurricane IRMA. She kept us glued to the TV, weather Channel and Social Media. She brought devastation to some of our favorite sailing memories; BVI, St. Martin, and what we hoped would be places to make new memories, Key West, St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston, so far all of our friends and  relatives in Florida are fine, but we are hearing that the Keys are like a “War Zone” and Jacksonville is experiencing record level flooding. 

HIGH-The weather here in Newport has been absolutely gorgeous! 

LOW-We set aside these 2 weeks in September for Dr. Appointments and other commitments so we haven't sailed anywhere. We will have to re-think this plan in the future. 

David added 2 new 12V charging plugs. On a boat every chore involves moving stuff and working in small spaces. 

HIGH-Patriots Football season has begun with a gathering of our Landing friends in Fall River. And we get to see one more game with them on Sunday, September 17.

LOW-The Patriots LOST the season opener!

HIGH-We have custom made (thanks to my sister Mal) Patriots logo fleece fender covers. We will use them whenever we are dockside for a Patriots Game. If you want a set let me know. 

LOW-with all the damage to docks in FL I wonder if or even when we will be dockside to show them off.

HIGH-New cushions were delivered and we are enjoying their soft feel and VERy bright whiteness. 

LOW-I now make everyone remove their shoes when they come aboard, and only step on the towel. It's a throwback to 2004 when Obsession was brand new. Hence my Email address, NBBJ2004  (New Boat Bitch Janice).

HIGH-Sunday, September 3-A delicious eggplant Parmesan dinner at Massimo, where the former Mediterraneo (one of our favorites) used to be on the Hill in Providence followed by a leisurely stroll around Waterfire in Providence. This has always been a September tradition for us. This year the only scheduled Waterfire was for September 24, after our scheduled departure date. This one was just added to the schedule in late August. The evening was as it always is, comfortably cool, and just perfect for a stroll along the river lit up with fire and piped in eclectic, unusual music. 

LOW-An ATM ate my debit card the other day. Trying to update accounts associated with it is a nightmare! 

HIGH-Boat Show is in 2 days. That means lots of “shop”talk, dreaming and a few planned purchases.

LOW-There will be NO North Pacific Yachts at this show. Maybe that's a good thing though. Obsession will provide us with a home and transportation for the next year or so.

HIGH-Departure date from Newport still close to Sept. 20, weather permitting even if we have to “dilly dally” down Long Island Sound.

The spaghetti tracks of Jose that is headed out to sea. He may delay our trip a bit if he kicks up some seas in Long Island Sound. 

LOW-Now we have to work around the East River closing between Sept. 21 and 27. Totally changes because of tide and currents. 

HIGH-David’s CT-Scan was clear, blood work good. We are GOOD TO GO!


Saturday, September 2, 2017

PREPARE YE...for the trip down the ICW

Castle Hill Lighthouse guides us in and out of 

Narragansett Bay on our many travels, 

As August comes to an end I think back over the past two summers and all the preparations we've made for our Dream Retirement Trip. I reflect back over the places we've been and know that while we will miss being home at our condo in Fall River we have many adventures to look forward to over the next 8 months. 

Our preparations started with a new engine! 

Yes, that fatal day, Labor Day Weekend, 2015. Obsession DID NOT like that FOR SALE sign on her bow. 

New canvas and enclosure was next, a small 12 volt freezer, then a new Windlass and 200 feet of new anchor chain. 

I love this Navionics App so I can navigate

our route. It gives the tide and currents as well as

wind direction and speed, depths, navigational buoys

our speed and projected ETA. 

Gotta Love technology!

We have acquired a drawer full of chart books and cruising guides, downloaded a few navigation apps on our phones and iPad, as well as Netflix and HBO.

New cockpit cushions and lifelines have been ordered and will be delivered next week along with a few spare filters and pumps. We will probably acquire a few more things at the Newport Boat Show too. 

Why we need new lifelines and cockpit cushions.

I think we need a new flag too. 

We've sold a car, rented out our condo in Fall River, created a new mailing address and arranged to live close to a 100% paperless life. We generate our own power using the sun, wind or the engine. Having only one car limits my trips to TJ Max and the Christmas Tree Shop. I do miss some of the conveniences of the condo in Fall River though, like a KING size bed, a freezer stocked with roasting chickens and ICE, and decorating for the seasons. 

My decorating is pretty limited-gel clings on the hatch doors. I've already bought some for September and Halloween at the Christmas Tree Shop. I don't suppose they'll have Christmas ones out before we leave. 

Living on the boat we call Newport and Cuttyhunk our "homes" and Block Island and the Vineyard our vacation spots. 

Newport at her finest-a beautiful sunset looking towards the Newport Shipyard. 

We will miss the busy, busy Newport Harbor, our transportation providers-Oldport Launch Drivers and the people we've met riding the launch. 

We will miss walking the streets of Newport, popping into a shop now and then. We will miss our favorite restaurants, The Mooring, Forty-One North, Benjamin's, Handy's, The Marina Pub,The Black Pearl Patio and Fluke, just to name a few.

Newport even hosts warships from foreign countries-this one is from Japan!

 We will miss the fishing boats leaving early in the morning, the fog horn from the Newport Bridge late at night, the beautiful sunsets, the many and varied visiting yachts and boats from The Oliver Hazard Perry, the Moths, the Optis, the 12 Meters, the J Class Boats, the Volvo Ocean Racing Boats, huge charter yachts, the cruise ships, and more.

Newport Harbor preparing for the Boat Show

 All were our neighbors in this protected harbor for the past two summers. They say there's no harbor in the world like Newport. I can believe it. 

The J Class boats racing under Newport Bridge. 

The Oliver Hazard Perry-RI's own Tall Ship. 

If we find a place like Cuttyhunk on our trip south I'll be sure to let you know. If there's a place that makes you feel relaxed, calm, serene and grateful for peace and quiet while at the same time accommodating some basic needs like fresh fish and oysters, it's Cuttyhunk. 

I don't have to tell you what this is-but I will report that it was fresh and delicious! 

A view of Cuttyhunk we don't often see-the fishing dock through the fog. 

We've been going there for years and while it changes with the times, in many ways it remains the same. I'll be on the lookout for such a place. I'm not holding my breath. 

A storm passes by Cuttyhunk and a neighbor boat takes a picture of me taking pictures of the storm. We only got a few minutes of rain. I always say, "The sun always shine s in Cuttyhunk. "

The Vineyard, the ultimate vacation spot. I used to marvel that we could enjoy vacationing there for a $25/night mooring fee and enjoy the same vacation as those paying $100/night or more for a room in a B&B or rental. 

Aquinnah-Gay Head. A spectacular view of Vineyard Sound. 

The elegant and expensive restaurants in Edgartown of 30 years ago have been (IMHO) replaced by rustic, quaint and expensive restaurants in Oak Bluffs. The Democratic Ex-Presidents still visit, our present Republican President does not. 

The Red Cat-our new, favorite restaurant. Move over Black Dog!

The ferries run less often, but are bigger and faster and hold more people but the holiday and vacation atmosphere is what makes this place so special. A summer is not a summer without a week (or two) "on the Vineyard". 

Illumination Night in Oak Bluffs Campground. Every person stood and every single hat was removed and I'm almost positive every person sang or at least hummed the Star Spangled Banner. 

"Sail away on the Block Island Ferry" is how the advertisement jingle starts. Well, we don't sail on the ferry, but we get to enjoy all the things they suggest in the ad, and more! 

It may not be the Block Island we usually think of, but we walk 
by this spot every time we visit. 

 Sailing to Block Island can be exhilarating or exasperating.  But once you get there you "take a trip back to care free times" and "leave all your troubles behind." The sunsets, the beaches and Mudslides never disappoint.

 Block Island will be our last  summer of 2017 visit and at the same time our first stop of our Dream Retirement Cruise. 

We are watching Hurricane Irma. We watch the weather like hawks. On the TV, Weather Apps on our phones, and weather updates On the internet. 

I hope this is WRONG!!!

The weather literally runs our lives. It determines what we do, when we do it, and how we do it. While we continue to be traumatized and fixated on the devastation Harvey caused in Texas, we were reminded that today was the anniversary of Hurricane Carol that seriously affected Newport in 1954. 

This is the kind of forecast we like to see. 

So, it's on to new places, new friends, new adventures. New ports, new harbors, new experiences. Everyone we talk to who has traveled the ICW say we will love it. Those who haven't done it say they would love to do it.. Obsession is almost ready, we are almost ready.  

Our departure date is still September 20, 2017.  Exactly 3 weeks away!  I will update the blog just before we leave or just after we leave.