After a couple of months in Newport resting from an intense first 11,000 miles of voyages, and catching up some needed maintenance, Spirit is back on the move. This trip started out very ominously as the longer-term tracks for Hurricane Matthew had it hitting the eastern end of Long Island and New England – our intended location. We didn’t need that much excitement in our lives! Fortunately for our trip plans the long-term track changed taking the storm out to sea before making it up the Northeast coast. We were glued to the TV coverage and our hearts went out to the poor people of Haiti, the Bahamas and all the communities on the Southeast coast.
Our journey over the past couple of weeks took us to places we’ve often heard about but never visited. It started with Block Island, Rhode Island, about 25 miles southwest of Newport. From there we headed across Long Island Sound to the almost magical place of Mystic Seaport, Connecticut – a step back in time when wooden ships prevailed. The village is a re-created 19th century coastal village that opens the window to America’s maritime history. We then headed southwest across to the western end of Long Island and anchored in the large bay at Sag Harbor – a National Historic site. Its history centers heavily on its days as a whaling port. It’s a quaint little town that’s the arts and culture center for the Hamptons.
After a short sail from Sag Harbor we arrived in Greenport – another historic seaside village set between the Peconic Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. This was yet another major whaling port in the 1800s. Close by is Long Island’s wine country, over 50 wineries and only one afternoon – what a dilemma. We did manage a wonderful tasting with our crew at Bedell Cellars Vineyard – sitting out on the deck overlooking the vineyards under a cloudless fall afternoon. We spent another day in Greenport as the clear skies gave way to over a day of heavy rain and gusty winds – a good time to hunker down and watch football!
When the rainy conditions disappeared, and the football games were over, we headed west-southwest down Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson – a 50 mile journey. While the sun was showing off the clear skies, the winds were gusting to 35kts and the sea state was anything but kind. One of the photos below says it all – Ah, the joys of sailing. We met some friends who were waiting on the dock for us to arrive so they could join us on the remaining days of our trip to New York City. The night before arriving in New York we anchored in a beautiful anchorage at Oyster Bay – home to many rich and famous. Below you’ll see a photo of Billy Joel’s little bungalow.
Arriving in New York from the water was a real thrill. We left Long Island Sound heading down the East River with the mass of skyscrapers touching the sky. We passed the United Nations, then made the turn for a short distance up the Hudson River to the Liberty Landing Marina, passing the Statue of Liberty and the new Freedom Tower on the site of the former World Trade Center towers. Our next two days were spent visiting the 9-11 Memorial Park and Museum, (a moving experience) a couple Broadway plays and of course, people watching.
It’s now time for Spirit to head down the East Coast to Portsmouth, Virginia and get ready to participate in the Caribbean 1500 rally/race starting November 6th. We’ll be joining 30 other sailboats making the transit back to the Caribbean with more adventures on the horizon.