Epilogue. The Finale.

I think everyone feels the warmth of the reprieve when a loved and cherished adventure thought ended unexpectedly comes back to life.

Just as renewing an old friendship conjures up remembered pleasure, the ocean sailor captures old emotions dampened with lapsing days on land with a fresh breeze humming in the rigging, sails seizing the air, the hull leaning into the close-hauled tack, tension in the lines and the ship surging over long-traveled ocean swells – these make memories replay.

This was our happy state of mind when we faced a new opportunity to find more weather-friendly places for Spirit this summer and fall, thus the project to move Spirit northeast.

We can now add a new Spirit experience after more than three years of incredible journeys immersing ourselves in the geography of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast. What a ride!

A few weeks ago Spirit started her journey north from Ft. Lauderdale (where she’s been berthed at the Bahia-Mar Yachting Center), to Newport, Rhode Island – a necessary transit to get north of this summer’s “hurricane zone”. The 1,600 nautical mile (1,846 statute mile) transit included stops in Charleston, South Carolina, Cape May, New Jersey, Port Jefferson NY (Long Island Sound), across to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut and finally into the Hinckley Marina just north of Newport. There, Spirit will be shown in the Newport Boat Show and prepared for whoever her next lucky owner might be.

For the two-week trip the weather and winds couldn’t have been better – mostly sunny, relatively flat seas and brisk winds. Life is good! Also, the trip took us down memory lane as four of us were on Spirit’s Atlantic crossing in 2015. Beside myself, our voyage included Tom (Spirit’s first skipper from the UK), Pat (a long time sailing friend), and David (a neighbor and passionate sailor). Also, joining us for the first leg to Charleston was Conrad – our Canadian representative who we knew from his boat-owning days in the BVI. A great crew, great memories and nobody got hurt (with the exception of some newly aligned toes that were stubbed on deck fittings).

As in the past, one of the high points of the trip was our passage around Manhattan, up the East River (at incredible speeds due to the strong currents) where we were in awe of the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline, the new and towering One World World Trade Center, the Empire State building, the United Nations, the bridges….and, this was all before 9:00 am. For a few hours we all went “photo-crazy”. While sailing up the East River we received a YouTube link form David’s wife, Peggy, to a music video of Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” which certainly put an exclamation point on our sail by the City. Here’s what she sent – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUrUfJW1JGk

Coming out of the East River into Long Island Sound we made a short stop off the shoreline of Larchmont where our friend Collier was waiting at a yacht club (a few blocks from his home) so we could take pictures of each other – just a bunch of kids having a little fun.

The photos below tell a much better story of our trip up the east coast. Thanks for sticking with us.

What’s next? Who knows?

P.S. Thanks to David for his creative writing at the beginning of this post – capturing the emotions of this trip.

Spirit, ready to head north to Newport

L-R Tom, Dick, Pat, Conrad, David – what a crew!!!

Leaving BahiaMar Yachting Center in Ft. Lauderdale

Low rent intercostal waterway real estate in Ft. Lauderdale

Not so low rent piece of real estate

The A1A drawbridge as we depart Ft. Lauderdale

The strong northerly Gulf Stream gave Spirit an incredible push from Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston – speeds averaging over 9 knots. Wheee!

One of many beautiful sunsets underway

Our first stop after a 450 mile leg

Interesting marina setting out beyond the bog and seagrass

The Charleston City Marina Mega Dock – the longest in North America – Spirit’s mast at far end on the right

Cape May, New Jersey, after another 500 mile leg

Cape May channel entrance

A classic Cape May Victorian home

Atlantic City, New Jersey, as seen from five miles off shore

Approaching New York City under the Verrazano Bridge – 5:30 am!

No words necessary

Approaching Manhattan – an early morning aha moment

With careful planning, and a 4:30 am departure from Sandy Hook, we took advantage of the notorious East River current – going through the water at 6.7 knots, while actually racing north at 12.8 knots over ground (faster than the NY rush hour traffic)

Spirit’s very own dock at Port Jefferson, New York, on Long Island Sound

A foggy morning departure from Port Jefferson

We encountered many curious dolphins along the way, but never expected this sea creature – just off New London, Connecticut

The Mystic River, Connecticut

The Charles W Morgan (1841) in Mystic Seaport – one of the last sailing whaling vessels

Departing Mystic, Connecticut

Passing by a very busy Newport Harbor

The final track of our over 1,600 nautical mile journey