Under Way Again. Almost.

It has been a long time — far too long — since we really went cruising. We’re about to cast off the lines again.

October 10, 2021
Portsmouth, RI

We are sitting aboard the Esmeralde in our slip at New England Boat Works in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It is early evening, very dark, and raining. Our two new puppies, now five months old, are beginning to learn boat routine. They have adapted wonderfully. We are optimistic.

We had hoped to get under way today for our first real cruise since we arrived home eighteen months ago, in April, 2020 as Covid-19 descended on us all and shut us down. Yes, we have used the boat since then. We have cruised locally, visiting Provincetown, Nantucket, Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Mystic, CT, and other local haunts, but no real long range cruising at all. Not even Maine. So we are looking forward to getting under way. We need some change. We need some sunshine and smiles.

Esmeralde is in great shape, in spite of a major setback last winter and spring when a boat yard interior refinishing job went dramatically wrong. Fortunately we were in a good yard and they stepped up to the plate, fixing the problems they had caused. But it wasn’t fun and we lost most of our summer to the repairs.

We have new crew this year. Sadly, painfully, we lost both Pepper and Mattie this summer, within three weeks of each other. Only dog lovers can truly understand the pain we endured. Needing to fill the gaping holes in our hearts, we brought two new bundles of joy onto the team. Ollie and Maisie are on board. They are delightful, challenging, full of beans and endlessly entertaining. We are looking forward to sharing life aboard with them.

Our plans for the upcoming six to eight months are similar to our previous winter trips south. We will bash our way down Long Island Sound in between fall gales, run along the New Jersey Coast, and press up the Delaware Bay and through the D&C Canal into the Chesapeake. If weather permits we will lollygag in the Chesapeake for a bit and enjoy some cool off-season cruising as we make our way south towards Norfolk and the ICW.

We will visit favorite destinations through the Carolinas, enjoy Thanksgiving on board in some pretty random spot, then push on to Florida in time for the holidays. Hopefully after a trip across Lake Okeechobee we will find good weather for Christmas and New Years around Sanibel, Captiva, Cayo Costa and Boca Grande.

After the New Year, we plan to descend on Key West where we will pause, relax, and enjoy ourselves for a couple of months, before getting under way again and heading east and north. We may duck over to the Bahamas. And we may not. COVID may impact our decisions. And it may not. So many unknowns. We will roll with whatever comes our way.

We are looking forward to being on the move once again. As usual, getting out of New England in October requires patience with the weather. We had hoped to leave today. Then we had hoped to leave tomorrow. Now it looks like Tuesday, October 12, as we wait for the gale spinning offshore to pull out to the east. Narragansett Bay is benign, but Rhode Island Sound and Block Island sound are be feisty. We would rather pick a quiet day for our first run, so we can properly sort out the boat and the crew and begin to re-establish solid boat routine.

It will be good to be on the move once more.

14 thoughts on “Under Way Again. Almost.”

    1. Hi Leslie! Yes, we are very lucky to be able to do this. We are going to try to take our time and roll with whatever weather, pandemic, boat and other challenges fall in our way. It is about enjoying our time together on board. I hope you guys have similar goals in the works!

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  1. Sounds like a great plan Bruce and Dorsey. We’ve not met but I talked with you (Bruce) about your experience with the guys at American Tug about the time you were having hip surgery. Anne and I are headed to the Ft Lauderdale boat show later this month. We’ll also be on Little Gasparilla Island (one island north of Boca Grande) during January and February. If you still happen to be in the area before heading to KW, please let us know. Good luck and look forward to reading your posts.

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    1. Keep us posted on your boat plans. We will probably be gone from the BG area before New Year’s, but if we hang around we would love to catch up!

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  2. It is great to hear that you are on the move again. And, as a new dog owner, I can concour about the challenges. Fair winds and following seas, and I’ll be following !!!

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  3. Glad to hear from you guys again. Sorry to hear of your loss..never easy but at least you have a couple of new pups to share your adventures with. Glad your renovations finally turned out satisfactory, hard to please Bruce for sure..he is used to the very best. Stay safe and we will look forward to further reports on the escapades of Esmeralde.
    Dean and Kathy

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    1. Hi Dean, Yes, all is good and we are looking forward to getting underway. Bittersweet without Pepper and Mattie, but our new team is learning fast. Best to you both!

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