Day #1 in The Bag

Picking good conditions for a first day of a long trip is a great thing to do if you can pull it off. We made it happen this time.

October 13, 2021
Portsmouth, RI to Stonington, CT
Day #1

Our departure dates are always a moving target. We set a goal date, but stuff always happens to cause us to shift earlier or later. This time, a howling storm off the coast caused us to pause for a day or three to let things quiet down before we cast off.

The weather on Narragansett Bay for this three day delay was delightful. Nice fresh northerly breeze, moderate temps and clear, cool air. Perfect fall weather for local cruising. However, our plan was to head out into Rhode Island Sound and hang a right into Long Island Sound. Out there it it was blowing 20 – 25 knots, gusting to 30+, with seas in the six to eight foot range. We could have done it and we would have been fine, but we’ve found over the years that for the first day out in a while, it’s much better to pick calm conditions and not make it too hard or long a day.

Ollie and Maisie wanted to help Dad with the pre-departure engine room check. The boating education continues.

The storm finally inched off to the east. We cast off our lines at 9:55 on Tuesday, October 12. Heavy morning fog (odd for mid-October) was just lifting. The light northerly was cool and pleasant. The puppies, just five months old, were walked (tired out a bit!) and we had the itch to get moving. It’s always better with all the signals pointing up, not down.

And thus it begins. We anticipate re-playing this scene countless times over the next six to seven months.

It really was a pleasant day and lifted our spirits about the trip that lies ahead. Pre-departure tension melted away as we fell quickly into boat routine. Everything was running well and we were comfortable. Nice things when you are under way.

We motored out of New England Boatworks, doing all the regular systems checks as we went. The West Passage was calm and the only other boats out were commercial shipping and fishing. As we passed Beavertail and proceeded out onto Rhode Island Sound the old storm swell began to rise, but it wasn’t too bad — just a little lumpy and rolly, enough to make Ollie drool a bit but that’s about it. Although our mood for this trip is to travel at slow trawler speeds, we did push down the throttle to give us a little stability until we rounded Point Judith and things settled down.

Ollie wasn’t wild about the rollers off Point Judith, but he only drooled a little bit and bounced back quickly as conditions settled down.

Our destination for the day was Stonington, CT, where we planned to meet my Mom for dinner. After passing Napatree Point and the beautiful historic Ocean House hotel, conditions turned flat and spectacularly beautiful. Stonington Harbor was sparkling in the fall light, and the mooring field was, as usual, filled with lovely yachts. The dock crew at Dodson’s was friendly, professional and efficient. We fueled up and settled in.

Mom arrived in time for a nice stroll around Water Street, then we settled in for dinner at the Dog Watch Cafe, which is one of our favorites and which welcomes pups! It was a rare lovely warm fall evening, and a pleasant way to end our first day as we look forward to another excellent travel day on Long Island Sound tomorrow.

Dinner at the Dog Watch Cafe with Mom. We didn’t even need our jackets and it’s mod-October. The pups were under the table snatching crumbs.

It is really good to be moving.

6 thoughts on “Day #1 in The Bag”

  1. Love reading about your tug adventure. We have a 2003 34 AT – Bitter End. We are finishing up construction of our home in southwest Florida (near Burnt Store marina) and are planning some fun long trips at some point in the future. We have a lot in common. We are previous Scottish Terrier owners (a black and a white) – had them from 5 months old until they died about 4 years ago ( they were 8 years old) – we are sure the second one died of a broken heart as she left us exactly one month after the first- they were from the same litter and best friends. We also are former owners of an airstream which we have traveled extensively in. We brought it to Florida when we moved here but sold it during the pandemic for a nice profit knowing we would rather be boating than air streaming and not enough time for both! We have two rescue dogs now, one we rescued – she loves to boat – and the other we rescued from our son 😳 and he is large and old and cannot manage the boarding process. So, we wait for his ultimate demise and do short trips (10-15 days or less) with excellent pet care in the meantime.
    Sounds like you will be near us around Christmas and the new year- will follow your blog and reach out again if it looks like we might be in the same area at the same time. Safe and fun travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. All I can say is Wow. Thank you for reaching out. We would love to catch up with you if it works out. Yes we hope to be in your area for a few weeks in late December. We really like Cayo Costa, so if we get a nice weather window we will head out there for a few days. We have spent Christmas there twice and loved it. Please stay in touch!


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