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Ballard Sailor

Greenport Long Island and then sailing over to Block Island

Rating: 31 votes, 5.00 average.

The morning dawned light and gray and we woke slowly. While having breakfast, we’re hailed by the harbor master that was coming alongside in his Whaler. Mike Twohig was his name and it turns out that his son is out in the PNW driving a ferry boat between Seattle and Bainbridge Island. Needless to say we had a bit to talk about and as our breakfast cooled on the table, we chatted away about the PNW and what we absolutely had to see in Greenport. The most important of which was Billy’s by the Bay, as their happy hour was the best in town! Good information.


We spent the day strolling through the small town of Greenport after paying our $1/ft for the mooring, not bad eh? It threatened to rain all day but just kept holding off and we walked and walked in this little town that reminded me a lot of Port Townsend. Fortunately we made it back to the boat before happy hour and then dropped MacIntosh off and motored over to the dinghy dock at Brewer’s Marina where Billy’s is. The owners and friends were gathered around the bar and after a couple of cocktails and some very tasty tater-tots we retired to the boat for dinner.


After dinner we somehow still had some energy and decided now was a great time to visit Bryant and Mercy’s cabin, take a shower and do some laundry. So in we went, found the key in the dark and cleaned ourselves and our clothes while hanging out in their great little 2 bedroom cabin. Truly a treat to have such a large space to yourself after 2 months on a 27 foot boat. Laundry done, we made it back to the boat in one piece and hit the sack before our early start out to Block Island in the morning. Winds are forecast to be on the beam then shift to the nose at about 20 knots. Should be a blast!


We left the mooring early Tuesday morning and headed out against the current, hoping to be off The Race as the tide changed and the ebb got going. I figured the Ebb would push us out towards Block Island, but I knew it would be a rough windy day. Motoring out around Shelter Island we had a good 1.5 knots against us and once around Gardiners Island it was a tight reach in 4 to 5’ waves out towards Block Island. Now Gardiners Island is a unique place with some great history to it. This island has been owned by the Gardiners since people got charters for land from some lord back in England. That’s a long time! As well, the pirate, Captain Kidd, hid some treasure here years ago and after threatening the Gardiners about it being there when he got back, took off and subsequently got arrested, the loot was then used in his trial. Oh well, some cool history though as we’re sailing off East towards Block Island.


We made it almost to the Island before the winds shifted to on the nose and then spent the next hour or so tacking to weather in about 18 knots of wind, having a grand time. Waves crashing over the bow, rail down and almost in the water. Perfect sailing conditions. Although it was cold, the further we got from the mainland the colder it got, and even with foulies on we found ourselves shivering in our boots. Eventually we found the inlet to the Great Salt Pond, the manmade inlet that turned a lake into a summer cruisers’ paradise, and searched out our perfect anchorage before heading ashore to give Mac a break on land.


Still in our foulie boots and bottoms, we motored the dinghy in to a boardwalk that led us across a narrow part of the Island to the Atlantic side where we tossed balls for MacIntosh and enjoyed the views of the Old Harbor while listening to the crashing surf on the sandy beach. It was a long wet slog across The Race to Block Island, but well worth the trip, it was about time we got a good sail in! We retired to the boat, anchored off of what we later learned was called Breezy Point, and had dinner and warmed up before hitting the sack. What a fun day!

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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