New England '04

Greetings from New England!  We left Charleston in early June after the heat and humidity got to be too much for us. We made an overnight passage offshore to Beaufort, NC. Because the generator died we took a slip at the downtown docks and enjoyed watching the tourists watch us. We ended up spending much longer there than we intended while awaiting a new electrical end for the generator.

   Once all systems were once again operational we took the Intracoastal Waterway north to Oriental, then on to Norfolk. The trip was pretty, but the Alligator River was the pits. The biting flies attacked with a vengeance, leaving both of us with round, hard, itchy blisters. Ugh!

Our friend, Jim, who joined us for a week in the Bahamas back in February, returned for more liberty on Liberty. With our great 3rd crewmember aboard, we set sail from Norfolk to Martha’s Vineyard. He made the 4 day offshore passage much more enjoyable, not only for his great company, but because we were able to stand 1 in 3 watches instead of port and starboard! Thanks, Jim!

Jim points out an Aegis cruiser as we pass the Norfolk Naval Base piers

     As with all offshore passages, we got some good practice on the radar, including a stretch of fog as we crossed the New York City shipping lanes. No problem! The highlight of the trip was when Ty caught a bluefish big enough to grill up for the 3 of us as we sailed past Long Island!

Martha’s Vineyard was a real treat, as it was the first visit there for all three of us. We picked up a mooring in Edgartown Harbor (Once again, the locals have left no room for those of us who prefer to anchor). After a great dinner ashore and a good night’s sleep, the next day we took the bus to Oak Bluffs. (Public transportation is part of the fun of cruising!) The gingerbread houses like the one on the left gave this island town a unique flavor. After seeing Jim off, we continued on to Nantucket. That day’s sailing was one of the best ever, with our spinnaker billowing ahead like a big red and white banner!

Gingerbread House in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

We were able to anchor in the harbor at Nantucket, just outside the mooring field. The harbormaster circled our boat several times, probably wondering how they could fit another couple of rental moorings in our spot after we left!

We got the bikes out and enjoyed several days of exploration on wheels. The bikes (bought at an end-of-season sale at a rental shop in Bar Harbor last year) have turned out to be one of the best things we have onboard. They’re full-sized mountain bikes which stow away on the lower pilot berth, completely out of sight!

Ty helps out some local entrepreneurs during a bike ride around Nantucket

After Nantucket we cruised on to Cuttyhunk. While preparing to drop the anchor we heard voices yelling from the shore. We ignored these crazy people until we realized they were calling “Hey, Liberty!” When we turned around, we immediately recognized our friends Jim and Judy from the Tayana 48 cutter, Songlines, whose company we enjoyed at Big Majors Spot in the Exumas! This has been the best part of our second year of cruising: running into great cruising friends we met during our first year!

Spectators crowd Dewey Field in front of the Naval War College for a 4th of July concert

We took a slip at Newport’s Navy Sailing Center, where we enjoyed the convenience of being pierside. While Ty flew back to northern Virginia to work on some rental property we own, Suzanne stayed with the boat and did some writing. Let’s see, Ty spent ten days painting an entire house and Suzanne babysat the boat. Who got the better side of that deal? Thanks, Honey!

The naval station turned out to be a great place to spend July 4th. A band concert and laser light show right across from the sailing center provided the perfect patriotic air to the holiday. Having the Newport bridge as a backdrop was an extra bonus.

Suzanne went with Geoff and June from Concerto to the famous 4th of July parade in Bristol, RI. It’s the oldest parade in the country, and was great fun, in spite of the pouring rain. Ty will never forget the 4th of July in 1973 when he was the Command Duty Officer aboard USS KOELSCH (DE 1049). His ship was anchored in Narragansett Bay while a contingent of his sailors marched in Bristol’s parade. Suddenly, Ty got a frantic radio call from the officer in charge of the marching unit and color guard. He told Ty that his sailors were under attack! The students from Roger Williams College in Bristol had chosen this patriotic parade as their way to protest what was happening in Vietnam, and they were attacking our sailors with bricks and baseball bats! Ty quickly dispatched a boatload of sailors and corpsmen to assist. This year, as Suzanne watched the parade, the Roger Williams College float paraded past with students wearing historic military uniforms! How times have changed! In fact, a group of soldiers in desert camouflage uniforms who had recently returned from Iraq drew the loudest cheers from the crowd, by far. God bless our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines!

The tall ships parade on Narragansett Bay in mid-July was a special treat. On the right is one of the Polish ships that participated.

As of this update, we’re still enjoying New England -- especially the delightfully comfortable temperatures and the wonderful hospitality of its citizens. (Thanks to Jim Schieffelin for loaning a couple of boat people his car for the day!) We’re not sure how far north we’ll go before heading south again. We may make it as far as Nova Scotia, or maybe only Maine. Who knows? This leisurely pace is kind of nice after last year’s push to get to Newfoundland for their short summer.