A visit with the Newport Harbormaster.

We had a great sail on Sunday from Bristol to Newport.  Although winds were 12-18 knots on the nose, we had already decided that we would tack tack tack until we got tired of it and then motor the rest of the way.

Working on roles that are less familiar for us, Jeff was at the helm the majority of the day while I handled the lines.  By the time we turned on the motor three hours later, Jeff was much more comfortable with our new chart plotter and I was pulling the iib lines like a pro as we quickly tacked.  I even managed to trim the sails so that Pegu Club was steering by herself.  This bodes well for future success with Bob, our Monitor windvane.

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Jeff was determined to get past the abandoned pier on this tack.
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He made it!  Part of an abandoned military base on the end of Prudence Island.

Anchoring near our original spot last week, we tucked in for the night and prepared to spend Monday running errands for most of the day.  With rain forecast for all day on Tuesday, we wanted to get everything done since we were planning to leave Newport on Wednesday.  By the way, conveniently there is a bus stop right in front of West Marine.  Something tells me corporate selected the site specifically for that reason!

As predicted, Tuesday proved to be windy and rainy with a thunderstorm thrown in for good measure.  Jeff was able to put our rain catcher (prototype version 1.0) to good use, quickly and easily collecting five gallons in the collapsible jug we bought the previous day at West Marine.  We’re definitely going to pick up a second jug.

While we were watching the rain catcher gather water, we noticed a boat dragging through the anchorage.  The owner was on board and he was having a conversation with the guy on the boat next to him, and he picked up his anchor and tried again farther away.  We pretty much forgot about it, spending the rest of the afternoon watching The Big Red One on our entertainment system (i.e. our laptop and Bose portable speaker), until we poked our heads out after the movie and saw that a change in the wind direction had now put the wandering boat about six feet directly in front of us with no sign of the owner.  Hmmm.

The guy on the boat next to him was in his cockpit and we started talking to him about it.  Apparently the dragging boat’s owner (DBO) had just splashed that day and had come into the anchorage with an overheating engine.  He didn’t have any chain and initially didn’t put out nearly enough scope, but DBO’s “neighbor” cut him some slack and was trying to be understanding when DBO said he would come back with some parts.  Now it was hours later, there was still no sign of him, and he had become our problem.

The neighbor was reluctant to call the Harbormaster, not wanting to get DBO in trouble, but given that DBO’s boat still seemed to be slowly dragging and he was right in front of us, I had no such qualms.  I called the Harbormaster on the VHF and he said he would come by but if we felt we were in harm’s way we needed to move.  Great.  We’ve been here since Sunday but we’re the ones that needed to move.  I wasn’t particularly pleased.

Once the harbormaster showed up and saw what I was talking about, things changed a bit.  DBO’s neighbor explained what had happened earlier in the afternoon, and we all agreed that it was very inconsiderate.  The harbormaster said that DBO was lucky the wind had calmed down or he would have hit some boats and he definitely would be in trouble.  As it was, he was giving DBO a ticket and since it was after sunset he offered to let us stay on a city mooring for free for the night rather than having to reanchor.

It was a nice offer which we took him up on.  It was better than having DBO’s boat give Pegu Club an unwanted kiss in the middle of the night!  The harbormaster waited while we raised the anchor (we sure do love that electric windlass!) and led us to the mooring which I was VERY grateful for that because it would have been extremely difficult to find it in the dark.  

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One of the prettiest sunsets we’ve had since we left Groton a few weeks ago.

Tucked in for the night on our first mooring since we left a few weeks ago, we are planning to leave Newport tomorrow and head for Fishers Island Sound.  We’ve given up on finding a window to jump offshore to Cape May and have decided to take the inside route instead.  Weather permitting, in less than a week I’ll be posting pictures of the New York City skyline as we go down the East River!  We’ve had fun in Narragansett but as Jeff put it, now we’re going to head in the right direction!

10 thoughts on “A visit with the Newport Harbormaster.

  1. Hi Jeff and Kim!! Glad to read that things are going well with you both and that you’re getting ready to head south!! We love reading your blog and it’s always great to see an email pop up from Pegu Club. I bought a sewing table for the Sailrite machine and I’ve got it set up but haven’t tried it yet…need to watch some videos first I think. I agree with your choice of going inside to NYC…you’ll get some offshore time soon enough!! Stay safe!! Jeff and Denise

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    1. Aww, thanks Jeff! Sailrite has a “learn to sew” series on YouTube that would probably be a great start. I made a tote bag for my first project which helped me to get the feel of the machine. Grab some of that spare Sunbrella and go for it! You’re right about getting offshore time soon enough. We’re just glad to finally be heading south – even if it’s just barely. 🙂 Talk to you soon. Kimberly

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    2. Kim and Jeff, have begun to follow your blog. Looks like you are adapting well to boat life. Happy for you. I’ll keep following.
      Pat Masopust
      Sceptre

      .

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very excited to learn about your adventures southward. You both are so much more adventurous than I ever could be. Very happy you are choosing the inside route and are looking forward to watching your track. Keep the adventure alive for those of us less adventurous. We’ll be at Spicer’s in April ready to welcome you back home. In the mean time, live your dream! Be safe and keep in touch.

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  3. Looks like all your hard work is paying off. You are enjoying your boat and I think you will enjoy going down the East River. I am not a city person but it is exciting going past the City and the Statute of Liberty. Once past the Verranzano bridge, you are only 2 days from the Chesapeake! Pretty exciting stuff

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    1. Hi Bill – I think we’ll enjoy the East River too, assuming we ever get there! No real wind today, so rather than motor to Port Jeff we’ll be hanging at Coecles for a few days. Thursday looks like a possibility for moving on. Kimberly

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