"There is nothing more pleasant than cruising on a boat with the whole family."
Letter from Empress Catherine the Great

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 15 to 22 -- Three "Other" Days: Days Off From Boat Work

Don't worry friends. I have been working on ILENE and she will be ready to launch soon. When she does I will report on the winter season's work. But this post is about non-boat-work days. 

A three day weekend in the Berkshires with good food and conversation, a string quartet concert and rest -- but no boat work except a visit to the local hardware store for stainless bolts and brass screws (which I count as inadequate to call it a working day) -- came first.

Monday was the memorial service for Estelle, a lady of my Congregation, who served as head of the nursery school and on the board as social action chair in addition to being a physicist, an IT worker, a liberal humanist, a Yiddishist, a conservationist , an all around good person and -- wait for it --  a passenger on my boat. She was 89 and will be missed.

Friday was an all-day (10:30 - 6:00) conference at the CUNY Graduate Center titled:
I wondered what that could have been about. In fact ten curators and professors of American Art History gave papers, illustrated with slides, on aspects of American Landscape (and Seascape) Art. In fact it was great fun and quite interesting. Eight of the ten talks involved the watery side of things. Two of the talks were about Winslow Homer's "The Gulf Stream", which we viewed during
the Harlem's winter excursion to the Met in February. One of these talks contrasted Homer's  painting with one that was given the same name by a modern Black artist, Marshall, showing a group of black people out for a fun sail in the tropics instead of one on an out of control boat in extreme peril. Both show the boat's port quarter aspect, heeled to port, but in Homer's this is caused by the tumultuous waves of the Stream, and in Marshall's by the graceful effects of the breeze.
Another talk dealt with nautical charts and another with the riverine area of St. Augustine, which we have come to love after ILENE's three stops there during our southern cruises. Only about fifty people, good refreshments, and I was able to contribute to these Ph.D's educations by filling them in on aspects of sailing, of which they were unaware.

Saturday, after setting up for brunch for eight folks from Lene's HS class, I went to the Harlem for a meeting to discuss plans for the summer cruise. Both a nine day and a five day option had been prepared, which would required either a full five consecutive days off from work, or only three. I expected a debate about the relative merits of these two alternatives, and had called about twenty of our newer members with boats 25 feet or longer, for whom these shorter duration cruises, with shorter passages, had been designed. I like planning cruises, even ones that I'm not available to attend.

But the meeting was quite frustrating. Three families of experienced cruisers, PCs of the Club, attended, along with a new member, Mike, who has a 33 foot Scandinavian boat. They designed a cruise of about two weeks duration with five lay days in Block Island; that's what they wanted to do. Others may join them. Mike plans to detach from the others and return to the Harlem via Montauk Point and the south shore of Long Island.
None of the five day protagonists attended. I will flesh out details for the five day itinerary and serve as the contact point for connecting those folks, if any, who wish to attend. Hopefully someone will agree to provide a bit of leadership or coordination during the five days, if anyone at all takes part in this second of two Club cruises.
Back to work; my mistress, ILENE, beckons.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 18-19 -- An Organizational Weekend

Readers know that I belong to both the Harlem YC and the Corinthians YC. Saturday, the 18th was Harlem day for me, with three back-to-back events.

1. The first Annual Club Cruise Planning Meeting -- I'm the Fleet Captain (Job description: organizer of  Club cruises). I have this job literally only because no one else wants it and only until someone does. For 2017, Lene and I can't even go on the Club Cruise because we will be cruising ILENE up in Canada, but I'm pleased to try to keep the spirit of cruising alive in the Harlem. Cruising with the Club has been in decline the last few years. Maybe it's because of me, but I don't think so. I think that fuel prices have deterred the power boaters, that membership has been in decline due to the economy, that many of the twelve to fifteen boats that used to cruise together in the late 80's have been sold due to retirement, illness or death, and that the remainder of us just don't have the strength and stamina that we used to have.
A lot of good ideas came out during the meeting. Let's not even try to have a sixteen day cruise, our historical norm, or even a nine day one. Let's instead plan a five day cruise, including a non-holiday weekend, with relatively short and easy mileage each day, at least one lay day, and at least one each of a dock, a mooring and an anchorage. I will call all of the newer members with boats large enough to cruise, let's say 25 feet, and personally invite them to participate and try to answer their fears. This could give them the confidence to try, with the hope that they will enjoy the experience. First step: P.C, Bruce will create the first draft of the five day itinerary. I am more optimistic than I was before the meeting.

2. Immediately following was the membership meeting with reports from all the officers on the good work they are doing, not just keeping our old house upright but improving it, and without a dues increase. We owe so much to the tireless expert efforts of our Board Members and Officers.

3. Next a segue to our St. Paddy's Day Irish dinner party. Lots of excellent food, family style at each table and a guest appearance by this elegant guy.

Sunday, the 19th was Corinthians' Day. This is a Club without a clubhouse. We all keep our boats elsewhere and the club runs social programs.

1. A delicious end extensive lox-and-bagels-and-a-lot-more brunch in the elegant apartment of Past Master Bob Ebin in The Beresford on Central Park West at 81st Street. In addition to the food the apartment was full of art and many sailors who always love to talk with each other.

2. Bob's daughter, Lauren, is a professional art historian on the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That museum took over the old Whitney, on Madison Avenue at 76th St. when the Whitney moved downtown to a newer bigger structure neat the Highline. We walked through Central Park for a tour of the exhibit of Marsden Hartley's Maine work. Though Hartley was not a great painter, in my humble opinion, his work had special interest to those of us who have cruised Maine waters. I realized how much better Lauren was at leading this event as compared to my feeble efforts last moth. Here is Hartley's tipsy view of Portland Light;
This is the Kennebec River:

Camden Hills (from the East side of Pennobscot Bay)

Finally this is by one of Hartley's mentors, Ryder. We saw his "Under a Cloud" at the Fifth Avenue Met last month. See two posts back.

No, all is not fun and games: work continues on restoring ILENE for the 2017 season. But that is relatively boring so I will save it up for a while.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

South American Trip February 25 -- March 10 -- Watery Aspects

I had been to Ecuador and Peru in 1966, thanks to Uncle Sam, but this trip with Lene was much better.  All I said was, "Whatever happens will be nice; so relax and enjoy." Lene chose the destination and the tour operator, carried the passports and the money, negotiated better seats and tipped the many people who helped us.  I enjoyed everything especially her company. In the past she tended to isolate with me, but on this trip she was an equal partner in starting and maintaining conversations and friendships with fellow tourists. When we sail I take the planning, worrying and laboring oar, but not on this vacation. Monogram Tours runs a very classy operation. We were met at and dropped off at each airport and hotel, by local people with cell phones back to the office. Almost every time it was the local host and his or her driver. With two people, a car, and airlines that change plans, it was amazing to me that there were no dropped balls. One driver was about twenty minutes late so he called a co-worker for another firm in the industry who found us and chatted with us at Starbucks until he arrived, and apologized. Yet so many flights and hotels make for a less fun experience that aboard the ILENE, where side benefits are that we get to eat a lot more of our own, healthier, home cooked meals, our planning is a lot more flexible, our cats can come along, and we do not have to pack and get to airports about every day and a half. 

Between Quito, Ecuador and the Galapagos our flight stopped in Guayaquil, where the Hammerberg put in back in 1966. It was a very sleepy small and impoverished town back then but now has 3.5 million residents!
The first of our four Galapagos days was lost due to airline delays. The islands, look bleak from the air, set in the sea.
Nearing the airport we flew close to an island that I thought seemed like the island which was the setting for "The Beak of The Finch" and later Google confirmed that indeed it was Daphne Major.  Clearing into Baltra airport from Ecuador should be a snap, like flying from New York to Chicago, but it is not. For one thing there is the systematic collection of the $100 per person entry fee, which in our case had been prepaid with receipt by the tour. They inspected the interior of our hand luggage and had a dog sniff all the checked luggage, apparently sniffing for drugs. They are very concerned with the importation of alien species, intentional or not.
Once on the airport's island we had a five minute bus ride, a five minute boat ride to Anta Cruz, the central island, a 45 minute bus ride across the center of that island to Puerto Ayoro, its town, on its southern side, a five minute boat ride to the hotel's side of the port and an eight minute walk to the the Finch Bay Eco Hotel with its pool between the building and the small beach. There is a bunch of sea bums who climb our of the water and like to use up the shaded benches on the docks. Witty and Alfie, you now have competition for Lene's heart.
It is warm here; we're about 40 miles south of the equator. We were each being given a free glass of wine at the bar with the excellent four course dinner. This is an excellent hotel, though the alternative accommodations, on a boat, would have been even better.

Next day was a land day, exploring the highlands, the crater pits and the land tortoises.

Then a jaunt in to town for a postcard and stamps and a lipstick for Lene who left her collection of them in Quito. On the way I saw a flag of the ARC, a rally for cruising sailers. ILENE's romp on the Caribbean 1500, from Hampton VA to Tortola BVIs in 2010 was an ARC event. In the launch, they call them pangas, from town to our hotel, I saw a group of folks who had the fit lean look of cruising sailors. Yes, they are on the ARC and set to depart next day for the Marquesas, about 3000 miles west of here. That made my day.
Next morning, an earlier breakfast than usual to join a group of 15 on the hotel's 60 foot yacht, m/v Sea Lion, bound for Santa Fe Island, about 18 miles to the ESE. Not much wind.
We came to a cove and one crew got into and detached the big dink and affixed the mooring line from the boat's bow to the cleat on the mooring. The matting at the bow of the dink and pangas
is because embarkation and debarkation is over the bow to the dock or seawall. Our first excursion was by dink to the beach (only our feet got wet) to look at the colony of about 40 sea lions, lounging and playing on and off the beach.
We learned to distinguish between the genders by the shapes of their foreheads. There were a couple of babies only two weeks old, maybe 18 inches long.
They have no fear of humans but our guide told us to stay maybe four feet away and not use flash, though it was full sunlight. We learned about their feeding and mating habits and their enemies -- sharks, which sometimes catch them when they go out to catch fish. Mamas turn this fish to milk and nurse their young -- they are sea mammals.
Then a walk on a rocky path, after we put on our shoes, to a hill covered with many cactus trees. These flower all year long and each male of the species of land iguana who live only on Santa Fe, yellow orange in color, sits in the shade of the trunk of his own cactus tree and eats the fruit bulbs when they fall off. All female iguanas are welcome.
Back to the boat for a good full lunch on China with cloth tablecloths and napkins. Then back to the dinghy with snorkel gear. They provided "Snorklepro" brand gear which fit me better than any other I have tried. The fish were plentiful and varied in their multicolored show. I especially liked the yellow orange mullet which swam at surface level, above my eye level and are said to be tasty, and the King Angelfish, black except for a white vertical stripe down the middle of its side, a long white protrusion underneath, a thin violet thin stripe of piping along its top edge and a shockingly brilliant small yellow tail.  After this it was time to cavort with nature's cavorters: the sea lions, who were swimming very near shore. Our naturalist guide, Soto, advised us to swim in close to the rocks and then move away, drawing the seals out to play with us. Through our masks, under the water surface, we saw a fabulous display of their dexterity.  Next it was off to try to find sea turtles, also in this same unnamed bay, but we had done this in the Tobago Cays and I was tired so I went back to the boat. I hauled in the mooring line when the man in the dinghy cast it off the mooring.
During the ride home, I asked a lot of questions about the boat and then offered to take the helm. "You want to?"  "Yes!" And so he let me have it.
The boat does not have autopilot not a chart plotter. I just love a driving boats.
The first half of our last full day in the Galapagos paradise we visited the Charles Darwin Nature Center, which is at the far eastern end of Charles Darwin Avenue along the waterfront of Puerto Ayoro. The place was reopened last week after extensive renovations, but was rather underwhelming, with its focus on the raising of the Giant Tortoises. Then, after lunch we went by a much smaller boat to Devine Bay, to the west of Puerto Ayoro, where we  saw some blue footed boobies,
a unique Galapago breed, hiked across the peninsula to the colony of black marine iguanas which swim down using their long powerful tails to propel them, grab onto rocks with their large claws and bite off the algae.
Back to the boat for a round of cooling but unspectacular snorkeling except that Lene followed a sea tortoise around. Lene had no great expectations for the Galapagos but now she wants to return.

An 11.5 hour travel day brought us to Lima Peru. Its airport and seaport are in Callow, where again, I had been with the USS Hammerberg

in 1966. Our hotel was in the fashionable Miraflores section, set on a high bluff above a narrow beach with Pacific rollers coming in from Asia. A lot like Miami Beach with high rises and wealth

 The Sacred Valley, a richly fertile narrow flat area through with the Rio Urubamba, brown with erosion flows, ultimately to the Amazon, surrounded by steep jungle mountains. We stopped at two ancient Inca settlements on terraced hillsides, where we climbed, a lot, to the stone structures.
The first was near Pisac and the last is at Ollantaytambo.
If you are a "if you have seen one church (or in this case Inca place you have seen them all"  type person, this trip is not for you.  Between the two we stopped for shopping in Pisac.
Next morning we were dropped at the railroad station of  Ollantaytambo for the 90 minute ride to the tiny town that is the base camp for Machu Picchu: Aguas Caliente. The train was crowded but with tables and we had tea and a sort of large hot flat pastry filled with raisins and quinoa, analogous to snack and beverage service on an airplane, but served on china with metal cutlery. 
But the scenery was the main attraction. The river narrowed as did the valley. The river was continuous rapids as the valley descended in altitude. The water, appearing like chocolate milk, swirled around boulders, moving, by my estimate at eight knots. And the mountains rose very sharply and steeply close aboard. We descended into a rain forest with its different ecology. The "Inca Trail" to Machu Picchu, joined the tracks and then rose far above us into the mountains. This part of the trail is a four day trek for the fit. Our guides told us that day one is exhilarating "and then, on day two, you die", from the strain. We also learned that the Inca sites we climbed the day before were good for conditioning our legs for Machu Picchu. Our bus passes were scanned and we were off on a half hour bus ride from the village to the main attraction that crossed the river and then climbed about 2000 feet via about 20 switchbacks to the site, arriving at about 10:30. There,  separate site tickets and passports were examined and we were in. And it is a breathtaking site. The town of stone houses, factories, warehouses and temples was built by the Incas between 1450 and the arrival of Pisarro in 1532. It was not finished but was abandoned from then until it was put on the map by Yale's Prof. Hiram Bingham in 1911 (the same year that the NYPL and Grand Central Station opened). So for 380 years it lay dormant. The city or citadel is on a steep hillside plateau in the saddle of a ridge among even higher hills, east and west, with that raging milk chocolate river winding around the site about 2000 feet below. The hillsides are terraced for agriculture with some llama grazing contentedly. Water flowed through it from springs higher in the mountains and it gets lots of sun.
The granite rocks did not have to be carried up to the site because the whole mountain is granite. Speculation about how the Incas split and polished the rocks was discussed. Speculation because while they were obviously well educated no evidence of Incan writing has yet been found. It is not a very flat plateau, with elevations  within varying by perhaps 400 feet. During a delicious buffet lunch at the cafeteria just outside the site my body fought with my mind. The later wanted to continue touring the site -- by then the rain had stopped -- but my body said no way! During o
ur second day in Machu Picchu Lene elected to shop the tiny town and enjoy a message.  I went back up and was at the site, alone, for four hours, of hiking and climbing the steep trails. The first two hours involved a steady but light rain, and the sun did not break through the clouds until the fourth hour. 
The most famous views of the site are essentially looking westward over the stone city with a mountain at its west end in the background. One can climb a trail to the summit of that mountain but the number of people allowed per day is limited and we had not obtained a permit, a month in advance. 
If one does an about face after climbing a bit, one sees the entrances to trails. To the right, around the south side of the bigger Machu Picchu ("old mountain") itself, which towers over the east end of town, is the trail to the Inca Bridge. The path averages about three feet wide, along the face of a near vertical mountainside and gives a view of the part of the river, and the thundering sound of the crashing waters rising 2000 feet. At the end of this trail a strong wooden gate bars further access. A retaining wall was built up against the cliffs with a twenty foot wide section naked except for several old wooden rails. The trail continues past this bridge but only for Incas -- who are extinct. 
The other two trails to your left, lead to the peak of Machu Picchu itself (for me "the trail not taken") or to the Sun Gate. A stony path with stone stairs in parts, along the north side of the mountain to that site, higher than the climbable peak at the other end of town. There are stone structures at the Sun Gate. The path consists of one very long path alongside the mountain, with views back to the ancient stone city, the switch back road that the buses take, and the river, below.
On the train back to Ollantaytambo the pastry given out with the tea was savory, like some sort of pizza. And the crew of three stewards/conductors put on a fashion show and offered to sell us the sweaters and jackets. At the terminal, Emir and his driver for a two hour drive back to Cusco. 

Our trip was toward the end of the low season, the rainy season, which meant that rain and clouds were a problem at Machu Picchu. The positive side is that five times as many people are there in the high season, making it hard to pose for pictures and to traverse the narrow stone staircases.
One thought that passed my legally trained mind was that the experience would not be permitted in the US due to liability fears. Our building codes have standards for the width of steps, the grade, and for hand rails. The only boundaries I saw were to temporary, to keep people away from small areas so the grass could grow.

I very nice winter vacation, thank you, with just enough water to keep me happy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Boat Show and The Harlem's "Winter Cruise" to the Met Museum of Art

Here is the snappy new professional looking display for our booth at the show. Nice, with lots of literature on the table explaining our programs. But the big advantage of the new display is that it rolls up into a small cylinder that, when empty, serves as a base for a table, and which, when full, we can bring through the front door instead of having to deal with ornery and expensive employees of the Javits Center who we had to use to bring the old display in from the loading dock.

Also a nice larger display screen, lower left. on which lots of photos form a slide show.
The best part of this year's show, for me, was that Lene came along, staffing the booth with me and others on Thursday from 4:30 to 9 pm. Fact is that everything is more fun with Lene, and whenever I drag her out to do things with me, she ends up having a good time too. I had signed up to do a double shift that day -- noon to 9, and it is a sign of the strength of our Club that I wasn't needed that much.
It being a weekday, traffic was light and so I wandered among the other exhibits. Regrettably, except for a sailing kayak by Hobie Cats, this was exclusively a power boat show, so there was nothing of interest among the many boats.  I did contract with PlasTeak, a purveyor of faux teak decking material, for  a piece of their plastic to cover ILENE's swim platform, the only ratty looking part of the boat. They will supply material for me to make a pattern, the piece itself, the glue to affix it and technical advice. Last year I dealt with their competitor, but they never returned my calls or did the job. I think poorly of that competitor. all told, the show was rather boring, but it serves our Club's recruitment efforts. More members spreads our fixed costs among more folks, lowering dues.

Much more fun was our visit to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, to see a group of art works related to boats. The maximum number of folk they allow in a tour is 25 and we had that number signed up but late defections reduced our group to 18.
Planning this year's expedition was the most difficult yet, and I hope not to exceed the record. Four prior plans as to where to go had to be scrapped, as did two prior plans for lunch.
A, viewing of maritime Act auction as Bonhams; B, The Russell Jinishian Gallery of Contemporary Marine Art;
C, India House, a lunch club near the Battery which has maritime art; and D, The former Customs House and the Cunard ticket office, which have murals.
As for lunch, we started at the Petrie Cafe in the Museum, and reserved at one outside restaurant before we found our home in another.
We started our tour in Egypt, almost 4000 years ago, with these models of papyrus funeral sailing barges for the Nile, found in a Pharaoh's tomb during the 19th century. This one is being rowed on its way home, against the prevailing wind. The large white vertical appears to be a boom and mast gallows. another model showed the mast and boom set up for a square rigged sail. Some of our better sailors figured our how they steered this barge, which had eluded me.

The Met has a terrific collection of late 19th century oil paintings in a semi storage area of the North American wing, which was focused on New York harbor."The Emporer" was painted for the captain of a Tugboat, extolling the power of his boat. That's me reading its title, printed all the way across the bottom. Incidentally, most of the photos in this posting (all the good ones) are by Chris Wentz of ZSails, who is not a Harlemite but has attended our last two excursions.

"The Cloud", evokes the mood of an impending storm on a dark night, being interpreted by my friend, Greg. He is an artist and professor and really knows about art, though he modestly chides me for telling people this. He agreed to come along to plan our trip and pointed out a lot of the things we otherwise would have missed and enhanced our visit.

We saw old Dutch Masters who painted at the other Haarlem, the one in Holland, painted during the period that New York was New Amsterdam.

France was represented by Courbet. After a lively discussion, we agreed this was after a shipwreck.
And England was represented by by Turner"s "Whalers", painted for a wealthy whaleship owning patron who refused the painting after it was done -- too violent! The black blob, the whale's head has just stove some boats, lower right.
And we went to Papua-New Guinea to check out this fifty foot dugout canoe, built in 1960 by named native craftsmen, used as a riverine cargo barge, and purchased by a Rockefeller for the Museum. It looks primitive but is the newest of the works we viewed.

 And most of us stayed to enjoy lunch together at nearby Via Quadronno.
Next I'm offering a potential follow up visit for those who expressed an interest but were unavailable on Feb. 4. Maybe there will be a response.
If not, there are summer and winter cruises to help plan and if my sprained wrist ever heals there is plenty of work to do on ILENE.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Jan 1 - 21 -- Winter Calm

Eight work days but only 30 hours. I've been slowed, a lot, by a sprained left wrist that I'm supposed to rest. Most of the time was spent on the cabin sole refinish job. Doyle Sails gave me the  "Common Sense" brand hardware for the new attachment of cockpit cushions (and lent me the tool for attaching the grommets) and I removed the old button type fasteners with my dykes. Also, I finished the cleaning out of the aluminum fresh water tanks. Unfortunately, I see that corrosion has caused pitting of the inside surface of the tanks and they will need to be replaced in a few years, hopefully before the pits become holes all the way through.
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How do you like the new removable orange rubber gaskets, peeking out from under the edge of one of the four viewing (and cleaning) port covers, cut from a sheet of rubber from Canal Rubber?

I've also had three pleasurable "Other" days so far this young year. First a dinner with other Corinthians at a restaurant in Greenwich Village. Lots of good sailing talk with my stuffed artichoke and only a ten minute walk.

Next, a second day at the Met, with Greg, of my book group, who knows a lot about art. We refined our tour of selected boating art, and decided we had to omit several lovely pieces including those of the impressionists. So much great art and so little time! Our tour will cover almost 4000 years of history and every continent except Africa and Australia.

Finally a "Two Act"  evening at the Harlem. First a membership meeting, at which I agreed to serve as our Fleet Captain until a replacement can be found, with a charge to try to organize a meeting to get the summer cruise planned (even though if plans for Nova Scotia reach fruition ILENE will not be able to participate). I was also charged to try to organize a winter cruise with a charter boat in a warm place next winter. Speaking of warm places in the winter, Pandora has reached the BVIs after a rough passage. Google Sail Pandora for Bob's blog.  I reported to the members that 20 of our 25 slots for the "land cruise" to the museum are filled so far.

Act Two was International Night which costs $15.00 (as a fund raiser) with a cash bar. You also bring a dish. As usual, each couple brought enough food in their dish to serve 20 but only two mouths to eat it; gluttony ensued. I made my first carrot cake, with cream cheese icing, and it was good. It is one of my favorita annual events at the club.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 In Review

The media do this at year end so why not me. Everything in here has been in the 53 posts of  2016, but compiled in an interesting -- I hope -- way. The 53 posts, the lowest number of them since this blog began, is partly because there was no multi-month cruising and perhaps partly because I grouped more activities into a single post.

First my arbitrary definitions: A "sail day" is any day during all or any part of which I either sleep aboard ILENE, or sail on her (or any other sailboat) or both. Though I may also perform work on the boat during a sail day, a "work day" is any day I work on the boat (whether physically on the boat or at home or shopping for the boat) on which I neither sleep aboard or sail. And an "other day" is one that is neither of the above but during which I engage in some sort of boating related, activity.

Let's get rid of the work days first, 66 of them, compared to 100 sailing days. Work days can be divided into time periods: 40 before launch on May 17, 11 during the time the boat was in the water and 15 after hauling on October 14.

The launch to haul interval, 120 days, made for a relatively short sailing season, though if you add the eight days on Bennett's boat, "On Eagles Wings", in the Virgin Islands before ILENE's launch, there were 128 days of access to a boat in the water, of which I count 100 as "sail days". Pretty efficient ratio of use: 100 of 128.

But how are these 100 distributed, one might ask.  Well eighty of the hundred were in the period June 12 to September 1, during which we lived aboard every night.  On 26 of the 80 we merely slept aboard on our mooring in our hailing port, using ILENE as a floating mobile summer home -- a use for which she is comfortably suited, though such is not the use for which she was made. A different 39 days during the live aboard months was our cruise around Cape Cod, discussed below.

All told we spent 48 of our 100 days living aboard on moorings, our anchor or at docks (26 at home, five in the Caribbean and 16 "lay days" during cruises from home). Subtracting those 48 leaves 52 underway days, six on other boats (three on Bennett's "On Eagles Wings", and one each on Mark's "Deuce of Hearts", Dave's "Lady Cat" and Rhoda's "Jazz Sail" and 48 aboard ILENE.

In 2016 we put in to 25 different ports, 22 during our cruise plus Jersey City for calibration, and Cold Spring Harbor and Sheepshead Bay for recreation.

The 52 underway days were distributed through the season thus: 20 before the cruise started on July 23, 23 during the cruise and 9 after we returned on August 30. Excluding the 23 of the Massachusetts cruise, leaves 27 days of underway sailing to and from our hailing port. Of these 27, nine were with the Old Salts group, all but one aboard ILENE, and 19 with various groups of friends.

Who came with me. On the cruise it was me, Lene and the kitties, with only one day sail with friends from home, Lee and his son out of Hyannis Mass. By contrast, among the 27 voyages from home, only the trips to Cold Spring Harbor and Jersey City -- three sailing days -- were alone with my beloved. All the other 24 included others and many of them were without Lene.

Nine of the 24 day sails were with members of the Old Salts group, (eight of them on ILENE), and the other 15 of these day sails were with other friends. On the eight Old Salt sails aboard ILENE, 21 different individuals sailed with me, some only once and others as many as four times, averaging 5.5 people, in addition to me, per trip. Ilene, alas, skipped all of these lovely Wednesday afternoons. Four of the 21 individuals were the folks who own the four boats other than ILENE on which I sailed.

Lene came with me on six of the seventeen non-Salts day sails on ILENE and so did 37 other individuals, in groups of one to five, three of them who are Salts and the other 34 who are not, but from all the other walks of our lives. None of those 34 folks made more than one sail with us in 2016, but eleven of them have sailed with us in prior years. So in total, 57 different people, other than lene and I had the pleasure of at least one sail aboard ILENE, If I collected fares on a per trip per person basis, there would have been 84 of them in 2016.

I think our boat gets put to good use; as well she ought. So a short season, but a full one.

The 39 day circumnavigation of Cape Cod was of course the highlight of the season. We covered 766 miles on a very pleasant, somewhat meandering track with 22 ports (eight new ones) that only got as far as Provincetown Mass..

Lay Days
BEFORE  MASS – four days, four ports
Indian Harbor YC, Greenwich CT
Met and hung with Mark and Marsha on "Leeds The Way"
Housatonic Boat Club, Stratford, CT
NEW STOP A very friendly club, outdoor showers
Hamberg Cove, CT River
An old favorite; Lene's first time
Block Island, RI
Dined al fresco at Kimber-ly’s, by the food store
IN MASS --   29 days, 13 ports
Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard
Gay Head, sunsets, installed lamp given to me by Gene Black during a rainy day
Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vin.
A haven for schooners; buses all over the island
Edgartown, M. V.
Bike ride to Oak bluffs
Hyannis, Cape Cod
Friends from NY taught me how to shuck oysters, swim from beach, nasty day sail.
Provincetown, Cape Cod
Gentrification of the marina, NY friends with car for hike in the woods, dinner at good fish place and grocery shop
Sandwich, Cape Cod
NEW STOP Gentrification, a rainy day
Pocasset, Cape Cod
NEW STOP can dink to “town,” if that’s what you call it. Free moorings but we didn’t learn that until we were hauling our anchor, which held well in 35 knot gusts
Marion, Buzzards Bay
NEW STOP Small town, small club, LOTS of boats
Mattapoisett, Buzzards Bay
Kinsale Inn is now the Inn at Mattapoisett. By the mooring field, we had the only anchor light, making the long dink ride back at night easy
Pope Island Marina, New Bedford, Buzzards Bay
NEW STOP Very friendly with easy dink ride to town dock in heart of town.
Lake Tashmoo, Martha’s Vineyard
NEW STOP Easy in and out, easy walk to Vin. Haven for dinner and movies
Cuttyhunk, Elizabeth Islands
Alas, fresh fish no longer   available
Westport, Buzzards Bay
Rendezvoused with Lene’s HS girlfriends 
AFTER MASS  --  six days, five ports
Newport RI
Art Museum, Cliff Walk and Doris Duke’s Rough Point mansion
Niantic YC, Niantic CT
NEW STOP Long dinghy ride ok in calm water, under bridge with swift current, to marina for movies in town
New Haven YC, CT
NEW STOP in Morris Cove, free mooring but too small for us. Not a calm night
Northport, LI, NY
Our only stop on Long Island on this cruise.
HYC, City Island, NY

One highlight of the cruise was the 68 mile passage, our longest, from Hyannis, south of Monomoy Island, through Pollock’s Rip Channel and past the entire Atlantic coast of Cape Cod to Provincetown. It included sighting a pod of whales. I had never done this outside passage before and we needed good weather because there are no ports along the route. Timing the tide so we could leave early with the tide for this 11.5 hour passage and arrive in daylight came at the cost of having to cut out Nantucket, which we last visited fifteen years ago. Except for the 68 mile day, our average mileage per passage in Massachusetts was low, permitting leisurely sails in light winds, as compared to the longer runs to and from the target area where three knots just won't cut it.
Another highlight turned out to be New Bedford, which is a commercial fishing town but has a whole lot more: museums, restaurants and history.
On the way from Niantic to New Haven, we took a bit of a detour for a slow motor tour through the Thimble Islands -- a bit of the rocky Maine coast in Connecticut. Never did that before; an interesting place to visit but I would not want to anchor there.
I calculated our food bills: 71% in groceries vs. 29% in restaurants. Lots of good boat cooked food.
I enjoyed 31  "other" days as well, which ranged from Club meetings and parties to dinners and luncheons with sailors (e.g., five of the eight of us at our Thanksgiving table were sailors), boat shows, planning of land and sea cruises, for the Club, museums, power boat rides in the Gulf of Mexico and British Columbia, and gallery trips.

So add em up: 100 sailing, 66 work days and  31 other days means that 197 of the 366 days of 2016 were related to my passion.

2017: The Bras D’or Lakes on the northern Atlantic side of Nova Scotia.