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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Day 85, September 10 -- Block Island to Clinton CT -- 49 NM

Avid readers may recall that day two of this summer's cruise involved the reciprocal course. But that day, as I recall, the weather was wild and foggy while today it was clear with light winds. Both times, though, our transit of The Race was aided by tidal current. We left at 9:15 with reefed main and small jib but soon it was apparent that the bigger sails were needed. Our speed varied with the wind and several times, including the last two hours, we were motoring with the main up more from stabilization than for speed. neither Columbus nor sailboat racers can do this but we can and not being purists, we all to often do.
We had planned to stop in North Cove in the Connecticut River, a slightly shorter passage. But obtained local knowledge from Mark and Marsha whose "Leeds The Way" got stuck in the mud there which was confirmed by an official of the Yacht Club there in a phone call during our passage today: The place has silted in and is only good at high tide. So we considered alternatives and Clinton won the debate. On the way north we stayed at the Cedar Island Marina. They offer free rides to the local supermarket but the rent they charged was over $200 for the night. Lene called the Town Dock, operated by the Harbor Master. "No we do not have any moorings, but we have space at our dock for our off season rate of $1 per foot. We could take a cab to the supermarket and back and still come out ahead. Several times over the years we have had submarines coming to or from their base in New London across our path. This year we saw a slightly older  watercraft.
We arrived at 4:30 and once tied on, while Lene was talking at the Harbor Master's office, a very nice couple, Lawrence and Alyson, offered us a ride to the supermarket and even gave us a tour of the town beach (which we had passed on the way in. Across from the supermarket was Taste of China, a restaurant with pretty good food. After dinner though, no cabs. So we went back to the supermarket and another nice lady gave us a ride back to the dock.
No matter how enjoyable a travel experience is, as the last of its days approach, a longing for home sets in. I have reached that stage in this cruise.  Our exciting new cruising grounds are in our memories and these days we are just enjoying each day as a passage bringing us home. We have lots of time, no deadline, but the end is near.

In the morning before casting off, having provisioned the night before, we watered the boat, I washed her and we fueled her up. (When she was diving into the crests of waves in Hog Island channel, as the large volumes of water rushed aft over her top, they brought out a large number of bits of black composting vegetable matter: leaves and such which had gotten caught in the channels under the top through which the lines run aft. they washed out onto the coach roof and the cockpit and were washed away today.

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