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

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 5 -- Oyster Bay to North Cove, Old Saybrook CT, 61 Miles

In the morning we passed the men who dredge oysters form Oyster Bay. Very hard backbreaking work.

The downside of our pleasant little 17 miles yesterday is that we had a far piece to traverse today. We were underway for ten hours, from nine to seven, motoring all the way on flat seas until the last ninety minutes when the wind came up on our Starboard quarter and we averaged about 7.5 knots, with full sails. The wind also blew away the heat. ILENE just loves to get wind enough to sail. Our wind speed measuring instrument was indeed taken off by the bird (it apparently got in the way of their mast top perch) so wind speed is truly an extimate -- only about twelve, no whitecaplets. In the past it was an uncalibrated qreading, not a mere estimate.
Enroute AIS told me that the southbound Bridgeport to Port Jefferson Ferry "Park City" would be crossing only a couple of hundred feet from us at 16.5 knots. I switched to channel 13 to call him but before I could, I saw that he had altered course to pass safely behind us. So I just called him, by name, to thank him for doing so.

We had a lot of discussion about where to go, informed by the fact that with thunderstorms and 90 percent chance of rain tomorrow, we would be staying there an extra day. Shopping and fueling were also considerations. We talked about Clinton, too short a jaunt, and Niantic, which I favored, but with a nine am departure there were not enough daylight. Lene called the North Cove YC to ask about dredging. We have enjoyed this cove with a nice walk into Old Saybrook with its shops and restaurants several times in the past, but once got stuck in the mud near the entrance, fortunately on a rising tide. But the place had been dredged last winter and depth was not a problem. Other advantages of this place are (a) it is only 2.2 miles up river through a well marked channel from the sound, (b) with a fuel dock on the way, and (c) below the railroad bridge obviating the possibility of getting bottled up if the bridge has mechanical failures. Lene's approach to the dock was simply perfect and we took on 18 gallons of diesel, not much for the distance ILENE has gone so far this summer, and filled the water tanks.
In the past the rules in North Cove were: "Take any of the moorings where the pick up stick is marked by a yellow plastic ribbon because the owner is away -- and the mooring is free". But Lene was told over the phone to take "any mooring" so we took one near the entrance, without a yellow ribbon. Half an hour later we were hailed by its owner, returning from an evening race. He told us to take a free town mooring, at the other end of the mooring field, formerly known as the shallow end. We did so with trepidation about the depth, but got safely on a mooring there, only a short dink ride to the dock. By now it was nine pm and a very light and easy dinner aboard. Another warm quiet night.

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