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

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 7 -- North Cove to the Sakonnet River Anchorage, A Few Miles More Than 57

The strong predicted winds for today came early, during the night, while ILENE was safely on a mooring in North Cove. And it was sunny all day but quite cool in the morning, after a night under covers. We wore long pants and several layers.
We got off at 8:15 after I had a problem letting go of the mooring pennant. Its eye was too small to fit over the horns of our cleat so after a turn around the cleat, I placed the eye over the head of the windlass.  The night's winds snugged that turn in so tight around the cleat that I had to use the big screwdriver to pry it loose.
Tide was fair and wind from the northeast but light so we elected to exit the Sound via The Race (South of Fisher's Island) rather than through Watch Hill Passage, north of that Island, as had been planned. Also the tide stayed fair longer on the route we selected. That southern route is what added two or so miles to the planned 57.
A cool feature of the new MFD is that it displays tiny arrows with numbers in them on the chart showing the direction and speed of the tidal current, including "slack" when it is slack tide in the waters around our position. So we no longer have to guestimate the current. The fact is that we had very little adverse current all day. The southern route around Fisher's Island also gave us a better angle on the wind for the long stretch from the Race to Point Judith. Here is her light.
From Point Judith we turned a bit to port and got a better wind angle on the course to Sachuest Point. When we entered the Sakonet River, we were on a very broad reach and then doused sails and motored the last mile to the anchorage.
We had made eight knots for a few early hours using tide, sails and engine but enjoyed several hours without the noisy engine at speeds better than five. Below that speed it is engine time for sure.
We passed around a race group, during a break period between races. It's always tough to go around a race in progress because we don't know where they are going to be going -- are they near the beginning or end of the leg they are on? We try to keep out of their way.
We passed Cliff Walk and took showers in the cockpit there -- about a mile off shore. We anchored at about 5:15, after nine hours underway. A wind gust set our anchor for us. The anchorage seemed crowded, with a lot of day sailors as we approached, but it is quite large with  plenty of room for us. The photos show that a lot less boats were still there in the morning light. The Sakonnet is no longer a secret spot for us. Its other advantages are how easy it is to get in and out, both its wide open mouth and its nearness to the ocean.  And the shoreline is Newport's Third Beach, a good spot to swim if one is so inclined. The only drawback: a bad place to be in a nor'easter.

Here is the Sakonet River light, which we passed on our way out the next morning.

We may be having a very serious problem with this cruise. Lene is experiencing very painful sciatica in her right leg. Unless this goes away, she will not be able to partake of shore fun, hikes and the like, and it may require that she fly home and I bring the boat back alone (alone except for the cats). I'm hoping that this will be a false alarm and that the condition will resolve completely and quickly. Lene is a trooper.

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