Posted by: tflana | December 11, 2017

Montserrat – History is a funny thing

 

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Agnes Lempriere overlooking her former neighborhood

History is one of those funny subjects where we learn in different ways along our life experiences. As a young child in school we learn history based on dates, names, and events but necessarily how the events effect our future. Then as we enter our college years we focus mainly on one event and all the intricacies of this event and how all parties involved are affected but it is still a broad overview of history. But as you get older and you learn to ask questions of individuals and listen to their responses, this is when you get a taste of living history not usually mentioned in books anywhere.

 

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Our summer home, Seguin Island Light Station

Brian and I have had the great fortune in the past 6 months to have living history lessons from the people who lived and breathed the events we learned dates from the books we have read. On Sequin Island in Maine, we met Dorothy Hart and Tom Chapman. These two-people lived on Sequin Island year-round during the more rugged days of the island without internet or television, they lived with food and energy shortages on the island, lived through freezing cold temperatures, great storms, and interpersonal relationships on a tiny island. We could have listened to them for hours and with hindsight realized we should have recorded their conversations for future generations.

 

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A view from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory

 

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An informational brochure from the MVO

When we decided to travel to Montserrat, we checked Wikipedia for information on Hurricane Hugo (1989) and Soufriere Hills volcano eruption. What we read appeared to report there were 2 eruptions from 1995-97 which left Plymouth buried and more than half of the island uninhabitable. Very clear cut and dry history. But this history does not tell the whole story, in doesn’t tell about the people affected, or the loss of citizens to other British holdings or the economic impact the eruptions had on the island. When we hiked to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) and watched a 20-minute documentary about the volcanic activity, we learned it was years of continuous eruptions starting in 1995 through 2010. We learned of 5 dome collapses during this time and pyroclastic flows of rock, ash and gasses slowly changing the communities of the island. This still did not completely tell the stories of the people involved but it did give us glimpses on video of how truly beautiful Plymouth was before 1995.

 

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Overlooking where the old Bramble Airport was located.  Most of the ash flow to the left of the picture is new land mass created from the eruption.  Picture taken from the Jack Boy Hill viewing area

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Another view of where the Bramble Airport once stood

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A view from Silver Hills, the highest northern point of the island looking down over Lookout and the area where Bramble Airport was

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Agnes and Brian at the Jack Boy Hill viewing area

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The Soufriere Hills Volcano, the dome is almost always incased in a steam cloud

We have had the pleasure of meeting a long-term resident of Montserrat, Agnes Lempriere. Her family lived in Spanish Pointe, an area on the southeastern portion of the island. Agnes, her mother and sister all had homes in this area. This is an area between the old Bramble Airport and the capital city of Plymouth. It is now part of the exclusion zone where no one is permitted. If I were to believe the history from Wikipedia, one day the houses and neighborhood stood and the next day it was covered with more than 30 feet of ash. But listening to Agnes as she showed us her old neighborhood from the top of Jack Boy Hill, this was not the case at all. There were many smaller eruptions and flows that slowly destroyed this area.

 

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In the middle of this picture you can see the remnants of a sugar mill in the Spanish Pointe neighborhood.  The green area is where Agnes’ mother and sister’s houses once stood.  Also, look at the size of the rocks strewn over the landscape, these either rolled down the side of the volcano or were thrown there during an eruption

 

 

Her mother and sister’s houses were near a sugar mill and there were two roads surrounding this area, which somewhat left this area as an island, as the flow came down the volcano, it followed the paths of the road and left the houses and sugar mill only slightly damaged but uninhabitable. They were able to go back to the homes many times to retrieve their belongings but in most instances, theses items needed to be carried out by hand as the eruptions continued. One story she recounted was about her mom’s car, the car was in good condition in the garage but there was no way to drive it out of the exclusion zone, but the tires were in great condition. The guys helping took the tires off the car and added it to the load being removed. As they finally got to the road leading to Jack Boy Hill, one of the tires rolled off the truck and forever more is somewhere down in the valley. Other stories included having a friend take out a suitcase full of toilet paper because it is a valuable commodity on the island!

 

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The chimney in the foreground of this picture is in an area where Agnes’ mom and dad would go to dine and dance!

I think one of the most remarkable stories is when Agnes went back to her home to retrieve a few more items, she hiked in with a backpack and her dog. As she was hiking out, there was an area where a pond once stood. She saw some white things in the middle of the area but assumed like everywhere else, the ash was safe to walk on and it was until she sunk up to her waist in muck, almost like quicksand. No one knew she was out there and she wasn’t having a very successful attempt in extricating herself from this muck until she figured out to crawl out instead of trying to walking her way out of the pond area. As she looked back at the white things she saw originally, she realized they were bones from cattle who most likely were stuck in there and the only thing left were their skeletons.

 

The house we are staying at is on the edge of the exclusion zone and stood vacant since 1997’s eruption of the volcano. It has been a long road for the present owners to make it livable again and it is hard to visualize who much ash landed everywhere until Brian was working on a small project in an outside storage area. He thought the floor was dirt until he went to clean it up a little to find 6 inches of ash on top of the concrete floor. This is just one of the many examples of the power this volcano has.

 

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The Soufriere Hills Volcano seen from the backyard of the house we are staying in.  This was just minutes before sunset.

During the day we can see the steam escape from the now growing dome of the volcano but at night it is dark. However, during the time frame from 1995-2010, people would go to sleep at night with the volcano glowing orange and watch rocks and ash flow rain down on the island. How anyone decided to stay on island with this uncertainty every day shows how truly remarkable and resilient the residents of this island are. There are so many other stories to be told, and I will try over the next few months to record them so at least I can help tell the history of our temporary home on Montserrat!

 

 

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Taking as many pictures as possible, it is hard to capture the beauty of this island digitally but I will keep trying

 

Posted by: tflana | November 21, 2015

The Dog Blog

We left South Myrtle Beach on Friday, November 13th heading south again.  We always love Osprey Marina but we know we could easily be convinced never to leave this marina, but move on we must!

This past week we spent another 5 days in Beaufort, SC.  Our goal had been to wait for a perfect weather window so we could bump out from here to St. Mary’s inlet to celebrate Thanksgiving with over 100 cruising boats.  Unfortunately, the weather would not cooperate.  Scout is now heading south on the Georgia ICW, yikes!  We can do it and see some pretty vistas!

Through it all, the canine crew has taken it in stride!  On a daily basis they make us smile, laugh and grimace all within a 5 minute period.  We have sat through numerous sunrises and sunsets, but both dogs will agree it is sooooo much better than last year.  We are at anchor in Savannah Georgia with 60-75 degree weather, no ice on the deck. No one should complain, but Phinneus will because he can!

Tonight we are anchored in Thunderbolt, GA and we all got to enjoy a steak and potatoes, the captain and crew are very happy and sleepy!  I take endless pictures of the dogs because they are just darn cute and very entertaining but after a while even I realize they all begin to look the same!

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Every once in awhile Brian gives in to Pickles and holds her while underway. Pickles really is a perfect cruising dog. She brings comfort and laughter to Scout on a daily basis

Hopefully, we can celebrate Thanksgiving with old and new friends but if not, rest assured, Phinneus and Pickles will be part of it!

Happy sailing and have a dream that you can live in!

Tara

 

Posted by: tflana | November 9, 2015

Rain, fog, sun, fog, and more rain!

It has been a mostly wet week on our trip south, which is really okay because it isn’t cold at this point!  The only negative part of this week is putting on wet foul weather gear 2-3 days in a row!

Scout at dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC

Scout at dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC

The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC has been renovating the main house for the past year and it is beautiful.  If I had a daughter that was getting married, I would seriously consider this as a venue.  They have suites in the house that you can rent as well as small apartments for friends of family.  The interior of the main house is just perfect, I could easily see a bridge arriving at the front portico in a horse drawn carriage for the ceremony and then dance on the deck for the reception.

The River Forest Marina

The River Forest Marina

A grand of dame at the River Forest Marina

A grand of dame at the River Forest Marina

The front entrance to the main house at the River Forest Marina

The front entrance to the main house at the River Forest Marina

We finally left River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC after the water pump was replaced.  It was pouring the morning we left but that was going to be the forecast for the next few days.  I found an anchorage just off the ICW 20 miles south of Belhaven, remember it is all about going south!  By staging it this way we were able to make it to Spooners Creek the next day.  The plan had been to anchor there in the rain where it was fairly easy to provision, but plans quickly changed and Brian didn’t get to sleep in like he planned.  The Sail Magazine Rally invited us to anchor with them at Miles Hammock in Camp Lejeune for a dinghy raft up.  Brian and I have great memories from last year with the ralliers, we figured why not but there was not as much giggling involved.  We had a gorgeous sunset with 2 Sikorsky Black Hawk Helicopters practicing maneuvers over our boats!

Tara just wet

Tara just wet

Brian still can smile after 2 days of wet foul weather gear

Brian still can smile after 2 days of wet foul weather gear

Even though it was raining, we sailed as much as possible

Even though it was raining, we sailed as much as possible

I planned our next leg of the journey for the next day with an early departure to get through Brown’s Inlet and a few of the weirdly timed bridges, all was planned to the minute, as our days normally are when underway.  Unfortunately, when I woke up, there was a very dense fog, not good when you can’t visualize where your ICW markers are.  We decided to go for it and we were following a boat from Quebec, Passion Rebel.  This family was so good at calling back any issues and promised me over the radio they try to keep 9 feet under them at all times, sounds good to us!  There was only about 3 boat lengths ahead of us in visibility, very nerve wracking, but all in all a very successful journey, bridges were timed perfectly and we had the anchor down in Wrightsville beach by 2:30 pm!

Scout in the morning fog at Miles Hammock anchorage

Scout in the morning fog at Miles Hammock anchorage

Leaving Miles Hammock Anchorage in pea soup fog

Leaving Miles Hammock Anchorage in pea soup fog

Leaving Miles Hammock Anchorage at Camp Lejeune we only had about a 3 boat length of visibility!

Leaving Miles Hammock Anchorage at Camp Lejeune we only had about a 3 boat length of visibility!

The Sail Magazine again included us at the Sunset Beach Grill for dinner.  Brian and I had a blast, it was so much fun not being the newbies anymore, and we were actually able to give informative answers to all of the Bahama questions! Yeah us.

The next day was our day at the beach, the dogs were allowed on the beach because it is past season.  Pickles was in her glory, give her sand and her smile is present.  She still prefers the finer sands at Red Shanks in Georgetown, but she cant be picky.  Even Brian had a chance to go body surfing, I love watching him act like a little kid with a sh_t eating grin on his face. We haven’t had such a fun day since Block Island!

Brian swimming in almost Bahama like water, such a welcome sight after so many days of rain

Brian swimming in almost Bahama like water, such a welcome sight after so many days of rain

Pickles dreaming of the beaches in the Bahamas while on anchor at Wrightsville Beach, NC

Pickles dreaming of the beaches in the Bahamas while on anchor at Wrightsville Beach, NC

Pickles soaking up the sun in Wrightsville Beach

Pickles soaking up the sun in Wrightsville Beach

The next day we left in fog again which was made a little more difficult because there was a paddle board race in Motts Channel.  Every once in a while there appeared a paddle boarder out of no where.  We had to leave at a certain time to get a favorable current in the Cape Fear River on our way to Southport, NC.  This will be our last stop in North Carolina.  We opted to stay at Indigo Plantation Marina, great place.  A little bit of a hike to town, but it is less expensive than the surrounding marinas and it has free laundry (a cruisers happy time).  We chose to stay here 3 nights because yes it is raining a lot!

Afternoon drink at Fishy Fish in Southport, NC

Afternoon drink at Fishy Fish in Southport, NC

Just under 1000 miles to go to the Duval Crawl

Just under 1000 miles to go to the Duval Crawl

Sunset at Southport, NC

Sunset at Southport, NC

Tomorrow we are off to the Calabash River which is the border between NC and SC, we are going south!  We loved this little anchorage on our way north.  After that we are on our way to South Myrtle Beach, SC and our regular stop at Osprey Marina.  We will be lucky enough to have lunch with Bob and Tracey Geer, friends from CT!

Hope it is dry and warm where you are, we are just a tad mildewy!

Posted by: tflana | November 1, 2015

Second Year Down the ICW

Early sunrise over Norfolk, VA to begin part 2 of of ICW southern journey

Early sunrise over Norfolk, VA to begin part 2 of of ICW southern journey

The Captain and crew of S/V Scout has started the second year traveling south along the ICW.  We made it to the start in Norfolk on Thursday, October 29th.  This day was important because of all of the concerns about the restrictions being placed on the first railroad bridge we would be going under, over the past week of so, friends have sent messages regarding the back up of boats trying to get under this bridge.  One report stated there were 71 boats awaiting the 9am opening, this was not something we wanted any part of.  On our start out date, the restrictions were not starting until 11am, and anyone who has traveled with me over the past year knows I like to plan all of our trips to the minute and this usually means Brian will get to see the sunrise as we pull up anchor.

One of many bridges in the Norfolk area that caused a tedious trip for us coming north in the spring, this trip without any issues

One of many bridges in the Norfolk area that caused a tedious trip for us coming north in the spring, this trip without any issues

The other boats in the Great Bridge Lock with us

The other boats in the Great Bridge Lock with us

Leaf peeping while we hang in the lock

Leaf peeping while we hang in the lock

Brian holding the stern line in the lock, only a 2 foot rise this time of year, in and out in minutes

Brian holding the stern line in the lock, only a 2 foot rise this time of year, in and out in minutes

The lockmaster at the Great Bridge Lock, such a sweetie, she even had trick or treat candy for all of the boats

The lockmaster at the Great Bridge Lock, such a sweetie, she even had trick or treat candy for all of the boats

The line up at the Great Bridge Bridge

The line up at the Great Bridge Bridge

We made it through another bridge without mishap!

We made it through another bridge without mishap!

This year we decided to go the VIrginia Cut instead of the Dismal Swamp based on the chance we could sail as much as possible.  There is a whole lot of motoring involved over the next 1000 miles and we sail when we can. The goal for Thursday was to get to Coinjock, NC to enjoy the famous Prime Rib dinner while at the marina, a reasonable 49 mile, 1 lock and the potential for many bridges if our timing was not right.  The trip was a little cold, a little more motoring than Brian wanted, but all and all a good start.  All bridges and lock timings were great, the wind helped us across the Currituck Sound, and we could already taste the dinner that awaited us.  That is until we met a tug and barge at the a very narrow area with winds against it.  The tug captain had entertained us with radio chatter for the past 30 minutes, and then it was our turn to get past him.  Thank goodness for the AIS system Brian installed on the boat, we could see him/he could see us.  The request from the tug captain was for us to turn back until he got around the bend.  Well okay then, the last barge we met with last spring sent us aground, I was willing to turn around and loose a few miles to keep us off of the mud.

G63 in the Currituck Sound is the Virginia / NC border, we are going south!

G63 in the Currituck Sound is the Virginia / NC border, we are going south!

The new cold weather attire for me on the boat! Makes for a much happier Admiral

The new cold weather attire for me on the boat! Makes for a much happier Admiral

On Friday, we left Coinjock Marina fully stuffed with Prime Rib, full water tanks, and all of the laundry clean.  Always a good feeling.  Scout had another 10 hour day ahead of her, with the hope of mostly sailing into the cellular dead zone along the Alligator River.  It could not have been a better day, we sailed all but 2 hours of the trip.  Favorable conditions across the Albemarle Sound, and the northeast wind kept us sailing all the way down the river to our anchorage.   This area to anchor is the most serene beautiful area of the whole trip.  There were 10 other boats anchored within 2 miles of us, but not a human voice could be heard. It was a chance for us to relax, talk, and plan the next few days of our trip.  The relaxation part was key because the next day was going to be 6 hours of monotonous motoring down the Alligator River – Pungo River Canal, all straight, all motor.

Sailing across the Albemarle Sound with a northeast wind

Sailing across the Albemarle Sound with a northeast wind

Sunset along the Alligator River, the cellular dead zone

Sunset along the Alligator River, the cellular dead zone

Even Pickles is bored with motoring along the canal

Even Pickles is bored with motoring along the canal

Motoring along the straight away cuts is the most painful part of our journey for Brian.

Motoring along the straight away cuts is the most painful part of our journey for Brian.

While we were in Norfolk, Brian realized our water pump was leaking around the seal on the engine and of course, we couldn’t find the new spare anywhere on the boat.  Captain’s Cove Marina was kind enough to ship us a new one to the next marina we were going to stop at.  We have paid for a lot of docks this week, but we need this part.  The plan was to stop at The  River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC to work on the boat, reprovision, and await the much needed water pump.  The best part of this marina is I get to use the golf carts anywhere in the Belhaven City Limits, so yes, I am going cruising today for groceries!  The anchorage here is huge, so if the part doesn’t arrive by Monday, we will probably go out on the hook.

Sunset off the dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC.  Happy Halloween

Sunset off the dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC. Happy Halloween

Nothing glamorous or amazing this past week other than we are continuing to live our dream!

Favorable winds and smooth sailing to all of our friends!

Posted by: tflana | September 5, 2015

It’s almost Labor Day

It has been a busy week since we left Block Island.  When we set off from Block Island the decision was made to make it to Orient Point, NY.  This was an anchorage we found on Active Captain, and it was a good staging area to get through Plum Gut with a favorable current.  It was a good spot for a beautiful sunset, warm dinner and a view of the ferry service to New London.

Plum Gut where the ocean meets Long Island Sound. It can always be a challenge but we had it fairly easy!

Plum Gut where the ocean meets Long Island Sound. It can always be a challenge but we had it fairly easy!

Scout doing what she does best! Sail in big wind and seas

Scout doing what she does best! Sail in big wind and seas

The next morning bright and early we went through Plum Gut with a perfect amount of current helping us through.  There was a lot of water confusion or tide rips but Scout handled it all with the beauty she was meant too.  Scout always does best when under sail, which gave us a fast day to Port Jefferson.  It was hard knowing we were so close to Bridgeport, but this was a quick stop to enjoy the full moon and get a quick night of sleep before heading to Port Washington.  At this point, we have to start watching the tropical depressions and wind events that hit the northeast during September.

The full moon enjoyed while in Conscience Bay in Port Jefferson, NY. Still a favorite anchorage

The full moon enjoyed while in Conscience Bay in Port Jefferson, NY. Still a favorite anchorage

We needed to make a stop in Port Washington to provision and do laundry, yes it had been 10 days since doing laundry!  Port Washington has finally figured out the whole cruising thing – give cruisers free moorings for 2 nights because they are going to spend a lot of money in the town provisioning!  Brian and I treated ourselves to dinner on the waterfront at Louie’s, mainly because there was no fresh food on the boat!  Met an interesting character at the laundromat who claims that his brother runs the tour boat to visit the swimming pigs in the Exuma’s.  His goal is to return to the Abacos this winter, we left him our boat card to check in with us if he gets down there, amazing who you get to talk to.

One of the many mansions along the channel into Port Washington

One of the many mansions along the channel into Port Washington

Our departure from Port Washington was all based on the current through Hell Gate on the East River.  As we dropped our mooring in Port Washington, Scout was hailed on the radio by Alegria, another cruising boat.  They had never travelled through the city and asked if they could tag behind us.  No problem, we have now done this 3 times, certainly we can only make a few blunders this time through.  I took control of Scout for this trip down the East River and into Sandy Hook.  Everything went smoothly and it almost looked like we knew what we were doing!

Traffic along the East River

Traffic along the East River

Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline

Plane overhead landing at Laguardia Airport

Plane overhead landing at Laguardia Airport

Tara sailing towards Sandy Hook, NJ with Manhattan in the back ground

Tara sailing towards Sandy Hook, NJ with Manhattan in the back ground

We dropped anchor in Sandy Hook on Monday, August 31st.  Another good staging area for the sail along the coast of New Jersey, never a happy thought for me!  But it is a necessary evil for us to enjoy our southern experiences.  Just needed to wait for the wind and seas to be in my comfort zone!

Sunset at Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Sunset at Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Another sunset, I think I am obsessed with sunsets!

Another sunset, I think I am obsessed with sunsets!

Next stop – Atlantic City!

Posted by: tflana | September 5, 2015

The Canine Crew

I spend a good portion of my day taking pictures of the dogs! I am the one who thinks they are adorable no matter what trouble they get into.  Brian doesn’t always see it that way!  He does however, interact with them in some funny ways.  Who needs TV when you have 2 dogs that entertain you continously!

This is just a quick snapshot of all of the dog pictures I have taken this week!

The dogs should be considered Minions because of their obsession with bananas!  Of course Brian had a captive audience that wanted to share his banana

The dogs should be considered Minions because of their obsession with bananas! Of course Brian had a captive audience that wanted to share his banana

Forced march for both dogs in Sandy Hook!

Forced march for both dogs in Sandy Hook!

Dogs hanging out waiting for Brian to get back from West Marine - it was hot and we were all melting

Dogs hanging out waiting for Brian to get back from West Marine – it was hot and we were all melting

Naptime on the boat

Naptime on the boat

Pickles helping to navigate out of Port Washington

Pickles helping to navigate out of Port Washington

Phinneus in his most angelic pose - oh wait he is asleep, how much trouble could he get in!

Phinneus in his most angelic pose – oh wait he is asleep, how much trouble could he get in!

Pickles just waiting for another snack!

Pickles just waiting for another snack!

The dogs keeping me company in the v-berth for a quick nap along the coast of New Jersey

The dogs keeping me company in the v-berth for a quick nap along the coast of New Jersey

Posted by: tflana | August 26, 2015

Block Island for a week

Mohegan Light
Sometimes I like to put our cruising life into perspective for those who are not fortunate enough to cruise the waterways. This past week we enjoyed Block Island to its fullest. Great bike riding, hiking, swimming, drinking and yes, dancing were jammed into our week. I thought this week would be a prime example of how our life is and at the same time, I thought I would share our expenses for 8 nights on Block Island.

I figured I needed to add a few disclaimers before I let you all know how much our time cost here on the island. First, we had the boat fully provisioned before leaving Bridgeport on August 15th, this included food and fuel. Therefore, I added a little exception line on our expenses for the portion of the provisions we used this week. Also, Brian and I enjoy our cooking on the boat than what most restaurants serve and we tend to treat ourselves for lunches more than dinners (more cost effective). Other than that, this is how much it cost to vacation with the rich and beautiful:

Anchoring $0
Water (45 gallons) $0
Mudslide Taste Tests (including tips) $150
Lunch & Entertainment (cover charge at Captain Nicks) $52
Drinks while dancing $18
Groceries on island $62
Gasoline for dinghy/generator $4
Diesel for engine on foggy day $4

Total expense for Block Island $290

We pull up anchor in the morning and will head to Lake Montauk for a day or 2 and then onwards towards Sandy Hook, NJ.

Happy Sailing!

The new AIS system worked beautifully during our very foggy sail.  All of the triangles on the screen are boats we couldn't visualize in the fog

The new AIS system worked beautifully during our very foggy sail. All of the triangles on the screen are boats we couldn’t visualize in the fog

Foggy morning sail from Stonington, CT to Block Island

Foggy morning sail from Stonington, CT to Block Island

Fog going through Watch Hill cut

Fog going through Watch Hill cut

The first blue sky we saw as we were arriving at Block Island

The first blue sky we saw as we were arriving at Block Island


Brian spent some time getting our bikes together for a weeks worth of entertainment

Brian spent some time getting our bikes together for a weeks worth of entertainment

Our first day riding the island

Our first day riding the island

The stairs down to the beach at the Mohegan Bluffs.  It is so easy going down but exhausting climbing back up

The stairs down to the beach at the Mohegan Bluffs. It is so easy going down but exhausting climbing back up

Always need another selfie!

Always need another selfie!

Mohegan Bluffs

Mohegan Lighthouse

Mohegan Lighthouse

Mohegan Lighthouse

Mohegan Lighthouse

Our first sunset in Block Island from the deck of Scout

Our first sunset in Block Island from the deck of Scout

Pickles is warming up to Brian, she chose to climb on his lap

Pickles is warming up to Brian, she chose to climb on his lap

US Coast Guard Station viewed from the beach along the Great Salt Pond Channel

US Coast Guard Station viewed from the beach along the Great Salt Pond Channel

US Coast Guard Station

US Coast Guard Station

The ducks hanging out at the most northern tip of the island

The ducks hanging out at the most northern tip of the island

The path leading to the North Lighthouse

The path leading to the North Lighthouse

The North Lighthouse

The North Lighthouse

Pickles found another beach she likes

Pickles found another beach she likes

Phinneus as the dinghy navigator

Phinneus as the dinghy navigator

A cool night on the boat, Phin found the towel and pulled it over himself to keep warm, he is pathetic at times

A cool night on the boat, Phin found the towel and pulled it over himself to keep warm, he is pathetic at times

A swan visitor to the boat

A swan visitor to the boat

Swimming with the swans

Swimming with the swans

I am trying to convince Phinneus to swim again with very little success

I am trying to convince Phinneus to swim again with very little success

Trying to reintroduce the paddle board to Phinneus, he is not a big fan since going overboard in the Bahamas

Trying to reintroduce the paddle board to Phinneus, he is not a big fan since going overboard in the Bahamas

Brian enjoying the mudslide taste test at the Oar

Brian enjoying the mudslide taste test at the Oar

The sunset on the west side of island

The sunset on the west side of island

Enjoying our sunset picnic at the beach

Enjoying our sunset picnic at the beach

Sunset picnic on the west side beach

Sunset picnic on the west side beach

Rodman Hollow2

A view of the cliffs from the Rodman Hollow nature preserve

A view of the cliffs from the Rodman Hollow nature preserve

Signing the guest book at the Greenway Nature Preserve

Signing the guest book at the Greenway Nature Preserve

A thistle along the way

A thistle along the way

Airport

The Greenway Nature Preserve, the stairs that lead you to the highest point on Block Island

The Greenway Nature Preserve, the stairs that lead you to the highest point on Block Island

Our view from the bar at The National Hotel

Our view from the bar at The National Hotel

The perfect frozen Mudslide at the National Hotel

The perfect frozen Mudslide at the National Hotel

Posted by: tflana | August 18, 2015

Cruising Again

It has been a while since posting to the blog. The big reason was the laptop died as we were heading to the Bahamas and didn’t get it fixed until we were back in Connecticut, and trying to use the iPad was impossible. My apologies to anyone who missed our posts. Scout has been in Bridgeport, Ct since June 1st. We had a laundry list of items to get accomplished on the boat while there and our progress will be a separate post. But I thought it would be more fun to write about the start of our second year of cruising.
Scout Departure Lighthouse

Scout leaving Black Rock Harbor

We left Black Rock Harbor mid morning on Saturday, August 15th because we couldn’t leave port on a Friday (yes, we follow most maritime suspicions). We had a great sail to Duck Island Roads, along the Clinton, CT shoreline. We only used the engine for about 90 minutes that day, and were able to raise all of our working sails, an absolutely perfect start to the journey. Another beautiful anchorage but not a place to go ashore but a nice place for sundowners on the deck.

Sunrise at Duck Island Roads

Sunrise at Duck Island Roads

Sunday morning we left with the hope of getting a mooring in Stonington Harbor, but there was no room in the inn. Our back up plan was to go to Fisher’s Island on the New York side of the sound and it was just a few miles out of the way. We ended up staying at anchor there because even though we anchored here 3 years ago, it was always a stop point before going through the Race at Watch Hill on the way to Block Island. This time around we went exploring. A beautiful island with a lot of old New England charm (and money!). We brought the dogs ashore and walked the area around West Harbor, and at the end of an hour walk we were all hot and ready to go back to the boat.

Sunset from the outer harbor at Fishers Island

Sunset from the outer harbor at Fishers Island

Sunrise at Fishers Island

Sunrise at Fishers Island

Classic wooden cruiser coming into Fishers Island

Classic wooden cruiser coming into Fishers Island

Duck topiary along our walk

Duck topiary along our walk

FI Scout

Flowers along the walk

Flowers along the walk

Downtown Fishers Island

Downtown Fishers Island

Scout at anchor using our new mizzen sail to keep us into the wind

Scout at anchor using our new mizzen sail to keep us into the wind

FI 4

FI 3

Fisher Island house on our walk

Fisher Island house on our walk

We planned ahead this time and made reservations for Stonington for Monday night, and it was only a quick 14 mile sail from Fishers Island. We finally lifted anchor around noon and set off across Long Island Sound back to Connecticut. Stonington Harbor was recommended to us from some friends at Fayerweather Yacht Club, mainly because of the lobster rolls at The DogWatch Cafe. As we pulled into the mooring field, it was like eye candy for the classic yacht people. We are on a mooring surrounded by Hinckley’s! It seems like the staff decided all of the split riggs needed to be together and we are right in the middle of them.

Stonington Harbor

Stonington Harbor

Stonington Water St

Stonington town

Stonington Sunset

Stonington Sunset

The Old Stonington Lighthouse

The Old Stonington Lighthouse

The village of Stonington

The village of Stonington

Neighboring boats in the mooring field, Stonington, CT

Neighboring boats in the mooring field, Stonington, CT

Yesterday we again did a little exploring around the town. It reminded me of a mixture of Nantucket and downtown Marion, MA. It seems like every building has a history back to the 1700’s including a memorial to the War of 1812 where the cannons at the entrance to the harbor kept the British from landing here. After a long afternoon, I was lucky enough to find ice cream at the Dog Scoop and we headed back to the boat. There is room here for us to stay another night, and it will give us a better time for the current to get through the Race on Wednesday morning. So we will end up with dinner tonight at the Dog Watch Cafe. And of course, I am enjoying the glamorous task now of doing the laundry (where most of the blog entries seem to be written).

Phinneus relaxing in the most uncomfortable way after a long walk

Phinneus relaxing in the most uncomfortable way after a long walk

Pickles getting a little sun while sailing

Pickles getting a little sun while sailing

Happy Sailing one and all, tomorrow Block Island!

Posted by: tflana | January 17, 2015

Off to Bimini

We are all ready to start the Bahamas leg of our adventure.nthe weather is cooperating for us to make the crossing tomorrow. Today we are finishing up a few last items, bank, topping off the water tanks, getting fresh fruit and veggies and then this afternoon,we had to our staging area.

there will be 3-4 buddy boats crossing with us, so hopefully greater success in numbers. The goal is to anchor off Cape Florida tonight (this is the point at Key Biscayne), and pull-up anchor at 4 am tomorrow.  If all goes well, we should be entering the Alicetown Channel around 2pm.  We will have to clear into customs and then we wait to do another day sail to Chubb Cay.  From there, we go around New Providence Island, then into the Exumas.  Technically, this is 4 day sails but based on weather it could take 7-10 days.

Brian and I wwill be off the electronic grid until we can find some wifi hotspots in the islands, so just assume we are having a blast and all is well.

Posted by: tflana | January 6, 2015

It is a new year

Brian and I have been hanging in Coconut Grove, Fl awaiting a chance to cross to the Bahamas. It looks like we are trying for the 16th or so based on a favorable weather window. We both decided to travel around Biscayne Bay and see the sights.  We had some great days of biking to Key Biscayne, sailed to No Name Harbor for New Years Ev

Brian with Boo Radley in Marine Stadium

Brian with Boo Radley in Marine Stadium

This is the nighttime skyline of Miami we saw from our anchorage in Marine Stadium

This is the nighttime skyline of Miami we saw from our anchorage in Marine Stadium

Full moon January 4th

Full moon January 4th

The same view of Miami's skyline from Marine Stadium

The same view of Miami’s skyline from Marine Stadium

Brian at the top of Cape Florida Lighthouse

Brian at the top of Cape Florida Lighthouse

e ( and yes the cannon was shot off at midnight) and then went back to Marine Stadium to avoid a bumpy southeast wind hitting the mooring field.

When we left No Name Harbor we went for a sail in the bay, no motor just sailing, very peaceful

When we left No Name Harbor we went for a sail in the bay, no motor just sailing, very peaceful

it has been fun just relaxing and getting Scout ready for the next leg of our adventure. She is sporting 3 new solar panels. It is helping with the charging of the batteries, but we still need to use the generator to make sure we can keep up with the demand of our refrigeration. We are looking int

This is the most friendly city for bikes. Even on the toll bridge there was a lane just for the bikers to use. Last weekend there were easily 1000 bikers out on the road to Key Biscayne

This is the most friendly city for bikes. Even on the toll bridge there was a lane just for the bikers to use. Last weekend there were easily 1000 bikers out on the road to Key Biscayne

Brian biking along the beach in Key Biscayne

Tara on bike

Brian on the bridge to Key Biscayne

o wind generators and a water maker, but Phinneus’ emergency surgery 10 days ago has put those plans on hold for now. He swallowed a 3 inch coconut, how we have no idea, but let’s just say his new nickname is water maker!

We finally put a home port on Scout. The Coast Guard kind of insists on it!

We finally put a home port on Scout. The Coast Guard kind of insists on it!

Brian sailing around No Name Harbor

Brian sailing around No Name Harbor

Cape Florida Lighthouse

Cape Florida Lighthouse

on of the reasons I don’t blog often is that our laptop is never changed, so I decided to use my IPad instead.  Some great pictures to share, more to come over the next few weeks!

we are so happy and living our dream, hope you all live yours!

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