Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Newport, Rhode Island

Yachting, history, art, music, shopping, and Gilded Age mansions; Newport seems to have it all.
From the anchorage near the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, we took our dinghy into one of the many free public landings, and spent the morning exploring the town. After lunch we walked out along Bellevue Avenue admiring the mansions.
In less than a mile we arrived at the Breakers, queen of the Newport mansions. Cornelius Vanderbilt II had this "cottage" built in 1893 for his family's summer home.



Newport also has many normal homes of great historical value.

There are plenty of yachts belonging to the rich and famous in Newport Harbor. We saw this one, Adix, anchored in Antigua in 2015.
But the most fascinating bit of history we saw was the building where the game Rock-Paper-Scissors was invented in 1780. Apparently the Marquis de Lafayette and Comte de Rochambeau were really bored one day and, well, they invented that game to pass the time!

Newport, Rhode Island really is amazing. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fort Constitution, New Castle, and the Portsmouth Yacht Club

We spent a day in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area recently. We checked out Fort Constitution.
Judy and Malcolm at the Fort.
We walked around the charming village of New Castle.
The traditional siding on this home was fastened with hand wrought square nails.
We took a mooring at the Portsmouth Yacht Club and pretended like we were high rollers with Norman's Jaguar.
Stephen in Norman's Jaguar.
Malcolm looking cool at the Yacht Club.

Mattapoisett Again

With six days of good weather we've been able to travel 224 miles south. We only travel in the daylight, and with the shorter days and adverse afternoon winds we've had, we are only averaging 37 miles per day. But we've seen a lot of beautiful sunrises lately.

Yesterday morning we dropped Hatch's mooring (Thank you Mr. Hatch), waved good bye to Plymouth Rock, and motored out the long channel under cloudy skies.
Plymouth Rock is under that fancy granite pavilion right on the shore.

Conditions were okay at first, then we hit a little fog for a while, but by the time we turned into the Cape Cod Canal at noon, the fog had disappeared. Our ride through the canal was sunny, fast, and uneventful, and we continued on to Mattapoisett in light headwinds and calm water. We had the anchor down by 2:30.


Since we've done lots of overnight sailing, you might wonder why we don't just leave in the dark and make more miles per day. This lobster boat with a big wad of line around his prop shows why; we need to be able to see and avoid the lobster buoys.

Some lobster boats actually have these cages around their props so lines can't get caught. I wonder if something like that would work on a sailboat?  

The weather is looking bad for the next few days, so we plan to hang out here, restock the food lockers, do some laundry, and maybe visit the Whaling Museum in New Bedford.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Reflections on a Legend

It's not often that one stumbles across a star with such a long and colorful career, but yesterday we discovered Motif No. 1 in Rockport, Massachusetts. We found her basking in the glow of the afternoon sun, looking just as she did back in the late 1800s when she was first "discovered".


Motif No. 1 began her career in the rough and tumble waterfront arts scene sometime in the mid 1800s. (Like many leading ladies, she is quite vague about her age.) Starting in the chorus lines of musicals, like this photo from "Bateaux des Homards", she quickly clawed her way to noteriety, and finally attained her dream role in "Rockport Plein Air".


Lesser characters often tried to upstage Motif No. 1, but her magnetic presence always pulled the audience's attention back to her. And though seen in many genres, Motif No. 1's classic profile was always recognizable and helped her to achieve worldwide fame throughout the 1900s.

In 1978, at the pinnacle of her career, a horrifying accident left Motif No. 1 damaged and dispirited, but with an outpouring of love from her fans, and extensive reconstructive surgery, she once again took to the stage in the highly acclaimed play "From Rockport With Love". Many stars would have rested on their laurels, but not Motif No. 1. She graciously continued to accept roles in a variety of mediums: stage, film, and canvas.
Motif No. 1. Is a true inspiration to her adoring fans, and is often seen in cameo appearances like this Indie film "Tender on the Mud" starring Thistle and Bentaña. She also put in a brief appearance in "Finding Nemo" in the dentist office scenes.

We hope you've enjoyed this retrospective on Motif No. 1's career. We'll leave you with this iconic closeup from one of her best loved movies "It's All About Me".

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Running from the Cold

When it started getting cold I dug out these old wool blankets that my MIL gave me years ago. She got them for the Captain and his brother when they were little boys, so they are maybe 60 years old. But, boy, are they warm!
Then I dug out my sailing boots. Okay, so they're actually snow boots, but again, they're really warm!
We don't have a heater, but we can fire up the kerosene lamp and shut the doors to the aft cabin and warm the main cabin that way.

That is how we are coping with the cold as we run south with Bentaña on these beautiful, brisk fall days.

And thanks to Charlotte's generosity, a wee dram of this might help too.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Penobscot Bay

Thistle has spent almost three months cruising in and around Penobscot Bay and it has been delightful. I feel like we've gotten to know Penobscot Bay pretty well, and we are sad to leave, but the fall color is a little late this year, and the good weather won't last forever, so we are heading south today.

Some of the things I'll never forget about Maine and Penobscot Bay are the wonderful old schooners and wooden boats,

the lighthouses,

the picturesque harbors with huge granite foundations, shingled buildings, and lobster gear piled around,
and the beauty of the rugged coastline.



I especially enjoyed the gardens full of beautiful, healthy flowers,

and the colors of autumn which I hadn't seen in quite a while.

 Here's a map showing our various jaunts around the area. The blue lines are the Captain's trip with Bill. The green lines are his trips with Don, and the yellow and orange lines are the trips we've made since I came back from California.

I might even grow to remember the lobster buoys fondly when enough time passes. Nah, not really, I'm sure I'll never miss them!