The Most Useless Thing…

As of this writing, Mosey On and crew have had a marvelous trip back down from Maine.  Sunny days and smooth waters crossing the Gulf of Maine, Massachusetts Bay,  the infamous Buzzards Bay, and down Long Island Sound,  Along the way, we’ve been able to visit with family and friends, dine in old hang-outs and discover some great new ones.  We took-in the bazaar that is the Newport Boat Show then cruised up the river to see Bristol, RI and sit out a strong Northerly in their sheltered harbor.  Bristol was home to Nathaniel Herreschoff, the designer of many of what we’ve come to call classic yachts of America’s ‘gilded age’.  His old factory is now a fantastic museum displaying not only his work, but the genesis of the America’s Cup boats from their earliest days to the present.  For a fancier of beautiful boats, this was close to Nirvana.

Schooner "Brilliant" off Mystic Seaport

Schooner “Brilliant” off Mystic Seaport

The weather did not provide a sufficient window for an offshore passage from Block Island to Cape May (the reverse of the route we had taken Northbound), so we adjusted our routing to proceed down Long Island Sound.  Mystic Seaport beckoned and we indulged ourselves in their marvelous exhibits.  Their centerpiece, the Charles W. Morgan, is the last whaling ship in existence.  I saw her there when I was a kid in 1964.  At that time, she was sitting on a gravel pile in the water – a static historic relic.  I remember being fascinated by the complexity of the ropes and spars of her rigging.  I still have a photo of just that rigging taken with my Kodak Brownie camera.  In an extraordinary effort of privately funded preservation, she has been fully restored to Coast Guard standards for a commercial sailing vessel! They have wonderful video of her sailing with the migrating whales along Stellwagen Bank in Massachusetts Bay.  While the slaughter of whales would sicken my 21st century sensibilities,  I can only marvel at the skills and industry of the shipyards that built and maintained the whaling fleets 165 years ago.

On Sunday evening, we pulled into Port Washington, a favorite spot of ours on the western end of Long Island just short of the passage through New York City. Mosey’s crew enjoys the uncrowded anchorage, good eateries, and grocery right on the harbor front to re-provision.  But most importantly, it seems to be the best place we can find to await and ride-out the approach of currently nasty weather off the Jersey shore to be followed late week by Tropical Storm Joaquin (we hope not a hurricane).  Not a good time to mosey off-shore.  We are advised by our weather folks that we ‘hunker down’ until the 5th – “at the earliest”!  [Note: there was a short window of opportunity to make a run for it down the Jersey coast on Monday and in port by Tuesday mid-day.   As luck would have it, world affairs and associated security concerns forced the Coast Guard to close the East River through New York opposite the U.N. Such are the times…] But we are not alone.  Literally hundreds of cruising boats are ‘bottled up’  in protected ports in SE New England and Long Island Sound waiting on a good window to continue their annual migration south to Norfolk and beyond at this turn of the seasons.  We will be here at least a week.  So much for schedules.  They are, indeed, the most useless thing aboard!

Moseyin’ On Hold



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