Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aug 24-30, 2009 ::: Stonington to New York City

Another Google Earth shot. After Newport we traveled to Stonington, CT; Essex, CT; Stratford, CT; Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY; Port Washington, Long Island, NY; and now SONATA is near New York City at the World's Fair Marina, Flushing, NY.

There are many many boats located in Stonington. We met with friends of John's here and had dinner aboard.

In Essex we docked at another Brewer Marina. Dinner was at "the Griz". The Griswold Inn has been in business since 1776. We found the place extremely loud . . . a new band (could not even talk during dinner . . . even after complaining). Over rated!

Stratford is the home of Sikorsky Helicopter Company . . . first flown by Igor Sikorsky in 1939.

On the way to Oyster Bay on Long Island . . . the New York City Skyline came into view. Oyster Bay and the oyster boats were ever present upon the bay.

Port Washington . . . it rained and rained . . . so we went to a movie . . .

Julie and Julia with Meryl Streep . . .a terrific movie.

Somewhere in the fog, in those clouds of mist . . . is a US Air plane with Bonnie aboard . . . on her way to Virginia Beach. She has checked in and did arrive. She will return on a sunny day.

Aug 22-23, 2009 ::: Newport, Rhode Island

Entering Narragansett Bay we passed Brenton Reef then on past Fort Adams to our marina spot at Bowen's Wharf.

Bowen's Wharf is part of the holdings of Bart Dunbar. Bart was the Operations Officer for a period of time aboard the USS NEWMAN K. PERRY (DD883) when Charlie was the Chief Engineer. We had hoped to see Bart and his family while we were in Newport, but, he and his family had prior plans to be away for the week end for Bart's birthday and the birthday of one of his children.

We started our re-discovery of Newport by taking a tour with Access Tours. The tour guide, John, started just up the street from the marina and told us of and showed us, many 1600-1700 houses. From there it was to the downtown area and the government buildings of the period before we got into the 1860's and the then location of the Naval Academy.

As it turns out the Yankees were afraid the Rebels would take Annapolis resulting in the Yankees loosing the Naval Academy. With that fear, the Yankees moved the Naval Academy to Newport and it remained there from 1861 to 1865.

Just down the street from the Naval Academy location is a place well known to Charlie and his Destroyer School, Class 16, classmates. This real estate firm, in the late '60's, was a place that all destroyer school students spent some of their extra time . . . and money and was then known as "The Tavern."

Having completed the tour we then started off on the bikes to see the some of the Newport summer mansions. On the way to Bellevue Avenue we passed St. Mary's Parish . . . where JFK and Jackie married.

First stop on Bellevue was the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. See: It was said that tennis was brought to the USA as a result of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and its original location was near to his summer cottage, the Breakers.

The Breakers. Built in 1895, was a summer cottage. It was the 70-room estate of New York Central railroad President Cornelius Vanderbilt.

From the Breakers we continued down Bellevue to the Marble House, built in 1892. This was the grand stage for Alva Vanderbilt's competition with Mrs. Astor as a society hostess, and later became the platform for her "Votes for Women" campaign.

Our last stop was at Rosecliff. Rosecliff has been used in many movies; The Great Gatsby, True Lies, Amistad, Evening . . . and can be rented for an evening with a starting price of $75,000.00.

Aug 21, 2009 ::: Cuttyhunk

This picture is from Google Earth. It has been included to help everyone understand where where we have been recently. We came through the Cape Cod Canal to Hadley Harbor. Then through Wood's Hole to Vineyard Haven (Martha's Vineyard). Then over to Nantucket. Back to Martha's Vineyard, as you will soon see, and then through Wood's Hole again to Cuttyhunk and on to Newport, Rhode Island.

We had to return to Vineyard Haven so that Charlie could retreive his outboard motor. Ethenol had eaten up part of the carburator . . . replacement. And, while we were picking up the motor to continue to Cuttyhunk, MARINE ONE flew overhead. It has been reported that the President was coming to Martha's Vineyard . . . someone must have liked SONATA for I am sure they flew overhead just to take our picture and say hello.

We were then on our way to Cuttyhunk through Wood's Hole. Calculating the tide and currents is again very important. You can see by the struggle of Bouy #2 that the current here is quite swift . . . gave us a nice push, a nice fast ride.

As the sun began to set at Cuttyhunk over the mooring field, the fog began to roll in. There is an inside anchorage here . . . we stayed outside due to the reported still air in the harbor . . . hot and stuffy. The fog would have made it warmer and much more humid. The lyme-disease tick is said to be on the islands . . . we stayed aboard. The fellow that placed the mooring ball we used lives in the house there in the photo . . . with the plane. That apparently is his transportation to the mainland. By morning the fog was thick and stayed fairly thick until after we passed Bouy #2 (another Bouy #2) at the entrance to Newport Harbor, just off Brenton Reef.

Aug 20, 2009 ::: Nantucket

. . . to an old fashioned "soda-fountain" for an ice cream float, vanilla ice cream in a coke . . . what a joy!

Walking the cobblestone streets and then in and out of the shops . . . brought Charlie

Nantucket's harbor is jammed with boats at moorings and alongside all its piers.

The ESSEX. See:

A trip to Nantucket was a must for Charlie. He is a seafarer . . . and Nantucket means "land far at sea." By the mid-1700's and on into the 1800's Nantucket was pre-eminent in the American whaling industry. This distinction lasted until recovery of petroleum in the 19th century. Charlie has recently read THE ESSEX . . . it is recommended as a must to read!

Aug 17-19, 2009 ::: Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard is less than four miles from the southern shore of Cape Cod. There are four harbors there: Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Menemsha. We placed SONATA at Vineyard Haven.

We shared a pier with the lightship NANTUCKET and a large craft. When we tied up . . . and the tide went out . . . the bow was sitting on the bottom. The location allowed Charlie to use his "hooka" and go under SONATA and replace the shaft zincs. He reports the shafts, screws, and rudders all look well. The bottom will need painting when we return to Ocean Marine.

When the vessel behind SONATA departed we had two days of a great view of the harbor.

The Sennings. We first met them in New York City when visiting there with John. They had sailed over from Stonington, CT, and joined us for a visit aboard SONATA. Two days later they joined us for the trip over to Nantucket.

On the way over to Nantucket the girls . . . Susan and Bonnie, took charge of the navigation and piloting . . . while the boys sat in the back, Hunter Senning, John Burke, Skylar Senning, and John Senning (photographer: Charlie Burke).

While at Martha's Vineyard we learned of a tour offered by "Jon's Taxi". The tour was terrific! Jon is a former Army Delta and he and Charlie got along great. We went all over the island.

Jon started our tour in Oak Bluff. Oak Bluff was known in the 19th century as the "Cottage City of America." It attracted Methodists from all over the country. They started in the 1860's with a tent in the center and smaller individual tents surrounding that large tent . . . they camped out. Gradually small houses replaced the tents. These small houses exist today, each with a small front porch, gaily painted and with gingerbread adn scrollwork. They were decorated during our visit and we came back at night for the Grand Illumination. Sang hymns, ate dinner, viewed the houses in the evening.

Reportedly this is a "growing" magazine cover. Edgartown is an elegant town, wooden power vessels, antique houses, and the home of the former newscaster, Walter Cronkite.

On the Southwestern short one can look out over Gay Head to see one of our next stops, Cuttyhunk.