Greetings from Rover! This entry covers almost 3 weeks of information on our stops to include site info, workout options and food. Future posts will be shorter as I get into the groove of writing. So, here we go…after 10 years of planning, we finally embarked on our “around the world” excursion on June 27, 2020 from Annapolis, MD. Like everyone, we needed additional thoughtful planning to account for the new normal, “living with Covid.” More of that to come for sure.
Our first stop was in Cape May, NJ. A nice memory for me having vacationed at the shore as a kid and more important spending High School Senior Week in Wildwood, NJ, certainly a different story! We anchored outside of town next to the US Coast Guard training base, and watched and listened to the cadets as they did their drills. It was a nice reminder of home, Go Navy! From our anchorage to dinghy tie up was 1 mile, then another 1.3 miles walk/run into town.
Cape May is a quintessential Jersey shore town with white sand beaches, souvenir stores, restaurants and fun coffee shops, Magic Brain Café was a favorite. Cape May Running Company offers all your running needs. They were very welcoming offering a great “reopening” sale. I was able to stock up on nutritional items and some running accessories, even a new pair of sneaks. There is a State Park/lighthouse and a paved promenade that runs along Beach Ave just about 2 miles. I found running along the shady streets with quaint Victorian homes to be much more scenic, but, there are plenty of large modern beach homes to see as well. I enjoyed a beach yoga class (Cape May Yoga NJ), offered to maintain social distancing…why isn’t yoga always on a beach! During our 4 days in Cape May, we ate onboard most of the time except I enjoyed a lovely lunch at Tisha’s with my childhood best friend who drove 1 1/2 hours from Haddonfield, NJ. The Rover crew also enjoyed an evening out of drinks and steamed clams at Lobster House with a lovely sunset.
We the headed northeast on a 205 mile, 26 hour motorsail to Block Island, RI and anchored in Great Salt Pond on the 4th of July weekend…mistake? We were warned. Our arrival brought drama as we watched poor anchoring skills of those around us and many hitting other boats, dragging anchors and getting free. It was a symphony of yelling and a ballet of harbormaster boats zipping around to keep everyone safe and taking the offenders to “mooring jail” as we affectionately referred to it. Rover thankfully avoided all the mess and had no issues. Block Island is small, but, mighty. It has a harbor town where the ferry comes in, so the usual food places and shops for tourists abound. It offers good hill runs with the inside loop of about 5-6miles and many picturesque ocean views. A nice long hilly morning run can be rewarded that evening with a frozen Mudslide drink (vodka, Bailey’s, cream and coffee liquor) from the Oar Restaurant. The dinghy dock is at the Oar which makes it very convenient. There is another marina area and raucous bar called the Shoals, but we looked on from afar as there was no social distancing going on there.
Our next stop was Newport, RI for the week. The Rover crew are still working and need good internet connectivity. We got a mooring but then moved to the anchorage among many large power and sailboats. As much as we love Annapolis, Newport certainly is more of the boating capital! Midtown Oyster House is a favorite dinner spot and Zelda’s boasts a good fish and chips and more. We enjoyed a visit on Rover from Annapolis friends who have a place in town. We enjoyed another Mudslide, this time at The Black Pearl (sorry Oar I think the Pearl’s are better!). Newport offers so many outdoor activities. From Thames Street (main street in town) at Memorial Blvd to the Cliff Walk is about 1/2mile. You can run, walk, or bike and enjoy the ocean scenery and the mansions. I preferred Ocean drive, no sidewalks, but, exquisite homes to ogle over. Newport harbor is an awesome place to stand up paddleboard (SUP). Great views of the mega yachts in port and docked at Goat Island and Newport Shipyard. For provisions, the Stop and Shop is a good grocery store on Bellevue Ave, less than ½ mile from Thames Street. It is alongside the hardware store and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The dinghy dock at Ann Street Pier offered clean heads (toilets), showers (closed due to Covid), laundry and ice. We took advantage of the laundry and the Newport breezes made for a quick dry! We also met up with more Annapolis friends on their boat as Newport is an “all around” great meet up location. We had to hunker down for one night as the named Tropical Storm, Faye, was to arrive. Thankfully, for us, she decided to go west and we did not have any issues.
We then had a lovely sail to Cuttyhunk, Ma. This is a very small island about 2 hours from Newport that is a quiet and protected anchorage with excellent lobsters! There are little fisherman “huts” along the dock and you can order your lobster to go and enjoy on the boat. You can do a little walk along a sandy trail and enjoy SUP if it is not blowing 15-20mph, as I found out the hard way. After 1 night here, we moved back to the “mainland.”
South Dartmouth, Ma was our next 3-night stay and is a favorite for me to date. I spent time with a dear friend from med school and her husband. They drove us in a car (what a concept) and stopped at great spots in nearby Westport. We enjoyed catching up over drinks and one of the best lobster rolls, butter, not mayo at Bayside, an outdoor restaurant, with a final stop to the Dockside in town for homemade ice cream. The mooring field, no anchorage, was filled with a massive number of classic, well kept boats, mostly sailboats. It offered a large, calm mooring field with many miles to SUP. We stayed on the New Bedford Yacht Club moorings. The staff was very pleasant and offered a free launch into their club, dinghy dock, heads and showers. All very clean with their club right in town on Elm Street. The town is small and charming boasting farm to table dining, with my favorite The Farm and Coast Market (Bridge Street) which is a restaurant/wine shop and more. Great breakfast, lunch, premade foods, market options with fresh produce and a wonderful wine selection (rose!), desserts, smoothies and coffee. Everything you need when you are on a sailboat. Another acai bowl/smoothie shop, People’s Pressed, is on Elm Street. Besides SUP, you can run across the drawbridge, about ½ mile to the other side for good views of the Bay and back into South Dartmouth and its quaint New England style homes. You can walk to the Ace Hardware, 1.7 miles, or if you have a local friend, you can provision at Shaw’s grocery store about a 10 minute drive.
The final stop for this entry is in Quisset, Ma. A 10 mile sail from South Dartmouth to a beautiful mooring field. It is a 1.7mile walk into Woods Hole. There are many blind turns and no sidewalks, proceed with caution. A trolley stops 2 blocks from the dinghy dock into town which can be a little safer. Once in Woods Hole there is a biking/running rail trail that heads up to Falmouth, about 10 miles. The mooring field is peaceful and picturesque and was able to SUP 3 miles around it.
I hope I didn’t ramble too much as writing is not my forte. In future posts I will try to offer fun places to see on shore, in marinas, anchorages, mooring fields and exercise options/running/biking/SUP with mileage and terrain, do’s and don’ts. In addition, I will give exercise and cooking onboard hacks, etc. Until the next time…