We know the seasons are changing as the leaves are turning red and orange in New England. The temperatures are cooler, the sun rises later and sets earlier, and the water temps are becoming chilly. The weather is at the center of this journey and as Fall takes hold, more and more “gales” and fronts have altered some of our travel plans. Originally, the plan was to sail from Provincetown to Nantucket along the outer Atlantic coast of Cape Cod and hopefully see some sharks and maybe more whales, but hurricane Teddy had other plans for us with big breeze and waves. Instead, we chose the inside route again through the Cape Cod Canal and stopped a few days in Onset, Ma. This town is at the southwest end of the canal. A lovely anchorage and mooring field with accessibility to a gas dock and water, etc. The yacht club like all the clubs along our summer route were closed to outside guests with no reciprocity due to Covid. It was a great SUP locale but the town was not too special…not even a coffee shop…what? We left after 2 days and timed the raging 4 knot current through Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven, Martha’s Vineyard, home of the original Black Dog. This was a quick 1.5 day stop en route to Nantucket. We will be back to MV just need to keep moving again due the weather. Brian and I were able to enjoy some time in Vineyard Haven. Coffee at Mocha Mott’s followed by a long bike ride on the west side of the island. Our Annapolis friends Peter and Margaret have a home in Vineyard Haven and kindly lent us their bikes for this adventure. We had a great lunch at Waterside Market on Main Street and a nice walk to the shops. We anchored in the harbor which is good, but has a lot of ferry traffic late at night and early morning, so definitely “rolly”.
We headed off to Nantucket to outrun another front coming in with very strong winds (gale!) and got a slip at the Nantucket Boat Basin. Nantucket is wonderful, expensive, and “decadent.” Amazing food, shopping, and the most beautiful homes with exquisite views. It was nice to stay at a slip with “shoulder season” prices. Shoulder season is before Memorial Day and after Labor Day, and is when most vacationers head off island. It is the best time to be on these islands with fewer crowds, although, Covid took care of some of that as well. The island is great to run and bike. The trails are safe and wide, paved, and well marked. Brian and I biked from town to Madaket Beach for a picnic and went off road riding to Cisco Brewery, a favorite stop. Unfortunately, everyone else had this same plan and due to Covid the queues to the outdoor beer tasting areas were enormous, so we biked back to the boat and enjoyed the store bought Cisco beer onboard! Not a bad plan B. However, I would recommend going to Cisco Brewery in a non Covid year!! Coffee was great at Handlebar Café and Corner Table Café. We met up with my cousin Valerie and her significant other, Jimmy who were vacationing on Nantucket. We had a fun lunch on a beautiful sunny day at the outdoor Sandbar beach shack on Jetties Beach. Some of the best dinners were at Town and Proprietors, both downtown restaurants. It was also nice to see the newly renovated and expanded Nantucket Cottage Hospital. In 2008, I had a potential opportunity to work here, but, the Great Recession of 2008 forced the hospital to stop the expansion plans. Happy to see they finally completed it in 2019!
With more crazy weather forecast to 50 knots and not wanting to be pinned down for several more days at a dock, we made the quick jump in 30 knots of breeze to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown is my absolute favorite place. We moored here for the week which made me very happy. SUP, walking, running and bike riding are fantastic here. The winds were very strong, so onshore activity was a must to escape the noise on the boat. It is a lovely walk from the dinghy dock along the beautiful streets to the Edgartown lighthouse. Many years ago, our black lab Zuni swam on this beach and after he died we sprinkled some of his ashes here, so it is a very special place to us. I enjoyed great runs from town to South Beach and Katama Beach with views of Katama Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The houses are incredible, the farms, airfield and scenery are stunning. Brian and I biked over 22 miles south to Katama, through the center of the island and then along the coast to Oak Bluffs. We rewarded ourselves with an awesome lunch at Nomans in Oak Bluffs. You must try the Yuca fries! Our favorite restaurant was 19 Raw Oyster Bar in town in Edgartown; outside dining with the best New England Oysters! We enjoyed The Atlantic for a nice quiet “date night” dinner. Our favorite coffee shops were Behind the Bookstore and Espresso Love, both with charming outdoor tables and chairs in lush gardens. Get an acai bowl for breakfast at Among the Flowers Café and ice cream at, of course, Mad Martha’s! Finally, you have to walk the 1.7 mile trek from the dinghy dock in Edgartown to the Morning Glory Farm. Beautiful, charming, and a wonderful fresh market with all their own produce (in season fall pumpkins, yeah!), coffee, and baked goods, yum yum yum! We had the chance to see the weigh ins every evening of all the fish caught during the Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Once the winds quieted down, we set off to continue our sail south and said goodbye to Martha’s Vineyard.
After a quick one night stay in Newport (we spent a week here earlier this summer), we entered Long Island Sound and anchored in Stonington, Conn. It has a great anchorage with very good SUP and a lovely town. There is a yacht club off the dinghy dock and a good walking trail along the water and into town. Coffee at Social and lunch at the Dog Watch Café were great. All of these are within walking distance from a new dinghy dock. We found ourselves constantly having to outrun bad weather, so we had to leave Stonington to anchor with a south and west protection for another approaching gale. We headed to Fishers Island, part of New York but just a mile off the Connecticut coast. Fishers is a very elite island with a small year round population and has golf courses, air fields, school, and beautiful mansions. However, due to Covid we were not allowed to land on the island. We had a crazy gale force windstorm, little rain, with gusts over 40 MPH. We managed to get through it unscathed. For anyone who gets seasick, bummer, but lucky for us no on Rover has this problem. Once the gale passed, we headed back to the mainland to Mystic, Connecticut.
We stayed at the Mystic Shipyard West Marina. This was our last laundry, thank goodness, and onshore shower for the trip. Mystic is very charming. Lots of the same tourist shops with the added bonus of an Army Navy Store and a Nautical Marine Consignment store. Some very good finds in these places. We had to buy sailor knot bracelets for the team at Knotworks. Do you remember these when you were a teenager? As far as food and drink, we loved Sift, coffee and bakery with the most amazing scones and muffins. Sift is about a 1 mile walk from the marina and the rest of the downtown is about 1.3 miles from the marina. You can SUP or dinghy into town as well. You must have Mystic pizza, another tour down memory lane remembering the movie “Mystic Pizza,” with Julia Roberts. We had a wonderful dinner at S&P Oyster Restaurant and Bar located right at the drawbridge downtown. There is great running along the Mystic River with lovely views of the seaport. Another treat was a protein bowl from Karma Kitchen Mystic and Juicery afterwards. A quick walk near the marina is the Mystic Market West with gourmet sandwiches, salads and other yummy finds including homemade Kale chips! After Mystic we anchored in Noank, Connecticut for a night and visited our last lobster pound of the trip! Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough provided the delicious lobster and the rest was BYOB picnic style. We enjoyed the awesome crustacean with a spectacular Harvest Moon for our backdrop.
Moving down Long Island Sound, we made a quick stopover at Rich’s favorite childhood place, Seawanhaka Yacht Club. We moored here for the night. Keeping with the Covid-themed summer, we couldn’t go into the club but, we walked the grounds and enjoyed Rich’s memories. We dinghied to Cold Spring Harbor for a nice coffee and scone at Sweetie Pie’s on Main. With NYC skyline looming, Rover was off to the big apple.
With the usual sporty entry through Hell’s Gate down the East River into Manhattan, we settled into our final slip of the trip at MarineMax Chelsea Piers. Located near the Meatpacking district of the West Village, it is one of our favorite areas. Brian lived here in his 20’s when there were lots of industrial meatpacking facilities and just a few funky bars and restaurants. Today, it is very hip, very chic and a great spot for shopping and food but without the “tourist” crowd. The Hudson River Greenway runs north and south along the west side of Manhattan along the Hudson River. If you like to run, bike, roller blade (who knew this was still in?) or walk, this is the place. I was determined to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. From Chelsea Pier south along the Greenway, across the Brooklyn Bridge and back was 10 miles, whew, but worth it! The next run was north to Central Park, through the park for about 7.5 miles, with a 5 mile walk back to the boat. In addition to the runs, Brian and I put in many walking miles to the 911 memorial, Central Park, all around the West Village, Tribeca, Hell’s Kitchen, Battery Park, Bryant Park, and the High Line Park (a must!). My Garmin was in overdrive. I do not think I will need to drive a car again since we can clearly just walk long distances. Lucky for us the weather was ideal with blue skies, sun, and cool temps all week. Chelsea Pier was a great location. We enjoyed sunsets, skylines, and watching golfers at the city driving range. There was no SUP here as the water was too wavy and too much boat and ferry traffic. Tiki (my paddleboard’s name) enjoyed the views from the boat!
I will list the restaurants and coffee shops we enjoyed, but it is NYC and there are so many awesome places!
- Catch- a Meatpacking district restaurant, awesome seafood, outside roof top dining, great drinks, a must!
- Ayada- Thai restaurant in Chelsea Market, authentic and delicious.
- Coffee at Starbucks Roastery (pricey fancy version of Starbucks), and the usual regular Starbucks (better prices)
- Kobrick Coffee Company-Meatpacking district.
- Fabrique-French bakery, try the cinnamon bun with cardamom!
- Loco Coco-upper East Side vegan acai/protein bowls.
- Mission Ceviche-upper East Side-amazing Peruvian ceviche/seafood/drinks/vibe
Of course, there is a Trader Joe’s in walking distance and other grocery stores were Western Beef and D’Agostino. Farmer’s markets in parks were scattered around the city as well.
Sites we enjoyed:
- 911 Memorial-beautiful and contemplative
- High Line Walkway-due to Covid, only able to walk one way, need to book a time slot, seamless and easy to do online.
- The Vessel-outdoor architectural installation with spiral staircases, Hudson Yards, 30th and 11th Ave, very cool walk to the top, need to book the time slot online as well.
- Battery Park, Central Park-great people watching. We were unplanned wedding guests at the numerous weddings taking place in Central Park.
- Meatpacking district-hip and chic, lots of shops and restaurants.
The trip has afforded us the opportunity to see friends and family along the way. While in NYC we met up with Kaylee from Annapolis and her husband, Miguel. They live in Brooklyn and own the restaurant, Mission Ceviche. As noted above, this is a must restaurant. The food is fresh and delicious with friendly and attentive staff!! It was great to see Kaylee and Miguel and loved the hospitality. We also enjoyed seeing Brian’s fraternity brother from Northwestern, Derek, and his wife Jennifer. All in all this was the best way to top off our amazing summer trip north.
Next we headed to our homeport Annapolis, and again with the final theme of outrunning a big gale…we made it safe and sound and are back enjoying our own town! Please stay tuned for one more additional post from me! This time, no information on travel, location, exercise, or activities to do, just funny moments aboard Rover with pictures and video and my reflections on the adventure!
See you then, P