Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer Vacation 2007 Days 13, 14 and 15

Wednesday 15 August 2007

We got up to a hot day once again. Griffen and I went for a jog while Maggie, Krys and Todd hung out on the boat and had breakfast. Once I was showered from my jog, Krys and I headed back into town with the dogs so we could get some fresh cookies from the bakery for our ride into Jamestown.

We left the dock at 11.30 AM. We headed out into the Sound and turned the boat east. We would have to head 17 miles in this direction before we turn to go into Narragansett Bay. The seas were rough. The predicted 2-4 foot seas actually looked more like 6-8. Maggie and Krys handled it like champs, however. You can tell that Maggie is my niece, as she dozed in the cockpit as the waves tossed out boat back and forth—just like me, it appears that Maggie can sleep anywhere.

We suffered no sea sickness. Maggie and Krys ate cold leftover pizza while the waves tossed us back and forth. Todd had taken TripTone before leaving the dock, and that kept his sea sickness at bay. I’ve never suffered from it.

I am beyond impressed with how Maggie and Krys handled this rough ride. Not only were they in good spirits the whole time, they crewed the boat with such incredible skill, as if they were doing it their whole lives. They are great kids who listen and respond with intelligence. For the remainder of that ride I would look at them in awe. When I held them as babies, I never imagined they would grow into two such adventurous spirits as they are.

Maggie plotted the waypoints on the GPS, and we followed them to exactly where we needed go. Again, ridiculously impressed at how quickly they pick up tasks around the boat and do them with ease.

We reached the first waypoint and headed in toward Narragansett Bay. The 6-8 foot waves were behind us, and Krys observed that they were actually pushing us into the Bay. We made bets on when we would tie up to our mooring in Jamestown, which Todd ended up winning.

We made it back to the mooring, tied up, and headed in to walk the dogs and get an ice cream. We went back to the boat to have a dinner of mac and cheese, hot dogs, (and if my brother and my sister in law are reading this lots and lots of veggies and fruit.)

Thursday 16 August 2007

We woke up and moved the boat a short distance across the harbor into Newport. We dinghied in after breakfast to rent some motor scooter coupes in town. The scooter coupes are two-seater cars that are actually 3-wheeled mopeds. We cruised all over Newport and the surrounding area in them. First we went to Fort Adams to walk around the fort. We decided we were hungry and headed to Brick Market Place for subs for me and the kids, and sushi for Todd.

From there we headed up to Sachuest Nature Preserve at the end of the island to walk along the rocks. Todd and I taught Maggie and Krys a game that we made up a few years ago called The Rock Game. In this game you bounce a rock off of a rock and land in the tidal pool in such a way that will win the thrower a point. We played The Rock Game for a little while, then wandered barefoot in the tidal pool to check out the snails.

We got looked at the clouds, and saw that they were threatening rain. We decided to go to the arcade in Newport to wait out the rain. Maggie and Krys played a bunch of games and won 1300 some odd tickets. They ended up walking out of the arcade with a bag filled with candy. We headed over to Brenton Point via Bellevue Avenue for the last hour of the scooter rental. We gawked at the Newport mansions, and drove by Nicolas Cage’s new house. We walked out on the rocks at Brenton Point, then headed back to return the scooters.

We walked over to The Music Box to get a few new DVDs then to The Smokehouse to get the BBQ ribs that we’d been promising Krys. We headed back to the boat and marveled at the fog rolling in. It was so thick that soon all lights on shore were entirely obscured, as well as some of the boats around us. We watched a couple of DVDs and went to bed late. (Or if Kaz and Melissa are reading this, we went to bed very very early.)

Friday 17 August 2007

I woke up in the morning feeling a little sad that this is the last full day on the water. After this weekend Todd and I will return to work after not being in the office for two full weeks of waking when we want coming and going when we want and not having an employer to tell us to be to work on time and to leave at the end of the day at a certain time. We had two full weeks without meetings, two full weeks without deadlines, two full weeks of “Which fun thing are we going to do today?”

We pulled the mooring lines off in Newport, and headed north to Hope Island. The plan was to anchor off the island, swim, explore the island, eat lunch, and enjoy what Narragansett Bay has to offer.

We were under full sail for much of the way to the island, and only turned the diesel back on when we were getting close to the island to anchor. We ate some lunch, then Krys and Maggie went ashore to explore the island. Todd and I had never been to this island, but we decided that it would be important for Krys and Maggie to do some exploration on their own. The island is uninhabited by humans, and has approximately 2492305 seagulls flying around. We sent them ashore with a walkie talkie with which they could call us to get picked up.

Maggie had slipped on the island and scraped her knee. The were making their way around the perimeter of the island when the rocks got to be a bit steeper than they wanted to climb. Maggie had made the wise decision to abort the hike. She later said that she would have liked to continue to make their way around the island. We reminded her that she made a very good decision to end the hike, and that this practice is something Todd and I do all the time when we are on one of our adventures. If either of us is uncomfortable on a dive, or a hike, or a sail, we end the trip. Todd treated her scrape on her knee from the first aid kit, and then the three of them pulled up the anchor so we could head back to our home mooring in East Greenwich. Just before we pulled up the anchor, Maggie gave me a shell that she found on the island. It’s a huge conch shell she found on the shore. I collect shells when I dive and beach comb, and set them on my desk at work. This way if I am having a less than ideal day at work, I can look at my shells and take a mini vacation at my desk. Maggie's shell will give me a lot of mileage when I return to work on Monday, and I'd rather still be on the boat with her and her brother.

As we were entering Greenwich Bay I called our friend Will on the cell. Will lives right on Warwick Neck, facing Greenwich Bay. Almost every time we’ve sailed by Will’s house since we’ve known him, we always call to see if we can catch Will looking out his window. Finally today I managed to connect with Will and we saw him wave to us from the shore near his house. I was thisclose to mooning Will, but alas didn’t do it this time. Maybe if Maggie and Krys weren’t aboard…

We were getting closer to our mooring, when we saw a boat named “Freedom” anchored in the middle of the channel. We know the owners of Freedom, and we wondered if they were in distress. We tried to hail Freedom on the radio, and got no response. We figured that they would have flagged us down if they needed us. We motored on. I looked back to see if Freedom was OK and Todd asked me what I was looking at.

“I am looking at Freedom. Both literally and figuratively.”

Saturday morning we will pack up and get off the boat, after being aboard for 2 weeks. I am sad tonight, knowing that our vacation will end when we wake up in the morning. We will drive to Connecticut for a party at my brother’s house, and to return his children to him.

Maggie and Krys picked up some sailing know-how on this trip. They collected a few inside jokes that they will share with Todd and me. It is my hope that they will always remember this trip. I hope that they will call each other up when they are in college and mention one of the inside jokes from this trip and laugh. I hope that someday they will tell their respective spouses about the week they spent on their aunt and uncle’s boat. I hope that someday they will each trust each other with their own children on a trip like this, just like my brother has trusted me with his children. I am flattered that my brother has trusted Todd and I to care for his children on this trip of constant exploration.

Thank you Sabine for keeping us afloat and keeping us safe.

Thank you Kaz and Melissa for entrusting your children to us for a week.

Thank you Maggie and Krys for being the best crew ever. We had a blast with you, and hope you did as well. We love you!

Thank you Todd for being the best adventuring partner I could ever ask for.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That cold pizza was good!! We had a blast too!! In fact just the other day i told krys no , no, don't do it! : ) We hope to see you guys again soon!!

August 19, 2007 at 9:36 PM  

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