Summer Sail 2000 (cont.)

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Day 4 - July 24th

A lovely mellow morning, as we didn't have far to sail. Dad made bacon and eggs for breakfast which went nicely over the bagels Mom bought during her morning trip to the shore head. (Amazing to find bagels at the shore head!) Breakfast was quite yummy, and we were serenaded by the children practicing their instruments (Jacq-clarinet, Ben- flute) afterwards. A leisurely start, and we sailed up Narragansett Bay, under the big bridge again and around Gould Island before coming back close to the Naval Shipyard. We saw two aircraft carriers and a battleship, #59, 60 and 61. Jacq was the camerawoman and took lots of lovely digital pix. We sailed into Newport Harbor, dropped sails and then found our way to Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina. The children fished with another older child on the dock and managed to catch a sergeant major (up visiting from the tropics), a needle fish and a baby blue. They also managed to get some pool time in, before showers and an early dinner, because at 5:45p we were due on the dock to meet the crew of the 12 Meter that we were scheduled to sail at 6. We were assigned to the Intrepid, a two time America's Cup winner, and a most gorgeous boat. After leaving the harbor and raising sails (Dad and Ben helped), Jacq got to drive. She was quite steady at the helm and took us out past Castle Hill. She had to use the head, so Mom took the helm, tacked and then handed it off to the only other non-Lasley sailor aboard. Ben got to grind and learn many of the parts of the ship. What a gorgeous boat; with so much history behind her, it was positively awe inspiring. And yet, when all is said and done, Intrepid is just another sailboat, with lines and winches (ok, grinders) and all the same parts as any other sailboat. She glides through the water very calmly and, of course, very fast. Her captain, Mike, and crew, Heather (an ex-engineer from HP who quit and is now sailing around wherever…) and Kevin, were all great in letting us learn about the boat and how she works. Happy Birthday to Dad (a belated gift) and a Happy time for all. We bought souvenirs; a white polo shirt for Jacq and a yummy green fleece for Ben. It was too quick a sail and soon was time to go ashore. We sailed into Newport Harbor, right past the Ticonderoga and other several multi-million $ boats.

Once ashore, we headed to the Black Pearl for really scrumptious chili and chocolate mousse. Mom was the holdout and had a cup of chowder instead; everyone else was nice and shared chili. Jacq finished a whole bowl! Back to the boat, where a game of Kings in the Corner was set up. Quite fun, and Mom had the lead in points for most of the evening, but Dad managed to sneak in despite a slow start and win the whole lot. In bed, with our various books 'til 10 or 10:30.

Day 5 - July 25th

Woke to a grey sky. Listening to the weather forecast, it seemed that crossing to Block would be best done sooner, instead of later. So we cast off at about 10a, clearing Castle Hill by 10:30 or so into some 1-3 foot seas with a good wind from the NE. (Note, rarely is a NE wind good.) A run the whole way if we chose, but wing became less comfortable as we rocked side to side. We let the children put out the fishing line, first with Ben's green tube (no joy) then with his good hook, already proven a winner. Within ½ hour or so, we heard the singing of the line. As Mom steered into the wind, Dad tried to reel in that fish, which promptly bit through the line above the leader and bye bye fishy! Must have been a bad tempered blue. Dad says it felt quite large. The kids were disappointed, but then we decided to put out a spare smaller lure, similar to Ben's now mourned good lure. Lo and behold not 15 minutes later, we heard another singing of the line. This time (after about 45 min of trying to sail into the wind, with the seas having picked up to 3 ft or so) we were able to bring on board, into an already prepared bucket, a nice sized bluefish! Yes - we can be taught! Of course, being such expert fishermen, we had no idea what kind of fish we'd just caught. We just knew it was big and in the bucket. After a proper interval when we determined "it's dead, Jim", as Jacq said, Mom turned over the helm to Dad and risked her life to go onto the swim platform and take the hooks out. We sailed the rest of the way to Block Island in grey weather, with the seas up to 6 feet at times, on a broad reach, with only two tacks to get us to the channel. Amazing how quickly everyone's seasickness abated, with the fascination of the fish aboard. We did some amazing surfing, with the whole boat as the surfboard along the way. Block did disappear in rain for a short while, but reappeared 45 min later. Luckily, the compass seems fairly true, so we made it into Block's Great Salt Pond with no difficulty. We sailed all the way in, as the wind was favorable, and got a few looks for that. (Get on board a 12 M and get ideas!) Mom steered us into a tight parking place (it is Champlin's!) with good directions from the dock hand and Dad, and we were pleased to be dockside. The rain held off until we had all the lines tied, and then started to spit and drizzle. A J-30 sailboat, Phat Cat, was rafted to us later, and Jacq was delighted to find that the crew was 8 and 10, named Nikki and Maisie. Their parents, Scott and Mimi own a ski house, and swap that for time on the Phat Cat. Jacq played with Nikki and Maisie the rest of the afternoon, including time in the pool, while Mom and Dad lost quarters in the laundry. Inquiry at the restaurant led to the chef graciously preparing our bluefish (Mom got out of cooking another night!) with a lovely rosemary, thyme, basil, garlic, butter and lemon mix. A dish of mashed potatoes and veggies completed the delicious meal. We headed to the ice cream shop/bakery for dessert and then read until bedtime.

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