Most people, when they take a winter cruise, hop on a plane and then board ship in a tropical port. A Christmas Cruise Bartlett style is a little different.
We were pining to get south, but work kept us in New England very late and we thought we were stuck in the north for another winter. Then one day PassageWeather.com showed a weather window coming. A solid week of good, warm temperatures, decent winds and calm seas. Our sailing and weather gurus, Michael Keyworth of Brewer Cove Haven Marina and Phil Garland of Hall Spars, told us the weather was a gift and we started racing to get ready to go. The following series of posts is my log from our two weeks of pushing south, our Christmas Cruise.
Friday, Dec 20, 2013
Point Judith Marina
Point Judith, RI
We left Warren on a sunny 40 degree day, our plan was to go no farther than Newport then jump off from there to Mystic, CT or further the next morning. But when we passed Newport by noon we decided to go on to Point Judith, the harbor of refuge at the mouth of Narragansett Bay.
Along the way we saw one other sailboat messing about in the light winds, and one motoring into port. A few fishing boats too of course.
Marinas are mostly closed this time of year but Michael, who knows everyone in the industry, called ahead to arrange with one of his buddies, manager of the Point Judith Marina for us to tie up at their outermost pier and by about 3:00 we were secured for the night.
Once there we took a walk, saw a strange old cemetery where the headstones have no inscriptions and a lighthouse that’s too far inland. I theorized that it could have been effective back before the seawalls were built. I asked about it at the marina and was told an old guy built it about 15 years ago, by himself, out of stone. He even has permission from the Coast Guard to run the working light every once in a while.
Spent the evening planning for tides and currents going through The Race – the narrow channel where Block Island Sound flows into Long Island Sound and vice versa. It was a difficult calculation for us newbies and meant we had to leave before light which we’d never done before. The weather still looked fine, though we would be facing winds on our bow.
Read all the posts about the Escape from New England
Long Island Sound
New Jersey Coast