A Newport Thursday

Our dear friends Kay and Steve came to visit Thursday morning. When I say morning, I mean 4:38 AM touchdown at Boston Logan!

My red eye days have come and gone, but they’re still world travellers so they didn’t think anything of it. 

The original plan was to enjoy a liesurely day at Peases Point and then head over to Newport for Friday night. If the weather was good, we’d then go to Block Island or Menemsha for Saturday night – TBD.

Surprise – the weather forecast wasn’t good!

After 3 texts to make sure our guests were up for an active day, I booked us at Bowens Wharf for Thursday night. They pulled in the driveway at 6:45 AM and after breakfast and showers, we departed MBY around 10:00 AM. 

What was that!

Rhode Island sound is flat calm and we were enjoying a peaceful 20 mph run to Newport. Kay and Mrs. Horne are napping on the back deck, as I talked investments with Steve. Suddenly I saw a wave 2,000 yards off the port bow. 

I focused for a few seconds and saw what I though might be a fish jump and splash a second time – maybe it’s a swordfish. 

I told Steve and as my eyes adjusted and I realized it’s was friggin whale. 

I killed the engines, woke up the girls, and foolishly took my iPhone back to try and capture a video. 

Within a minute, I got it, but it was too small to see. Thanks to my new cropping app it’s not half bad.


On to Gooseberry Island

The plan was to gunkhole somewhere in Rhode Island for cheese and crackers and then head into Newport. After watching the magnificent whale breach, I needed to find a suitable spot, so I started studying the Newport coast on the charts. 

The stretch from Sakonnet to Newport is a daunting spot for anchoring. It’s mostly very deep and rocky near the shore. On top of that, the prevailing south wind is constantly pushing you toward the rocky shore. 

I headed into a Cove that looked promising, but it was kind of scary once I got close. 

Off the port bow I spotted a couple of boats anchored in between the rocks in the next Cove over and decided to give it a try. 

The rocks belonged to Gooseberry Island and with that I discovered my newest Rhode Island gunkhole (review to follow). 

My new gunkhole is just south of Gooseberry Island about 10 miles north of Newport

It’s still fairly narrow and rocky getting in, but once you turn east, it’s well protected from waves coming in from the south. A perfect lunch gunkhole enroute to Newport. 

Gooseberry Island behind my Patriots Super Bowl Bud Lite
One of the first mansions enroute to Newport

Bowens Wharf

After a very pleasant hour snack behind Gooseberry Island, we made the 30 minute run into Newport and tied up for the first time at my new favorite marina – Bowens Wharf. 

The 140 foot Feadship makes Vigilant look like a dingy

It’s only 300 feet long, but every spot has the ability to tie up “bow in” providing a back deck view of Newport Harbor (review to follow). 

If you’re a peace and quiet guy, you may not like it. We were about 500 feet from the Landing and their live music meant we really couldn’t hear Pandora on Vigilant’s 2,000 watt JL sound system. 

This was fine with me because my plan was to go to Landings as soon as we tied up and take in some afternoon music at one of my favoritHappy Places. 

Steve and Kay

The band of the hour was The Rum Liners – Paul and Karl. They featured a great song list ranging from Glen Campbell to The Who and even Thank You by Led Zepelin. 

They really won me over when a Red Sox fan pleaded with them to do Sweet Caroline and they refused. I love artistic integrity. 

​​​
The Bowens Dockmaster 

After music at The Landing, we headed back to Vigilant for cocktails before dinner. The Dockmaster – Christopher – came by to adjust the lines and chat for a while. 


Chris is from Ireland, in Newport for the first time, and heading home on August 28. A delightful young man with a cool accent. 

Bowens 22 Wine and Grille

For dinner, we ate nearby at Bowens top rated steakhouse. I’ll do a full review later, but suffice it say, it’s clearly the best steak in Newport. 

18 ounce bone in Delmonico with Blue Cheese Butter
Our  server, Sharon was also first rate. A very pleasant young lady with a 2 year old daughter Haley. 

Sharon approved the photo, but I don’t think it did her justice!

Open House Night on Vigilant 

In light of the fact Kay and Steve were running on 2 hours of sleep, we ate around 6:00 and got back to Vigilant for sunset. 

As we relaxed enjoying a fulfilling day, Mrs. Horne started engaging in conversation with any friendly people passing by. 

The next thing I knew, we were entertaining a group of new friends on Vigilant. 

Loree and Mike
Michelle and Doug
Captain Brian
 

Now I know why I love Newport!

Dave

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Do you have a map of where you gunkhole on Gooseberry?

    Like

    1. Dave Horne says:

      I added it to the original story

      Like

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