Overnight Cruising

Escape From 2020 – Our Final Cruise of the Season

Last year we cruised into late October and enjoyed Ladyfest in Oak Bluffs. Of course this season was quite different from all others. There is very little live music anywhere and absolutely no street festivals.

And as good a season as this has been for boating, the governor of Massachusetts placed Rhode Island on the quarantine list in mid July, wiping out all of our planned trips to Newport, Block Island, and Watch Hill.

While lounging on Relentless’ Fly Bridge in late September, we put together a plan to visit Newport with Tom and Terry – Vigilant’s new owners, for our final cruise in this whacky 2020 season…

Tom and Terry

We’ve sold four boats over the years and I’ve never even seen the buyers again, but Mrs. Horne and I instantly hit it off with Tom and Terry. In fact the day after they bought Vigilant they invited us out for the day…

Mrs. Horne and Terry
Tom and the Captain

I discussed why they bought Vigilant with Tom that day. He said “we’re planning mostly day trips, but maybe some cruising.”

I told him that was exactly what we were thinking when we bought Tenacity – our Back Cove 37, but then we discovered cruising, bought Vigilant, and now Relentless. We still enjoy a few day trips each year, but not many.

I remember telling Tom that day tripping would get old fast and told him that when they were ready to cruise, we’d love for them to join our flotilla.

By the time we met up again on Oak Bluffs, Tom had already figured it out and they were well on the road to becoming serious cruisers.

Tom said “We enjoy our day trips, but I’m kind of glad that we’ve already taken most of our friends out at least once so now we can do some serious cruising”.

Newport Sunday

Hoping to squeeze every last drop out of the 2020 boating season, we originally planned Friday through Monday for the weekend after Columbus Day.

Unfortunately, the forecast for Friday and Saturday weren’t great, so we settled on Sunday to Monday. We booked The Newport Yachting Center and departed Mattapoisett around 10:00 AM.

It was quite flat when we left Buzzards Bay, but as we passed Gooseberry Island we ran into some 4-5 footers…

NYC – The Best Marina in Newport?

With most cruising destinations, you don’t have a lot of docking options, but not Newport – there are over a dozen great marinas to choose from.

I haven’t tried every marina in Newport, but I have docked at Bowen’s, 41 North, Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina, Newport Yacht Club, and Westwind. All offer floating docks – which is a plus, but NYC has more.

NYC is centrally located and has the best docking configuration with a network of finger piers that afford privacy, views, and flotilla docking.

When you hail NYC (channel 9), they give you the option of tying up bow in or bow out. Unlike many marinas where you find your cockpit a few feet from your neighbors, you can always find a secluded spot at NYC …

As you approach the NYC, you’re greeted by multiple Dock hands who are knowledgeable about how to set a spring line and quickly secure your boat to the dock.

If you get a spot at the end of the dock at Bowen’s or the Newport Yacht Club, you may get a better view, but most of the inland spots are really blocked in.

I have yet to tie up at NYC and not have a good view of Newport Harbor…

View of Newport Harbor from 3rd Dock in

Not only does NYC score on all of the above, but it’s quiet at night and the seas are always calm.

To top it all off, they have clean locking bathrooms and plenty of cozy spots for guests to hang out and take in the day…

Lunch at the Moorings

Since we hadn’t been to Newport in four months, there was no reason to waste time looking for a new dining venue. Opentable had the Moorings open for lunch reservations and that’s where we went…

Lunch was truly special – not just because we were dining with Tom and Terry, but we were also joined by their son Chris and his lovely fiancé Haley…

Chris and Haley

It was really a perfect day for the porch dining room at the Moorings. Despite the cool morning air, the sun warmed us all…

Why is the Moorings consistently ranked #1 on Yelp in Newport? Certainly the view helps, but I think it’s the wide variety of menu offerings that always taste great…

The Last Drop of the Season

With highs in the 60’s, I wasn’t expecting to spend a lot of time outside on the water, but when we returned to Relentless Tom and I checked out the Fly Bridge and thanks to the light breeze, it was quite comfortable.

Although Chris and Haley had only planned to join us for lunch, the afternoon was so idyllic that they decided to go shopping and stay through dinner.

22 Bowens Wine Bar and Grill

Once again, avoiding the risk of a less-than-perfect dinner service, we opted for Newport’s other #1 restaurant downtown restaurant- 22 Bowens.

I love 22 Bowens because it’s a totally legit big city steakhouse that you might find in Boston, except it’s a 5 minute walk from the docks.

Once again our dinner with Tom and Terry was blessed by the addition of Chris and Haley…

After a big lunch at The Moorings, meal sharing was the name of the game. 22 Bowens had a Dry Aged Bone-in Ribeye special. Mrs. Horne and I ordered one as did Tom and Terry.

But first they shared a wedge salad that came to the table presented like a work of art…

When you order a bone-in Strip, Porterhouse, or Ribeye at 22 Bowens, they ask if you’d like them to cut it off the bone. Generally I’m against it because the juices drain too fast, but 22 Bowens has the technique to do it right…

As you can see, it’s prefect medium rare.

I love to chew on the bone and I discovered I’m not the only one!

Let the record show that Chris took this photo – not me!

Newport Monday

The weather Monday morning began as lovely as it ended Sunday…

We were closing up our beach house and leaving town for the winter on Thursday. Which meant that our summer fun would end the moment we set foot back in Mattapoisett – so I wasn’t in any rush to leave Newport.

Before turning in Sunday night I suggested we all go out to breakfast Monday, but sadly my plan never took root.

Instead, we invited Tom and Terry over for some of my homemade banana bread…

Thanks to our dear friend Jeannie for the cute little boat dish!

The Photo Shoot

If you’ve ever thought about getting photos or videos of your boat running on the water, you quickly realize it’s not easy. You need to find someone in another boat willing to do it with the right equipment and skills.

I knew Terry had an iPhone Pro Max 11 like mine so I suggested we shoot photos of Vigilant and Relentless on the run out of Newport.

We ended up with a treasure trove of photos and video of both boats in fairly high definition. I’ll share some photos here, but you’ll have to wait til later in the month for the video when I release my final video of 2020…

Vigilant leaving NYC…
Relentless leaving Newport
Vigilant under way…
Relentless under way

Final Run Home

Once we passed the typical offshore swells near Newport, the seas went flat and we ran up Rhode Island sound at 33 mph…

As we turned into Mattapoisett harbor I decided to “air it out” and briefly run relentless wide open…

As you can see, we were running over 37 mph. I’ve seen 38, but once Ned cleans up the pods, props, and applies new bottom paint I think we’ll touch 40 mph…

The 2020 boating season was certainly an odd one, but thanks to our relentless spirit to enjoy life no matter what fate throws our way, it was still a good one.

That said, I’m already looking forward to 2021 and normal cruising in our new boat and expanded flotilla.

Take Care – Dave

Daisy bidding adieu to the Beach House

Categories: Overnight Cruising

3 replies »

  1. What a great trip Dave! The photos of both Relentless and Vigilant are fabulous… Looks like you have made some terrific friends this summer too. Enjoy your winter and I look forward to seeing everyone next spring. Thank you for sharing, Joyce

  2. Dave,

    Thank you for a great season of blogs, dining reviews, and destination ideas. I’m a little envious of this last trip to Newport since I was out on the hard with a mechanical issue, but it looks like you had really nice conditions for the Newport Cruise!

    Dave Hogan

  3. Dear Dave and Mrs. Horne,
    Thanks for an enjoyable season of blogging on Buzzards Bay. It brings back found memories of my youth, growing up with summers in Wareham. Now, we live in Largo, Florida and do our boating on a 37’ Formula PC out of Clearwater Yacht Club. Have a safe winter in California and we’ll look forward to next season’s adventures.
    Best regards,
    Dick and Phyllis Nordman

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