Life's Adventure

Watch Hill to Greenport New York

This is my second report on our nine day Anniversary Cruise. Our cruise has already been cut to 8 days with Hurricane Henri bearing down on New England early Sunday morning…

I ended the last report with our plan to visit Andreas Beach Bar and on Tuesday I posted my report – it was a totally legit Tiki Bar experience with surprisingly good food.

After lunch we went back Watch Hill Docks and talked to Dockmaster John about the two wooden Cabin Cruisers docked near us,..

The first is a 60’ 1969 Pacemaker. The owner bought it 20 years ago and takes good care of it. The second is a 1972 Hatteras 57.

These are the boats that graced the cover of Yachting magazine when I was kid mowing lawns and dreaming about getting my own boat one day.

I wouldn’t say these boats were restored, but rather well maintained. John told me they visit every summer for 2-3 weeks and obviously they run well enough to take them to sea.

I had an ulterior motive in my my research. There’s only room for eight boats at Watch Hill and I know members of the flotilla will want to join us in 2022 so I was pumping John for info on when these two sixty footers visit.

John wasn’t talking…

Watch Hill Dockmaster John

We had dinner at The Olympia Tea Room and while the food was good, they’ve clearly lost control of their waiting list. I walked over at 7:00 (on a Monday) and they told me it would be 35-45 minutes.

We returned at 7:40 and we were told 20 minutes. We grabbed a cocktail and talked with Peter – the owner of the 1969 Pacemaker and his family.

They finally sat us at 8:30 – 90 minutes after they’d told me 35-45 minutes. Peter said “This isn’t really a functional restaurant.”

I had to snap one more photo of Watch Hill’s iconic sunset before turning in for the night…

Day Four – New York Bound

This is our second trip to Long Island by boat. The first was to Montauk and it had pluses and minuses, but I doubt I’ll go back.

Montauk is kind of like Hyannis. The waterfront eateries and shopping are limited and the downtown is nowhere near the water.

This time I did more research toggling back and forth between Dockwa, Yelp, and Google Maps looking for a port on Long Island that was laid out like Nantucket or Watch Hill – one with shops and restaurants steps from a Marina.

My original pick was Sag Harbor, but their four Marinas had undesirable cancellation policies. Two were very reasonable, but both were sold out by mid-May. The other two were non refundable if you canceled less than 30 days out. So I kept looking.

I remembered the Captain of Deplorables mentioning in Provincetown that he was heading to Greenport New York. I focused my research there and discovered Mitchell Park Marina.

The Run to Long Island

It’s about 40 miles from Watch Hill to Greenport New York. Fisher Island lies on the straight line between ports and I opted to pass it on the north side in case I needed shelter from the wind. I also expected it would be more scenic – which it was. I created a short music video memorializing the trip…

You may have noticed half way through the video I entered something called “The Rips.” I only know this because it’s label on the ocean maps…

If you look at the chart, you can see that the ocean floor rises quickly from a deep 267’ to an almost shallow 25’. It’s also the point where the prevailing southern drift splits between the east flow toward Long Island and the west flow inside Fisher Island.

At first I thought we were hitting the 3-4’ seas that Fisher Island had sheltered us from, but I looked ahead about a mile, saw flat water, and knew it was just a temporary rip tide.

Welcome to Greenport

As my research had discovered, Greenport is exactly the kind of port My Buzzard Bay cruisers look for. Mitchell Park Marina is well protected with full bulkheads. The docks are heavy floating concrete and the slips are very wide.

It sits on the edge of Mitchell Park (also the name of the village). Mitchell Park has a cute carousel for kids to enjoy…

Mitchell Park Village Carosel

It’s a truly unique village. It has parts that look like they could be in any seaside port, and others that are strictly blue collar. I like it and think most of our guests would too.

Ellen’s on Front

We took the short walk to lunch and discovered plenty of shops and restaurants along Front Street. We checked out a couple and settled on Ellen’s on Front. I knew it was #1 on Yelp so well worth trying…

It was hot and humid outside so we ate inside. We were thoroughly impressed by Anna who was tending every table and making drinks with just a single runner to help…

Superstar Anna at Ellen’s on Front

Did Bernie Sanders Steal My Lunch?

The labor shortage in Greenport is even more acute than other seaside towns so we expected a leisurely lunch. About halfway through my beer, Anna came over and apologized for the runner who had brought our lunch to the wrong table.

Mrs. Horne looked around and figured out who was munching on our Fish Tacos and Duck Wings. As soon as he started eating OUR LUNCH, the runner delivered his lunch order too and he devoured both.

I used the selfie feature on my iPhone and snapped a photo…

I couldn’t believe my eyes – it looked like Bernie Sanders had just stole my lunch!

I googled “Bernie Sanders wife” and the woman at the table had hair color that matched Jane Sander’s.

Eventually he got up to pay and it turned out it wasn’t Bernie, but the boorish behavior continued as he argued with Anna about his bill.

As much as I tried to restrain her, I couldn’t stop Mrs. Horne from stepping in and letting the deadbeat know we knew what he was up to and it wasn’t cool (she was a little more blunt).

Meanwhile, our lunch was delicious…

Marinated Mediterranean Olives at Ellen’s on Front
Duck Wings with Banana Peppers at Ellen’s on Front
Grilled Fish Tacos at Ellen’s on Front

After lunch we met up with friends Jim and Ann Marie who we’d met through My Buzzards Bay. Jim had a good story that I’ll share in my next report.

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