>A dash back to Norwalk and home


We spent the last two days in Wickford at one of our favorite places, Pleasant Street Wharf with our friends Sandy and Eric who co-own the yard with various family members. Our plan was to stay two days and then to bump down the coast and end up in Norwalk on Thursday afternoon. However, with some rain in the forecast in the next few days and strong winds from the NE we decided to make the run all the way to Norwalk from Wickford today, a run of just over 100 miles, a long way in a boat doing 6.5 knots. We left the dock at 07:30 today under power as the winds were very light and seas calm. We could have waited till Wednesday and sailed in strong NE winds but I don’t want to push my luck with Brenda who has been just terrific on this trip in spite of some really dramatic sailing. Fun for me but trying for her. Ask Brenda what her favorite part of sailing and she will happily say “being anchored”. So, no need to push my luck or do what our son Rob would say was a “career limiting move” by putting Brenda out in yet another snotty day of sailing on our trip home from Maine.
By 10am we passed Pt Judith and expect to be at the Race (where Long Island Sound empties into Block Island Sound) by early afternoon, unfortunately, just in time for the tide to turn against us. We normally cruise under power about 6.5 to 7 kts (a knot is about 1.1 Statute or land miles per hour). When the tide turns against us we will face a head tide running at 2-4 knots against us so it will be slow going for some time as the tides run hard in the eastern part of the Sound. We will continue to buck the tide for the next 7 hours until it turns in our favor and begins to flood or head west. While the current will be against us for the entire ebb tide, we will face a decreasing current as we move further west as it runs strongest in the eastern part of the Sound. After the tide turns in our favor late in the afternoon we will pick up a small boost of about 1 knot as we continue west toward Norwalk. It’s hard to predict how long it will take us to make it to Norwalk which depends on tides and wind but I expect that we will arrive around 2am on Wednesday morning.

This will be Brenda’s first night sail of any consequence but it will be a good experience for her as she is intimidated by the idea of being underway in the dark. Personally, I enjoy being out at night as there isn’t a lot of boat traffic and it’s usually calm.
We will have to see how it goes but we are certainly headed in the right direction.
A few months ago I did a post for our visit to Watch Hill RI and mentioned Aphrodite, a great boat built by the Purdy Boat Company back in in the 30s. It was restored a number of years ago in Brooklin Maine, where we saw her under construction, and is now in absolutely terrific shape. Interestingly, I received an e-mail today from his grandson and historian for the Purdy Boat Company, Alan Dinn, who had seen my blog posts on the boat that his Grandfather had built years ago. He mentioned that he had written a book on the history of the company and is currently writing one about Aphrodite. This is certainly great news and I hope to learn more about his plans.
Here’s what the Armchair Sailor book store had to say about Alan’s book.
“Sailors of the early twentieth century knew the reputation of Purdy Boats. “Anybody that wanted their boat kept like it was going to be in Tiffany’s window, that’s where you went, to Purdy’s”, one commented. That reputation for quality, not only in maintenance but also design and manufacture, led many captains of finance and industry (such as Walter P. Chrysler, Nelson Doubleday, Williams L. Mellon and Herbert L. Pratt) and boating enthusiasts (like Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, Adrian Iselin II, George Ratsey, and Charles F. Chapman) to buy their boats from the yard on the shore of Port Washington’s Manhasset Bay in the 1920s and 1930s. Yet just twenty years later, this remarkable producer of custom yachts and racing boats had built its last boat. Who were these boatbuilding Purdys – where did they come from, how did they learn their trade, how did they disappear so completely, and what were some of their classic products? Alan Dinn, a grandson of Ned Purdy, has compiled a rich, authoritative history of the Purdy Boat Company based on official company documents and correspondence and reminiscences of family members and boat owners. The intriguing story of the Purdys is augmented with many photographs and line drawings of classic Purdy Boats.”

Stay tuned for more information on Alan’s new book.

One response to “>A dash back to Norwalk and home

  1. >Thanks for the comments about "Boats by Purdy". I had the opportunity to help move Aphrodite from Brooklin to Watch Hill a couple of years ago – our trip took considerably less time than yours, 12 hours total, including a 1.5 hour layover at Sandwich, MA, awaiting the owner's arrival before transiting the Cape Cod Canal. We crossed the Gulf of Maine at ~ 27 knots.
    Alan Dinn

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