It’s Tuesday morning and raining. Good thing, as we really need it. Not that I want to cut my lawn but it’s VERY dry so a few days of rain are a good thing.
Today I head up to RI to pick up a solar panel to complete the installation on Pandora and make her fully independent of engine charging and able to stay functional “off the grid”. I will say that her engine charging system is first rate and puts back what I use in very quick order. However, as I don’t live aboard full time, I need a way to charge the batteries when I am able to turn on the engine.
Now that I have spent time aboard I see that her 320 watts of solar are enough to bring her back to fully charged as long as there isn’t any load on the system beyond the fridge, and that assumes that it’s sunny much of the day. So, by adding another 280 watts, in a single new panel, she will easily charge up, even when “the sun don’t shine”. The dealer that I am buying the unit and charging regulator from is Hamilton Ferris up in MA. They are on the Cape which is quite a drive from here. Conveniently, the owner Ham is going to be in RI today and has agreed to bring the panel in his van so I can pick it up . And that’s a lot closer for me.
I won’t have time to put the new panel aboard for a week or more but it will be good to have it nearby so I can get started installing it soon.
Anyway, enough of the “gotta do list” for now.
Last weekend was great fun as good friend of mine Craig, came up to spend some time aboard Pandora. He arrived late on Thursday night so we could leave early on Friday morning to head over to Sag Harbor. Sag has some of the most expensive moorings of any place you’d want to visit so it’s good that our club has two moorings there and we picked up one. Last time I visited there the moorings were $2/ft of boat length and frankly I won’t pay that just to tie a rope to my boat for the night. However, club mooring available. Off to Sag Harbor.
There wasn’t any wind at all so we motored the whole way there. That’s OK as it was a very pretty day. Sag Harbor is the only reasonable harbor in The Hamptons so it’s pretty pricey and not that friendly to small boats. They are used to the likes of folks like the singer Billy Joel. He keeps his boat Alexa there. I am sure that he has many boats but this is a particularly nice one. I have seen her before and it’s nice to see that someone with money keeps boats for a while instead of cycling through them like just one more disposable possession. This is a link to an article about the boat that ran some time back. She’s a very unique vessel.
I had read somewhere that the average time someone owns a mega-yacht is something like three years. They either get bored with the boat and want to build another, likely bigger one, or are horrified with the cost of managing a yacht and sell it.
Well, Sag Harbor is a beautiful place and it’s clear that folks there have the income to support some pretty aggressive “cycling” through expensive possessions. Everything there is meticulously maintained. How about this hedge?To keep a garden up like this would certainly require someone who keeps a “hedge fund”. Get it, a hedge fund? “Yes, Bob, cute but pretty lame.”
Look at the dental work on this home. What a paint job. The streets were lined with every manner of restored old homes and all in perfect condition. The plantings in this yard were stunning if a bit overwhelming. Love the trimmed trees. I guess you’d need a cherry picker to keep trees this big in perfect pruned shape. The iconic American Hotel on main street is a great spot to have lunch. I say lunch as dinner would be way beyond my pay grade. Check out the site, they don’t even publish their rates on the site. I guess if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. And don’t forget to book an outing on the hotel’s yacht. We visited a local cheese shop and got a bottle of wine for dinner and ate aboard. What a beautiful place to spend time.
Overnight the wind filled in from the SW and we had a fabulous sail from Sag to Block Island, a run of about 35 miles Sunday.
Pandora really excels in not a lot of wind as this shot shows, if you can see beyond the glare of the light. It’s remarkable to be making these sorts of speeds with so little wind. To sail at half the apparent wind speed is very good performance. I had the code “0” and main up and, she was hardly heeling.
As we approached Block the wind had freshened to nearly 20kts and the fog dropped in on us like a cotton wool blanket. We could only see perhaps 150 yards. I thought that I was going to have to pick my way into the harbor, buoy to buoy but as we got to within a 1/4 mile of the entrance we passed out of the fog as if emerging from behind a curtain. Within a hundred yards we went from visibility you could measure in feet to being able to see for miles. It was pretty eerie.
Once in the harbor it took quite a while but eventually we found the club mooring and picked it up. There were hundreds of empty moorings but we had to pick up one in particular as the harbor master would have shooed us off of any one what we didn’t have permission to use. I know this as it’s happened to me in the past.
We headed ashore for a walk and took in the sights. I really like Block Island although it’s very different than Sag. The property here is very pricey as well but the environment is a lot more casual. There is an old hotel in town that is quite a spot. We also stopped at the “Oar” a well known bar overlooking the harbor. The view from the bar commands the entire harbor. Pandora’s in the middle of the shot, just to the left of what looks like an island in the distance. The dark hull. This early in the season there wasn’t anyone there. Just wait a month and every mooring will be occupied. I expect that weekends are already booked for much of the summer at the dock.
This picture of Craig taking in the view pretty much sums up the mood of the weekend. Rum punch anyone?Well, I had better wrap this up as I have to jump in the car and go to RI to get that panel. Yes, the pieces of Pandora are beginning to come together and it won’t be long till we are headed south again.
For now, I’ll take New England and the beautiful summer that’s now upon us.