Tender too…but not that tender.

I headed back to Newport on Saturday to participate in the week long New York Yacht Club cruise with some friends.   My friend Craig has been crewing for David aboard Alix on the cruise for a number of years and this year, knowing that Brenda was away this week at a workshop, suggested to David that I might come along and help out, perhaps as tender.

David’s boat is 40′ and pretty tight quarters for 5 guys racing every day and bunking together each night.  I doubt that they have a whole lot of water as David works hard to keep weight down so make that 5 sweaty, unwashed guys.

A benefit of having me along is that I can go ahead and secure a mooring or good anchoring spot so that he can just tie up to me as I’ll already be secured.   The first test of my value was yesterday when I arrived in Cuttyhunk early enough to get a mooring and all that David had to do was to catch my lines and tie up.  The mooring field in the inner harbor there is impossibly tight and picking up the mooring alone was a bit challenging.  Having a large audience ready to applaud any mistakes made it that much more fun.  Picking up the mooring proved to be as exciting as I had feared as the boats are moored very closer together and Pandora is on the larger size of boats in that area.  There isn’t much more than 15′ to port and perhaps 20 to starboard with only a boat length behind me.  Picking it up alone was  a real case of threading the needle.

When Alix and crew arrived a few hours later they were plenty happy to take showers, using some of my RO water.  Speaking of that, I had a major leak yesterday on the fresh water “product” side with perhaps 5 gallons or more spraying all over the workshop area, soaking the rug, tools and spare parts as well as filling some of the lockers with water.  I noticed it when  I realized that the tank wasn’t filling as expected.  I checked and was stunned by the mess.  Fortunately, the water was fresh and  I was able to put a lot of wet stuff on deck where the intense sun dried things up in a few hours.   That certainly made for a more sweaty run than I had expected.  No harm done and the tanks are full.

Anyway, it’s going to be interesting to be a part of a cruise with over 100 boats that has been held for over 160 years.

Saturday evening’s kickoff event was cocktails on the lawn at Harbor Court, the Newport clubhouse of the NYYC.   It’s quite a building, once the private home of the Brown family, founders of Brown University.   Not a bad spot to have a G&T on the lawn.  Sorry, no photos of the event.  I expect that the group would have frowned on  paparazzi.  I was surprised to find that I knew quite a few folks that were attending.  As an aside, I approached one woman that I knew pretty well from Essex Yacht Club and when she saw me, probably out of shock, said “what are you doing here?”, seeming to suggest that I had somehow just showed up and crashed the party, knowing that I was not a NYYC member.  Unfazed, I chirped “Pandora will be acting as tender to a club member’s boat”.  Not sure she was convinced.

I arranged for a mooring near the clubhouse from the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.  I’ve never stopped there and had heard very nice things about the club.  It’s very charming.  The club is named for a famous lighthouse keeper that manned a lighthouse on the same pile of rocks in Newport Harbor.  She was revered for her bravery in rescuing sailors that came to ill in the harbor.    She received many awards from the USCG including their highest honor.

In the upstairs of the clubhouse is a light in an alcove, I expect honoring her.  The clubhouse is approached via a long walkway from shore that seems endless.It is a charming clubhouse and perfectly maintained. Brenda would love this image and would probably agree that it would make a great subject for a tapestry. What a view of Newport from their deck. And what better place to watch all the action from.  This Trumpy is Enticer, sistership to the once presidential yacht Sequoia.  And, of course, a perfect view of Pandora, not far away from the Ida Lewis clubhouse. How about this beautiful S boat.  She’s perfect. On my way into the harbor I passed this classic 12 meter America’s Cup boat out on a day charter. And this super modern cat. As I left the Newport Harbor yesterday this monster arrived.  It’s only two years old and is over 250′ long.  She was built in Germany for Joe Lewis, not the boxer and cost $250,000,000.  And, she takes 25 crew to run her and take car of up to 16 guests.  This yacht is in addition to his private jet, chopper and a few homes, including a huge spread in Argentina.  I guess that’s what you can buy if you’ve amassed a fortune of nearly $6,000,000,000.

When I wrote my last post, Brenda and I had just returned from our cruise with our friends and left Pandora at a mooring in Wickford.  We rented a car and I did a whirlwind run home to cut the lawn, water the plants and provision for this week’s cruise.  It was a real rush as we didn’t arrive home until dinner time and I had to return the car before 4 the next day.

I spent Friday night back aboard in Wickford, perhaps one of my favorite spots anywhere.  Very friendly and homey. I expect that the Lab on this paddle board feels the same, probably thinking, “this is my BEST DAY EVER!”  Well, either that or “I wonder when I’ll get another cookie?  that would make today my BEST DAY EVER”This home at the entrance of  Wickford harbor is particularly charming.  Before I close, a bit of housekeeping.  Pandora sports a stainless steel anchor and a galvanized steel anchor chain.  The problem is that when stainless and galvanized chain are linked there is a tendency to have the first few chain links loose their galvanizing due to electrolysis because stainless is a much more “noble” metal.   Each year I have to cut off a few links to remove the ones that have become rusted.   It’s not hard to see that this isn’t a good thing.   What to do?I borrowed a bolt cutter from the yard and clipped them off.  It was alarmingly easy.  What a scary pair of scissors. So, an experiment.  I secured two small sacrificial zincs, designed to corrode easily and save the more important metals from damage.   It’s not a perfect solution but I hope it will help.  I’ll report back on that.
So, here I am getting ready to hang out with the “big boys”, and I wonder how many of them will look at me and say “what are you doing here?”.   Not to worry, I know, I am acting as tender and know my place.  Wish me luck.   Good thing my ego isn’t all that tender.

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