Monday, 9/15/08 Day 226
Today was school, lunch, Fort Adams, showers/store, and supper. To elaborate, we did school in the morning, had chicken salad sandwiches (bleck L ) for lunch, and then went to Fort Adams. Because it needs funding for restoration, you have to pay for a guided tour if you wish to see the second largest fort in the coastal defense system. It is somewhat similar to the rest of the forts in the coastal defense system (of which we have already seen many), but it has it's own special features. Fort Adams has a huge system of siege protectors, including an elaborate tunnel system. The siege barriers consisted of three extra outer walls with ditches in between. If an enemy were to get into the ditches, they would be blown to bits by rifle fire coming from all directions and fire from Flankhowzer cannons shooting canister shot (sort of like a 19th Century claymore mine). Tunnels were to keep besieging enemies from tunneling underneath the walls into the fort. They were actually "listening tunnels." The troops inside the tunnels would listen for signs and sounds of digging alerting them to the fact that the enemy was trying to tunnel under the fort. They would then have to dig an intercepting tunnel to stop the enemy. Because the tour guide knew that we liked forts and knew a lot about them, he took us to all these special places and gave us an extra long tour. I had a great time.
We dinghied to town and went to the Seamen's Church Institute, a place to help sailors (and now other people) get cheap food, laundry, showers, etc. We took showers there for $2 a person for a 10 min. shower. We also went to the store and bought milk. Then we came home and had a late dinner. It was old Bluefish. Bluefish is no good after 2-3 days, though, so it wasn't that good. Josh and I watched an episode of Rifleman and now we are in bed. Just now, Mom seems to have gotten tense and is somehow completely blaming it on me. Since Mom is tense, Dad is threatening. A great end to the day.
Tuesday, 9/16/08 Day 227
Next place - Block Island, RI. We sailed this morning to Block Island from Newport. It was a nice sail. We did school during that time. During our sail, we caught a 27in. Bluefish. It fought hard. It could barely fit in the cooler and I had to sit on the cooler to keep the fish from flopping and throwing off the top. A little rubbing alcohol killed him fast, though.
We anchored in Block Island's Great Salt Pond. Like in Cuttyhunk, this was once an interior pond that they cut a channel to the sea so that boats could get in. Unlike Cuttyhunk, it was already deep. Daddy had a conference call at 2:00 today, so he dropped us off on shore. David and Leslie on s/v Blue Yonder have some friends who live on the island and we met them. They gave us a ride to town, which is 1 ½ miles away. We went to an Animal Farm. The farm is a hobby of an older gentleman named Justin Abrams who owns a couple of big restaurants and inns on the island. He collects exotic animals and keeps them in a big pasture with a lake and barns they can go into. He has a yak, a Scottish Highland steer, Jacobs 4 Horned Sheep (which look like miniature cows with curly horns, from a distance), llamas, camels, tortoises, a zebu (that's a rare type of cow), some other rare cows, Red Kangaroos, Sicilian miniature donkeys, Fainting Goats, Muscovy ducks, emus, and even some ring-tailed lemurs (those are kept in a big cage). It is all open to the public to come and see for free, and there are informational plaques about all the animals. A couple of the animals came up to the fence and we pet them. We met Mr. Abrams. It was sort of fun.
On the way back, we ran into David and Leslie a few times. We went to a grocery store that was very expensive. We bought a few items that we really needed. Further on, we found a smaller grocery store which was less expensive and we bought a few more things. We talked with David and Leslie for a while. They are going on an offshore passage to Cape May, NJ starting tomorrow morning. I think that we will do the same thing. I want to fish for tuna! We ate the Bluefish that we caught today for supper. It was good because it was fresh. Today was great.
Wednesday, 9/17/08 Day 228
Early this morning, before I even woke up at 6:15am, we left Block Island. It was cold. The autopilot was not working, so we had to hand steer. I steered for about 2 hours total today. It is tiring to do it for too long at once. I am very good at it. We knew that we had to make 6 kts./hr. beat some bad weather, so we motor-sailed.
We did school for a good portion of the day. I had two cedar plug lures trolling for tuna for about 1/3 of the day, but we got no hits. Josh and I watched a John Wayne movie this evening. All in all, today was fairly boring.
The Night of 9/17/08
I stayed up until about 9:30pm. I was hand steering and letting Mom and Dad get some rest. At 3:00am, I woke up again. As I had promised earlier in the evening, I came up and steered for about an hour.
Thursday, 9/18/08 Day 229
I woke up around 7:00am and helped do my part by taking a turn hand steering. We put the fishing lines out early, but didn't get anything all day. Everybody was too tired to do any school. We sailed most of the day, still making 6 kts., because our engine was having trouble. Towards the end of the trip, the weather started to get rough. The wind and swells picked up and we started to rock and roll. To make the rocking worse, a huge 50ft. "go fast" power boat came flying past us, making a huge wake that tossed our boat around and a ton of stuff downstairs went flying, making a huge mess. It could be called as bad as the bad Gulf Stream passages without the water inside. Dad called him on the radio and the captain apologized. Josh and I watched a movie, Jurassic Park because that is a good way to kill time.
We pulled into Utsch's Marina in Cape May, NJ just as they were about to close. We had a reservation, so they were waiting for us. It was a very narrow entrance into the marina and hard to get into, even with the engine. We took on diesel fuel. It was only $4.00 a gallon!! That is cheap nowadays. At the dock, we met John from s/v Marylee. Mom and Dad know him and his wife from New York City. We all talked for a long time, and Mr. John helped us dock. While trying to navigate from the fuel dock to our slip, the wind was pushing at our boat so hard that we almost completely crashed a number of times, but Dad is such an amazing captain that we got out without a scratch. The marina guy in charge, Mr. Wayne, gave us a "Welcome to Utsch's" goodie bag. It included a local fishing and wildlife magazine, a bottle of local wine, some biscotti made at a local bakery, a bar of fancy soap from a local place, a map, and an info sheet on the marina and local services. We have never received anything like that at any marina we have been to.
We took showers at their luxurious bathhouse/lounge late this evening. Then we had a quick and delicious dinner. We are very tired. I like Utsch's. I think we will end up staying here for a while. That will be okay.
Friday, 9/19/08 Day 230
Today was pretty boring. I started the day by making egg sandwiches on bagels for everyone. They were yummy. We did school all morning at the lounge while doing laundry next door. This is the only marina we have ever been to that has twice as many dryers as washers. This keeps the wash from getting backed up while waiting for dryers. We finished the laundry in 2 hours, but stayed at the lounge to finish school. While we worked, Dad fixed the autopilot. Yeah!!
After school, Josh and I went and explored some man-made lake nearby. We found a fossil-bone of some sort and some imprints of fossilized plants or something like that. I had some close calls climbing the ultra-steep banks and almost landed in the water once.
The rest of the day was pretty boring. We just hung out. There is going to be a great boat auction and flea market tomorrow. I can't wait!
Saturday, 9/20/08 Day 231
We did school early and went to the flea market around noon. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary was serving hot dogs for a buck a piece, so we ate there while we watched the boat auction for a while. That was cool! The boats were selling for really cheap, and most of the high bids were "unconfirmed" because they did not meet a minimum and the owners weren't around. We also went to the market itself and picked up a few things. A lot of people were selling quality, new and used rods and reels for cheap. Dad let me personally buy a brand new Shakespeare Protégé reel for $5!!! That would cost a lot more in the store! I also found this amazing rod for $5 as well. Dad said no, though. I wanted that rod soo bad. Later, after we were home, I went back and bought the rod. Dad was livid! He punished me by not letting me bring the rod on board at all. It's still on the dock. That's worse than the major spanking I was expecting. Halfway out of spite, I told him that he couldn't use my great, new reel that I bought for a crappy, broken pole that he wants to use, but doesn't have a good reel for. Josh bought a board game called Trout. It is a realistic fly fishing game that is very fun. It is kind of like a trout - fly-fisherman's monopoly, but better.
We had tacos for dinner. Afterwards, Mom and Dad went to a cocktail hour at s/v Marylee. Josh and I watched Jurassic Park III. I feel like I've watched a million and a half movies in the past week. Today was okay.
Sunday, 9/21/08 Day 232
Today was awesome!! We went to Wildwood, NJ after a late brunch of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, all prepared by Josh and me. Wildwood is a town with a big boardwalk and beach. It is known for the boardwalk and beach, not the town. Mom went there when she was growing up, just like at Old Sturbridge Village, and had to take us there. The season ends at Labor Day, when school starts, so there weren't many people there and we got special things. The first thing we did after walking the boardwalk was a game where you shot foam balls at boats and people in the boats shot balls at you. Josh and I got free tickets to be in a boat. They also gave us an extra ride also for free because they were low on people. We got pretty wet because of some big bubbly geysers that went off if the people not in the boats shot a target. It was really fun!
We walked along the beach for a while and made rivers from a good-sized lake made by the tides (not a tide pool). The beach was huge, it extended a long way from the boardwalk to the water. The water was cold!
On the boardwalk, we saw people driving away on old hot-rod cars from a car show and we watched that for a while. Dad really loves those types of cars. He told us all about them. Some of them do look cool.
We ate a late lunch at Mack's Pizza. We sat at the counter and watched them make it fresh. It was delicious! We also got fudge and salt water taffy, a special boardwalk thing.
To end our spectacular day at Wildwood, Josh and I both played a game of throwing darts at balloons. We both won a stuffed animal. I got a monkey. From all the times I've thrown darts at balloons at these types of places, three times now I've won monkeys. That's pretty cool.
When we got home, we took showers and hung out. Josh and I played Trout. For "dinner," we had two little pieces of fudge, a banana, and a glass of milk. Today was awesome!!