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July 19, 2013

6

Block Island, Rhode Island – Some People Love It.

by frankandems

Well, after our epic week in Shelter Island, anything immediately afterwards was bound to be . . . hmm . . . a little less epic. I don’t want to sound like the next couple of stops weren’t good stops, because they were. But it’s like comparing your birthday to Flag Day.

So you will see two posts (hopefully) in rapid succession so that I don’t have one giant post, because – and here’s a shock – I’m behind. So this post will be about Block Island closely followed by a post about Cuttyhunk. What’s/where’s Cuttyhunk? Answer coming in next post, I promise.

We had heard so many people talk about Block Island (and Frank had been there for a quick weekend about 10 years ago) and it is a favorite stop for a lot of people . . . I mean A LOT of people. It is a large harbor with a vast amount of boats in it. And the atmosphere there is much more of a party. And it caters to a wide range of audiences. There are all kinds of people and boats there. There are gorgeous, massive sailboats with burgees from the New York City Yacht Club (very elite!) and we saw a group of gentleman jump onto the launch in their blue blazers to go to dinner . . . to powerboats with interesting and colorful names. At changeover time one day (again, like a hotel check out/check in process) we watched with interest to see who our new neighbors were going to be. True confessions: we were not disappointed when power vessel “Badabing” passed up the mooring ball beside us. At another spot in the harbor we saw power vessel “Fuhgeddaboutit.” I commented that if you could just locate the power vessel “Whaddayoulookinat” you’d have a Jersey trifecta. Anyway, clearly a fun place if that’s the scene you’re looking for.

The weather in Block Island was not ideal, but we took advantage of some of the cool, cloudy weather with a great bike ride around the island. Not only was it great exercise but it got us out of the “hubbub” and out into the countryside, which was lovely. We also had a great, unplanned surprise when we figured out that we were, indeed, going to be in Block the same weekend as some good friends of ours. That was a definite highlight.

I will always associate certain sounds with Block Island . . . the almost constant “Whoo . . . . Whoo” of the fog horn (almost more like a fog whistle than horn) and the sound of the bakery boat from Aldo’s Restaurant trolling the mooring field and anchorage calling out “Andiamo!” which they tell us means “come out” in Italian. If someone knows better, feel free to correct us. Anyway, around 7:30am, the bakery boat begins its rounds selling  breakfast goodies boatside. Yes, it’s like room service. Then the chant begins again around 4pm with hors d’ouevres for purchase. Those guys work hard in all kinds of weather. And they have GREAT muffins.

Here are some sights from the Island:

Here's a look at Block Island from ashore. Frank worked hard to get his hair to look like that!

Here’s a look at the harbor at Block Island from ashore. Frank worked hard to get his hair to look like that!

B.I. has a great launch service. You can radio for them and they'll pick you up at your boat. If you have a dinghy, why would you want the launch service?

B.I. has a great launch service. You can radio for them and they’ll pick you up at your boat.  The blue boat, Maverick, is one of the fleet. But if you have a dinghy, why would you want the launch service?

Oh . . . that's why. This is parking lot  of a dinghy dock - and this wasn't even that crowded! A popular spot.

Oh . . . that’s why. This is the parking lot of a dinghy dock – and this wasn’t even that crowded! Later they were at least two deep. A popular spot.

There's a great little bar at Paynes Dock. The owner performs most nights singing mostly old Irish tunes with an eclectic mix of other selections. His dog, Zippy, sits up on a chair and watches him adoringly or naps or barks at all the men who walk in (never the women).

There’s a great little bar at Paynes Dock. The owner performs most nights singing mostly old Irish tunes with an eclectic mix of other selections. His dog, Zippy, sits up on a chair and watches him adoringly or naps or barks at all the men who walk in (never the women).

A great bike ride around Block Island.

A great bike ride around Block Island. This stone commemorates the 300th anniversary of Block Island’s founding listing the 16 families who purchased the island. (That was some time after the Indians got kicked off . . .)

The National Wildlife Refuge by the northern point lighthouse. Hmm . . . what can you do here??

The National Wildlife Refuge by the northern point lighthouse. Hmm . . . what CAN you do here??

This is a beautiful hotel that sits atop a bluff. Frank must have gotten bored waiting for me to take a picture and started checking his email. Oh wait - - - he doesn't GET email any more!! (Well, not much.)

This is a beautiful hotel that sits atop a bluff. Frank must have gotten bored waiting for me to take a picture and started checking his email. Oh wait – – – he doesn’t GET email any more!! (Well, not much.)

The countryside of Block Island looks like it could be somewhere in Ireland. Lush green, lots of rock walls.

The countryside of Block Island looks like it could be somewhere in Ireland. Lush green, lots of rock walls.

We’ve discovered that we really enjoy renting bikes at various locations, but we’re learning to be good at riding together. There was an option at one place for a tandem bicycle and I don’t know which one of us replied louder or faster, “Oh HELL no!” For the few family members who witnessed us trying to maneuver a two person kayak together, you know that we don’t collaborate well on stuff like that. (Sailing as a team is different.) So even riding our own bikes, I’m still following and chirping about the fact that he turned at the last second with no signal and I almost drove off the road trying to follow him, etc. etc. etc. But I also know that if I lead, he’s likely to see something that interests him and turn off to look at it, completely forgetting that I’m in front of him . . . and then I might find him on the other side of the island two hours later after realizing he’s no longer behind me. These are just the things you learn together, which is fun. So I got a good laugh out of him this day with the bikes when he said, “Okay, who’s leading?” and I responded, “You lead, I’ll bitch.” Hey, it works.

Chairs overlooking the harbor at the hotel where our friends Cori and Greg stayed and a good breakfast spot.

Chairs overlooking the harbor at the hotel where our friends Cori and Greg stayed and a good breakfast spot.

This was the far end of our bike trip . . . legs a'burnin'!

This was the far end of our bike trip . . . legs aburnin’! That is NOT a flat island.

There's something about a lighthouse . . .

There’s something about a lighthouse . . .

We found another Mecca for Frank . . . of course.

We found another Mecca for Frank . . . of course.

Last time Cori and Greg were on board I forgot to get a picAn attempt at a self portrait. I sent this to them and they said, "Do you have one that isn't so ridiculous looking?"

Our buddies joined us for a late afternoon visit. Last time Cori and Greg were on board I forgot to get a picture. Here’s an attempt at a self portrait. I sent this to them and they said, “Do you have one that isn’t so ridiculous looking?”

Oh yes . . . this one is MUCH better!

Oh yes . . . this one is MUCH better! Hey – what are friends for.

ANDIAMO! The bakery boat arrives.

ANDIAMO! The bakery boat arrives.

I think this is a picture of the harbor at Block Island! Unfortunately, it looked like this quite a lot. I think I shall write a new bluegrass tune called "Foggy Harbor Breakdown."

I think this is a picture of the harbor at Block Island, but it’s hard to tell. Unfortunately, it looked like this quite a lot. I think I shall write a new bluegrass tune called “Foggy Harbor Breakdown.”

And here we are leaving Block Island . . . hopefully through the jetty . . . I can't see!

And here we are leaving Block Island . . . hopefully through the jetty . . . we can’t see! Frank’s job was to maneuver the boat and keep a careful eye on the radar. My job was to stop taking pictures and make sure I let him know if we were going to hit anything.

I just liked the spookiness of this picture! We used the radar lots for the first 30 minutes, but then . . .

I just liked the spookiness of this picture! Although it looked like this for the first 30 minutes, then . . .

. . . brilliant sunshine and blue skies! Much better.

. . . brilliant sunshine and blue skies! Much better. On our way to Cuttyhunk.

Are we glad we went to Block Island? Absolutely. We had some good moments there.  Do we feel a need to put that on our list of stops for next year? Fuhgeddaboutit.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Donna & Rich
    Jul 20 2013

    Good stuff! And you made us curious . . . What kind of nature sights did you see at the National Wildlife Refuge? Any Killdeer? (Smile) We keep wondering too if you’ll see (or have yet seen) some whale or porpoise breaching (at some safe distance, of course). We love those stories of wildlife woven in!

    Reply
    • Jul 20 2013

      Donna and Rich, you lovers of all things nature!
      We have not seen any relatives of the kildeers we had living in the vacant lot next to us in Shorewood . . . or not that I have been aware of, I should say. Although I’m sure we’ve seen distant relatives! We have not seen whales yet though we may run into them (hopefully not literally) on our way to Maine here in the next week or so. We have, unfortunately, seen LOTS of evil blackbirds however!! I’d know that sound anywhere, especially in my nightmares. (smile) We have seen LOTS of porpoises starting in Cape May where they were absolutely all over the place . . . very cool. Thanks for reminding me!

      Reply
      • Donna & Rich
        Jul 21 2013

        Oh, goody! Will you snap some photos of any sea life that comes close (without threatening to fall in and join them, of course)? We’d love to share in those adventures with you. (You’re right. We’re hopelessly nature nuts and not wanting to miss any of your nature moments, evil blackbirds aside.)

    • Jul 20 2013

      So glad you’re reading! Thanks Lynn. Glad I got to see you in June! Hope all is well.

      Reply
  2. Lynn
    Jul 20 2013

    I love reading your posts! Just wanted to let you know! You’re doing great! Keep ’em coming!

    Reply
  3. LuAnn
    Jul 21 2013

    Great stories MM nice Sunday morning reading… Better than the paper! Have fun!

    Reply

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