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September 1, 2014

3

Summering in the Sounds – A Sound Decision (Part 1)

by frankandems

Last summer we spent a good deal of our time in Maine. We loved Maine. We’re thrilled we went to Maine. We have good friends that went to Maine this summer and are having a ball. But last summer in Maine was like eternal spring or early fall. We were in long pants more than shorts. The weather was sketchy a good 40% of the time. Even the Mainers were saying it wasn’t the best of years from a weather perspective. Our strategy for this summer: focus more on New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

And so far it’s been a great strategy! Pure summer. Delightful warmth. Eternal sunshine. 78 every day, 62 every night (plus or minus or a few degrees). Seriously – I can’t remember experiencing a stretch of weather this consistently nice. If you live in California, you’re used to this. Those of us on the east coast – not so much.

We’ve hit some great locations in the last couple of weeks: Shelter Island, NY (a favorite),  Block Island, RI (we gave it another chance), Cuttyhunk, MA, Hyannis, MA and Nantucket.  We’ve traveled on the Long Island Sound, Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound. It’s been a “sound” decision to be sure. We’ll cover the first three in this post.

If you’ve been following this blog, you might remember that we cultivated a very nice friendship with another Gozzard in Shelter Island. (Well, the owners, not the boat itself.) We have stayed in touch with them and visited several times throughout the year. They welcomed us back to Shelter Island again, and we had a ball being together.  Here’s some of the fun we had while we were there:

Welcome to the island!

Welcome to the island!

Frank helping out with some work up the mast.

Frank helping out with some work up the mast. He’s like a monkey!

And yes, Frank taking pictures while he's hanging out in the mast.

And yes, Frank taking pictures while he’s hanging out in the mast.

Acoustic jam session!

Acoustic jam session!

The four of us kayaked in one of the creeks . . . even harvested a mussel or two.

The four of us kayaked in one of the creeks . . . even harvested a mussel or two. 

They were so kind as to loan us a set of wheels to tour around the island. Frank declared this the best vanilla milkshake EVER at a burger joint we found in town.

They were so kind as to loan us a set of wheels to tour around the island. Frank declared this the best vanilla milkshake EVER at a burger joint we found in town. Who needs the glass???

The historic Union Chapel.

The historic Union Chapel.

For those of you out there who might watch the Food Network from time to time, there is a show called, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” I catch it on occasion. Last year I saw an episode, and Ina Garten – aka the Barefoot Contessa – shared that the best bolognese sauce she ever ate was from the Vine Street Cafe in Shelter Island. I read that they had a market where you could buy said sauce. So while we had the wheels, we went to the middle of the island to hunt. Sure enough – there was the Cafe – which was closed. BUT – there was a sign pointing around the back of the building to the Market. It was closed. BUT! There was, what appeared to be, one of the chefs walking by in his whites. He assured me that he could rustle someone up to open the market for us if we would pay by credit card and not cash. No problem!! And so, I got my hands on two containers of fresh bolognese sauce. I thought it was very tasty, indeed. I kind of forgot (or chose to for the moment) that Frank really doesn’t care for bolognese sauce no matter how good it is. So please don’t tell the chef at the cafe that I may be thinning out the second container of meat sauce with some extra tomatoes for Frank. Shhh. It’s just between us, okay?

Vine St. Cafe - In search of bolognese sauce!

Vine St. Cafe – In search of bolognese sauce!

Our last trip to Shelter Island included Frank joining our friend as crew in a Herreshoff doughdish race at the Yacht Club. The two of them won that race last season! Could they repeat??

Winners again! Frank sipping a little Jamesons out of his new wine glass trophy! They were first in a field of 25.

Winners again! Frank sipping a little Jamesons out of his new wine glass trophy! They were first in a field of 25.

After a year under our belt, I knew there were a few experiences that I missed out on last year that I didn’t want to let slip by this time around. One of those was on Shelter Island: I wanted to attend a concert at the performance tent at the Perlman Music Program. My fellow music geek friends from college will particularly appreciate this part as well as the other music geek friends I’ve made along the way. In 1993, Itzhak Perlman (world renowned violinist) and his wife, Toby, founded a program called “The Perlman Music Program.” It was initially a two-week summer camp in East Hampton, NY. Since then the program has expanded in time and reach, but its permanent home is a 28-acre property on Shelter Island. The goal is to offer unparalleled musical training to young string players of rare and special talent. It is led by a world-class faculty starting with Mr. Perlman himself. Their mission is to develop the future leaders of classical music within a nurturing and supportive community. Last year I missed the chance to see one of the concerts at the

The Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island. Pictures borrowed from their website because I was too dumbstruck to take photos that night!

The Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island. Pictures borrowed from their website because I was too dumbstruck to take photos that night!

camp. Not this year! I gave Frank the chance to do something on his own that evening, but he was interested in checking it out with me. And so we gathered in the “Performance Tent” that seats about 300 people. It is much more of a permanent tent-like structure that is somewhat open air, but permanent enough to support pieces that are necessary to have great acoustics. The camp had ended the week before – this concert was a thank you to the community of Shelter Island and was free to the public. And so, on a beautiful summer evening, we enjoyed 90 minutes of chamber music presented by a combination of students, faculty and alumni of the program. Mr. Perlman himself performed on two of the pieces. Special guest performers that evening were the accompanying cicadas and tree frogs. It was a very special evening. If you’re interested in learning more about the Perlman Music Program, go to http://www.perlmanmusicprogram.org.

After four great days, we reluctantly moved on to Block Island. Yeah, I kind of dissed Block Island last year. We were there close to 4th of July and it was crowded and noisy . . . and the weather wasn’t great  . . . and we liked some things about it but didn’t feel the need to race back. But as the winds would have it, it really was the perfect location for our next stop along the way. So . . . we stopped again. This time we were smart and anchored instead of taking a mooring ball in the crowded field. The anchoring there is good and plentiful and it was quite delightful being on the edge of the mooring field. We only stayed one night, but enjoyed our afternoon taking a nice, long walk. The further away you get from the main harbor’s mayhem, the prettier the island gets. Block Island . . . you’re not so bad after all.

Entering Block Island . . . again.

Entering Block Island . . . again.

Pretty scenery in Block Island.

Pretty scenery in Block Island.

 

Ferry Landing at Block Island.

Ferry Landing at Block Island.

Happy to see that The Minnow still is found.

Happy to see that The Minnow still is found.

Happy to be in the anchorage at Block Island.

Happy to be in the anchorage.

Sunset in the anchorage.

Sunset in the anchorage.

As we plotted our next stop, the winds and the currents had a big influence. We had thought we’d go straight to Martha’s Vineyard from Block Island, but alas, the timing of the currents was not in our favor. The current in Vineyard Sound can run around 2.5 knots against you . . . there is no point to do that to yourself. That’s going nowhere fast and it’s not much fun. So we adjusted our plan to head to Cuttyhunk – a stop we had made last year. It was a “middle of the pack” stop for us . . . . a beautiful place that is worth seeing once, but not a whole lot to come back to time after time. But the location was perfect. Here’s what made it perfect – we figured out that we could intersect with our buddies on Magnolia there!!! Excellent! They had set off for Maine this summer and were now on their return trip – and here was an opportunity for our paths to cross. We all arrived in the early afternoon and spent the day catching up, walking, eating, sipping and laughing. Good to be back together again!

There's Magnolia!

There’s Magnolia!

They guys engaged in heavy conversation during our walk.

The guys engaged in heavy conversation during our walk, or so it appears.

Pretty landscape at Cuttyhunk.

Pretty landscape at Cuttyhunk. Photo by Anthony.

Hanging with some of the water family!

Hanging with some of the water family!

Annette in the sunset in the cockpit of Eleanor Q.

Annette in the sunset in the cockpit of Eleanor Q

We left Cuttyhunk the next morning to head to Hyannis. And once again, the day was warm and the night was chilly. And you know what the chilly nights in these parts means? It means that we’re sleeping “soundly.”

 

 

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mush
    Sep 1 2014

    You folks deserve all the good weather that nature allows – thanks for letting us live the good life through your voyages – but not liking bolognese? That just isn’t right!

    Reply
  2. Cheryl
    Sep 2 2014

    Great post! I can just picture you swaying softly to the chamber music, and enjoying the jam sessions. Wonderful photos. You sound more relaxed than last year too!

    Reply
  3. Sep 2 2014

    Happy to hear you are enjoying our southern New England sailing waters. We are at Block right now (first time this year and with this boat.) Can’t wait to cross paths again!!

    Reply

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