Thankfully we are tied to a dock at the Barrington Yacht Club tonight. We've had an eventful 48 hours, I guess you could say. Allow me to tell the tale.
We left Block Island on Monday morning ahead of a brewing thunderstorm. We sailed to Dutch Harbor, Jamestown and managed to get only a few raindrops. Jamestown is a small, quiet island west of Newport. We looked at our cruising guide and found we could anchor close to the beach outside the mooring area, protected from the wind. As soon as we dropped the hook and were headed to the refrigerator for a beer, the harbormaster pulled up. He said we can't anchor there because it's a conservatory. "Thank you sir, sorry sir, we'll move sir..." We start pulling up the anchor and here he comes again. We thought, man, he is a tad impatient. He came over and said we can stay on the private mooring ball labeled with so and so's name. Craig and I looked at each other and said "even better!" We meander around in order to pick up the mooring buoy from the proper direction. When I say we, I mean me. Craig drops the anchor while I drive the boat....that's just how we do it. So, I swing around a big powerboat and just as I am beside him, trying not to hit him or the mooring ball on my port side....it happens. The front of the powerboat swings in the wind towards my stern (un-expectantly and unaware) as I move forward to get so and so's mooring ball - we hit!! Our stern rail scraps their bow pulpit. Damn! I mean Darn! Oh *$@&!!!!! With our boat secure on the mooring ball, Craig hops in the dinghy and goes to see what damage I have caused. Luckily for us, them and our insurance...THANKFULLY there was no damage. We suffered a scratched railing. No harm, no foul, but it was sure nerve racking!
The next morning, we heard a loud knocking on our hull. I go outside to see who it is and it's the harbormaster again (a different guy than before). He said in a gruff tone that we can't use a private mooring ball. "But, but but....the other guy said we could....he looked 'official' in a harbormaster boat.....oh geez, we're sorry" So instead of moving to another anchorage area, we decide to go around the corner into Mackerel Cove. We read it was a really deep cove with a great beach. Perfect! It was a near record breaking day in Rhode Island (a whopping 90 degrees I think). The wind would be out of the north that night, so we would be protected....great, let's go. We failed to realize that the ocean swells would be rolling directly into the cove. I knew the second we started down the cove channel that it was gonna be bad. I don't do swells well, especially bobbing around in them. I was feeling sick nearly immediately and the girls soon followed. We tried to make it work so Craig could get some studying in. We swam and played in the frigid water but shortly thereafter, we decided to head over to Newport. The winds were calm as we headed down below for the night. As soon as I got myself all comfy and my book open, the wind started howling through the rigging. It changed in dramatic fashion in all of 30 seconds. First nothing, then howling! I wish I could describe the sound. Maggie says it sounds like the Mr Freeze roller coaster at Six Flags (minus the screaming). It's one of those smooth magnetic type roller coasters that has a deep whoosh when it goes by. Anyway.....the boat swung quickly around to face the howling wind. Then the boat started to shudder and shake from the wind and the small white caps turned into 2 foot waves (in the harbor mind you)! I thought our entire enclosure was gonna be ripped right off! The wind was 30 knots with gusts near 40! We watched to see if we were holding and to make sure other boats around us were holding. Craig grabbed the keys to start the engines - just in case. We noticed the boat behind us had broken loose of her anchor and was swiftly moving toward an unsuspecting boat. I jumped on the VHF and called the harbormaster while Craig shined our light on the runaway boat. Her anchor grabbed hold just before it hit the sailboat. The harbormaster came to thank us for letting them know. At least the 48 hour debacle ended with a good deed!
Today was a new day, gorgeous as gorgeous could be here in Rhode Island. We moved up to Barrington and into the yacht club where we were greeted with friendly hospitality, a swimming pool and showers! We will sleep well tonight. Wish Craig luck....his test is in the morning!