Podcast Interview on The Two Authors’ Chat Show

This was such a fun experience, chatting with two “Caribbean Thriller” authors, Douglas Pratt and Nicholas Harvey, about sailing, writing, working as a lawyer remotely, a potential idea for my next book plot, forgetting to wear pants in Cuba, and … OH! … my least favorite singer. A lot of fun stuff packed in here. Many thanks to Doug and Nick for having me on their podcast among many other talented and interesting characters. I think I had a little too much fun with this one (if there is such a thing!). Give it a click and a listen. Enjoy!


Summary of episode: Nick and Doug get derailed answering an hilarious listener question, then interview a very entertaining lady by the name of Annie Dike. She’s a lawyer, sailor, author, and blogger who has followed her passions to live an island hopping existence.

You can check more of Doug and Nick’s The Two Authors’ Chat Show at https://thetwoauthorschatshow.podbean.com.

Brooklyn One° 15 Marina – The (Soon-to-Be Poor Man’s) Way to Do NYC

While we certainly loved (and would prefer) taking in NYC via a train ride from Port Washington leaving our boat to sit gently on a protected mooring ball while we whoop it up in the Big City, there’s something to be said about stepping off the boat right onto Brooklyn’s Peir 1 waterfront Park.  As we’ve mentioned before, while NYC is surrounded by water, there’s not really any good places to come into NYC by sailboat – not many docks, marinas, or anchorages to speak of.  So, when Phillip and I heard from fellow cruisers while making our way north up the east coast last year that a new marina was opening up in Brooklyn, we were intrigued!  There was also talk of state-of-the-art attenuators the marina and its design team engineered to tame the aggressive wake and waters of New York Harbor.  Phillip and I decided mid-summer last year that we had to give this fascinating new marina—Brooklyn ONE 15—a try, so we booked a week in late September October for our Big Brooklyn Splurge! 

September-October 2022

Traveling through Hell’s Gate from the Long Island Sound to New York Harbor, we’ve heard, can be treacherous if not timed right with the tide as there are wicked swift currents that rip through that narrow channel.  Thankfully, Phillip (our chief navigator … I’m chief dishwasher) has planned it perfectly for us both times and we enjoyed a fun, sunny, sightseeing motor over from Port Washington, NY to the ONE 15 Marina in Brooklyn.  

We were excited to see the effects of their groundbreaking attenuators for ourselves in the marina. Interestingly, we learned their system is comprised of custom-made floating barriers, anchored with precisely located pilings which cushion the marina against unwanted wave action while still allowing for the natural flow of tidal waves to reduce any environmental impact.  You can read more about ONE 15’s high-tech attenuator system here.  

Once docked, Phillip and I were thrilled to find ourselves right on Brooklyn’s Pier 1 Park with incredible walking/jogging grounds just a step off the boat.  Not to mention rows of amazing restaurants, an exceptional wine store, coffee shop, laundromat, even a Trader Joe’s—all within a radius of just a few blocks from the marina!  And, can we just talk about this evening view? 

The ability to step out of Ubi’s cockpit and stretch our legs on a dinner outing or just an afternoon or evening walk and take in the entire skyline of NYC was just mesmerizing.  What a treat for cruisers living on their sailboat, huh?  

Phillip and I even got the benefit of a free fireworks show one night over NYC that we could view from Ubi’s cockpit!!  I mean … really?  The occasion?  We had no clue and—frankly—could care less.  For all we knew, those fireworks were just for us!  

Sometimes the coolest part about living the seemingly flexible (albeit married to the weather) life of a cruiser taking the world in by boat are the random shows you get to see that you didn’t even have to buy tickets for.  In our travels, Phillip and I have stumbled into: wine festivals, interpretive dance performances, local production plays, art exhibits, concerts, comedy shows, beach volleyball championships, weightlifting competitions, you name it.  It’s amazing what you can find just walking around in new cities, reading flyers on windows, and talking to the locals.  That’s honestly one of my favorite aspects of cruising.  And, in that regard, Brooklyn did not disappoint.  Here’s what we enjoyed during our stay in Brooklyn:

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge (which is now only open to foot traffic, not bike traffic on the main thoroughfare, a nice upgrade) to New York City.  Such a feet treat!  

Brushing off our flat-skates-skills at Flippers Skating Rink at the Rockefeller Center.  I was surprised I can still skate backwards … sort of.

Picking up some incredibly unique middle eastern spices, breads, and vegetables (while enjoying several decadent deli lunches) at Sahadi’s just a short walk from ONE 15 Marina: 

Discovering New York City’s favorite cookies (for real) at Levain Bakery.  After a day perusing Central Park, this intoxicating chocolate and dough smell pulled us down 74th Street where we discovered a bakery tucked three steps down from the street.  Got a cookie.  I thought Phillip was going to die from flavor pleasure.

Taking in a really unique and cool view of east New York City and the East River taking a gondola, better known as the “East River Skyway,” back from NYC to Brooklyn.  

Feeling like true Brooklyn Heights “locals” dining on the bench looking out the huge picture windows of River Deli onto Joralemon Street.  We also found the most exceptional Sardinian wine while we were there.  We’re still looking to find this gem again … 

Taking what I believe is one of the best photos I have ever captured at the Washington Square Park Arch in NYC.  I’ve considered having this printed to canvas to display on the boat.  I couldn’t stop smiling and singing along to this exuberant drummer “Go Alan Go” who regaled us with his singing talents, his exuberant curly hair, and his infectious joy, while we were there.  I adore street performers.  

Pillaging through Trader Joe’s in the heart of downtown Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue, an incredible gem for cruisers with all of its unique nuts, trail mixes, snacks, and more.

Taking the ferry over to NYC and biking around the Hudson River Park, a wildly expansive green space perfect for walking, jogging, strolling, and flash dancing.

Strolling through China Town and indulging on the most exceptional dim sum and dumplings we have ever put in our mouths at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (a recommendation from our fellow Outbound owners and cruising friends, Peter and Patty on s/v Serendipitous, with whom we spent our first 4th of July aboard Ubi in 2021).  P&P, you did not disappoint.  

Meanwhile in Florida … 

Sadly, while Phillip and I were having all this fun in Brooklyn/NYC, Hurricane Ian was ripping a swath through Port Charlotte/Ft. Myers.  While you never want to wish hurricanes on anyone, living on the coast with so many friends, family members, and fellow boaters in your community, it’s impossible to not wish it away from you.  We had been watching Ian form and move over the Gulf and were hoping it did not set its sights directly on our home port of Pensacola like Hurricane Sally did in 2020.  Our hearts and thoughts go out to those, however, who suffered damage from Ian in southern Florida last year.  The storm was so big it brought its wrath all the way up the U.S. to Phillip and me and Ubiquitous in NY, thankfully only as a tropical storm/depression by then.  

Even in its diminished capacity, Ian still kept us rained in on the boat in Brooklyn for days and extending our stay unexpectedly at ONE 15.  Thankfully, no boats were coming and going in the heavy winds, rain, and sea state, so they had slips available to just let Ubiquitous stay safe and secure in her slip while Ian finally blew himself out.  We were incredibly grateful.  It wasn’t a cheap two-week stay, but it was a necessary one as there was no way we were going to take Ubi out in that gnarly mess.  Although we did venture out to wash a few loads of clothes.  Laundry day on Ubi be like … 

For those of you curious about the attenuator and the wave action in ONE 15 Marina, Phillip and I found it was pretty rolly in the marina (albeit less than it would have been without the attenuator) and we did have to take into consideration that we had a pretty gnarly tropical storm roll through and sit on us for days while we were there which contributed to the wave action.  But, for the view and convenience of the city—where we understandably spent more of our time as opposed to aboard Ubi—the tolerable motion was well worth it.

Once the weather cleared, Phillip and I got Ubi provisioned up (thank you Trader Joe’s!) and moved over to an anchorage near Coney Island to stage up for an offshore run from NY down to Norfolk, VA.  It was fun to run into our friends, Jamie and Sheryl on s/v Pacific High—with whom we have spent time on many east coast anchorages: Beaufort, NC, Wrightsville Beach, NC, Charleston, SC, and (as featured in a not-so-long-ago blog) Martha’s Vineyard—in Coney Island and spend a fun afternoon on the hook together.  

Check out Phillip in his “business up top, board shorts on the bottom” Cruising Lawyer getup.  All evidence (on this blog) to the contrary, Phillip and I do work—often and a lot—while cruising.  It’s all about the balance.  

The last chore we were going to undertake before we headed offshore was going to be a bottom scrub (you know, to get that extra knot of speed!).  Phillip and I had invested in a Brownie’s Third Lung air compressor dive unit to allow us to scrub Ubi’s bottom (more meticulously than by free-diving, which I am not good at … add it to my bucketlist), perform prop and shaft maintenance, and/or other bottom repairs, as well as dive deeper reefs when we find them.  We found it was a solid investment for the performance.  Simply crank the generator, turn on the inverter, plug the Brownie’s (110V) unit in and *BAM* you can breathe underwater and take all the time you need to make sure your boat’s bottom is safe, smooth, and pristine.  

Just like that … except for Phillip and I, there was no Bam.  There was no bottom job that day.  Our generator would not crank.  Hmmppfh.  While we would always prefer to have one of our more critical power generation systems working smoothly before heading offshore, it wasn’t worth it to lose the weather window we had.  We decided to leave our generator mystery for another day, head out into the Atlantic, and set our sights on Virginia.  

In all, our stay in Brooklyn was convenient, exciting, and exceptionally memorable.  It was not cheap, but it was worth it.  If any of you venture through, let us know what you think.  Next up on the blog, we’ll start our trek south last year and share with you our generator woes and a major fix we underwent in Virginia last fall.  Stay tuned!

Port Washington, NY – The Poor Man’s (Cruisers Preferred) Way to Do NYC

What better city to round out our summer in New England than the city – New York City.  I love that city.  She and I developed a bit of a bond this past summer.  With her deepening fall colors in September.  Her shorts and tank top-warm days.  Her unfurling Central Park.  Her bustling streets teeming with bustling people.  And, the food … spending our “food points” was almost depressing because you had to choose one type of food, and then the meal was over, but my God were the choices diverse and stunning: Peruvian, Ethiopian, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Italian, Korean.  I just needed more time, and more stomachs!  But, the downside to NYC for cruisers?  There are very few places where you can anchor or dock and just stroll into the city.  But, what we did find, is that Port Washington—itself a quaint, welcoming, convenient port for cruisers—proved to be a fine alternative that offered a safe, affordable, easy harbor for the boat, plus an inexpensive, quick train ride into the city.  Join us for a stay in Port Washington, NY and many mesmerizing strolls through New York City. 

September 2022

Where did we leave you last?  Ahhh … the colorful, eclectic Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard.  What glorious little islands in New England.  

From Martha’s Vineyard, we made our way back to Newport and into the Narragansett Bay to stage Ubiquitous up for a bit while we flew back home to Pensacola to work during August 2022.  Knowing our summer in New England was coming to an end, once we were back aboard Ubi, we began to plan our route back west into the mouth of the Long Island Sound toward New York City with plans of traveling down the Chesapeake headed south for the winter.  

Phillip had the fantastic idea to stop in Sag Harbor for a few nights to explore. It proved to be yet another quaint little coastal New England town with fantastic downtown strolling, shopping, and eating.

And … the best part. By sheer happenstance—we managed to end up there the same time that the infamous Pam Wall and her son, Jamie, had simply decided to check out Sag Harbor for the first time on a Labor Day weekend whim!  Phillip and I couldn’t believe our luck when we stumbled into Pam on the dock!  They had rented an amazing little AirBnB right in the heart of downtown overlooking a glorious pool in the backyard.  

That Pam Wall … she knows how to travel!  (As she should, having traveled the world via sailboat … way before it became popular!). We spent a glorious few days in Sag Harbor with Pam before making our way back west, stopping in Essex, CT for a quick freshwater stay (bye bye bottom scum!).

Then it was a day sail down to Port Washington, NY, where we had stayed before when we first entered the Long Island Sound back in June 2022.

Let’s see … what did I say about Port Washington before

Port Washington offered not only beauty but convenience.  A mooring ball that was only $45/night and came with a free water taxi operating most business hours of every day.  Great shopping downtown and a diverse range of excellent restaurants (La P’Tite Framboise (the “little raspberry”) for French, Nikkei for Peruvian, Diwan for Indian).  The dinghy dock located right across from the Stop ‘n Shop for groceries and just a short walk from the laundromat, the wine/liquor store, UPS, Walgreens, Ace Hardware, Target, etc.  Not to mention (I mean … holy cow) Port Washington is just a short, $10, 40-minute train ride on the LIRR then you’re in Penn Station, with a full day in NYC to explore (while only paying $45/night for NY lodging)?!  We rode the wheels off the LIRR.  Why wouldn’t you?  NYC, right there! 

Man, I think I nailed it the first time.  Phillip and I felt right at ease coming back into Port Washington and grabbing a ball again in the mooring field.  It’s a lovely setting with many beautiful boats surrounding you in the harbor and a free and convenient water taxi to take you to/from shore.  We had one weekend to blow it out in Port Wash before Phillip had to fly back home for a jury trial.  And what a day it was … 

To make our hybrid sailors-slash-lawyers life work, we often have to split duties, with me staying on the boat and tending to UbiQ while Phillip flies back home to tend to matters at the office.  Our work-life balance definitely requires some sacrifices and creative ways of getting things done, but damn if it’s not worth it.  Phillip sent me a spectacular photo from his flight out of LaGuardia and he was off.

While Phillip was away, I did get some long overdue projects on the boat done (replacing the joker valves on the heads, replacing the impeller on the generator, cleaning out all the raw water strainers, building a new lifting harness for the new outboard (“Su 2.0”), giving our dinghy “Ducky” his own logo (very important), and accomplishing some super intense deep-Annie-cleaning).

But don’t you worry.  Plenty of fun was had, too.  I mentioned the “balance” right?  What neither Phillip nor I could have predicted when he left me on Ubi that fateful day in September, was my sheer joy in traveling to NYC solo.  

I was a little nervous making the trip alone at first as I am not super talented in the navigation department and often have no idea how we got where and how we got back when Phillip and I venture out together.  As long as I’m with him, I know I’m going the right way, I’m going to have a blast, and I’m going to make it home just fine.  Why should I note the directions we went and the streets we took?  Psshhh!  I pity the fool!  But, for my solo journey, I studied some subway and street maps (it helps a ton that NYC is numbered so easily west to east and south to north) and got brave.  I haled the water taxi to Ubi around 9 am.  Got a huge Starbucks for the train ride (because that felt very New Yorkery).  

Rode the 45 min train into Penn Station.  (Penn Station?!  Whoa.) Then scouted out an excellent takeout lunch place, a little French bistro type place—La Pain Quotidien—and sat my first NYC day with my laptop working in Central Park.  What an office view, huh?  

I even got to watch the trainers feed the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo.  How’s that for lunch entertainment?

Round two I was on the hunt for middle eastern food, specifically Brussels sprouts (I have an unnatural obsession with Brussel sprouts).  I found ILILI and sat at Madison Square Park (on 5th Ave and E. 23rd St).  That day I also had time to check out Times Square, Chelsea Market, the modern Whitney Museum and the quirky, lush Little Island off of Hudson Park.

I saw some strange things …

And even Stranger Things! Actor Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things! Don’t worry, I didn’t accost him.

I then discovered La Botaniste (the best vegan in NYC (IMHO)) and sat and ate at Bryant Park (5th Ave and E. 40th St.).  

La Botaniste was so good I did it again another day and sat at Washington Square Park, probably my favorite park—with its occasional live music, rapid-fire chess games, random street performers, and wave after wave of pedestrians, professionals, students, and other commuters.  I could do a NYC takeout/park lunch every day of my life if allowed … and if Phillip and I didn’t want to travel to all the other cool cities in the world.  There is that. 

What was Phillip doing back home you might be wondering? Other than working, he was making the rounds visiting all of our Pensacola posse. Say “Hi!” to John and Jody on s/v Hula Girl!

On Saturday I got even braver and decided to take in a Broadway Show.  My plan was to just wait until close to 2:00 p.m. to buy any last minute unsold tickets at a discount, but then I found a good deal on a single ticket for Funny Girl.   I knew nothing about it, but texted my friend (who is a Broadway addict connoisseur) and she said the lead was played by a gal that was in Glee, Lea Michele (although Lea was out sick, her stand-in, Julie Benko, knocked my socks off).  I also Googled and found Funny Girl was Barbara Streisand’s first breakout role in Broadway.  That all sounded good to me.  

Art is art.  And there’s just something about live art that makes it all the more risky and organic and full of possibility.  I got a heaping bag of popcorn and chardonnay and buckled in.  

And, it was a decision I will never regret.  While I wish Phillip had been there with me, I was secretly also pretty pumped I had decided to just go anyway and take it all in.  Me and NYC … we bonded over the month of September.  I can’t wait to go back!

If you like the bustle and buzz of a big city but don’t want to spend the exorbitant dollars it costs to stay there, or be immersed in it day and night—as cruisers—Port Washington is a lovely way to maintain the tranquility of “home” on your boat in the safe harbor at night.

All while still having the ability to take an affordable quick train ride into the city anytime you want to get your skyscraper/noise-and-bustle/fine-dining fix.  Phillip and I will definitely be spending time there again this summer.  But, up next, you’ll see another way we did NYC this past summer.  If Port Washington is the “poor man’s” way to do NYC, this is the “soon-to-be-poor-man’s” way: by staying a week+ at ONE-15 Brooklyn Marina.  What a treat.  Stay tuned!

Island Life, New England Style: Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard

While it’s not necessarily bikinis and beach towels, the islands in New England offer their own unique charm.  Phillip and I have had an exceptionally difficult time deciding which port(s) in the New England cruising grounds were our favorite. They’re all so lovely.  While Block Island—our first island in NE—struck us, we later thought its “firstness” may have had more of an impact than we realized, when we finally got to experience other islands like cordial little Cuttyhunk and memorable Martha’s Vineyard.  Join us, on our first exploration through these exquisite little NE islands.

July 2022

After our endearing experience watching the nation’s longest-running Fourth of July parade with our entertaining friend Bridgett in Bristol, RI, we sailed across Narragansett Bay to Greenwich Bay and explored Warwick, RI (always makes me think of Dionne Warwick and the Psychic Friends Network … couldn’t help it) as well as Greenwich, RI.  Then it was back down to Newport to stock the boat back up for the next couple of weeks which we planned to spend checking out the first of the Elizabethan Islands, Cuttyhunk, and then the coveted Martha’s Vineyard—a place I honestly thought I would never go in my life!  It always sounded so fancy!  And, to tell you the truth, for half my younger years I literally thought it was just a vineyard owned by Martha Stewart.  Not kidding.  It’s a good thing Phillip plucked this little country girl out of Alabama and opened my eyes to this great big world.  

I don’t think Phillip or me will soon forget our sail from Newport to Cuttyhunk.  The boats that fly in and out of the Newport harbor are simply mesmerizing.  All shapes and sizes and speeds and styles.  The sailing feels like the breath in and out of that historic port.  When Phillip and I left on a brisk day in July (yes, it can be brisk in NE in July) we found ourselves immersed in a fleet of other boats, all with rails buried, tacking and gybing all around us.  It was exhilarating.  And, Ubi was matching them toe to toe.  It is always so rewarding to be reminded that not only did we purchase one of the most comfortable liveaboard monohulls I could imagine, she’s also just really fun to sail!  Outbound did an exceptional job building our (second) baby girl!

The Cuttyhunk Welcome Committee

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a cordial welcome to an anchorage.  Cuttyhunk is the first of the Elizabethan Islands in Massachusetts (and so it served as our introduction to Massachusetts) and just a short day-sail from Newport. Phillip and I didn’t know what to expect when we pulled into the protected little cove that serves as their mooring field. We saw a few mooring balls that seemed to be reserved or off limits, and, otherwise, most of them seemed to be already taken.  As we motored around in search of an available ball, a little John boat came out to us, confirmed we were looking for a ball, and took us straight to one that was available—a relief as it’s not ideal to grab a ball and get secure only to be told immediately afterward that you have to get off and move because you snagged an unavailable ball.  But, the assistance of the friendly folks at Cuttyhunk did not end there.  As soon as Phillip and I got Ubiquitous secure on (what we were now sure) was her ball for the next few nights, that same john boat came back out and tied alongside.  

“Ahoy! We’re the Cuttyhunk Welcome Committee!” he said cheerfully.  “Here are some trash bags for when you bring your trash to shore.  They only pick up on Tuesdays.  We’re having a potluck tonight at the dock if you want to bring something and join.  Rum is always popular.  Oh, and breakfast tomorrow morning as well.  Champagne is quite popular. There’s trivia Monday night, too, and Soprano’s is open now.  Great pizza.  Enjoy our little island.  Hope to see you ashore!”  

Everyone on the “welcome boat” waved and wished us a good evening.  It was incredible.  Phillip and I, and UbiQ, felt so welcome!  I think we were invited to every social event they were hosting that weekend.  And we’d just arrived!  Phillip and I looked around at the other boats in the cove and felt like we’d just settled among friends.  We dinghied ashore the following day to explore and were thrilled to soak in another hydrangea-adorned, breathtaking New England island.  Cuttyhunk offered its own charm in that it is so small.  A local at the museum told me the population can get down to as low as 15 people in winter.  Just 15 people!  They had a little library with a cardboard sign taped up.  A trivia night that—we quickly surmised—was fiercely competitive among regulars.  Just so many little things that charmed us.  We will definitely return.  

But, then, you have to imagine this place in the winter, how those lone 15 people see it.

The fact that these islands can really only be enjoyed by cruisers for a few months out of the year, I feel, makes them all the more special and attractive during the summer months. We enjoyed our weekend at Cuttyhunk, but it was soon time to leave that cozy mooring ball with our sights set on Martha’s Vineyard, a port that had evolved into a coveted destination for us that summer after many (many!) cruisers told us how lovely it was and that it was their favorite New England port.  Challenge accepted.  We had to sail there and experience it ourselves to find out.  

Making Happy, Chappy Memories at Martha’s Vineyard

While each of the New England ports Phillip and I visited last summer brimmed with hydrangeas of every color, Martha’s Vineyard positively overflowed with them.  I couldn’t stop taking photos of these fluffy pastel masterpieces we saw everywhere we went.  They also make incredible backdrops for selfies.  Doesn’t life among hydrangeas just look more enjoyable?  I know I will look forward to seeing and soaking up these exquisite flowers every time we do New England for the summer.  

But, that’s simply the flora and fauna.  Martha’s Vineyard also offered incredible shopping (Phillip and I found some really unique galley pieces and post cards and trinkets to send home to friends and family).  I discovered one of my now favorite photographers at the Untameable Gallery.  

Phillip ate the best cauliflower (yes, cauliflower) Reuben at Rosewater Market.  

Edgartown is filled with exceptional restaurants and bars overlooking the harbor.  

The mooring field on the inside is also rather large and easy to navigate.  But, we anchored on the outside with just as much ease and comfort and the dinghy ride in is quite exciting with the notorious car ferry (featured in JAWS!) going back and forth from Martha’s Vineyard to Chappaquiddick every 5-10 minutes.

Ashore, the streets of Martha’s Vineyard look like scenes straight out of a child’s storybook.  I kept thinking little blonde-headed children were going to walk up to me and introduce themselves as Hansel and Gretel.  

Phillip and I also took the bus one day to the island to spend the day in awe of the multicolored Oak Bluffs and stone-strewn shoreline (that’s a tongue-twister) on the north northeast shore of MV.  We saw a few other things while we were there that I don’t think I’m at liberty to mention on such a public platform …   Those of you who know MV, get it.  In all, it was a wildly fun day for the eyes and a glorious day at the beach, albeit a different kind of beach than we’re used to, but beautiful in its own unique right.  

I believe if I were to ask Phillip, however, he would say he holds the same memory from Martha’s Vineyard as his fondest—our day with Frank.  Phillip and I had run into another boat (this happens frequently when so many cruisers are visiting the same ports all summer), Jamie and Sheryl on Pacific High at Martha’s Vineyard with whom we had buddied up with in Ft. Lauderdale and other ports.  Jamie, Sheryl, and their crew and Phillip and I decided to go out for drinks ashore in Edgartown one evening and we ran into this lovely man, Frank, and his dog at the Behind the Bookstore bar.  Frank is a long-time local of Chappaquiddick and he regaled us all night with tales and stories that brought the history of the island to life which included, naturally, the Ted Kennedy scandal.  Having now seen the distance Ted ran and the channel he swam while that poor woman was drowning in the car he wrecked was heartbreaking and haunting but it did add to the rich allure of both islands.  

Jamie and Phillip on the bridge made notorious by Ted Kennedy

Frank’s stories, however, told of island life during the dreary winter months and how the locals that stick around pass the time: “Alcohol and books, more alcohol and firewood.  Don’t burn the books,” Frank said.  He was a hoot.  After a few crazy hours over drinks, the man was crazy enough to invite the five of us to Chappaquiddick the following day where he offered to chauffer us around and provide us with a personal tour of an island he has watched grow and change for forty years.  We did not regret the decision to take him up on it.  It was fascinating to see Chappaquiddick from a local’s perspective, understand the growth and changes, and get some scoop on the sly celebrities that have purchased homes there: Spike Lee, David Letterman, Carly Simon, James Taylor, and Diane Sawyer to name a few.  

Frank ended the tour with drinks and snacks that he served up for us himself at his home there in Chappaquiddick.  Overall, it was such a hospitable tour and a unique memory to take away from the island.  Martha’s Vineyard—and hopefully a reunion gathering with Frank—will be high on our list this coming summer!

New England Contd.: Ship Shape and Bristol, RI (Fourth of July) Fashion!

Since 1785.  2022 was going to be their 236th straight year running, on the very same street where we were standing.  Do you know what Bristol, RI’s biggest claim to fame is?  The longest-running annual Fourth of July parade.  And, for its 236th year, we were planning to sail from Newport to Bristol to see it.  I was expecting big things.  Elephants.  Ladies juggling swords.  Pyrotechnics.  What we got was a completely different, mesmerizing experience.  And, I wouldn’t have traded it for any sword-juggler in the world.  Come with us, folks, from Newport to Bristol during our cruise in New England this past summer to experience a true Bristol tradition: the longest-running Fourth of July parade in the nation!  

July, 2022: 

While it is very hard to say which port was our favorite in New England.  Noank Village was quaint and genuine.  Block Island has its own charm, and bluffs, and island pride.  Martha’s Vineyard has hydrangeas in every color of the rainbow and exceptional dining and shopping.  But, Newport.  I think the sailing in Newport is what stole our hearts and put it #1 on our New England list.  It is such a historic port where boats have been sailing to, often from across the Atlantic, for hundreds of years.  The many varied sizes, colors, and crafts of boats in the harbor is dazzling.  And, the quaint brick streets, salty taverns, and new additions—like the Sailing MuseumCliff Walk, the Mansions, and Tennis Hall of Fame—made the place a real gem.