A Fleet of 10 boats assembled in Shelter Island, NY for the start of the OCC’s 2015 Southern New England Cruise on Sunday June 21st to be entertained at the Shelter Island Yacht Club by OCC Port Officer Charlie Weiner and his delightful wife Lynn. Charlie, in his 90’s has been a stalwart supporter of the cruise since its inception, so this was a perfect venue to start the rally – and the event proved to set the tone for the remainder of the cruise.
We were musically entertained by Jim and Bentley from Salty Paws and Julian off Domini while Charlie kept the drinks coming!
The following day, while several boats took off to other destinations, others took the opportunity to bicycle our way to a Long Island vineyard – Mattabella – for a tasting of their offerings. The wines were surprisingly good, as was the exercise – just enough to warrant an excellent meal on the way back at the local and excellent ‘Fish Market’ restaurant.
On the Tuesday morning, the remaining boats departed Shelter Island after a terrific visit. Toodle-oo! took off in company with Alcedo and Lily for the 75 mile trip to Menemsha on the western end of Martha’s Vineyard. Initially, the light winds favored Toodle-oo!, but as the winds strengthened, the big boats flew past.
Toodle-oo! arrived in Menemsha to join Lily, Time Bandit, Domini and Over Budget in the anchorage while Dawnpiper was snug as a bug in the inner harbor.
The following morning, Toodle-oo! moved in to share the inner mooring and Jamin later joined us too. Meanwhile, the anchorage filled with the additions of Alcedo, Egret and Wishbone and we all gathered at Menemsha beach for late afternoon pot luck drinks and appetizers on a gloriously sunny day.
Later that evening a large contingent gathered for dinner at the local restaurant, Home Port.
Menemsha is a delightful (albeit dry) fishing village, with excellent opportunities for knick-knack shopping in the little shops – or for fresh seafood right on the wharf.
The next event of the cruise was to be in Edgartown on the Saturday, 3 days on, so boats chose their own itinerary between events – enjoying some of the many fabulous anchorages of the area.
When the Fleet assembled in Edgartown it had grown to 13 with the additions of Star Light and Alia Vita, so we dominated an area of the mooring field quite handily. Unfortunately the weather was somewhat dreary, with a storm due to blow in right after our planned event in Edgartown, which was to be held at Fred and Anne Osborn’s house. And what an event it turned out to be!
Fred, Anne and their family had toiled to set up a barbeque feast in the garden sufficient to entertain the entire contingent of 32 guests and what’s more, they managed to hold off the worst of the bad weather – the odd sprinkle or two just adding a nice touch of atmosphere.
They then produced for us thrilling entertainment of the Vineyard Sound (http://vineyardsound.org/) – an A Cappella group made up of students and recent graduates of local universities that come to Martha’s Vineyard each year to give concerts. Fred had scored a 30 minute slot of their time, just for the occasion and they did not disappoint – the music was inspiring.
At the end of the evening we all dingied back to the boats and battened down the hatches for the predicted storm. During the night we saw gusts up into the 40’s, but no damage was sustained – we all survived!
The iconic film ‘Jaws’ was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard so the following day, a large contingent attended a showing of Jaws – in its 40th anniversary year – at the small cinema in Edgartown. Our group could be heard muttering locations throughout the film – which by the way, remains as scary as it ever was!
Our next port of call was the Beverly Yacht club in Marion, where commodore and OCC member, Larry Hall had managed to persuade them to keep the bar and kitchen open a little longer than normal to feed some weary OCC’ers. A good time was had by all.
The next stop was in Newport, but most boats stopped along the way at Quisset, Hadley Harbor or Cuttyhunk, before arriving at the anchorage in Newport, which had plenty of space to accommodate our group. In Newport we were joined by several late joiners – El Vagabond (hot off their recent circumnavigation), Paradise, Kittiwake, William Barron, Grace and Dragon Run. We were also joined in the evening by Moonstone – members of the CA.
Dinner had been arranged for 20 at the Brick Alley Pub, but the manager proved to be completely flexible, accommodating over 40 guests and providing an excellent service to boot!
The final venue of the cruise was Bristol RI – home of the oldest running Fourth of July Parade, true Americana in action!
OCC members Jil Westcott and John Bell invited us to their beautiful home on Poppasquash for a pot luck dinner – with entertainment once again from our cruising pianist Julian, who had prepared a wonderful ditty to remember the events and participants of the cruise. He got a little interference from a Mandolin player too! Afterwards, we all retired to our boats to watch Bristol’s firework display on a beautiful clear night, and then saw countless other displays around the area.
The final day of the cruise, July Fourth, dawned beautiful and sunny and had us all watching the parade alongside Bill Knowles of Salty Dawg fame and OCC member. He had arranged a prime viewing spot right in front of the TV cameras. Several of us scooted off to the local hostelry, Aidans where we watched the parade on TV (and kept tabs on our cruise members) and sampled the Irish nectar!
The two week cruise was over – it had been a great success and we all got to meet new friends and experience new cruising locations.