We are still in Southold, New York, but we are now anchored in Southold Bay (map) instead of Long Island Sound. We are less than two miles from our last spot, as the crow flies, but to get here we had a five hour, 24 nautical mile cruise. We are anchored as close as we could get to the Port of Egypt Marina, where we have been able to tie up the tender for $15 per day.
Shortly after my last post we managed to get the tender in the water, but landing on the rocky beach on the sound side proved quite the challenge in the surf. We ended up dragging the boat up the beach for the remainder of the day, and getting it re-launched persuaded us thenceforth to just leave it a good 30 yards off shore (it has its own anchor) and paddle the rest of the way in our little blow-up raft for the rest of the visit, or at least until the sound calmed down a bit.
The forecast continued to deteriorate, though, and things just never got as calm as they had been the day we arrived. While our good friends, who are our age, and their kids, who are still teenagers, would have no real trouble visiting us on the boat this way, it was going to be a challenge getting anyone else on board, and we'd have to make two round trips with the dinghy and three round trips with the blow-up raft each time, probably a half hour process or more. So Friday morning we made the decision to move here instead.
We had been contemplating taking everyone on a day cruise anyway, perhaps across the sound to Connecticut and back, and so the five hour trip here presented that opportunity. As it was again pretty choppy, we did have quite the adventure getting everyone aboard. I suggested swim suits for all, with day clothes in dry bags. Three round trips of the raft got four of us in the dinghy, with two left in the raft, which we towed behind. The chop was so bad when we got to Vector that we had to hip-tie the dinghy and board through the side gate, as the swim platform was alternately under water, then two feet above it -- too dangerous for boarding.
Wishing "Leo" was here...
Getting everyone from shore to the boat and loading the tender back aboard took us an hour, and then we had a half hour delay retrieving the anchor, which had snagged the chain hook in a way that made the latter difficult to remove. Once we got under way, though, where the stabilizers could do their job, we had a very nice cruise. Everyone seemed to enjoy being aboard, with our nieces doing their best "Titanic" re-creation on the foredeck before stretching out on the boat deck to catch some rays.
Orient Point Light, at the treacherous Plum Gut. We arrived close to slack for an easy passage.
We were treated to close-up views of several more lighthouses, passed the tourist mecca of Greenport which they love to visit when they are here, and dropped the hook just in time to hoist the cocktail flag. We retired back to the house for dinner after a round of cocktails on the flybridge.
The Long Beach Bar light.
We spent each subsequent afternoon and cocktail hour on the boat, shuttling folks back and forth in the tender from the dock at the marina. In addition to our good friends Jay and Marjorie and their daughters (our "nieces") we entertained at various times two of the girls' cousins, our host (Jay's mom), our friend Eric who came over from Connecticut on the ferry, and Marjorie's mom and her friend who drove out from Long Beach. They fed us dinner at the house each evening and we came back to Vector well past dark each night in the tender. It is dark enough out here that the first night persuaded us to leave more lights on than just the anchor light when we left after cocktails.
Jay and one niece had to leave Monday morning for California, and his mom and a cousin headed back with them. By yesterday it was down to just Marjorie, the other niece, and us, and they left yesterday mid-day after we received a last-minute express delivery at the house of some more fluids for our cat. We got back to the boat yesterday afternoon and collapsed -- it has been a very busy visit.
This morning we will weigh anchor and head over to the municipal marina in Greenport, where they have a free pumpout. It would have been nice to just stay there for the visit, but marina rates are sky-high around here, and even higher on the weekends -- we just could not see spending over $160 a day. Gas for the dinghy has cost maybe $30 for the whole visit, and we've used another $10 a day in generator time, on top of the $15 dinghy fee.
Meanwhile, our friends Martin and Stephanie have finally accepted their boat and are getting under way today from Stuart for points north. That adds some definition to the formerly nebulous plan to meet them in the Chesapeake, and with that date looming less than one month hence, we've decided not to make a mad scramble to New England and, instead, have a much more leisurely cruise back along the north shore of Long Island Sound, through New York City, around Manhattan, and making the stop we missed in Hoboken before continuing south.
We've been so busy the last few days that I have not had time to do any actually route planning, so what stops we make are as yet undetermined. We're not quite sure even where we will end up this afternoon -- perhaps no further than Gardiners Sound.