Scenic Newport Tour

Brian and I had a lovely visit with friends, Cheryl and Dick, while staying in Newport. We met for brunch at Zelda’s. We had lots of catching up to do as it had been several months since I’d been in touch with Cheryl. I got the latest updates on the Figawi Tribe and shared our ventures aboard Rode Trip.

After brunch Cheryl and Dick took us for a scenic tour of Newport driving along Ocean Avenue. We saw the Eisenhower House and Fort Adams, drove past the Newport Country Club and the New York Yacht Club on to Castle Hill Cove. We passed immaculate homes, sprawling farms, and cozy coves. It was a beautiful day and people were out boating, sunbathing, picnicking, and flying kites. Dick continued the tour onto Bellevue Avenue past numerous mansions including the Marble House and Rosecliff. We went through part of the Salve Regina campus and rounded the Tennis Hall of Fame (a court Dick frequents) to our final tour stop, Stop & Shop.

Thanks to Cheryl and Dick for a great afternoon! And for their assistance for a much needed grocery stop!

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Hurricane Season

We are now full swing into hurricane season and we are sitting here on Rode Trip with our fingers crossed that none come our way. So far in the 2012 season there have been 9 named storms, but none have come anywhere near us. Here is the national weather service map of the storm tracks so far this year.

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We rely entirely upon the national hurricane center for storm predictions. Usually they are very good and the information is easily accessible online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. The forecast is usually updated twice a day, and more frequently if it appears that the storm is deviating from the track that was previously forecast. We have been checking in on this webpage every morning for the past 3 weeks, and recently there has started to be a lot more activity. There is a lot of historical data about hurricanes and their tracks available here for anyone who really likes statistics. When we made our cruising plans we made them with hurricane season in mind. We knew that we wanted to be In the Chesapeake bay or farther north until the middle of October. The average “worst” day for hurricanes is September 10th, and then the activity will start to decrease.

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I am pretty sure they name hurricanes because they develop their own personalities and try their hardest to do the unexpected! However over time the national hurricane center has also determined what the usual storm paths are.

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So for being on the northern part of the east coast the tracks of the storms in October are more likely to come our way, but there are way fewer tropical storms. Stephanie and I have not been on Rode Trip for a named storm and we hope that we can continue to avoid this experience. Rode Trip did sit out tropical storm on Mikes mooring in a protected portion of the Piscataqua river in Portsmouth, NH. We headed out before the storm and added extra mooring lines, and drove by in our car to check that everything looked alright. It turned out that Irene went inland before reaching Portsmouth and ended up being a little less dramatic in New Hampshire than the predictions.

If we find ourselves in the path of a hurricane this year it will be a much more difficult decision as to what to do. Since we will have several days warning there are several options for hurricane avoidance, in order of severity and expense.

1. If we think that the storm is going to dissipate, or will just effect us without really hitting us then we will probably look for a very good anchorage and sit tight on Rode Trip.
2. If it looks like we are going to be in for a “small” hurricane we will look for a well protected marina with very large moorings, and stay with the boat.
3. If it looks like we are going to be hit with a “medium” hurricane then we will look for a very well protected mooring for Rode Trip, double up the mooring lines, check with our insurance company install an extra bilge pump and find a nice comfy hotel room to sit out the storm in.
4. If it looks like we are going to be hit with a “major” hurricane then we will try to find a marina to pull Rode Trip out of the water, and we can catch a bus to a hotel in a safer location.

We are hoping that a little luck o the irish rubbed off on us at the Celtic music festival and we don’t have any named storms heading our way!

Taking Newport, RI by Storm, August 25, 2012

Brian and I are fond of Newport, RI and we were excited to have arrived just in time for the Celtic Rock Festival on Newport’s waterfront. We settled in on Friday night only to receive more exciting news…we would have a guest appearance by Bruce & Kathy! The weekend could only get better!

We welcomed Bruce & Kathy aboard Rode Trip on Saturday morning for their first time visiting since Rode Trip has become our home. We enjoyed good conversation over a leisurely breakfast (it occurs to me that we tend to have “leisurely” breakfasts with guests…this may be because we have to cook everything in one frying pan and part of that “leisure” is waiting for bacon and eggs to cook one/serving). I think it’s fair to say that Bruce & Kathy felt right at home. Kathy especially enjoyed our freshly brewed percolator coffee.

Christmas came early to Rode Trip, as I said the weekend would only continue to get better. Bruce & Kathy delivered our Cape Horn wind vane, an autopilot system. Brian couldn’t get the box opened soon enough and was reading instructions and tinkering away… Once installed, the wind vane will allow us to let the wind do the work to steer and allow us to step away from the tiller while on watch (which we occasionally do already).

Ready to ROCK! We headed downtown for the Celtic Rock Festival; at 12:30 pm sharp the music started and the energy soared! We listened, clapped, danced, cheered, and drank Guinness allll day. The Town Pants opened, and we let ourselves hang loose.

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We perused the vendors. The inflatable sofa in the Yelp tent gave me a good idea for how to add furniture to Rode Trip…comfy!

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The Screaming Orphans had a sound all their own and we just couldn’t get enough.

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We were treated to some talented, young Irish step-dances between sets.

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Then, the Tartan Terrors. This group had it all! Drumming, bagpipes, fiddles, step-dancers, guitars, comedy. They were fun!

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Brian and Bruce took a moment for refreshment and entered themselves in a little bean-bag toss contest. Congrats to the BIG winners! They each walked away with a coozy to keep their beers cold and their palms dry. I’d like to personally thank their cheerleaders for this victory.

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Talk about talented…Eileen Ivers and her band were phenomenal! This gal can really ROCK!

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The grand finale, drum roll please, Gaelic Storm! PHEW!! They kept us on our feet!

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We had a quick chat with the guys and gal after the show. Super fun! Maybe we’ll become sailing groupies!

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