Just Relax travel blog

Block Island Lite

Block Island Hotel. This picture is taken from our anchorage.

Joe, Sue's brother with us for a few days to Shelter Island

Sag harbor, NY anchor

Tim & Janie cooking us supper at Block Island

Janie volunteers (after john made her feel guilty - LOL) to go...

Sag Harbor eatery. Good place. Se prefer local dives.

Carousel Greenport. Antique.

Sag Harbor Welcome Center. Neat, eh?!

Our anchor at Sag Harbor

Since we have been here in Old Saybrook this past 6 weeks helping take care of Sue's dad, we finally got to do some exploring for a few days taking three short trips. We are so thankful to God for Sue's dad's health improving. So blessed, that we got to take him, Maurine, and some of Sue's family out for a boat ride on Father's Day. We were a little nervous because getting the two elderly ones on/off the boat was a little tough, but we made it by placing a board for them to walk on. The weather was great but all the weekend warriors were out on their boats, so the CT river was a little choppy. We went out a few miles onto the Long Island Sound through the Breakwaters and had a great day. We think every one enjoyed the tour which lasted several hours. We are lucky that we can get our boat to go under the local railroad bridge near here since we go under it a lot while here. We miss hitting it at high tide by 6".

7/7: Another trip the two of us made was to Block Island, RI. This was an all day trip with once again great weather. We go through what is called The Race, where the waters always are choppy due to Mother Nature's design of the Sound there. It is not bad at all, but interesting to see how Mother Nature works. Two years ago we when we passed though this area, it was really rough. We have been coordinating all year to see our Looper Buddies on Janie O who live near here and were so glad we were able to raft with them in the Old Harbor. They are such dear folks and we always have fun with them, and are so blessed that we have been able to keep our friendship going since 2006 Looping. The Old Harbor is popular with smaller boats that anchor and raft, even with strangers, which is the custom. We ended up with a total of 7 boats rafted at one time, only feet from the shore since the bottom drops off so fast. We are the largest of 2nd largest boat at anchor, so we were a little worried about the closeness of everything, but Tim and Janie who are veterans of coming here were great at giving us instructions and told us boats larger than ours come here. Most boats anchor in the Great Salt Pond on the other side, but this little harbor is right in town and it is great watching all the activities from our baot and also the short walk to town. In theory, you are so close to shore you can wade in. Time and Janie show us a great time here, taking us to many places to sight see, eat, and even some neat local drinks. We also go to flea market, farmer's market.... Two of the drinks we had were called a Mud Slide and Nasty Gasket. Once of the neat things of Block Isle that appealed to us was the laid back feeling and one does not have to be rich to enjoy this gem. Most of the places we go on Long Island Sound and out to the Cape require money. This part of the world is full of rich people - the richest in the USA. You never see a trailer park here. However, Block Isle is also for the rich, do not let us fool you. If we stayed at one of the marinas here, we would have paid $230/night and on weekends you have to stay minimum of two days. And, they raft boats at these marians too, so you might even have to cross over a boat or two to get to the dock - ouch! Rafting with strangers is another custom here since there is so little room. However, since Janie and Tim are vet's at coming here, they seem to know everyone, so all the boats that rafted with us were either family or people they know. It made for a great party, but not too rowdy. Sue and Janie went clam digging and we had clam chowder for supper that she made - Yum!. Sue, of course did not eat any - WIMP! We ate most meals on the boats sharing, which is great. However, Tim made sure we ate the best ice cream in town, and we also got to sample the local fare too!. We walked a lot, but nice strolls. We hated to elave, but ahd to return to Old Saybrook for a couple of days of duties.

Joe, Sue's brother was on vacation, so he was able to join us for a frew days trip to the Shelter Island part of Long Island, NY. Locals here at the marina along with Tim were able to give us tips on getting there and where/what to see to take advantage of our limited time. Tim warned us against one route when the tide was running and we were glad. So, we took the long way to get there, requiring only an extra hour. The very end of LI is also called the fishtail and if you look at the island in total, it resembles a fish facing west. Our first stop was Greenport and we grabbed a mooring ball there. Marina would have been as much as $170. Mooring ball for two days, $37 and we were a ten minute dingy ride from the dock. We have supper on the boat and dink to shore for a full day of sightseeing. When returning to our boat, we hear the CO2 alarm going off due to low voltage Upon investigating, we discover that the battery charger is broken and most likely has been for days, since we can easily go two days without needing a charge, if we are not running battery electric much. We crank up the generator and luckily have a spare portable charger that let's us charge the house batteries back. However, we are worried that the batteries are damaged, but they seem to be ok for now, but their life span is reduced due to the discharge. Joe and John get our meters, instructions, and start investigating. Joe, an electrical engineer has some great ideas. We discover that the blown fuse that did not look blown was in fact gone. We wondered about this and isolated the charger from the boat, installed a new fuse and it seemed to work, so applying a small load, it started charging. We conclude that the fuse blew due to vibration weakening it over the years. The charger took a full load with no problems. Back to Greenport, we visit most famous places. Everything here, it weems, is called Claudio's, including the best restaurant. The Harbor Master comes out to our boat and tells us we have to move our boat since the mooring ball we are on is damaged. He was worried about the size of our boat breaking loose from the damaged mooring. After discussing that there are no winds forecasted for the next two days and there is no current here, he agrees that we are ok. Good, since it was evening and we were getting ready to go to bed in not too long.

From Greenport, we tour all around Shelter Island which splits the Fish Tail in half. Beautiful homes, most seasonal. The money here is amazing. Shelter Island has no commercial places, much to see, but there is great scenery. We go to Sag Harbor, NY anchor. We are able to go under a bridge that is just a little higher than Just Relax. This is good, because it is prettier, calmer and less crowded. There are only three boats here, where in the main harbor, there are boats everywhere. Marina's are even more than Greenport, and even a mooring ball is $74/night. This town is very expensive. We were hard pressed to find a burger for less than $15. We dink over to the town dock, which for some reason is free. The ride over on the dink was choppy, so Joe and Sue got a little wet - John laughs. While touring town, seeing the Whale museum, etc, the dink comes loose from the dock, but someone goes out and gets it for us and re-ties. There must been five boats here taht are over 100', one John steps off at 150'. Many shops here and Greenport, so we do get to buy a few trinkets. Our trip back, we pass though Plum Gut which is noted for currents, but we time it for slack current (not slack tide since that is an hour+ later. Slack tides versus slack currents are common on rivers and inlets, but to see the two differ so much in the ocean between islands is not so common, but we understand there are other ares on Long Island and the Cape Cod area that have this. Plum Island does not allow non-government people here. It was (is?) used for testing animals and other experiments by our government over the years. Our Gov't supposedly has trashed the beautiful island with pollution. There are local stories that animals have three heads, and one eye.....which we are sure is not true, but who knows what they have done. John mumbles something about the Demo-Publicans and we move on and cross over back to Old Saybrook.

Since we have been here in Old Saybrook, we decide to take a day for just ourselves and tour our temporary home port. We go to Old Lyme and they have the town shut down for a festival. Neat. We visit old shops and have a great meal out too. Then at night, we have the mandatory Ice Cream Sunday - locally made.

Our plans are to go to Martha Vineyard, etc next week.

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