Friday, May 09, 2008

Stuck in Newport

[Kyle]Today we had intended to leave for Cuttyhunk Island (Massachusetts), but the weather forecast was for very strong headwinds, we decided yesterday it would be safest to stay in our Newport anchorage for another day.

We began today by rowing out a second anchor in the cold rain (via dinghy), and adding more chain to our ground tackle for the expected storm; the wind was forecast to be around 30kt, gusting up to 40 later. We were not the only ones out rowing in the harbor and wishing we were someplace warmer – the picture above is of a local fisherman.

Since it was still (relatively) calm in the morning, we decided to row ashore for a quick walk into town, visit a recommended nautical bookstore, and a enjoy lunch. Maryanne got some rowing practice, but was not exactly happy about it while I sat there smugly. Newport is filled with many trendy (expensive) little restaurants and boutiques, but we passed a very busy, very basic looking diner – “Gary’s Handy Lunch”. The place was filled and seemed to be where the locals ate, right across the street from the wooden boat restoration school, and alongside many other famous nautical storefronts. Lunch was very reasonable, but basic (e.g egg and toast, $1.75!) and we enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversations surrounding us. I swear one of the guys at the counter was the famous naval architect Olin Stevens.

We tried to see more of the town, but the drizzle and cold did not leave us feeling very touristy; the wind was picking up and we were eager to get back (to warm up and dry off) on Footprint before the storm started to build. We baked brownies and spent the rest of the day pouring over our new guidebooks for Maine. The wind is such that the wind generator easily keeps pace with our heater power consumption so we are snug and warm and safe.

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