Summer in New England 2020

We arrived in CT in mid-June when restrictive stay at home rules were just beginning to relax. Outdoor exercise was encouraged, so the day after arriving off we went with a small family group to Arcadia Management area early Sunday morning. I think we only saw two other lone hikers.

Hiking with Jenna, Ipo, Nani, & son Alex

We drove to Maine to drop off a damaged dagger board; for repair, at Greene Marine and spent one night at Anita’s sisters house. Then we drove on to NH for a quick visit with Tom’s Dad.

We had been placing a bunch of online orders as we had some repairs to do. The mast track was very warn where the large batten cars rested. Poor design! Tom had to cut a larger gate in the existing mast track and installed a new super slick track. Then we both worked on replacing the sail slides. Love it when a project goes smoothly and makes a real nice difference! Check out the video below.

Removed the boom and installed new mast track
Installed new sail slides
New track works great!

On Tuesday, August 4th we had the remnants of a tropical storm. We decided to stay at our mooring as it weighs more than 1200 pounds, bigger than any anchor we have! The video below was taken when the winds were 43 knots, that’s about 50 mph. I see at least 3 roller furling jibs flapping. Folks did not prepare. Warning: do not watch the video if you are prone to seasickness when standing on a dock.

Early August Tropical Storm

A few days later we rented a car and drove to NH to join some Kintz family members for a socially distanced lake vacation. We wore masks indoors, ate separately, and most importantly everyone stayed healthy.

Newfound lake vacation

When we returned the rental car, we took a short break to sail to Block Island during the week and sail home on the weekend when most people arrived. There were no crowds on BI. We took a short hike on a new trail and looked down at the surf side beach; all were nearly empty on a gorgeous August afternoon.

Sail to Block Island
Fewer boats in the anchorage than normal
Found a new deserted walking path
Windy day at the beach, not many people

A few days later we joined a few boats from Shennecossett Yacht Club for a weekend cruise to Watch Hill, RI. This event began with a gathering at the hosts’ boat where everyone stayed in their own dinghies. The next morning, we gathered for breakfast on the beach. We kept our distance and still got to visit in small groups while wearing masks. Really fun time and great breakfast sandwiches from a local restaurant.

Dinghies tied to host boat
Breakfast on the beach
… At beautiful Watch Hill

Before we knew it, Labor Day weekend was over and we had sailed up the Connecticut River to Essex Boat Works for a four day haul out to scrub the topsides, apply two more coats of bottom paint, grease the propellor, and change the zincs.

Ready to launch

We made one last trip to NH to visit and play games with Tom’s Dad and enjoyed a hike nearby. Delicious beef stew and yummy pies, thanks Ilse!

Dad and Tom on a hike

We helped plan a last minute wedding shower for our son. They’ve set the date for next May! We’ll sail north again next spring to attend.

Wedding shower for Jenna & Alex

Our next summer project was to install 4 additional solar panels on the pilot house roof. We will have 1 kilowatt of power when the installation is complete. We couldn’t head south until the panels were safely secured. Tom finished that on October 15th. He still has to do the wiring and install a new controller, but that can be done south of here. It’s getting too cold! Although our diesel cabin heater has been working fine, keeping us warm.

New fiberglass brackets to secure the panels
New handrail to guide main sheet past sharp edges
Bundled up to read. Time to head south!

Tom’s yacht brokerage is more active this year than last. People must be realizing boats are a great way to travel and live in isolation. We love this lifestyle and look forward to making a passage south real soon.

This summer recap shows a few highlights only. The majority of our time was spent in isolation on our boat at our mooring. We look forward to a future beyond this global flu pandemic, when we can hug and laugh and be social again. Stay healthy, happy and safe everyone.

Summer Socializing and Upgrading Lone Star

Cruising organizations have been a valued part of our lives for nearly 40 years. Shennecossett Yacht Club (SYC), the Corinthians and Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) to name a few. Whether to lend or receive a helping hand, to swap stories or learn new things. The enduring friendships from these organizations are the best. In June we had the pleasure of attending a cruisers gathering at Essex Yacht Club hosted by three separate cruising organizations: SSCA, Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) and Salty Dawg Rally. Wow! What a great group of positive people, wealth of knowledge, great speakers on a variety of topics, and just a lot of fun!A hands on demonstration inflating a life raft inspired us to research options for our cruising situation.Touring various cruising boats was fun, educational, and a much appreciated benefit to this gathering!

Immediately following this inspiring weekend we hauled Lone Star out of the water for an overhaul at Essex Boat Works. We can’t say enough about the helpful and knowledgeable staff at this well run yard. We need this 100 ton lift due to the beam/width of our trimaran.We began by removing the rudder, shaft, and engine. You may recall we had an alternator problem last winter; we burned up or shredded more than a few v-belts. Although the engine ran well, we thought it was due for an overhaul and paint job. Great opportunity to clean the engine room and continue to sound proof it too.We added new engine mounts, all new hoses, new Balmar alternator with serpentine belt, a new starter and rebuilt the injectors.The folks at Essex Boat Works are so helpful, we highly recommend this knowledgeable staff!We removed the four noisy cockpit drains that were just at the waterline and replaced them with closable valves, one on each side about 8 inches lower. Note the old AGM battery bank in the above picture, replacing them with lithium was another summer project. Tom and I scrubbed the yellow stain and numerous black marks off the topsides. We also had the yard do some touch up painting on the topsides and they added a black boot stripe and keel guard; a vinyl strip on the port transom, to prevent wear when lifting the dinghy on davits. After reinstalling rudder, new shaft, and old propellor we were ready to launch. The rudder is now painted white for better visibility.After launching late on Friday, we had to spend one more weekend in Essex as the rebuilt starter was messed up. Essex Boat Works generously replaced it with a brand new one the following Tuesday. This haul-out was expensive, but considering all that we accomplished, it was well worth it. After 30 days, we were on our way down river and back to our mooring at SYC.Old Saybrook Lighthouse at the mouth of the Connecticut River.

Tom immediately started the next project charging the individual lithium cells for our new battery bank. Then wired them all together to top balance them. At the end of July, we rented a car for a Kintz family lake vacation in New Hampshire.Ahh relaxation, sailing small boats, swimming, and spending time with family, a slice of heaven on earth.

Upon returning to Lone Star we saw a good weather window to head to Block Island. We wanted to try a new arrangement for the WindPilot self-steering, need to be sailing to do that! Oh yeah, there are a lot of boats here in the summer!Nice new dinghy dock in Great Salt Pond makes it very easy to reach town and get some exercise.Who doesn’t enjoy a gorgeous sunset? It never ceases to awe and humble us. We live in a beautiful world 🌎.

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