The Last Leg

The last leg won't have much, because I'm now on a roll toward home. Not that there isn't a lot to see in Long Island Sound or up the Mass shore, its just that I'm not doing much cruising now, just rolling home.

It was a real relief to get out of the East River into Long Island Sound. The tide was with me and I made good speed down the sound. I was planning to meet an old DEC friend, Gardner Mason, so I called him for advice on where to go the first day. He suggested Milford CT, so I set the GPS for there and rolled on.

The autopilot, that had worked so well on the Hudson River packed it in- just constant curve to the left- unable to make a correction to right. It would show the indicator that it had applied right rudder, but nothing happened. I could push the wheel just slightly right and the boat would move right on course.

Not to far up the sound I passed this boat- I've seen several of these large yachts, good to see there is serious money around for boats.
This is the light at Execution Rocks, and it was just past an island called Fort Island, that had a big sign "PRISON STAY OFF". Wonder if these rocks really were used for execution?
I got into Milford about 4:50. A nice quiet harbor, with about 10,000 boats moored in it. Can you find SOLITUDE II in the crowd? I had planned to just get fuel and go out to the outer harbor and anchor, but the thought of a shower and a walk, and a good dinner won out and I dropped the $2 /ft for a dock.
Gardner arrived Wednesday morning about 8:00. We got ice, and added water to the tanks and headed out.

It was a mostly cloudy day, with an offshore wind. We moved in close to shore and had nice quiet water, but the tide was against us all day- we were as slow as 6.5 mph.

We found a slip in a tiny marina by Gardners house in Old Saybrook. We did some tinkering with the boat, and when I showed Gardner the engine he found a water leak. At first we thought it was the engine coolant, but in fact it turned out to be the fresh water line to the galley. That accounts for the frequent running of the fresh water pump that I was blaming on the faucet drip. I decided not to try to fix it, it looks like the hose has deteriorated from being to close to the hot engine and the whole hose should be replaced.

This is Gardners boat, BLUEBERRY. Its a Phil Bolger design, and the subject of a nice book by the builder and previous owner.

It was great to have a diner with Gardner and Carol, and a night in a real bed.

I was up and away just after 6:30. This is the light at the end of the breakwall off the Connecticut River.

Again the wind was light and off shore, so as soon as I was past Bartletts Reef I moved in close to shore. Calm, but still that tide knocking my speed off a mile or two.

This is Watch Hill, the end of Long Island Sound. The fishing must have been good along here because for the next 15 miles there was a steady row of small boats.

I went into Point Judith, both to get fuel and to meet another old DEC friend, Dezzi Dezzani. Dezi met me at Jims Dock, but there was no fuel there, so we rode up to the next marina and filled up, then I dropped Dezi back at Jims Dock. It was a short visit, but good to see him again- we were in the same New DEC sales training class in May of 1969, and worked in the same group several times over the next 25 years.

I was out of Point Judith by 2:00 and headed for Cuttyhunk. About 35 miles, moderate sea but little wind. I coerced the autopilot to hold a course, about 20 degrees off what it was set for, but it held well enough to relieve my ride a bit.

I was into Cutty at 5:00,tied up to the town dock and took a short walk where I took this photo looking out at Gay Head, Marthas Vineyard.

I moved out and dropped the anchor, made a drink, and sat and watched the harbor for a while. When I stopped the engine I heard the fresh water pump running almost constantly. I guess we must have really cracked the water hose while we poked and probed to find the leak. The Albin has a single master switch for the DC power, it is not posible to shut off one item like the freshwater pump. I opened the pannel and unhooked the wire for the pump. I will be replacing the breakers on the pannel with switch/breakers.

The Albin won't lay quietly at anchor, it sails back and forth, across the wind. To high on the bow and no structure aft. Will I need a steadying sail?

I had not been to Cutty since a trip to OP Sail in Newport RI in 1976 on my Folkboat. Nice to be here again, but things are a bit more expensive- $2 per ft for a dock and $35 per night to use a mooring. I used my anchor, for free.