Newport, RI

We departed New Bedford in time to make the 9AM bridge opening, headed through the hurricane barrier and made a course toward Newport, an easy run of about 35 miles. Forecasts were less than ideal, with winds predicted in the 20 kt range with small craft and rough surf advisories in effect. We decided to venture out beyond the hurricane barrier and test the conditions, which proved to be fairly benign. 5-7 ft seas with quite a long period, quartering, so our ride entailed plenty of motion, but none of it particularly uncomfortable, and kindly enough to prepare breakfast underway. Big waves, gentle motion. Destination, Newport, RI unless conditions deteriorated. Since conditions remained steady, we pulled into busy Newport Harbor about 3PM. The Newport Boat Show was in full swing, and we anticipated difficulty in finding a place to anchor, but as luck had it, we called Oldport to check on a mooring and snagged the last one for our size vessel. The harbor was abuzz with activity, and we decided the draw of the show was too much to resist, so planned to stay for two nights, giving us ample opportunity to take in the boat show on Saturday. A public access dinghy dock just a few hundred yards away made for super easy access to get the pups (and us) ashore, so we pronounced ourselves in hog heaven for two days, surrounded by boats of every size and desription, and the opportunity to spend a whole day gawking at new ones and all the related “stuff” that makes the boat show great fun!

We headed to shore with the pups and combined some exercise with ticket pickup. Newport’s an old seafaring town, lots of old buildings, many restored. Shops, both touristy and unique abound, and plenty of interesting stuff to see while walking. A big cruise ship port, the streets swell with folks as the ships disgorge their biped cargo, and the shopkeepers’ eyes light up with dollar signs. Restaurants abound, no shortage of variety in quality or flavor!

The boat show was small compared to the Annapolis show, with both sail and power represented, but the vendor presence seems to be better represented and more enthusiastic since this is one of the earlier shows in the boat show season. I was interested in making some contacts regarding Maerin’s house battery and cold plate situations, and found the answers I was seeking. I also completed the purchase of the refrigeration equipment to convert the failing Grunert holding plate box to a Frigoboat system. The Frigoboat gear will transform the box into a full-fledged freezer or refrigerator as our travels require. Switching between functions will only require changing the temperature setting on the digital thermostat. The system is keel-cooled, and super-efficient, far greater flexibility with a fraction of the power requirement.

We split up a few times, enabling Jared to spend some time checking out boats that suit his style while I slogged through the minutia of refrigeration and AGM batteries with the respective reps. Other than a break to retrieve some lunch from the boat, we spent the entire day scouring the show! It was a worthwhile day with both skipper and crew coming away with plenty of what we went for!

Having obtained our boat show fix, we made plans to depart Newport Sunday morning. Again, rough sea conditions were in the forecast, but actual conditions proved to be benign, and we decided to make a longer run of about 65 miles to Joshua Cove where we’d arrive with about an hour of daylight left.

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