New England Fog and Other Island Treats

Early Sunday morning departure set for 6:30AM.  Uggh!  Welcome to New England.  Solid fog in Newport harbor.  Oh well.  No time like the present to learn how to run in New England "pea soup".  James helps us set up the boat to see and be seen in the fog.  Two radar systems, AIS, fog horn all set to go.  Route entered in the chart plotter.

James Knight and Nora working through the fog.

This trip will be Newport, Rhode Island to Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts and then on to Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard.  Except for about 45 minutes of clear sky in Cuttyhunk, the entire 4+ hour trip is in thick fog.  It is a full immersion lesson in playing very close attention to two radar screens (set to different distances) and the chart plotter displaying Bravo’s route as well as other boats with AIS, allowing us to see their position and route relative to Bravo.  Very helpful when you are motoring along at 8 knots, the high-speed ferry is crossing your path at 30 knots, and two fishing boats are approaching at 10 knots!  Think three-screen computer game playing in three dimensions with real boats!

Skies clear again as we enter Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard.  We hook onto a convenient mooring buoy only to find out from the harbormaster that we are “too big” for any of their buoys.  Plan B…  Unhitch the mooring bridle, motor across the bay, and find a spot to drop the hook.  Away from the crowds, we anchor off a beach with several grey weathered New England cottages.

Anchoring gives us another opportunity to practice using the davit to launch the dinghy.  Practice makes perfect!  We motor across the bay to visit two other Nordhavns that are also in Vineyard Haven.  Seabird and Ocean Pearl are well known for their adventures across the Atlantic and Pacific.  It was an unexpected treat to spend the evening with Steve and Carol (Seabird), and Braun and Tina (Ocean Pearl) and hear first-hand about their adventures.  Ironically, Karl and Braun discovered that they both were living in the same military family neighborhood in Tokyo/Yokohama area of Japan in the 1950’s!  Karl’s dad was in the Air Force, and Braun’s dad was in the Navy.  Small world indeed.

Vineyard Haven also is where we say "good-bye" to James Knight. He hops a ferry back to Rhode Island and flies home to Yacht Tech in Florida.  We can't thank him enough for all his patience, support and coaching on the trip from Virginia to the New England coast. 


While in Martha’s Vineyard, we also had a visit from Nora’s sister and brother-in-law, Mich and Geoff Miller.  Another strange unplanned coincidence.  Mich and Geoff were vacationing in Oysterville, MA directly across the sound from Martha’s Vineyard.  They hopped a ferry from Hyannis and spent a day on-board BRAVO.  The four of us had a great dinner at the Black Dog Tavern.  The next morning, we pulled anchor and headed out to Nantucket.

Nora and Michele

Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket is a busy stretch of water!  Pleasure boats, fishing boats, high speed ferries all compete for limited traveling lanes.  Inside the harbor, power launches dash about the crowded anchorage ferrying people to/from the town dock.  Luckily, we are assigned a buoy in the first row of the mooring field facing the mega-yacht parking lot.  However, it is an interesting learning experience catching and securing the mooring ball in a 17-knot wind!

Once settled in we hop on a launch and head to shore.  We make a self-guided informal walking tour of the town.  Nantucket is a picture-perfect New England seacoast village.  Cobblestone streets, brick and weathered cedar shingled shops, homes and restaurants all filled with well-heeled visitors.  Flower baskets cover the fronts of all the buildings.  Tree lined streets of restored houses maintaining the colonial look modernized to support the vibrant tourist industry.

Back at the boat we watch in awe as a mega-yacht pulls into the harbor perpendicular to a long row of super yachts docked stern-in.  The captain performs an exquisite seemingly effortless double-anchor, pivot turn Med mooring backing into a “parking space” that was not much wider than the boat beam!  After that show and a quick dinner, it’s an early bedtime to be ready for tomorrow’s long-haul.


  1. Tina and Braun JonesAugust 23, 2017 at 2:17 PM

    Karl and was such a pleasure meeting you both. Braun and I wish you all the best in your have the right boat! Tina and Braun Jones N6403 Ocean Pearl

  2. Navigating your new home in the fog?... you call that fun? Your new lifestyle sounds thrilling, rewarding and challenging!

  3. So excited to read about your adventures! Happy sailing!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Next stop... Mt. Desert Island

"Repositioning Cruise" Redefined