2106 Summer Cruise . . .
As they say in Hollywood - "In the Can."
The 2016 Summer Cruise was just what it was supposed to be: sunny, windy, full of social events, and in varied locations. We started in New Bedford with most people at Pope's Island Marina either in slips or on moorings. Dinner on Tuesday night took place at the Waterfront Grille and we had a ton of TONErs - 32 to be exact. Those who came in on Monday the 18th had winds in Rhode Island Sound over 40 kts in some places! Tuesday arrivals had wonderful sunny and breezy conditions to bring them in, but nothing like the day before. After a pretty hot afternoon, the crew either hiked over the Fairhaven Bridge or took the launch to the Waterfront Grille for drinks, socializing and dinner. It was the best attended event of the cruise and got us off to a great start.
Our next stop was Edgartown on Wednesday and Thursday, July 20th and 21st. There were plenty of transient moorings available, as well as the pre-reserved Dockwa ones, so nobody who came got skunked. The weather continued sunny and clear so everybody who wanted to shop, swim, or just hang about had a great opportunity. On Thursday night Alan Benet worked his yacht club reciprocity magic and a group of 22 cruise participants enjoyed the yachty charm of the Edgartown Yacht Club at a marvelous dinner in their private balcony upper room. Before the dinner, most of the group had enjoyed the hospitality of Linda & Jeff Lennox on Luora and Renee & Buddy Wainwright who had rafted Star Watch. After the drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and ogling the bigger 5300 and 4400 boats, we jumped in dinghies or the launch and headed for yacht club chow.
Friday dawned as bright and cheerful as the other days, and with more of that 2016 cruise wind. The destination for Friday was a set of comfortable Vineyard Haven 'inside the breakwater" moorings for 10 boats but as folks cleared the Chappy channel and headed into the outer harbor it became apparent how much wind there was. This writer, driving a T-3800, noticed a brief gust over 40 kts on the anemometer just as we approached Squash Meadow Shoal. It was a quick "Vineyard Sleigh Ride" to Vineyard Haven and we arrived at 10:30 AM. When we checked in with the VH Harbormaster we were informed that current mooring occupants had a 12:00 PM check-out time; we were advised to pick up a vacant mooring in the outer harbor and wait for a post noon check-in.
The next piece of information was a reminder that the cruising group reservation specifically provided for rafting - with up to three boats rafted per mooring! Under less blowy circumstances this probably wouldn't have been a big problem, but for many of those who had reserved, the conditions were far too sketchy to consider cuddling up to two other boats with wind inside the breakwater in the twenties. Some folks chose to anchor in the outer harbor and others went "around the bend" and into Lake Tashmoo. At the end everyone got settled somewhere, but it did throw a monkey wrench into what had been a really smooth as silk cruise. Despite the confusion, there were still TONE cocktail get togethers. Luora and La Retreat were rafted so the Lennoxs and Benets hosted an impromptu happy hour. Other TONE members fanned out over the harbor to join up with various friends and acquaintances. The cap off for the crazy day was a wild thunderstorm that came up in the evening with wild lightning and even a bit of hail. The next day, Saturday, July 23, was a declared free day and some people tarried on theVineyard while others set out for nearby ports.
The next stop was Mattapoisett on Sunday, 7/24. For those of us who had spent Saturday in Vineyard Haven it was another clear sunny day, but the wind was right out of the north which put it on the nose headed for Mattapoisett. Unless you wanted to tack, it was a motor sail across Buzzards Bay and into Mattapoisett harbor. Our crew took the early exit from VH to make the first good current in Wood's Hole so we were on a mooring before lunch time. This gave us a chance to meet up with some other participants and tour the small pleasures of Mattapoisett. There isn't much there. However, the houses are old and pretty and there is a great ice cream truck down on the harbor, so the walk-about wasn't without its pleasures. A pre-planned dinner at the Inn on Shipyard Park was just great. TONE had a private room and the food and service were both top flight. We had about 25 attendees so it wasn't exactly intimate, but you could get to talk to whomever you wanted to see.
Monday set the intrepid cruisers off to Kingman Yacht Center in Red Brook Harbor. There wasn't a reserved dinner at Kingman, but Cruise Coordinator Peter Crawford arranged for an impromptu dinner at the Chart Room for the interested people and they had a great time. The float plan had Monday's port as Scituate and again, Peter set up a TONE dinner at the Mill Wharf for those who had picked up moorings.
The final official port of call for the 2016 TONE Cruise was Boston. We didn't have a special deal, but most boats who went to Boston picked up slips at Constitution Marina at the head of the harbor. This marina gives you the unique feeling of having your boat in the middle of one of America's preeminent cities. The skyscrapers and office buildings are all around you and you feel like you are docked at Broadway and 42nd St. (to mix city metaphors). One good thing - you are only a few minutes walk over to the famed North End and its Italian restaurants. Peter Crawford arranged for a group reservation and the TONE crew once again enjoyed the great ambiance and fabulous food of Filippo Ristorante. This had been the venue for last year's mini-rendezvous in Boston and it was just as good this year.
All and all, it was a great Southern New England cruise for everybody who participated. We want to express special greetings to the members who were on a TONE cruise for the first time and also those members from the Chesapeake who made the long trip to New England and joined us for this event. We hope to see some of you at the Annapolis Boat Show in October!