New England Escape
Jamestown, Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard
Lobster and Sunshine are Highlights of Our New England Cruise
Visiting Martha’s Vineyard in August 2022 turned out to be more complicated than anyone anticipated. We booked two sloops available from Dream Yacht Charter. Interest in the trip far exceeded their capacity, so Charter Liaison Gary Brubaker, also one of the skippers, went shopping for another boat. He found Venteaux, a Sun Odyssey 440, available from a different company.
The first two boats—a Beneteau 410 and a Dufour 430--were available Sunday to Saturday. Venteaux’s charter had to start on Saturday, giving it an extra day. After trip leadership had planned the itinerary and reserved moorings in various harbors, Dream Yacht Charter moved their base farther north in Narraganset Bay. Now our first and last days would be nearly forty and fifty miles. Venteaux’s base was a little closer. Just weeks before the trip, Dream Yacht Charter swapped our Beneteau 410 for a Lagoon 38 catamaran. It turned out there was no option — the sloop hadn’t yet arrived at the charter base and the manager had been making similar substitutions all summer.
Joining our fleet in a couple of ports would be Together, owned by
members Dave and Hallie Lee. They sailed out of Falmouth, Massachusetts with
three more friends aboard. Venteaux departed Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Sunday morning for a sail on Narraganset Bay and a night on a mooring in
Jamestown. After the usual madness on Sunday of boarding and checking out the
Dufour, Fauvette, and the cat, Blue Butterfly, on Monday Bob
Rainey, Mia McCroskey, and their crews were off early to cover the forty or so
miles to Cuttyhunk. However, Gary noted Venteaux’s battery gauges
indicated a very low charge, so he called the charter company and waited on the
Jamestown mooring for a response. There went his lead. After a talk with the
base, he felt the situation was
manageable and they set sail at 0900.
The weather was showery with an unfortunate east wind, making sailing to Cuttyhunk challenging. “Iron jennies” were the ticket. So much for the brand-new jib Mia’s crew had put up on Blue Butterfly after seeing that the old one was about to rip on a seam. Luckily, Dream Yacht had put the replacement on board! Fortunately, the rain let up as we approached Cuttyhunk, and all three boats picked up moorings outside the harbor entrance in calm waters. We were all early enough for several crew to enjoy a swim.
Venteaux’s crew went
ashore and enjoyed a pre-arranged lobster feast with the crew from Together,
which had taken a slip in the harbor. Out in the mooring field, Bob’s crew on
Fauvette made dinner onboard while Blue Butterfly ordered shrimp, chowder, and
some stuffed clams delivered by the floating raw bar.
Tuesday morning remained showery with the winds still largely in our faces as the boats headed east and southeast to Edgartown. Sails were raised, but engines were required to get the boats to port. Coming into Edgartown, we passed several super-yachts, and then the iconic Edgartown Light. Edgartown Harbor was large and crowded – maybe 200 boats on moorings. Crews used the launch and the dinghies to find Blue Butterfly, which hosted the party! The combined boats produced a huge spread of food and everyone had a chance to get acquainted. One Blue Butterfly crew observed that he never thought we’d get 25 people aboard, but Mia had been confident.
Wednesday was a layover day in Edgartown with beautiful summer sunshine. The crews scattered to enjoy the upscale town (the Obamas, among others, have a house there), with many renting bikes and exploring the island, from the lighthouse to Chappaquiddick and beyond. One group, riding along the Beach Road to Oak Bluffs stopped at a bridge made famous in the movie Jaws, watching whole families repeatedly jumping off the bridge to the channel below. Everyone met up for drinks and dinner at the Seafood Shanty.
Thursday morning the water in Edgartown Harbor
was like glass. All three boats stopped at the water barge in Edgartown Harbor
to top up their tanks before motoring out into light winds for the sail
northwest and then southwest. The destination, Menemsha, is a small, picturesque
fishing village on the western end of the island. Menemsha has just two moorings
inside the harbor. Blue Butterfly and Fauvette rafted with a third
boat already there and Venteaux rafted with a different boat on the other
mooring, while Together took a slip. Crews organized a seafood purchase
from Larson’s Fish Market and enjoyed a swim. Before picking up dinner, the
crews enjoyed a party on Together as well as some exploration. Hallie Lee
made sure that club member Lisa Travaly was represented at the party, even
though she could not make the trip
Friday dawned sunny with a decent southwest wind for the long sail back to Rhode Island. And what a sail it was. Blue Butterfly finally put that new jib to good use and enjoyed a long reach from Menemsha to the mouth of Narraganset Bay. Blue Butterfly and Fauvette headed back to Warwick, stopping first at a neighboring marina whose fuel dock could accommodate these large boats. Venteaux sailed to a ball in Jamestown for the night. The freshening breeze foretold of a storm to come, and it hit hard shortly after everyone was secure with much thunder and lightning. On the dock in Warwick, the music from a neighboring boat prolonged the fun until late in the evening.
Saturday morning, Venteaux motored the short distance back to its home in Portsmouth, and all the crews cleaned out the boats, bade farewell to old friends and new, and headed home from a memorable trip!
|Blue Butterfly (Lagoon 380)
|Fauvette (Dufour 430)
Bob Rainey (S)
|Venteaux (Sun Odyssey 440)
Gary Brubaker (S)
Photos by Hans Burger, Jan Cornelius, John Francischetti, Craig Gill, Corry Grant, Joel Mack, Mia McCroskey and Mark Smaniotto