We were to be sitting at Payne’s Dock on Block Island this morning, but alas, Henri has crashed the party.
Four Days in Greenport
Before I get to Henri, I’d like to share more about the wonderful little village we just spent four days visiting on Long Island.
Greenport – more specifically Mitchell Park, is a cruisers dream destination. They offer a number of Marinas and a quaint little downtown.
As we backed into our slip on Tuesday we heard someone shout “Hi Dave and Sue,” and immediately recognized Jim and Ann Marie from Plymouth. We met them in June on Nantucket…
Keeping Cool in Near Peril
After a little chit chat, Jim reported on a very serious incident that befell Breakaway – their Sabre 42…
Monday, they were enjoying an unusually calm run into Greenport when the bilge pump alarms started screeching out.
Jim opened the hatch to the engine room and saw it was flooded. After a minute or so he discovered that the raw water discharge hose has burst and the engine cooling water pumps were pouring water into the hull.
Jim recently retired from a career in preventive maintenance at a Nuclear Power Plant. Needless to say, he’s quite adept at emergency repairs. He shut down the engines while Ann Marie searched the horizon for possible rescue boats.
Once the engines stopped, the bilge pumps drained the hull. Using spare hoses and tape on board, Jim was able to repair the hose well enough to idle Breakaway for the last five miles into Greenport.
I’m not sure I could have done the same – could you?
Jim bought a new hose in town, but it didn’t quite fit. He contacted Niemiec (our Marine Diesel Service Provider in New Bedford), they overnighted the correct hose, and Jim completed the repair on Thursday.
Dining in Greenport
As you might suspect, we ate out a lot in the course of our four days in Greenport, rather than walk you though our daily meals, I thought I’d rank the five restaurants we dined at and tell you why…
#5 – The Port
Probably the nicest setting – almost an Oceanside Tiki Hut, and while the food was good, it came in last among the restaurants we ate at simply because the others were better.
#4 – Claudio’s
Also an oceanfront eatery with better food but a more subdued atmosphere…
#3 – The Frisky Oyster
At this point we’re splitting hairs. We loved the Frisky Oyster, but the menu was a tad limited and pricey…
Mrs. Horne substituted Parmesan Polenta for the standard Tomato Risotto and it was the best dish by far.
#2 – Ellen’s on Front
I briefly reviewed this in my last report. It is very good, but a little understaffed due to the labor shortage…
#1 – Lucharitos
We walked right by Lucharitos on Tuesday and didn’t give it a second thought. Jim and Ann Marie went there Tuesday night and said it was very good, so we tried it for lunch on Wednesday. We liked it so much that we went back again on Thursday.
Authentic Mexican food is tasty, inexpensive, and surprisingly healthy. Unfortunately, most Mexican restaurants cheat us on the healthy part and use too much fat or just fry everything.
That’s why I loved Lucharitos. Every dish they served up offered clean Mexican flavor in a lighter recipe.
Things To Do in Greenport
As I said it’s a great little village with lots of one-off shops, restaurants, and live music venues…
Biking In Greenport
Wednesday morning Mrs. Horne and I broke out the eBikes and headed north out of town to check out biking on Greenport.
There are no formal bike paths, but other than Route 25, most roads are 20 mph and easy to cruise with light traffic. Once you get out of town, Route 25 takes a right and the speed limit goes up to 40 MPH, but there are wide bike lanes on both sides of the street.
We went up Front Street, down Main, and just kept taking rights in search of seaside streets…
We found many quaint streets and neighborhoods with little or no traffic…
We also cruised Saint Agnes Cemetery…
And met some locals who shared their favorite restaurants…
When we got to East Marion we’d gone 10 miles thanks to all of our side street detours and headed back to Greenport.
Fred Before Henri
We had a little cocktail party on Relentless’s Flybridge with Jim and Ann Marie and their friends Glen and Rhonda…
As we talked I realized my original plan to head to Block Island was going to be a problem as the remnants of Hurricane Fred made land…
I tried to extend my stay at Mitchell Park but was declined. Then I tried every Marina from Sag Harbor to Shelter Island – all denied us. Eventually I got a slip at Safe Harbor Stirling.
No sooner did I book it than one of the dockhands told Mrs. Horne that Mitchell Park Marina was trying to get us a spot to sit out the storm.
They did and they moved us to a Straight Wharf on the T with better views…
Henri Crashes the Block Island Wedding
Our friends Paul and Patty’s son was getting married on Block Island Saturday afternoon. Tom and Terry were going and a lot of guests were coming by boat and staying at Payne’s. Tom invited us to “Crash the Wedding,” but of course we’d never! But partying at Payne’s with the wedding goers before and after sounded like fun.
Patty and Paul did invite us to a bonfire on the Town Beach Friday night and we booked Kimberly’s for an early dinner in Old Harbor.
By Thursday night it was clear that Sunday was going to be a mess thanks to Henri so we cut our plans to arrive Friday morning and leave Saturday.
Tom and Terry had already decided to haul Vigilant for the Hurricane and planned to take the ferry over for the wedding. They asked us if they could hitch a ride home on Relentless and of course we said “yes.”
Greenport looked great as we left around 8:00 for the 45 mile run to New Harbor. It was still too early for Henri and Long Island protected us to the south.
We ran at 30 MPH most of the way and at 9:30 I texted Tom and Terry with our ETA and asked them for their. Tom called just before I checked in at Payne’s and canceled their trip.
Due to the Hurricane, ferry rides off the island were sold out Saturday and Monday. The ferry company had already canceled everything for Sunday.
Fortunately for us, Payne’s is 100% refundable, so canceling wasn’t a problem. I plotted a new route to Mattapoisett and resolved to spending another two hours at the helm after already running nearly 50 miles before 10:00 AM.
The good news was that the seas were still pretty flat and I was able to maintain 30 MPH. Once we cleared the northern side of Block Island, we ran into big rollers off our starboard aft quarter.
Within minutes, they grew to 6-8’, but they were well spaced so I was able to maintain my speed in sort of a “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” surfing down the backside of a big wave every minute or so.
I complied a short video memorializing the trip and added a few clips I shot Sunday as Henri hit Mattapoisett.
POSTSCRIPT: Henri Didn’t Win!
Saturday turned out to be one of the nicest boating days of the season in New England. The dedicated team at Mattapoisett Boatyard worked around the clock hauling and blocking boats before the storm hit.
One of the problems with Henri was its track. The cone of impact remained 100 miles wide up until the moment it made landfall…
This meant anyone who cared about their boat from Long Island to Cape Cod had to prepare for a direct hit from a CAT 1 Hurricane.
Meanwhile the wedding went on as planned and around 4:00 Mike and Jenny exchanged their vows on the shores of New Harbor…
Back in Mattapoisett, Mrs. Horne and I watched movies with one eye and monitored the MBY webcam with the other.
The boatyard has a very heavy mooring in the center of the harbor capable of securing a 100’ boat and I had left it up to Dave and Ned to decide whether to moor Relentless in the harbor or haul her.
Around 10:00 Ned texted me with a photo of Relentless on a trailer…
She’ll be back the water today and ready for Edgartown in a few days.