A FEW PICTURES FROM HOUSE AND SHORE – Garry Armstrong

I took most of the pictures. Marilyn was off-duty this time. There are a lot more, but this is a little taste of our weekend with Tom and Ellen.

We didn’t go out because the sea was a bit high, but we had a fine time just hanging out in the marina.

Cleaning the boat
Still cleaning the boat
On the dock – Ellin’s in blue
Along the dock — Can you spot Tom?
A little cloud over the Curley’s house

MONOCHROME WATER – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: In or On Water

A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – WATER, WATER, WATER – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Water


Living surrounded by water, to no one’s surprise, most of my pictures involve water. Water in lakes and ponds, water flowing over fall and dams. I don’t entirely know where to start.

Dams? Streams? Ponds? Ocean?

I suppose, this being the Blackstone River Valley, it would have to be the river, its dams, canal, tributaries, ponds.

Photo Garry Armstrong – At the Canal
Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong
At Whitins pond …
At River Bend
Blackstone Gorge – Photo: Garry Armstrong
Bridge over the Blackstone
Summer on the Mumford
Swans in pairs on the pond
The dock at River Bend
September by the Blackstone

I think I’ll stop now. Because there really are so many … not to mention volumes from Tom and Ellin’s boat and marina. And of course, the beaches and docks …

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT # 68: SUMMERTIME PLAY – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP # 68: PLAY


It’s hot. It’s humid.

It’s summer and the only thing to do is get wet, stay wet, and wait for the cooler weather to come!

Ready! 
Set! 
Jump! 
WET!

ANOTHER BOAT ADVENTURE- BY ELLIN CURLEY

Traveling to Martha’s Vineyard By Boat

Our friend, Deb, takes her boat to Martha’s Vineyard every year and lives on a mooring there for at least a month. This is her happy place. She can telecommute – so she’s very lucky, too.

Recently divorced, she can’t make the 140 mile trip on her 40-foot power boat by herself. So we volunteered to go with her and get her there safely. It’s great to see friends living their dreams.

This is Deb’s boat, Reverie
DAY 1

Deb’s radar tower was damaged. It was supposed to be fixed weeks ago. It wasn’t. We couldn’t make the trip without radar. Endless delays left her with a promise to get it fixed by 8 AM this morning – two hours before we wanted to leave! Miraculously, the marine repair crew came through this time and we were ready to roll on time.

Deb and Tom at the helm

We headed out in beautiful, sunny weather and enjoyed glossy seas the whole way. We drove for 8-½ hours, with Tom and Deb taking turns driving the boat.

Underway, leaving CT

We picked up a mooring at Block Island and watched an awesome sunset over the water. Then we cooked a late dinner. The only mishap of the day was some spilled butter in the oven from the peach cobbler. The cabin filled with smoke and we had to open the doors and windows to keep the smoke alarm from going off.

Sunset at Block Island
DAY 2

This morning, Deb took her dog to the shore in the dinghy for a walk.

Deb and Rosie in the dinghy

She came back with award-winning, amazingly light and airy donuts from a well-known local donut shop. We were looking forward to these donuts since the last time we had them! These donuts made the 8-½ hours on the water worthwhile. That’s how good they are!

We enjoyed a quiet morning on the water with our coffee and donuts.

We stopped to get gas before we headed out so we got a glimpse of the Block Island waterfront. The rest of the day was as beautiful and calm as the day before.

leaving Block Island

While we are underway, I love lying down on the sofa and feeling the vibrations of the engine. I also get to enjoy the gentle rocking of the boat as she moves through the water. The sounds are wonderful too. — the hum of the engine and the lapping of the waves against the hull.

The lapping of the waves is even more pronounced and soothing when we’re on a mooring. They lull me to sleep at night.

Sailboat we passed en route to Martha’s Vineyard

We get to Martha’s Vineyard and search for our mooring in the mooring field. It’s beautiful to see all the boats dotting the water. The houses on shore all around us are beautiful too. Taking lots of photos!

We decide to go to town for dinner. There’s a water taxi that takes you to shore if you don’t want to use your dinghy. The taxi drivers are very skilled. They maneuver their boat sideways next to yours and line up the boats so you can get on and off the taxi without falling in the water. The drivers are also super friendly. You always seem to end up in a conversation with other riders as well, so the whole experience is quite engaging.

Deb getting off water taxi

We end up at an atmospheric crab shack right next to the water in the harbor of Edgartown. Our view is a ‘parking lot’ for all the dinghies that people drive to shore from their boats in the mooring field.

We have a fun dinner and watch some TV when we get back to the boat. Lovely, but uneventful.

Tom and me at dinner
DAY 3 – Travel Day

After a relaxing morning, today is all about getting home without a boat.

Our trip will involve many different modes of transportation and close to six hours. First, we take the water taxi to shore where we get a land taxi to the ferry depot on the other end of Martha’s Vineyard, in Oak Bluffs.

After close to two hours on the high-speed ferry, we pick up our rental car and drive the two plus hours home. We stop at our marina to pick up my car, which we left there when we boarded Deb’s boat.

High-speed Ferry

And we’re home! Great, frenzied greeting by the dogs after two days away. Now we’re back to normal after a successful trip.

And I can go through all the pictures I took and sit down and post my blog!

THE LOVE OF THE WATER – BY ELLIN CURLEY

What is it about water that so many people find endlessly fascinating and soul soothing? People pay top dollar to live in homes that have a view of water – any water – ocean, lake, pond, marsh, stream. Prime vacation spots are often on, in or near the water.

I love the sound of our backyard mini waterfall. I can also sit and look at it for hours. The sound of waves lapping onto the shore have been recorded innumerable times for relaxation tapes, sleep aids and comfort for newborns.

 

People also love the feel of water; pushing through the fingers, falling onto the hand, resisting a closed palm, like in swimming. People walk with their feet in the water at beaches and swim anywhere they can, both under the water and on top. There are a plethora of gadgets to help you play in the water, from inner tubes to noodles, paddle-boards, beach balls, etc. There are also too many water sports to even try to list.

96-SunriseWalkNIK-CR-1

There is a theory that our obsession with water is rooted in our time in our mother’s womb. As fetuses, we float in the uterus in a protective amniotic fluid, gently rocked as our mothers move. We may even hear the sounds of swooshing water. Which could explain the universality of humans’ love affair with water.

But it doesn’t explain why only some people seek the water in many different aspects of their lives.

Personally, we choose to live in the woods — but we own a boat. Listening to water slapping against our hull is our version of Nirvana. Our boat is big enough so we’re not close to the waterline when on-board.

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So we have an inflatable dinghy that we drive around. In that, we are as close to the water level as you can get, like in a canoe or a rowboat. I can’t resist putting my hands in the water and opening my fingers as we ride through the water. I love the sound of the little boat pushing through the water, punctuated by the percussion bursts of waves breaking against its sides.

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I don’t have any earth-shattering conclusions to make. I’m sure there are research studies out there on the subject. It’s just that I’m on my boat enjoying being on the water and wondering why it is so satisfying for me. I had a swimming pool and a pond during summers growing up but no one in my family went to beaches or liked boats. We were city folks who ‘roughed it’ in the countryside of Fairfield County, CT during our summer vacations.

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So I have no family history or childhood memories to fall back on, except the pool and the pond. Maybe that, combined with my primal connection with amniotic fluid, is enough.

2018 BOATING SEASON BEGINS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

2018 BOATING SEASON BEGINS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

We got our boat in the water right on time this year, in early May. But the weather wasn’t acting like spring. It was rainy and cold a lot. Tom didn’t care. He’d go sit on the boat in the rain. He says, “It’s a boat. It’s waterproof!” That’s not for me. I stayed home while Tom went and sat on the boat in the lousy weather.

Now it’s feeling like summer and I’m getting into the rhythm of boating. Some days we just go to the marina for a few hours, often without the dogs. But when there are several nice days back to back, we pack up the dogs and move to the boat. It’s like going to a floating beach house.

Living on the boat feels like a vacation. We’re only a half hour away from home. So in some ways, it makes no sense that we feel like it’s such a big and positive change from our everyday life.

But there’s something cozy and fun about living in a mini house. The small kitchen and bathroom are challenges – but fun challenges. Cooking on the small three burner stove often has to be done in installments because I can’t fit three pots on the stove at once. I can’t boil pasta, make sauce and cook meatballs at the same time as I do at home.

Creative juggling gets the job done – eventually.

We grill a lot at home. But we aren’t allowed to use a grill on our boats at the marina. Instead, there’s a communal grill for each dock. You often have to wait your turn to get to it, so we don’t rely on grilling too much on the boat. We tend to order out or go out to eat more. It’s part of the sense of being on vacation when you don’t have to cook as much as you do at home.

Since we are all living in a smaller space on the boat, we end up spending more time together with the dogs than at home. At home, the dogs spend a lot of time outside in good weather. And they love to go from room to room, sofa to sofa. On the boat, there’s only one sofa for them to crash on. And that’s where I spend most of my time.

While we do similar things on the water that we do at home, such as reading and writing, it feels different on the water. Among other things, the dock is a more social environment than in our rather isolated house in the woods. When boats go out or come in, everyone rushes to help. It’s dock etiquette. There is a very strong current in the river at the marina, so getting in and out of our slips can be a tricky affair.

After helping a boat in or out, the people on the dock hang out and chat. The same thing happens when we walk the dogs. We end up chatting with people on their boats as we traverse the dock to get the dogs to the parking lot and the dog walking area.

Then there are the invitations for drinks and the time spent relaxing on each others’ boats. Most things are impromptu, spur of the moment affairs. You never know who will be on their boats when you’re there.

We recently had a wake-up call, reminding us that boat travel can be dangerous. Our good friend took her boat out in bad seas. She got banged around so much, her swim platform literally broke in half and her radar unit broke away from its hinges. If the swim platform had come off ITS hinges, the boat would have started to take on water and sink in the middle of Long Island Sound!

She was lucky and dodged a major bullet!

imagine a swim platform, like this one, split in half, lengthwise

My friend was very shaken, as were we. When you are alone out on the water, you are dependent on weather and water conditions. And there can be lots of unpleasant surprises. The key to boating safety is knowing when to leave the dock and when to stay put. The go or no-go decision is the most important thing a Captain does.

But no matter how careful and conservative you are, you can get caught in unexpected and dicey conditions. It’s happened to us but we never suffered as much damage to our boat as our friend did. We have had some very rough and scary trips. We’ve reached our destination with things flung all over the boat – furniture, contents of drawers, anything not tied down! I’ve had to crawl along the floor to keep a chair from heading off the boat when our gate broke loose!

Fortunately, I’m very happy on the dock! I don’t need to go somewhere in my beach house in order to enjoy it. I like hanging out at the marina and taking short day trips. Our friends and family are happy with this routine as well. So this is what we do most of the time. It’s not what all boaters do, but it’s fine for us.