Sunday, September 17, 2017

260 Miles in a Bathtub



Fire Island Sunrise

Connecticut River to Fire Island NY

Friday
Old Saybrook, Baldwin Bridge Boat Ramp. Launched my bathtub at sunset. Anchored in a shallow cove near the mouth of the Conn river by moonlight. Was grounded on a sandbar for 4 hours in the morning. Oops.

Saturday
Crossed Long Island Sound to Orient Point, 8 miles open ocean. Kited on a sandbar near Gardiners Island until a security boat told me that the sandbar was private. Oops. Anchored in Montauk Harbor overnight.

Gardiner's Very Exclusive Sandbar




Sunday
Found a secluded Anchorage in Northwest Harbor for the night after a beautiful walk through the Walking Dunes in Napeague. They're called the Walking dunes because they walk right across trees and forests. I couldn't actually see them walking.

Napeague, Dunes Walking Across Trees
 
Monday
Kited on Cedar Island. Climbed some scenic cliffs. Went through Shinnecock canal and lock. My gas tank fitting broke, bilge pump malfunctioned and I found a slow leak on a seam of the boat under where I keep my tools. Oops. Anchored near the canal and a marina for evening.

Cedar Island Sunrise


I always like to dry clean my wardrobe before neatly folding and putting away



Tuesday
Tied up at Great Gun Marina for night. But first I bought a new bilge pump and gas fitting at that nice marina that I slept near. Then I celebrated making it to Fire Island! Had the whole public marina to myself. 52 slips, I was the only occupied boat. Took my first shower in 4 days. Scary cold shower.

Open Tent


Closed Tent



Wednesday
Anchored in a buggy marsh near the Smith Point Bridge for sleepytime after visits to the Sunken Forest and Cherry Grove. Cherry Grove is for hobbits.

Cherry Grove with Fire Island's Famous Boardwalks




Cherry Grove Ambulance



Thursday
Spent another peaceful night at Great Gun after spending the whole day lazing around the marina, waiting for wind so I could kite the ocean side point break (sandbar/point). Love this spot! Endless fine white sand dunes devoid of human activity. Jogged to Moriches inlet then took another scary cold shower. Had a chat with a local boater, Robin. Thanks for the beer, (or 2).

Great Gun Marina After 2 Beers



Friday
Snorkeled in north end of Shinnecock Bay. Lots of Blue Crabs. Made me hungry. Went through Locks again. Anchored in North Sea Harbor overnight, not my favorite anchorage.

Shinnecock Lock, Waiting for the Green



Saturday
Left the bathtub in Majors Harbor, went for a soul satisfying 6 mile hike (round trip) through Mashomack Preserve to a general store for some fresh eats. Signs say NO BOAT LANDING but friendly Shelter Harbor Patrol boat told me just anchor offshore and swim in. Next time I'm doing the whole 10 mile hike! Or else. Anchored in Cocles Harbor, Shelter Island for bedtime, very nice cove.

Fields of Gold in Mashomack Preserve


Sun Morning
Motored to Orient point in intermittent dense fog. Waited 1 hour for fog to clear. It didn't. Crossed Long Island Sound in intermittent dense fog, One hand on my air horn, constantly scanning around me, slowing to 5 MPH at times. Couldn't count on a big boat seeing my little bathtub in the mist. Glad for a safe crossing but very sad for my adventure to be over. Now I'm trying to relive it here. It's not the same.

Limited Visibility







Total- 9 days, 9 nights, 260 miles, 1 gas tank fitting, 1 bilge pump, 1 leak.










B

B




Best Kiting:

The Inland Bays- Peconic, Gardiners, Shelter Island Sound, had places to kite but they weren't that exciting. Napeague was a stand out for NW wind strength, a shallow safe spot in all wind directions, and secluded, scenic.

The Coastal Bays- Shinnecock, Moriches, Bellport, Great South Bay. I saw beautiful inviting spots along the way. Great Gun Marina on Fire Island had the best wave spot I saw. Old Inlet in Bellport Bay had nice waves and slicks but watch for tides, and for sandbars boating in and out. Sandbars inside Shinnecock inlet looked enticing.

I couldn't actually try any of the really nice spots. Zero wind. That means I have to go back next year for two weeks. It's officially on my bucket list.





Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chocoura With Ben

Hiked Mt Chocorua with Ben as a last hurrah before he heads back to Tufts on Sat. Ahh, it was nice. A perfect day for it. Sunny, with temp in upper 60's. Lively hike and livelier conversation.

Ben, Asleep on Top of the World
 Mt Chocorua, 3850 ft, Champney Falls Trail, Easy 7 miles, 4.5 hours.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beached Whale

I take the bathtub out in Long Island Sound to test her out and explore some new kiting beaches. I'm on Flat Hammock Island when this beast beaches itself. Wow! And people say that my bathtub is a little unique. This is a boat that knows about unique.











Kitesurfed, Bluff Point, Groton, CT, 10-18, NW, 17M Fat Lady/Flx 138

Friday, August 18, 2017

Building a Better Bathtub

Hey I've got the new outboard working on my bathtub! I just had to raise the transom, install my home made steering console, steering wheel, steering cables, throttle and shift controls, battery, gauges, wiring. No problem. I work feverishly on it with almost every second of my spare time for 2 months.

Building my New Steering Console


Building my New Transom


Old Transom was Too Low


New Motor, New Transom, Gas Filter, Bilge Pump, Structural Bracing




New Console, Gauges, Chartplotter, Throttle, Forward Hatches (with Striped Padding)

My bathtub is much improved! But it's still a bathtub.


Friday, July 21, 2017

Birding for Kiting

Andre and I fill the back seat of his helicopter with kiting gear, take the bird to Martha's Vineyard for an after work session. This is the kind of birding I really enjoy! I wonder if I should feel guilty about flying at 100 MPH over the traffic jams below. I don't.


This is the scenic route. Getting there is as much fun as the kiting.

Charles River       
Boston Harbor


The Approach to Katama Bay  



Kitesurfed, Martha's Vineyard- Katama Bay, SW 12-18, 17M Fat Lady/Flex 138 with Andre.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Getting Down in Delaware

I make the short drive to Delaware for a little kiting in Rehobeth Bay. This is a pretty nice shallow water spot for kiting. It doesn't seem to have water that's over waist deep at low tide. Friendly crowd. Nice place to visit so they say.

Rehobeth Bay


Oh yeah, while I'm here I pick up a new/old motor for my boat that I bought online. On the way home I sleep in the back of my truck snuggled up next to my sleek motor in a New Jersey Turnpike rest area. Isn't that a cozy image? I have happy dreams.



Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Fog of Kiting

Fog. Nothing good is happening at Hardings.

I drive to Chatham light where the fog is a little thinner. The flag on the South Beach Flotsam Shack is stiff! The meter still says 5 mph. Yeah, somebody's lying.

Flotsam Shack


I walk out to the New Cut and  have a fine12 meter session in the mist. I'm overpowered. I'm underpowered. I kite to the Old New Cut and Stage Harbor. I'm lost in the fog. Some of the fog is lost in me. This is good. Fog goes into my brain, worries go out.

New Cut, High Tide, Small Pool in the Marsh






The New Cut has a tiny pool at high tide and some waves at the opening. It's a little Gusty in SW from the wind coming across Stage Island. It might be fun in a S to NE wind.

Waves at New Cut Opening, Side Off Wind
Chatham New Cut, Kitesurfed, SW, 12-28, 12M Rally/Flx 138, Solo.

Where else have I been kiting this Spring? Few times at Chapin, Nahant, Horseneck. I had an afterwork session at Dog with Andre. He's getting about 50% of his slide transitions. Yay!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Making the Cut

Cuts happen, especially in Chatham. I kite out from Hardings to the newest one, stopping at the old new cut on the way out and Stage Harbor on the way back. The beachscape changes quickly around here! It's hard for a poor kiter to keep up.

The Newest Cut, shrouded in mystery
Boats are going to like the newest cut. It looks deep enough for most even at dead low. Not any particular attraction here for kiting though. The old new cut and Stage Harbor still hold the jewels for kiters.




This (massive) delinquent buoy was trying to run away from home, until it got tripped up by South Beach. Click on pics to see full size.

I put away my mountaineering boots and have been kiting since the end of March. It's great to be on the water again!

Kitesurfed, Hardings Beach, WSW, 15-22, 10M Rally/ Mako 150, Solo

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hiking Summary

Hiking Summary

Sunrise from Zealand Hut


2016-2017 Winter
Lots of day hikes, slept in my truck a lot so I could start early, 2 hut trips, 1 camping trip that turned into a shelter trip due to wet conditions. My goal was to try Winter camping and do more of the NH 4000 footers. I want to see all of the high peaks with their Winter coats.

11/27/16   Monadnock, Red Spot, 4 miles, solo.
12/4/16     Monadnock, I found the Pumpelly Cave! 5 miles, solo.
12/11/16   Monadnock, Pumpelly Cave, 5 miles, solo.
12/17/16   Monadnock, White Dot. 4 miles, solo

12/25/16   Waumbek, 8 Miles. With Starr King, easy hike, no steeps, like Moosilauke, solo.
1/1/17       Osceola/ East Osceola, 7.6 miles. Grey Jays, very steep to East Osceola. Fun slide down.
1/7/17       Moriah, 10 miles, Relatively easy hike on Stony Brook. Beautiful ridge for 1.5 mile, solo.
1/14/17     Zealand, hiked into Zealand hut the day before. No steeps, no views from peak. WHP.
1/15/17     Hale, hiked from Zealand Hut over Hale to cars, no steeps, no views. WHP.
1/21/17     N Kinsman/ S Kinsman, stayed at Kinsman Pond shelter after hike, no steeps, WHP.
1/21/17     Cannon, from Kinsman Pond shelter, over "Cannon Balls", steeps on final 1/2 mile. WHP.
2/5/17       Mid/ S Carter, Loop, cut thru Camp Dodge return, no steeps, 11 miles, 8 hours, solo.
2/11/17     Cabot, 10 miles, 7 hours, no steeps, AMC.
2/19/17     Wildcat A,B,C,D, from/to Carter Notch Hut, some steeps to Wildcat A, WHP.
2/20/17     Carter Dome, from Carter Notch Hut, very steep on hut side, crampons, WHP.
2/26/17     Hancock, S Hancock, some steeps, micro spikes, 10 miles, 7 hours, AMC.
3/5/17       Garfield, gentle hike, mild steeps last 1/4 mile, microspikes, 14 miles, 7.5 hours, Solo. 

3/11/17     Table Rock Trail, Grafton Notch, short but beautiful, with Lee. 
3/19/17     Pack and North Pack Monadnock, gentle hike, 7 miles, with Jeff, Cora (dog).

My favorite 3 hikes were along the Carter Ridge- Moriah, Mid and S Carter, Carter Dome. I loved the  the wind sculptured coating of snow and the stunning intermittent views from the ridge.

On my way to Middle Carter

2015-2016 Winter
Lots of day hikes, slept in my truck sometimes so I could start hiking at or before sunrise, 1 car camping trip. My main goal was to learn enough and get conditioned enough to make it up Mt Washington. My secondary goal was to make it back down from Washington.

Mt Monadnock warm ups in Nov and Dec.
12/9/2015   Completed 2015 Winter Hiking Program, (WHP).
12/12/2015 Jackson, 5 miles, with WHP.
12/13/2015 Chocura, 7 miles, solo.
1/2/2016     Dublin Lake/Mt Monadnock, 11.5 miles, solo.
1/9/16         Pierce/Eisenhower, 8.5 miles, 6 hours, WHP.
1/17/16       Tecumsah, 5.2 miles, no steeps, solo.
1/24/16       Willey/Field/Tom, 11 miles, i9 hours, Grey Jays eat from hand, mild steeps Willey, solo.
1/31/16       N Kinsman/S Kinsman, 10 miles, no steeps, WHP.
2/6/16         Moosilauke, 10 miles, 7 hours, no steeps, WHP. Very easy hike.
2/14/16       Jackson, 5 miles, 4 hours, no steeps, Solo.
2/21/16       Washington, 8.5 miles, 9 hours, WHP. Lions Head, very steep, very challenging!
3/5/16         Lincoln, Lafayette, 9 miles, beautiful loop hike on Franconia Ridge, no steeps, solo.
3/19/16       Madison, with AMC.
4/3/16         Hancock/ S Hancock, 9.8 miles, Steep approach to S Hancock, solo.
8/24/16       Liberty/ Flume, 10.1 miles, nice hike with Ben! Flume slide trail up, steep.

Red- New Hampshire 48 4000 Footers in Winter
AMC- Appalachian Mountian Club
WHP- AMC Winter Hiking Program Boston

Mt Eisenhower Mist


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Martha's Vineyard in a Bathtub

I have no idea if this crazy plan is going to work. Everyone I told about it said I was nuts. Probably true, but it still might work.

Martha's Vineyard in a 12' Dinghy- I spend the first half of my vacation working on my tiny boat, getting it ready for open ocean and to sleep in. I install a battery, bilge pump, a charger for my phone (which I use for navigation), a bench seat that also holds my gas tank, tent poles to support the canvas cover, and a sleeping board that I can move into position for sleeping. I'm ready for the seven seas.

I boat out and spend one night camping in a tent on Washburn Island, Waqoiut Bay. That's been on my bucket list for a few years! Then on to Martha.

Nice Secluded Campsite on Washburn Island
The wind is 15-25 when I cross the 6 miles from Waqoiut Bay to the Vineyard. More wind and waves than I wanted for my first crossing with my little boat! At least it's a NE wind for a following sea. I get knocked around but I'm very happy to arrive, kinda dry and still floating. My toy boat made it!

I go into Edgartown and notice that my dinghy looks different from all the other dinghies at the dinghy dock. Mine has the bright red canvas covering the bow, gear strapped all over the sides, the big bench seat, a kiteboard hanging off the back. I stand out like a circus clown among grey suited businessmen. I worry that I might be told to leave because I'm obviously not a tender for a yacht but nobody says nothing. They just stare, (in admiration I assume).


































I love kiting and spending the night in Cape Poge. I anchor near the lee shore and set up the boat for sleep as the setting sun paints the sky deep orange and the almost full moon creeps above the horizon. Beautiful.

Kiting in Cape Poge, Chappaquiddick

Now's the test. Can I really sleep on this tiny thing? I have just enough room to stretch out on my sleeping board. Clearance between my forehead and the canvas is about 2 inches. I drift off to sleep to the sound of ripples lapping at the bow. I feel like I'm sleeping on an air mattress adrift on the ocean. I sleep 8 hours, more sleep than I've had in forever.

































I learn a lot about cruising in a boat. How the dinghy docks work, where to find showers, ice, fuel, and legal anchorages. Many harbors have amenities such as the dinghy docks etc. set up for visiting yachts. I feel like I'm cheating because my dinghy is my yacht but these amenities are great. It makes getting what I need way too easy. I could stay out here until the snow flies.

Getting Underway Early, This is the Moon Setting as the Sun Comes Up


With light wind for a few days, I boat around the island and explore all the bays and harbors along the way, (I cover 80 miles in 2 days according to my phone, 40 miles per 6 gal gas). What I learn- Katama Bay is off limits for legal overnight anchoring. Edgartown is great and has everything I need right there. Oak Bluffs has a vibrant party feel, almost a Caribbean vibe. The west side of the island is fairly secluded and rocky with striking cliffs that I want to climb, rocky areas where I want to snorkel. Menemsha has a fishing village feel with a beautiful hidden cove that I find to anchor in. The south side of the island is fairly secluded but not varied, except for the stunning cliffs at Gay Head. No harbors or shelters on this entire side, not a place I would choose to break down please.



Menemsha Night
The Menemsha cove is my high point of the trip. Glassy water encircled by marsh and stubby trees. 3 deer watch me enter the cove before bounding away. I eat my dinner anchored in the middle of this secluded pool as the golden full moon rises. Fish are jumping all around the boat. I stretch out in my dry sleeping bag surrounded by whispering water. The night is perfect.

On the last day Josh boats out with a friend to meet me and to do some kiting and fishing. I've had trouble off and on with my 25 HP motor during the trip. Now it finally dies. Unbelievable timing! This is the opposite of Murphy's law. If anything can go wrong it will at the best possible time. Josh goes to work and determines that my motor is not getting a spark. Done. He has my old 8 HP on board as his back up motor. We swap motors, (not easy but Josh doesn't hesitate), and I'm saved from a near death experience.

I boat back to the mainland at night because the wind is almost still. I use the full moon for light and my phone for navigation. Lights on the mainland, shining off the black water, act as a beacon. It's stunning!



I'm sad to go home to a backlog of work emails, phone messages, estimates, invoices, scheduling headaches, and all the trivial ups and downs of running a small business, although I'm glad to be back with Barbara.


This trip was a bucket list trip that I didn't even know was on my list. Until very recently it hadn't occurred to me that it might be possible to live and sleep on a 12' dinghy for a few days, not to mention crossing over to Martha's Vinyard and back. It took a little creativity but that was part of the appeal. Out on the water I had a feeling of complete freedom, joy, and adventure, with many moments of tranquility and bliss. I think I was using a part of my brain that's dormant in 90% of my life. Now I'm using all of my brain to think about my next trip.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Martha My Dear

9-10-2016

Josh and I make it over to Martha's Vineyard in his boat for kiting and fishing! This has been a goal for both us with our boating this year.

Josh kiting in Katama Bay
Is it crazy to come over here with his 40 year old motor that cuts out frequently? Yes, probably. It helps that we have an auto mechanic on board. Also Josh has a small back up motor just in case. Still it takes a little faith or foolishness. We have plenty of both.

With Josh, Darren, Kaitlyn.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What Are You Thankful For?

8/24/16

Blue skies overhead, a trail beneath my feet, wonderful hiking company. This is what I'm thankful for!

Ben On top of Mt Flume



2 peaks- Mt Flume, Mt Liberty. Flume Slide Trail up. Liberty Spring Trail down, with Ben.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

You Never Forget How to Ride a Bike

8/21/16 Kiting with Josh





This is Josh's first session in 2 years. I thought I'd get to see some really good crashes! I was disappointed.





Saturday, July 16, 2016

My New Kite Boat


  Goodbye little red bathtub.
Kiting in Chatham 7/16/16


  Hello little gray bathtub.
Kiting at Horseneck West End 8/5/16




My old boat was 10'. My new one is 11.5'. Just big enough to get myself into some real trouble. I'm sorry to see the old red boat go. I have such great family memories in that little old boat.




Josh's boat is still bigger than mine.