Cruising Club of New England

Summer Cruise Week

August 6-13, 2011

Story and Photos by Maren Schober

Captain Al and I just completed another wonderful cruise week with CCNE which included many new adventures and a couple of new harbors for us. As always we enjoyed being with our boating friends for summer fun!

Here are the folks who went cruising and the names of their boats:

Vinny & Carol Moriarty, Fleet Captains "SEA ++"
Michael & Mary Passero & Charlie Mitchell "Born to Run."
Charlie & Jennie Atkins "Callisto"
Joe Kaplowe, Pat Garrett, Delores Guarino,
Fuad Alkoury Rebecca Kaplowe, Ivy Murch
"Carpe Diem"
Robert Gibbs &: Ted Paulsen"Cringle"
John & Diane Cummings"Gem"
PJ & Audrey Beaudoin"Jerebri"
Andy & Linda Baker"Lily Pad"
Beven Creighton & Barbara Leclerc & Hannah Brown"Montrose"
Bob & Lois Geary, Gary and Kazumi Hartley"North Star"
Jackie Fisher, Shawn Day, Beate Day, Debbie Hutter"Rusty Nail"
Don & Barbara Lane"Sashay"
Al & Maren Schober"Sea Cup"
Al & Donna Feir"Sea Deuce"
Gary Staples, Dave Prentice, Spence Kloter"Sedative"
Bob & Kathy Johnson"Sundance"
Fred Lesieur & Thalia Frilingos"TahkeelAhh"
Bill & Deb Powers"Voyager"
Dale & Cindy Baker"Weyrling"
Richard & Lynn Webber"Wind Horse"

Thursday August 4 New London, CT - Pt. Judith Pond, RI

I wonder...does it wiggle on the way down?!

Al and I are packed and the Sea Cup is loaded. We are ready.

The motor sail to Point Judith Pond is pleasant under fair skies as we pass by Groton Long Point, Mystic, Stonington, Napatree, Watch Hill, Rhode Island beaches and into Point Judith.

Point Judith is a fascinating harbor for me. It is a gutsy place filled with men and women who fish for a living. The big fishing boats pass in and out of the harbor and young people stand and fish from the rocky breakwater. Families line the beach as we enter and proceed up the channel.

We pass by gray shingled cottages, a gas dock and marina. Finally we come to the Pond area and suddenly everything changes. There is a peace and quiet as we go around the island and drop our anchor into calm waters.

I notice a cormorant struggling to swallow a wiggling fish near our boat and point it out to Al.

"I wonder...does the fish wiggle on the way down?!" I muse.

Al and I laugh over this possibility. Oh, yuck. I don't want to spend time thinking about that!

Soon we notice the "Sea Deuce" approaching and they anchor near us.

After they settle in Al and I dinghy over and visit with them on their boat.

Soon after that many more CCNE boats begin to arrive and now we are surrounded by boats. The fun begins.

I sleep in our cockpit this warm night and enjoy the night air.

Friday August 5 - Pt. Judith Pond

"Aqua Patio"

Many boats move on to Cuttyhunk Harbor today. Al and I choose to stay at Pt. Judith. It is sunny warm day and this is a great place to swim off the boat.

Across from us on the shore is a summer camp for boys and girls and in the afternoon they are sailing around us in their small sailboats. They are having more fun fooling around on the boats than focusing on their sailing skills it seems to us. We just watch their antics in the water and laugh and laugh. It really is a sight.

You name the rule and they are breaking it! Too many campers on the small boat, not paying attention to what they are doing, campers on wind surfers crashing into the sailboats, campers jumping into the water from the sailboats and hanging off the stern as they are dragged through the water...Al and I agree that if the whole thing was on video tape it could be shown at a Power Squadron boating safety class as what not to do!

The campers frequently capsized their boats but we know this was part of the sail lesson.

Al and I hear the morning and evening bells ring at the camp and it reminds us of our camping days when we were that age!

Something else we notice is a pontoon boat that goes back and forth in the pond. It is a small boat and the name of the boat is "Aqua Patio". Al gets a laugh from the name.

"That would be like naming our boat "Wasserhaus", Al chuckles.

I swim from the boat in the afternoon and enjoy it.

Saturday, August 6 Pt. Judith Pond - Cuttyhunk Harbor

Do you want a blue margarita of a regular one? With ice or without?

This is the official starting day of our cruise week and most of the boats in our cruise meet in Cuttyhunk Harbor today. More are coming Sunday.

I am sleeping in the cockpit again this morning when I am rudely awakened at 1:30 a.m. with "pop! pop! pop!" noises ringing across the water.

What is that? I think. It sounds like gun shots. Then I see flashes of light from a boat off to my left. Firecrackers! Geez. Can't they do that some other time and let a body sleep?!

For breakfast Al makes us some pancakes from a mix where you just add water. They are pretty good!

7:30 a.m. Al pulls up our anchor hand over hand and we set off for Cuttyhunk.

As we leave Andy Baker calls over from the "Lily Pad",

"Hey, Al! Are you going to use your potato cannon?"

The truth is Al forgot to stow away potatoes for his home made potato cannon. We will have to shop for potatos when we have the chance.

"I know what I can do," Al tells me. "I will use your potato salad to stuff into the gun barrel."

I give him a dirty look. Can't you imagine what that would do to the inside of the cannon?!

Vinny and Carol Moriarty are our fleet captains. They plan our group activities and destinations. Vinny calls us all over to their boat at 5:30 p.m. Picture this. We all climb into our dinghies and motor over to his boat. About sixteen dinghies behind one sailboat! Sounds impossible. But we manage this by tying our lines together and holding on! It is an amazing sight and the boaters around us not in our group stare at us in unbelief!

Vinny welcomes us all and makes some announcements. Then Carol starts handing each of us margaritas in pink plastic margarita glasses! She even gives us choices!

"Do you want a blue margarita or a regular one? With or without ice?"

We are shocked that we have these choices...this is not easy to do for such a crowd and from a sailboat! But the glasses are handed all around and lifted up for the toast to a good week ahead. It is announced that the theme for the week is Margaritaville.

Last August our niece Debbie Light was on the cruise with us. Many notice she is not with us and they ask about her. When we tell them she got married in April, they look surprised. Since Debbie looks a lot younger than her years, they think she is too young to be married.

We miss Debbie also and are sorry she could not be with us this time.

Sunday August 7 - Lay Day at Cuttyhunk

"Are there any stores in this town?"

Boy, this is some day! We had a regular "snallygaster" all day.

I mean it rained and rained and rained and the wind blew and blew ...this went on all day as our boats pitched side to side in the water.

This is literally a "lay day" as the only thing to do is lay down and read inside the boat! The weather is terrible and some boats are still coming in to join our group! The "Rusty Nail" and The" Wind Horse" and their crews are on their way in this storm. We listen to their chatter on our radios and pray for their safe arrival!

I will never forget when the "Wind Horse" finally arrives inside the harbor. Now they have to face securing to a mooring and this is not easy in Cuttyhunk Harbor even on a good day! There is Lynn Webber in her foul weather gear on the bow facing the raging wind and trying to loop the line through the eye of the mooring ball. Mike Passero rushes over in his dinghy and helps to do this for Lynn and Rich. We all breathe a sigh of relief when this is accomplished. Lynn and Rich disappear down below inside their cabin and we don't see them for a couple of hours. We can all picture what they are doing: tearing off their wet clothes, changing into dry ones, getting something hot to drink and climbing into their bunks. We boaters have all been through this.

Good thing Al and I brought reading books along! During the day I devour the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I love this story from start to finish and can hardly put it down. It is about rural life of Chinese women in their native China during the 1800's. It is fiction, historical fiction and absolutely fascinating to read about. Foot excruciating! Some girls even got infections during the process and died. The story follows a couple of main characters and it absolutely draws you into that kind of foreign to what we experience in this country. I heartily recommend it. I like Lisa See's writing as much as Amy Tan's books.

I am also reading Uncle Tom's Cabin for the second time and a book by Nevil Shute called A Town Like Alice. They are all great reads.

I also pass the time by working puzzles, and playing bananagrams, the peg game and crossword games.

We are rafting up this stomy day with Fred Lesieur and Thalia Frilingos on


Thalia has never been to Cuttyhunk Island before.

"Are there any stores in this town?" she asks me.

I just have to laugh at this question.

"Well, not many," I reply laughing. There is the post office and the little grocery store. That is it. Nothing like a mall or anything."

"Oh, I know that, " she answers.

Fred and Thalia are playing some unusual music on their boat and it is enjoyable listening to it for a while.

The big excitement for the day is when Al suits up in his foul weather gear and dinghy's to shore in search of blocks of ice for our ice box.

And oh yes, Vinny and Carol dinghied over to all our boats welcoming us individually and handing out the cruise gifts. They are drinking glasses with

"CCNE" engraved on them. Very nice gifts!

Monday August 8 Cuttyhunk to New Bedford

"What's a potato gun?!"

We sail over to New Bedford Harbor today and have a mooring through the "Whaling City Launch Service".

This is a new harbor for us...the first time we are here. There is a kind of dike wall you go through as you enter the large harbor. The city of New Bedford is on one side of the harbor and Fairhaven on the other. New Bedford is a huge port for ocean going fishing vessels. They are all stacked up together in many different places along the shore.

We need to get gas for our boat and the people at Whaling City Launch Service tell us to go across the harbor to New Bedford and tie up at the fishing wharf. We do this but it is a very scary experience for us. We are sandwiched in at this wharf with one of the large fishing vessels just getting underway. They back up towards us with the crew shouting at us to "back up!" What would happen if one of those boats hit us? It would not be good for the Sea Cup, I can tell you that. It would crush us. We manage to escape that place after we get the gas we need. I never want to repeat that experience!

PJ and Audrey live near Fairhaven. Their boat "Jerebri" is in a slip at Fairhaven and their truck is in the marina parking lot.

"Anyone want to got to "Shaw's" for grocery shopping?" asks Audrey.

She offers to drive us in their truck. Thalia and I take her up on that.

Thalia and I walk around together in the store. Among other things I select a bag of small red potatoes.

"I am not buying these for our meals," I tell her. "These are for the potato gun."

"Potato gun?!" Thalia asks. "What is a potato gun?"

"It is something Al made," I explain. It has a long barrel and Al stuffs a small potato into it and then fires it off. He doesn't shoot it at people," I hasten to add. " He shoots it out over the water."

This is hard to explain to people. You have to see it to understand. The potato is shot high into the air and you wait to see where it lands in the water...usually at a good distance from the boat.

Audrey is so nice to drive us to the store and back. I really appreciate it and am very grateful.

Black storm clouds now form over the harbor and an ominous cloud in particular start to take on the shape of a funnel! The lighting is weird. The wind picks up. I know we are all concerned. Many prayers are sent up for our safety. Just as the appetizer contest is about to begin, the rain comes. The contest is being held inside PJ and Audrey's Acushnet Boating Safety club and some of us are not sure whether to go or not in the face of the threatening weather. I know Bob and Lois Geary got caught in a heavy rainfall as they dinghied to shore. They arrived at the clubhouse soaking wet! Most of us got to the party only a little wet.

I entered my cream cheese clam ball into the contest but couldn't find my horseradish at the last minute! I substituted hummus with horseradish and it tasted...different!

A long buffet table was spread with a large variety of appetizers all made by members of the cruising club. Each appetizer was labeled with a number. After sampling each one, we voted by number for our favorite. It sure is tough to choose a favorite at these parties. They are all so good tasting!

The first place winner is Barbara Lane with her "Artichoke Hearts & Roasted Red Pepper Dip! Here is the winning recipe!

1 14 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
1 14 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 cups sour cream
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 lb. mozzarella
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Chop artichokes and peppers. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into a 2 quart casserole and bake 20-25 min. at 350 until bubbly. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

It is great fun talking with the others. Dale Baker takes out his guitar and hands out the song sheets. Soon we are all singing the popular Jimmy Buffet songs includling the refrain, "We're wasting away again in Margaritaville. I'm searching for my lost shaker of salt,....salt...salt...salt!"

Dale does not have a music stand with him so Cindy stands next to him holding up the music for him to read. We enjoy the singing a lot. A good way to end the day enjoying each other's company.

Tuesday August 9th New Bedford

"Can you imagine a seaman walking into the Bethel Chapel thinking it is brothel?!"

A lay day in New Bedford with the promise of the Cruise Dinner at the Waterfront Grill tonight. This will be a great day of sight seeing and.....laundry!

Once again over the boat radio Audry offers to drive anyone to the laundrymat in Fairhaven. Al and I take her up on her kind offer and off we go. She insists on going inside with us and making sure we get started with the washing machine. I am glad she does because this laundrymat uses a card system that is unfamiliar to us. The attendant shows us how to put money on the card. When Audry sees we are starting, she drives away promising to be back in an hour to pick us up.

Al discovers a package store nearby and also the Benny's store where he is able to purchase Gorilla Tape to repair the bottom of our inflatable dinghy! He is happy to get supplies he needs to repair our dinghy and we are both happy to have clean clothes again! Thank you, Audry, for you kindness to us! We really appreciate it.

Back at the mooring Al uses the gorilla tape to repair the bottom of our dinghy. Big relief.

After many tries we finally connect with the Whaling City Launch Service and a nice launch operator gives us a ride in his boat over to New Bedford.

We find an inviting looking pub on the waterfront and walk in for lunch.

Andy and Linda Baker are there and just leaving. They recommend the place and I order the Caesar salad.

During the course of lunch I couldn't help but notice the woman at the bar entertaining one gentleman after another. She would slip away from the bar and sit at a corner table to make cell phone calls. Then she met another man outside and invited him in for a drink. She disappeared into the ladies room for 20 minutes and then came out putting her cell phone away. It was pretty obvious what she was doing. I read about these things but now I see it in action.

Al and I follow the street guide and find the Whaling Museum right across the street from the Bethel Chapel. We take our time exploring the whaling exhibits in the Whaling Museum. We visit the Bethel Chapel across the street, a place that encourages seamen to a clean place of alternative to the brothels of New Bedford.

Bethel and brothel are close in spelling but far away in meaning. Can you imagine a seaman walking into the Bethel Chapel thinking it was a brothel? What a surprise it would be to find himself in church instead!

We come out of the museum and walk the cobblestone streets carefully. It is not easy to walk on cobblestones even with flat shoes. We make our way to the Waterfront Grill. It is now time for the Cruise dinner.

What a good time we have with plenty of time to talk with fellow cruise friends before dinner. Al and I both have the chicken dinner and it is a delicious. But let me me say when I think back to the dinner, it is not the chicken I think of but the appetizers offered to us before dinner...especially the scallops wrapped in bacon!! I have had many scallops but none as good as these. I guess the difference is the freshness of the scallops due to the local scallop boats. These scallops were large and tender and oh so good..."to die for" as they say. I know I am not alone in thinking this way. The launch takes us all back to our boats one small group at a time. It is raining a little...small matter. It is the close of a wonderful day.

Wednesday August 10th Sailboat Race to Hadley Harbor

"Now I think it is time to get one off to the 'Lily Pad !'"

Sadly we say goodbye to the "Rusty Nail", "North Star" and "Cringle" as these boats leave our company for different harbors and home. John and Diane Cummings on the "Gem" must stay behind to seek repair to their boat.

The rest of us set our sails for the race to Hadley Harbor. There is a light wind today but our hearts are light. A light wind is better than no wind! We are feeling good. Al reaches for his potato gun and fires off a few potatoes during the race. One potato sails over the "Montrose" at about midship.

"Now I think it is time to get one off to the "Lily Pad" Al murmurs as he stuffs in another potato and fires. I love the gleam in his eyes when he fires off! I don't know what the others think...but I know Al loves this questionable activity of his.

The "Montrose" burns past us all on this downwind course. They take first place (as usual!) The Sea Cup comes in 2nd place. The "TahkeelAHH takes third place...all of which is announced at the cookout Thursday night.

"How did we do that?!" exclaims Thalia when she hears the announcement that she and Fred took third place. She was very surprised and I remember she was uncertain of the starting line. Despite all this they did very well.

Hadley Harbor...just short of Woods Hole, Cape Cod. I believe this is a favorite harbor for all of us. What is there not to like here? Lovely surroundings of woods, a few sparsely situated shingled houses and boat houses...not a store or sign in sight and peace and quiet hanging over all. A great place for rafting although it is a small area. Good place to swim from the boat...and I do.

We are rafting up next to the Joe Kaplowe and crew on the "Carpe Diem".

Ivy Murch, a crew member on the "Carpe Diem" decides to take a swim.

I hear her jump into the water and then I hear her shriek! She lets out a big scream and then looks sheepish when she sees her fear is all for nothing.

"I got scared of my own hair," Ivy confesses to me. I thought it was a jelly fish!"

Just before dinner it is decided to take a dinghy safari ride in Hadley Harbor. This harbor has many twists and turns in it and many little bridges we come to where we have to lay down flat as we go under. This makes it a unique place and fun dinghy ride.

Fuad and Rebecca from the "Carpe Diem" ride with Al and me in our dinghy. The current runs strong under some of the little bridges. Al decides not to go under these bridges and risk not being able to get back against the current. That would leave us out in Vineyard Sound...not a safe place for a dinghy.

After the ride Al and I have a ham dinner on our boat. Since Joe and the rest of his crew is not back from the dinghy safari yet, we invite Fuad and Rebecca to join us for dinner. They decline.

Just as Al and I start to eat our dinner both Fuad and Rebecca come down the boat ladder into our galley and say they changed their minds. They are really hungry. They grab a bite of ham and broccoli and dash back to their boat! We laugh and laugh over this.

I sleep in the cockpit tonight under the stars.

Thursday August 11 Hadley Harbor to Lake Tashmoo, Martha's Vineyard

"What boat are you from?"

Lake Tashmoo is a new harbor to us. We have sailed to Martha's Vineyard many times over the years but never discovering Lake Tashmoo. And it is a wonderful discovery. This harbor is large and opened spaced, peace filled and quiet. Plenty of room for boats and rafting together. Once again the Sea Cup lies next to "Carpe Diem."

This also is a wonderful place for a swim from the boats. Most of us are in the water enjoying swims morning and afternoon!

Sitting on our boat in the stern I am surprised when a stranger swims up to the Sea Cup. He is wearing swim goggles and I assume it is someone from outside our group.

"What boat are you from?" I ask.

Mike Passero just laughs and takes off his mask.

"Now do you know me?"

Some CCNE members take the long walk to Vinyard Haven today. Some take a bus to different towns. Al walked to town for grocery shopping, and I stay on the Sea Cup relaxing and enjoying our swims.

Tonight is the night of our annual CCNE cook out. The meat and condiments and tableware are provided by our fleet captains. The rest of us provide the side dishes.

We take our dinghies in to the dinghy dock, tie them up and walk up the hill to the park for the cook out.

What a cook out this is! You wouldn't think such large casserole side dishes could possilbly come out of a sailboat. This is a first class cook out buffet spread out on the picnic tables. Andy Baker, red faced from the smoking grill, is cooking up hamburgers. Al Feir is turning the hot dogs and sausages on the grill. There is plenty of food for everyone.

Dale Baker brings out his guitar and once again we are sinning, oops, I mean singing, the Jimmy Buffet songs. Winners of the sail race and trivia contest are announced. No one wants to leave at the end, but back to our boats we go for a quiet night with the full moon high over head.

Friday August 12th Lake Tashmoo

Surprisingly our cruise week is over today...a day early. Because of a bad weather forecast for Sunday, our boating friends want to leave for homeports a day early. Our scheduled dinghy race (using paddles only) is canceled until next summer. With many farewells and best wishes most of the boats leave Lake Tashmoo for their trip home.

Al and I and a few others remain one more day.

Al and I will go on to Oak Bluffs and "where-ever" for another week out.

This brings us to a close of another great CCNE August Cruise Week. We all worked hard for the various activities but our biggest thanks go to Vinny and Carol for spending the winter months planning for this week.

As I write this it is a Friday night at home. We got back just two nights ago. I am cooking a salmon dinner for the two of us and I have this strange urge to play some Jimmy Buffet music. The next thing I know I am singing and dancing around to "Cheeseburger In Paradise" and many other songs that take me back to summer nights on the cruise.

***The Crusing Club of New England (CCNE) is made up of boaters, both sailing and motor, from all over New England. It was founded by Ken Foss around 1982 with the first meetings being held in the boiler room at Fort Trumbull Marina. The marina was owned by Ken Foss at the time.

The club has their annual cruise week the first full week of August every summer. The cruising destinations rotate in a 3 year cycle: Narragansett Bay area, Martha's Vineyard area and Long Island area. The general business dinner meeting is held the end of March each year along with a social meeting in the fall and spring. We welcome new members and cruisers! For information about joining CCNE contact the secretary Barbara Leclerc at or call her at 860-887-9340.