BLISS is a week on Block Island!

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At 0511 on Wednesday, August 5, we departed Cuttyhunk with IP440 Lyon’s Pride heading for Block. We were anchored by noon near our usual spot in 7 ft. of water at MLW. We walked to Old Harbor with Paul and Sue, mailed back our rented C-Map chip, and picked up a few provisions at the classy little market called Block Island Depot about halfway back from town. Paul said he had expected angels to appear as we entered the Great Salt Pond, because this is Hayden’s happy place!

Thursday was a happy mix of work and fun. Winds were light and Payne’s dock less crowded than usual, so both boats went for fuel and water. CAVU and Surprise arrived from Newport and we had lunch aboard to catch up with them. Happy hour aboard IP32 Curiese with Dan and Sherry made it a perfect day on Block.

The beginning of BLISS (Block Long Island Sound Sailing, http://blissrendezvous.org) on Friday had us humming Eileen Quinn’s song, “Company’s coming, gotta clean up da boat!” as we got ready for Jeff and Sharon’s arrival by ferry from New London. (IP35 Lucille) Cocktail time was a lovely summer evening on the lawn of The Oar with over 25 IP’s attending! The burgers were delicious, but we should have put our names in sooner – it was a long wait for us and others gave up entirely.

Polly is our usual cab driver, 401-742-0031. She is a 16th generation resident of Block who gave us a great mini-tour of the southern part of the Island on Saturday. First we drove to Rodman’s Hollow Preserve, a lush green basin 70 feet below sea level and then to Mohegan Bluffs with 144 steps down to the beach and mud baths. From there we walked to Southeast Light, which was saved in 1993 by moving it back 150 feet from the naturally eroding cliffs. It is a stunning example of 1880’s architecture, with on-going restoration. From the grounds around the lighthouse, we could see views of the first wind farm on the east coast which is estimated to provide all the electricity needs of the Island. The fun continued with lunch in Old Harbor at Mohegan Cafe and shopping at the Star Department store, 234 Water, and the Island Hardware Store, with a stop at the Historical Society. The BLISS dinner was held at a private room with deck at the lovely and historic National Hotel. A good time was had by all IPers – thanks to Al, Conrad and Bernie!

Sunday morning was lazy, with pastries provided by Aldo’s boat, “I gotta no change” and then to the ferry to say good-bye to Jeff and Sharon. IP380 Shawnee stopped over and we toasted Deb and Drew on her birthday. We spent the evening aboard “Black Diamond” with Bonnie and IP32 Snark watching the premier of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” with audio recording expert Al of IP32 Half Moon.

Monday was a perfect day on Block, sunny and actually hot! We dinghied to Andy’s Way and walked the Clayhead Trail. Next time we will remember to go at low tide, when the waves tumble the rocks on the beach. Then we walked back by way of Mansion Beach and after lunch we spent the afternoon on beautiful Crescent Beach. Grilled filet mignon on board was the perfect ending to the day!

Tuesday was busy, with Radeen’s coffeecake and Hayden’s eggs for Bonnie, Al and Hamp, followed by shopping in town and a quick dash to the beach. IP40 Surprise hosted a pre-passage potluck with CAVU and then we readied the boat for our passage to Cape May. The winds should be good, though we may have some thunderstorms.

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