The Marine Trawler Owners Association (MTOA) is a national association of boaters who use and prefer trawler style vessels and therefore travel at turtle-like speeds, hence the turtle logo. The national organization is dependent on the regional groups, so the Northeast Rendezvous is an important opportunity for members from the northeast to get together to discuss issues that affect us as boaters and learn about new ways to safely enjoy our cruising.
The 2017 Northeast Rendezvous was organized and co-chaired by Ted Nigro and Stephanie Jackson and they worked tirelessly before and during the rendezvous to insure its success! Since this was our first rendezvous of any kind (regional or national) we were amazed at the knowledge base and friendliness of all the veteran members. We were made to feel so welcome and an immediate part of the larger group that it was quite spectacular. We spent Wednesday thru Saturday morning socializing with veteran MTOA members over breakfasts, dinners and presentations and we learned quite a bit about the MTOA and coastal cruising in general. Ted Nigro even conducted a segment where all members had an opportunity to show some of their own innovations used for daily living and safer cruising.
We were introduced to Port Captains and their usefulness while cruising anywhere in the United States! We will definitely depend on this new resource as we continue our cruising lifestyle. “Port Captains are the true heroes of MTOA. They volunteer their time and knowledge of their local area to help MTOA members that are passing through with virtually any problem they may have. Need a starter repaired. Your Port Captain will know where to get it done and will probably drive you there. Provisioning or laundry, the same applies.”
I was particularly interested in a talk given by the Past Senior Marine Archaeologist about CT Artifact history. He educated us as to the rich history of the Connecticut shoreline and even some inland sites that used to be submerged. According to him, there have been so many shipwreck off the CT coastline that if they all still existed (had not decayed or been washed away), a person could walk the coast from shipwreck to shipwreck and never touch the bottom! -tc
Link to CT website- http://www.mnh.uconn.edu/underwater/index.html
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Captain Geoff on Friday of the week so he could get to his next customers in Newport News VA., but his experience, knowledge and time afforded us was invaluable towards our goal of safe cruising. We always come away more knowledgeable when Captain Geoff is aboard! As Saturday came, we took the knowledge and experience from Captain Geoff and all the great MTOA members we met and shoved off back to Chester Marina. Tracy again took us off the dock and south down the Mystic River. This time, we were a nine vessel flotilla waiting for the Mystic Highway Bridge to open at 10:40 am. We stayed in a tight formation as we motored south at 5 mph. it wasn’t until we all cleared the mouth of the river that we sprawled out to each continue on our ways back to our home ports. Some vessels turned eastward towards Buzzards Bay, Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard while others turned westward towards the Thames River, the Connecticut River and beyond. All of us left with fond memories of familiar and newfound friendships! I left with my very own turtle pin, as seen above, given to those who had actively participated in the Rendezvous. (I set up a swap/tag sale table.) – tc
Our crossing of Long Island Sound back to Chester Marina was again very smooth with light winds and light chop. We were back in Chester tied up at 2:30 pm on Saturday afternoon. We will now start planning our next adventure.