We have friends Ed & Gina Hayes, and Gary Woods coming on board for a day of cruising and fun. The early morning forecast says there’s a chance of rain mid morning with clearing by the afternoon, however, the day turns out to be a spectacular weather day with moderate humidity and plenty of sunshine the entire day. Gary shows up right on schedule at 9:00 while Ed & Gina are a bit late. When they arrive, we find out that they’re slightly bummed out because they had just hit and killed a baby deer with their vehicle. So it’s sort of a grim start to the day, but after some coffee and bagels, we make a plan to head out into Long Island Sound and Gary suggests if we go to Cedar Island Marina in Clinton, there’s about three restaurants right there where we can have a nice lunch. So we prepare Kailani for departure. Gary helps with the power and water hookups while Ed & Gina help me with the dock lines as Tracy is at the helm ready to take Kailani off the dock. There’s a slight wind and helping current taking us right off the dock, but we do not remove the lines quickly enough and the wind gets the better of us as Kailani is a good 5 feet off the dock before Ed & I can get the spring lines off. Now Tracy has to motor us back to the dock so we can get slack in the spring lines and get them secured on shore. All in all, Tracy gets us smoothly off the dock and out of the Chester Inlet into the Connecticut River. (Yayyy me! -tc )
There’s virtually no traffic today so with Tracy at the helm, Ed, Gina, Gary & I ride on the bow getting some sun and enjoying the scenery. As the cruise progresses, we decide that instead of travelling all the way to Clinton and Cedar Island Marina, we’ll turn into Fenwick Beach, set the anchor in 12 feet of water and just enjoy the water and friendship of the afternoon. So Tracy turns to starboard coming out of Saybrook Breakwater and positions us in 12 feet of water where I drop the anchor for her to set. (This sets us across from the late Katharine Hepburn’s house. its all about the view! -tc)
Once the anchor is set, the pool’s open! Ed, Gary & I jump in and we try to get Frankie into the salt water. He spends ten minutes trying to convince us that he doesn’t want any part of swimming on this particular day, so we lay off Frankie and just enjoy the water. Gina suits up and joins us while Tracy prepares for some fishing action. After swimming for a while, everyone goes back to the bow for some relaxing sun and conversation. Tracy makes a huge bowl of salad with all the fixin’s and we return to the sundeck for a tasty lunch followed by more sun worshipping and fishing.
Frankie debating the advantages of using a pee pad V.S. a trip to the beach. -tc
Soon, Frankie is sending signals that he might need to relieve himself, so Gary and Gina agree to kayak him to shore for his rituals. They get in the kayak and I hand Frankie down to Gina while Gary paddles them to the beach. I bring out the binoculars to watch them and as soon as they hit the beach, Frankie catches them napping and is able to dart off the kayak and run across the beach to an area already occupied by another dog, which looks like a german shepard to me from this distance. (OMG… too funny! Frankie runs/hops like a rabbit and is lightning fast! He led them on a merry chase. -tc) Gary and Gina are in hot pursuit, but Frankie gets there in plenty of time to get acquainted with the big guy and they’re finally able to get Frankie leashed before he takes off on another run. They walk him around for about five minutes and he does his business which Gina scoops up with the purple bag she brought just for the occasion.
After reloading the kayak with Gary paddling again, the trio accompanied by the purple bag return to Kailani! Nice trip, but seems we need more sun and beverages and Tracy needs to catch some fish. Around 3:30 pm we decide to raise the anchor and head back home.
With Tracy on the anchor and me at the helm, we release Kailani from the grip of the sand and start to head back up the Connecticut River. Ed, Gina, Gary and Tracy are all on the bow while I’m at the helm. Before we reach the railroad bridge, Gary, Ed and Frankie are on the bridge with me, while Tracy and Gina are firmly set in conversation still on the bow. That’s the way it stayed all the way back to Chester Marina.
When I got past the Deep River Marina, and there were no more ‘no wake’ zones, I opened up the throttles and apparently drew the attention of two jet skiers and one of them got really good at jumping Kailani’s wake. He would time his runs to get as close as possible to the wake immediately off our stern and on a few jumps, he nearly made it completely across our entire wake, from one side of the boat to the other! That was really spectacular and they followed us right up to when we slowed down to turn into Chester Inlet.
Today’s trip was against the current going south in the morning as the tide was coming in, and low and behold, we were going against the current heading back north at the end of the day as the tide was going out. Oh well, sometimes we just catch it totally wrong. Anyway, this means that the inlet was completely skinny as we approached and the depth gauge alarm was certain to go off for much of the passage thru the inlet back to our dock. I warned the crew to not worry, as our alarm is set to go off at 7.5 feet and we draw less than 4 feet, so no worries of grounding. There were absolutely no boats out in the inlet and we had it completely to ourselves, so I went past our dock, turned to starboard into Springfield Yacht Club to reverse our direction and completed my 360 degree turn in preparation for our drive into our slip. All hands were on deck ready to catch lines as directed. I brought Kailani’s bow into the dock so Ed could get the bow line and Tracy could get the foreward spring. Once those were attached, I turned the stern into the dock and Gina attached the aft spring while Gary secured the stern line. Docking completed in four easy steps!
Once we were secured, Gary again reconnected the utilities with Tracy’s help and in no time, we were back home safe and sound from another fun day on the waters of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, looking forward to the next opportunity to be on the water with family and friends.