Once we cancelled our trip to Provincetown based on the weather from Hurricane Irma, we were available for Nick, Dede, Natalie and Brianna to spend a day with us on Kailani cruising the Connecticut River. As the day neared, we planned on going north up the Connecticut River to Middletown rather than south like we always have. Besides, once about 25 years ago when we were boating with a Four Winns 200 Horizon, we took a ride on the Connecticut River for a day and motored up to the dock at Harbor Park Restaurant (the original name of the establishment). As we sat right outside the docking area owned by the restaurant, we started to discuss the location that the dockmaster wanted us to pull into. I kept telling him there wasn’t enough space for our boat and he kept telling us to just throw him a rope. So we threw him a rope and lo and behold, he pulled us in right between to mega-yachts. We were looking at the stern of one of these seemingly behemoth vessels, and the bow of the second yacht, however, it was in fact somewhat tight, but the dockmaster slid us under the bow pulpit of the first vessel so we were actually looking up to his anchor pulpit. Nick never forgot this, so Tracy and I thought it’d be nice to show up there as one of the larger boats, and let the dockmasters make the decision on feasibility.
When Nick and his family showed up on Saturday, we found out that Nick was thinking of the same thing and he wanted the same results when we docked there.
So with complete unison, we headed out about 11 am for the Mattabesett Canoe Club (formerly Harbor Park). Coming out of Chester Inlet, we turned north, waited for a ferry crossing, then proceeded upriver. We calculated a two hour cruise travelling 19 miles to Middletown. After passing the ferry crossing, I turned the helm over to Nick so he could get more experience while Tracy, Dede and the girls sunned on the bow deck. We had thought that travelling north would be relatively low boat traffic, but with such a nice day for September in New England, there were quite a few boats out enjoying the day. As we passed the last turn to port before entering Middletown, we hailed the restaurant with no response then called them for info on docking. The new operators do not get too experienced with boaters and offered little information other than approach the dock and land wherever you can. Certainly a complete change from the management of Harbor Park! I was back at the helm by this point and I tried to get us docked right astern of a smaller boat so we could simulate the experience from years earlier, only in reverse. But alas, we did not have an opportunity to accomplish that goal.
At any rate, lunch was delicious sitting on the deck overlooking the river and when Natalie and Brianna got a little restless, we decided it was time to head back home to Chester. The ride back was equally as pleasant as the ride up so everyone worked on their tans while Nick & I worked the helm and lookout. Once we were back at the dock, tied up securely and shore power re-connected, Natalie and Brianna wanted to get some pool time, so Nick and Dede took them up to the pool for a while and Tracy and I stayed on Kailani. When they left for home it was after spending a really nice Saturday together.