Waiting out the winter (2007) in Portsmouth, Rhode Island

After a long wait, repairs and painting got underway at New England Boat works

The work included repairs to the damage done in during the November storm and a complete AwlGrip paint job on the topsides.

Finally, after numerous delays and many dollars, the mast was stepped and the Travelift came to fetch her for launching...

June 12th, 2007

Freshly splashed, SV Wren is happy to be a boat again

Below, projects were unfolding before our eyes and it would be another 10 days before we were able to get underway for our maiden voyage and re-naming.

Our sparky new cushions brought the interior to life.

At last! We pulled out of East Passage Marina and immediately proceed with our rituals for launching and renaming Island Paradise to WREN.

Ceremonies began with a toast of Mount Gay Rum.

We toasted the important Deities and mythological characters and made sure Neptune was provided with an ample slug of rum in exchange for his tolerance of our existence.

We spent the remainder of our June vacation doing some local cruising on Narragansett Bay.

The Bristol Yacht Club.

Conanicut Island Yacht Club near Jamestown.

A couple of excursions out to sea gave us a good feeling about how she sails.
Going south through Long Island Sound and the East River

An overnight stop at Bridgeport Connecticut, where rats started to board before we had shut down the engine.

At Mamaroneck New York we picked up friend Jeff for the ride down the East River

The floating jails at Riker's Island

Typhoid Mary lived here

Approaching Hell Gate, notorious for the currents

Friend Jeff (driving) and the skipper
At this point we disconverd that all of the boats intending to transit the East River would have to take the Rosevelt Island channl because they main channel (west) was closed to traffic.

Reason? The UN was insession and Bush was in town. To ad to that, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also visiting. No traffic was allowed on the west side of Rosevelt Island.

There were 15 other boats that had grouped up to catch the favorable current so we clustered up and requested an opening from the lift bridge. After 15 minutes we were informed that the bridge was broken and would not be opening.

We radioed the Coast Guard for permission to proceed down the west channel. NEGATVE!

We finally got the attention of the NYPD Boat and asked them to contact the Coast Guard and escort us down the west channel

They agreed and the procession lined up. Meanwhile, the current was starting to build in our favor.

Then, we hear a radio report that the Coast Guard had intercepted our little flotilla and agressively turned them back. We were near the rear of the pack so we turned around and started back against a 5 knot current - not fast enough for the Coast Guard.

NYPD was wondering what the hell we were doing because they were obviously not communicating with the Coast Guard.

Once again we got permission and were turned back.

Finally, it stuck and we were able to go. It was a good thing because the current would have held us stationary if we were heading up river again.

You can see Bush's (Obama's now) helicopters on the pier in the background

Not satisfied, the Coast Guard made sure that they were going to thwart the obvious threat to whatever they were protecting

Beware of adolescents with 50 caliber machine guns

Ms Liberty was there to remind us of where we were

Friend Jeff enjoying the last part of the leg to New York

Ellis Island as we start to head up the Hudson

We continued around the south end of Manhatten and found our way to Newport Marina in Jersey City.

Why does the picture show the marina being so empty? It was one of the rolliest places we've ever been. The staff was great and facilities adequate. The wakes from constant ferry traffic kept the water churned up from early morning to day's end.

The marina was a short walk from the train entrance and we could be in Manhatten in 15 minutes. Wren even went to the Manhatten West Marine store for some parts.

This is where Jeff left us to do his business, walking down the dock in a suit.

At this point in our journey south we have no photos until our arrival in Norfolk.

We left Newport Marina very early in the AM on Friday to catch the tide (shallow in the marina) and current. Navigating our way out of New York harbor among the ferries, tugs and barges was a bit nerve-racking in the dark but we managed, reaching Sandy Hook by mid morning.

It was turning out to be a beautiful day and the forecast called for moderate conditions.

We sailed/motored/sailed/motored until the wind filled in mid afternoon. Wind and seas built as evening approached where we were seeing 20+ knots consistently and as high as 35 as we sped our way south off of Cape May.

This was a pretty rigorous trip where we could have used some additional crew but Wren and I have been sailing together for a long time and we handled the trip just fine. The rough conditions limited our sleep and we spent most of the trip in the cockpit to limit our seasickness symptoms.

We arrived at Little Creek in Norfolk around midnight on Saturday night. Aside from another brush with the authorities (we strayed into the military area across from the marina) our landing was without incident. After a well earned turbo VT we retired.

Next day Wren caught the fast plane home and I remained to put away the boat and make a list of things that needed tending.

The other view of Wren's new home at Baypoint Marina in Norfolk.

The next phase - Chesapeake Bay