June 5th: ORION finally emerged from her garage to be trailered up to Niantic. Over the winter, she received new bottom paint (which will last three years), new bootstripe paint, and two fresh coats of varnish on all the wood.
June 8th: The Niantic River tide was high enough to allow a beach launching from my parents’ place, saving a lot of time instead of going to the launch ramp in Waterford. She doesn’t have her mainsail bent on yet, but hopefully I’ll do that this coming week.
June 11th: The first official sail of the season. It was very blustery, so I only sailed with the main up, and I’m glad I did - it proved to be plenty of canvas for the conditions.
The mooring field up the Niantic River was pretty empty except for this powerboat and a few sailboats, but I’m sure it will fill in as the summer kicks into high gear pretty soon.
June 26th: my first time out in Niantic Bay! The winds were fairly light, but it was great to stretch ORION’s legs and enjoy a great afternoon on the water.
I sailed over to the Niantic Bay Yacht Club and got a late lunch from their restaurant. While there, I met up with my organ instructor and colleague Ezequiel Menendez who keeps his boat there!
He went sailing on ORION with me briefly before I dropped him off at his boat on a mooring. He invited me to go racing with him later that afternoon, and I accepted!
I sailed ORION back to her mooring in the River and later joined Ezequiel back at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club to race with him and some of his friends on his larger boat. We did pretty well!
July 2nd: Took a short trip around Millstone Point to Jordan Cove. It was cloudy with a nice breeze; I got there very quickly.
I grabbed a nearby mooring on the far west side of Jordan Cove and put the awning up, made myself some lunch, and relaxed while listening on the radio to several concerti by Archangelo Corelli.
While on the mooring, the wind died down a bit, but I still had enough of a breeze to fight the outgoing current and make it back home swiftly.
The clouds broke up and the sun came out just as ORION got back to her own mooring. It was a great afternoon sail - just what the doctor ordered.
July 9th: I went sailing with my father today in the Niantic River. We don’t usually have the opportunity to sail together, so I’m glad we got the chance!
We rigged up the asymmetrical spinnaker and gybed back and forth all the way up the River until we ran out of room.
July 15th: Liz, Harry and I sailed to West Harbor at Fisher’s Island for the afternoon. We had a great breeze, and the current was with us, so we averaged about five knots all the way there from Niantic.
The transient moorings in West Harbor were all taken, so we went further out and anchored in the designated anchorage. It was a long row against the wind and current to the Fisher’s Island Yacht Club!
We got ice cream at Topper’s and explored the absolutely beautiful beach by the Hay Harbor Club before heading back to ORION.
We sailed as much as we could before the wind finally quit for the evening. With the running lights on, we motored home with the sun setting behind Millstone in the distance.
The next day, Harry and I motored up the Niantic River to Turkey Point to explore trails in Oswegatchie Hills Preserve and swim a little at the beach.
Saturday, July 20th: Took friends and family out to see fireworks in Niantic Bay. There are nine - yes, nine - aboard!
We anchored off of McCook’s Beach with front-row seats to a spectacular display. Although it was one of the hottest days of the year, the evening was absolutely perfect on the water.
July 28th: Took my friends Amanda and Stephen out sailing for an afternoon. We sailed around Millstone Point to Jordan’s Cove and anchored for a little while.
We went swimming for a while, and Stephen even tried his luck at fishing. Not a bad way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in the summer!
August 2-4: The Mariner National Rendezvous took place once again at Mystic Seaport! Ten boats and twenty sailors took part - here is most of us just before leaving the Niantic River launch ramp.
We had light winds going there, but we did manage to get a little sailing in. Here is Dave Oatley with his sons sailing #2186 NANTUCKET in the foreground.
We arrived without incident and had a fantastic few days there. We went on several special “behind-the-scenes” tours and explored the Seaport and the entire Mystic downtown.
We had a perfect breeze for a lively sail back to Niantic, and the whole weekend was a great success. 148 pictures are now available at my Google photo album, and photos from other Rendezvous participants can be viewed here.