Southbound: Stuck in Newport

A Second installment in the exciting sail south from Cape Cod; see the previous post, first.


Another morning in Newport. We're considering going for a sail in Narragansett Bay, just to relieve the boredom. Conditions on the outside are, to judge by the tyrannical monotone of the National Weather Service's automated voice, still on the edge; a small craft advisory, a gale warning, and seas "4 to 7 feet." The weather is glorious and breezy here on the mooring inside the harbor; the danger in these situations is to let tedium overtake good judgement. The wind here is an ideal ten to fifteen knots, straight out of the east, and if we were to find the same conditions outside it would make for a perfect day of sail, a brisk tailwind skimming us effortlessly towards Long Island Sound and home. Instead we are sitting in the cabin, listening to gentle creakings in the rigging, both of us in desperate need of a shower. Every few hours we listen to a pessimistic weather forecast that in no way seems to reflect our reality.

Captain Chase curled up with a good book
Photo: Evan Eames

I have exhausted my reading material and made it some way through the onboard selections. Now I'm waiting for Anthony to finish reading Richard Price's Lush Life. Sitting around waiting for someone else to finish reading a book, that's what it has come to. This morning, in desperation, I picked up The Decorative Arts of the Mariner. It is not what is known as a page-turner. This large, dull volume compiles the prose of a gaggle of retired British Lieutenants-Commander and nautical museum curators, all experts in their arcane fields of hobby-study. In his enthralling chapter on decorative rope and canvaswork, P.W. Blandford notes that this form's development "was probably due as much to the need for an answer to boredom as to any intention of creating a work of art." Because "periods of intense activity alternated with days when there was little or nothing to do... the worker was looking for something to pass the time and maintain his interest for the longest possible period."

There must be some old twine or cord hidden away somewhere on this boat....


After a brief but exhilarating sail on Narragansett Bay, with strong enough gusts to remind us why we fear the ocean, we head back to our Newport mooring for another dozy afternoon. New topics of conversation are elusive, so we compile a list of the ten worst boat names we have come across. It astonishes me that people will spend tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on a yacht just to paint a painfully bad pun on her stern. Don't get me started on tattoos.

Here they are, in no particular order. Should you happen to own a boat with one of these trite, hackneyed or otherwise painful names, apologies in advance for the disrespect.

Risky Business
Carpe Diem


Sweet Action

Liquid Asset

My Mistress

Wind Dancer

Bad Boys

Time Off

Decisive Moment

The author on the starboard bunk, showing some gut, maintaining some perspective, and trying to remain patient by reading Adlard Coles' Heavy Weather Sailing, several hundred pages of small craft horror stories.
Photo: Anthony Chase


Andrian said...

I see you're also perusing the tales of crime and murder from our old neighborhood.

They say it's a cold world said...

You didn't read this post yet, did you, you blog terrorist.... You're only commenting on the photograph. Busted.

Ted N. said...

Hi Rich - Glad that you're making forward progress on your sailing dreams! Remember 99% boredom, 1% terror is the normal mix. I myself just bumped into a very avid sailor yesterday (multi-oceanic crossings) & even sailed the prior day w/ a Mr. Schrayer. Have a wonderful & safe time. Here's a website for you: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/zone/east/boxmz.htm best, Ted

Unknown said...

There was a poor mans cigarette boat in a Weehawken marina called Indecent seas. Ugh.