The passage of a cold front early this morning was more of a wind event than a rain event. Maximum wind speeds in Newport Harbor were in the 20 knot range…significantly less than forecasted. Winds out of the northwest bring cooler, dryer air with abundant sunshine and crystal clear skies. We are feeling the cleansing effect of a cold front.
Today we focus on boat chores, including an engine oil change. By previous arrangement, the local Spectra tech visits Cutter Loose on her mooring to commission the watermaker system. This device desalinates sea water and fills the water tank with 17 gallons of potable water per hour. We learned all about fresh water flushing, pickling, testing the water for salinity, changing filters and other fascinating aspects of watermaking.
It is now clear that Hurricane Irene is a critical factor that will delay our progress to the Chesapeake Bay. Cutter Loose cannot outrun this potential storm. This calls for defensive tactics. There are several potential anchorages in Long Island Sound that offer good protection from winds with a northerly component. Thousands of boat owners on Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound are currently considering their alternatives. By midweek, if Irene is projected to continue north along the coast, there will be considerable competiton for protected anchorages. Our plan is to move Cutter Loose to a protected area in the next 24 hours, then settle in and wait.
In the meantime, we explore the docks at Newport Shipyard, the mega-yacht center in Newport harbor. Crew members and contractors are busy preparing these yachts to sail. There is a distinct intensity of purpose on this dock. Just witnessing the caliber of these incredible yachts is a source of entertainment.