As anticipated, today was a day to remain in port. Except for a few breaks in the clouds in mid-afternoon, today was a complete rain-out. In this protected harbor, we experienced sustained winds of 20 knots with gusts to 25 for most of the day. At 10:30 PM, rain showers and thunderstorms are still in the area.
Reflections on Newport. In an earlier post, Newport was compared to Annapolis as a major east coast yachting center. After experiencing this town for a few days, we now conclude that Newport is in a class of its own.
First, there are more pleasure boats in Newport Harbor than in Annapolis, and a substantial percentage of the yachts are perfectly restored vintage sailing yachts with huge overhangs at both bow and stern. Absolutely gorgeous and ultra-expensive to maintain. Scanning the harbor from our vantage point, there are dozens of yachts in excess of 100 feet.
One of the interesting aspects of the mega sailing yachts is the manner in which they are illuminated at night. Below the waterline, these yachts are equipped with LED lighting that creates an eerie greenish glow on the water around the entire perimeter of the yacht. LED lighting is mounted on the underside of each spreader (and most of these yachts have 4 or 5 spreaders) to illuminate the deck. In addition, LED lighting is mounted on the topside of each spreader to illuminate the mast. Very cool, if not a tad ostentatious. We just don’t see stuff like this in Annapolis.
Annapolis offers visitors a delightful stroll around the Naval academy grounds. But Newport offers a two-mile pedestrian Cliff Walk with impressive views of the craggy coastline and the many mansions that dot the cliffs.
Both Annapolis and Newport are outstanding places to be. But if you enjoy being surrounded by perfectly maintained classic sailing yachts and a history of regattas, Newport is the place to be.