17 May On the dock in Newport
Areté has been on the dock for six days – quite a lot of rest for a boat that has been on the move for more than a month. She is getting used to people speaking English to her all of the time (almost…Blaise is still here to help soothe her with some French now and again). She was thoroughly cleaned inside and we are now preparing her to make the trip to the Great Lakes.
Ron White is down below tearing out old and redundant electronics, preparing the way for new, more up-to-date gear – which is also MUCH lighter. The old SAILOR satellite system is coming out, and will mean over 200 pounds of gear off the boat. We have a long but uncomplicated list of items to take care of before we leave and the list is getting shorter by the hour. Even among the marvelous yachts and race boats at Newport Shipyard, Areté stands out.
We have had a lot of visitors, including two from Rick’s home club, the Port Huron Yacht Club. Bob and Pam Wall stopped by today with their daughter Genevieve. We will see them again at the start of the Port Huron to Mackinac Race! Our crew for the delivery to the Great Lakes will include Ron White and Matt Scharl – who were part of the crew that met the boat in France, Jim Andersen – a good friend of ours, the sales manager at Harken and a fine offshore sailor and navigator, Rick Hake – a multihull sailor from Milwaukee who operates a boat charter business with his Lagoon 37 cat, Blaise Bernos – one of the French delivery crew who wants to continue on to the Great Lakes, and myself. You may note that the owner, Rick Warner, is not on that list. His father is in poor health back home in Michigan and Rick has left Newport to get home. If everything works well, Rick will join us when we reach Quebec.
We have had a great experience so far in Newport. The staff at Newport Shipyard are exceptional – knowledgeable and seemingly able to anticipate everything we need. My great friends Billy and Joyce Black have been unfailingly and typically gracious my friends and me while we have been here. I love to see them – and it has been far too long.
We are carefully watching the weather, and it appears that our window will open on Tuesday for the 1,200 mile trip to Quebec. Then we start motoring up the river, though a series of locks before we reach Lake Ontario. We are hoping for good sailing, though it promises to be VERY cold!