Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beware the Ooze!

Smooth cruise yesterday from Block Island to Newport where our plans were to anchor. Alas, our anchor wouldn’t hold even though the bottom was supposed to be ‘sticky’. Maybe the chart meant ‘post-it- note’ sticky when a 60,000 lb. boat needs ‘super-glue’ sticky. The navigation charts have 76 different terms for the bottom composition. Some you’d want to stay away from: smell, rotten, decayed. Some are definitely alive and you could make a meal if the ship’s stores were empty: oysters, mussels, seaweed. Others sound like they might be alive and attach to you if you went swimming: spicules, radiolarian, pteropods, polyzoa, cirripedia- all sound really creepy. Ooze is pretty scary, too – sounds like a B-movie horror flick. We’d be afraid to anchor over tenacious ground– it might hold the anchor and never give it back. Anyway, sticky wasn’t sticky, so we’re on a mooring ball. (Vicki caught this one on the first try.)

Lovely afternoon walking around the yachting town of Newport. This was the playground of the rich and famous (Vanderbilts, etc) at the turn of the century. They built mansions which they called cottages – we did the mansion walk and gawked at the opulence.

Our other stop, other than the ice cream shop, was Trinity Church built in 1726. Everyone from George Washington to the Vanderbilts to Queen Elizabeth has worshipped there. It has a rare three-tiered pulpit with what looks like a cupcake top hanging over it to disperse the sound. (And if you have been reading this blog you know that Vicki knows cupcake tops, right?) The wealthy used to buy plaques for the dearly departed which were mounted on the church walls as a memorial – one person was characterized as ‘the perfect woman – strong, etc’. Norm and I mused about whether strong meant strong-willed, physically strong for doing chores, or durable (lasting a long time).

We’re going into town this afternoon for some provisions. (That’s marine speak for ‘going shopping’.) Then we’re going to say hi to friend Lynnie’s cousin who is the bar manager at the Black Pearl (perhaps a complimentary cocktail??) which just happens to be 50 ft. from the launch dock. How convenient!

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