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New England Land Attractions

It has been eight months since Cénou left New England. Cénou is currently hauled out in West Palm for maintenance before heading north to start the charter season. I am looking forward to New England, its reliable afternoon breezes and the destinations it offers. There is no doubt that Newport is one of the highlights of cruising in New England and I have been missing the place.

Newport puts you just a day sail away from some great anchorages. Block Island and Cuttyhunk are reachable in three hours for Cénou and on some occasions even less. Although I do remember sailing with my daughter from Newport to Block on a nice sunny day. The trip took close to seven hours. We had wind on the nose, then it shifted to make our tacks work against us. If that were not enough there was the current which was determined to flatten our tacks to angles that are not even mentionable. I know, its all “excuses”.

Enjoying yourself should be an excuse, which is why whether I get to places like Block Island or Newport, I like to get off the visit land. Yes, the first “impact” can be hard, loud an confusing after a solitary day on the water. But step away from the crowd and suddenly you are biking on a quiet road or walking along a cliff on trails that see so little use they feel private.

In Newport the same thing happens. Step away from Thames with all the fudge and T-shirt shops and you quickly find yourself walking between quiet colonial houses. It gives you the feeling you are moving through a living museum. The houses often have plaques that tell you who was living there back in the days and what services they were providing to the community be it sailmaker, apothecary attorney, merchant etc. . .

I often do my walking around as I make my way to the Jane Picken’s Theater which is the kind of place that approaches movie showing more like a curator than a pop corn pusher. When the movie is over I walk right across Washington Square and get a table at Stoneacre Brasserie. It was voted the best restaurant in Rhode Island in 2017 and it clearly deserved the recognition. From there you can enjoy great food while the movie you just saw feeds the conversation.

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