Darn, summer is over and fall has set in. Always mixed feelings this time of year with the onset of the autumn equinox causing the sun to set earlier and earlier and the daylight hours to grow shorter and shorter. But on the bright side the summer hubbub has died down and the cooler, crisper weather replaced the heat and humidity. For us the end of the summer meant it was time for us to prepare for an earlier than usual departure. Disappointing that we would miss our favorite part of the boating season but we had an exciting reason for our early departure, read on to find out why.
As described in our last post, our summer was busy – prepping our boat for launch, cleaning out our overstuffed storage unit and purchasing and rigging our new tow vehicle (2013 Honda Odyssey). Many of our dwindling days in RI were filled with not very interesting (at least to you) annual medical appointments, trips to the local Farmer’s Market each Friday, dining at a few favorite and a few new restaurants, the mundane task of cleaning the dinghy, prepping Quantum Leap for hauling on September 30th and various other tasks. We never made it to Newport or anywhere else in the boat (in fact it never left the dock) but that’s okay, there’s always next year (hmmm, didn’t I say that last year after our refrigerator installation fiasco?). We did however get to some of our favorite spots along Narragansett Bay in RI.
Not only did we have our own medical appointments to deal with, but we had frequent visits to the vet with our fuzzy feline Gizmo. Because of recent senior blood tests which showed that his liver enzymes were on the rise, at the advice of our regular vet, we made an appointment to have an ultrasound done at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists. Sadly the results weren’t good – he has a massive tumor on his liver. A surprise to us and to the vets as well since he has no symptoms. He’s not in any discomfort and he’s eating and acting fine. More invasive tests could have been done to determine if it was malignant or benign but we opted not to pursue them. The tumor was inoperable and we knew that if the tests showed that it was malignant, at his age (12) and with his heart condition, the stress for him and the cost to us didn’t make sense. We’ll just let nature take its course and keep him as happy and comfortable as we can for however much time he has left. As of right now he is still a happy and content kitty and you would never know anything is wrong!
So we thought we were done with vet visits – boy, were we wrong! Towards the end of the summer, Gizmo also started to have problems with his left eye (Rob started calling him Mr. Squinty). After several vet visits where he was initially misdiagnosed with a corneal ulcer, followed by several trips to an ophthalmologist, he was finally diagnosed with a corneal sequestrum, common to Himalayan cats. We were all to familiar with this as one of our other cats, Hobie, had surgery for the same thing many years ago. Faced with a choice of either eye surgery (between $1500 to $2500) or waiting to see if it improved with antibiotics, we took the wait and see approach. Over time it did improve and Mr. Squinty stopped squinting. At a subsequent visit to the ophthalmologist, it was determined that kitty had no discomfort and no surgery was necessary for now. Good going Giz!
Now besides doctors and vets, walks along the shore and assorted water excursions (in our dinghy). we did manage to do something touristy things. One such, involved a visit to a local distillery, Sons of Liberty Spirits Company in South Kingston, RI about a 30 minute drive from the East Greenwich Yacht Club. Who knew that RI had a distillery? We certainly didn’t! Guided tours are given on Saturdays every hour on the half hour starting at 1:30 p.m.
By crafting single malt whiskies, this distillery pays homage to Revolutionary times “and the secret society that was formed to protect the rights of the colonists and fight taxation by the British government.” Their goal is to “revolutionize” American spirits, by making craft whiskeys from distinct styles of beer. Even the name of the distillery and the names of their whiskies Uprising and Battle Cry and their True Born gin reflect their revolutionary spirit. They seem to be achieving their goals as they have won numerous awards in various competitions, not only here but worldwide as well. What also makes this distillery unique is that they produce the first ever seasonal whiskies such as Pumpkin Spice Whiskey and Hop Flavored Whiskey. At the end of the tour which by the way was quite interesting, we were invited to either purchase a $10 Whiskey Flight consisting of (4) 1/2 oz whiskey pours or $8 cocktails. If you want to learn more, Mike Reppucci, Sons of Liberty owner/distiller shows how their whisky is made in this You Tube Video.
And of course, no surprise that there were our usual dining out escapades, often visiting our local favorites for either breakfast or lunch. Along with Gel’s and Coastline Diner, a new favorite for a good quality low cost breakfast spot this year is The Breakfast Nook in North Kingstown. We also went to Crosby’s Cafe a couple of times where you can probably find some of the cheapest eggs on Main St. East Greenwich.
Twice we had lunch at James Breakfast & More Cafe in Wrentham, MA following assorted medical appointments iin the area. On one occasion, my brother, Paul and my sister-in-law, Peggy met us there for lunch shortly before our departure. Glad we had an opportunity to see them as they had just sold their house and had moved in with my nephew, his wife and their children in Norfolk, MA so we had a lot to catch up on. Delicious lunch! I had their special – a yummy sesame seeded salmon dish with broccoli fritters and wasabi sauce while Rob had his usual Killer Skillet (corned beef hash).
One restaurant we had wanted to try for the past few years was Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House in Warwick, especially since they had opened up a new dine-in restaurant next door called Iggy’s Boardwalk. Unfortunately we arrived there too early for the Boardwalk, so instead we both ordered lobster rolls at the take out window ($17.95) which included a cup of chowder, fries and cole slaw. Really good but not quite as awesome as the lobster rolls we had in Camden, Maine last year.
Our live aboard time on the boat (since early May) was to our surprise cut short by a week (we planned on moving back to the coach on the 15th) when Hurricane Hermine snuck up on us over Labor Day weekend. On Saturday and Sunday as the storm approached, the weather didn’t seem that bad so we figured we would just ride it out on the boat. But by Monday afternoon, with the northeasterly wind gusting to over 50 mph, the waves in the cove were increasing the risk of some calamity from adjacent boats and docks. To avoid some middle of the night fire drill, about 6 p.m. hubby said that he thought it was time for us to retreat to the coach. Fine by me! Here’s a short video of the intense wind spinning the wheels on the upside down dock carts! As it turned out the wind died down by the next morning and everything was fine. We decided it wasn’t worth the effort of moving back for just a couple of days. Gizmo made it clear though that he missed the boat and the freedom to be outside (on the protected deck areas) whenever he wished.
So now it was time to focus our efforts on getting
Quantum Leap ready for haul which included the usual tasks – winterizing the engines (3), the water lines, folding and stowing the dinghy in the cabin below, moving perishable items back to the coach and non-perishable items to storage, putting things away, taking down the enclosure and numerous other items in prep for haul out. We finished all these tasks on the 17th. Since we planned on leaving on September 20th and the boat wasn’t being hauled until September 30th, this would be the first year ever that we weren’t there to watch the haul. But we weren’t really worried as we have every confidence in the yacht club stewards as well as the boat haulers.
Now for the past few years, we’ve usually headed south mid-October but this year we were leaving mid-September. Why you might be wondering? Well, because we have exciting news! Back in the early part of June, we ordered a new 2017 Entegra Aspire 44B from National Indoor RV Center (NIRVC) in Atlanta, GA and it was due to be delivered to the dealership the end of September. Well it was done at the factory on time and we wanted to be on our way to pick her up! We also privately sold our previous 2013 Entegra Aspire RBQ to buyers who were picking it up at the same dealership at the same time.
We could have made things easy and traded our previous Entegra Aspire RBQ, but after much discussion and research, we concluded that despite the hassles, we just had to try a private sale which promised a significant financial advantage. So that’s what we did. Here’s the informational website we used to sell her. We’ll cover all the gory details of what was involved in a separate post. For now, just know that it created some significant logistical conundrums and involved a lot of time, energy and effort pretty much consuming the majority of our resources throughout the summer. In the end it all worked out though, and was definitely worth the effort.
Finally with the boat done and our coach ready for departure, it was time for us to say goodbye to our neighbors, friends and family. Time for us to set forth on the last journey with our 2013 Entegra Aspire and head southward to an exciting new RV experience!