Sunday, 23 July 2017

Newport Rhode Island, Social Cruising Continues ......

After a relaxed 50 mile passage we sailed into Newport, Rhode Island, arriving on schedule for a much anticipated dinner date. Coming into the harbor we dodged beautiful schooners and even more beautiful 12 Meter Americas Cup boats, all carrying passengers on commercial harbor cruises. Newport just oozes sailing tradition, money and tourists. We were lucky - old acquaintances and business connections had come forward, inviting us to dinner at the spectacular  New York Yacht Club facility in Newport.

So the mighty Crystal Blues, flying her Royal Yacht Club Of Victoria and Ocean Cruising Club burgees, rested on a mooring in front of the New York Yacht Club, while Ley and I prepared ourselves for dinner, not such a simple task!

New York Yacht Club At Newport, R.I.

Barbara Horton Lees and Steven Lees were relaxed and gracious hosts, having arrived in Newport themselves just that afternoon. We enjoyed a magic dinner on the great balcony of that beautiful building, looking out over the lawns, then standing with the members for the traditional cannon firing and flag lowering at sunset. After dinner we toured parts of the club house, once the Brown family mansion.

Of course this is the club that had just lost the Americas Cup to team New Zealand, though the spirit at the clubhouse didn't show it, and by the end of the evening we might have felt just a little guilty for cheering on the New Zealanders a few weeks earlier .... though I have a feeling that the New York Yacht Club won't hesitate to take up that proud fight again.

They have an incredibly active sailing program, hosting numerous race series for many classes, plus active sailing development programs.

Our hosts, Barbara and Steven, have lived on board their own boat for many years, and are working toward a full-time cruising life, so we were able to share stories of our own experiences.

The celebrations continued next morning with breakfast on board their boat, before we parted ways, hoping to meet at sea again in the future. We departed Newport later that morning in a light fog, bound for Bristol, Rhode Island, accompanied by beautiful sailing schooners and memories of a very special evening.

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