Welcome Aboard! We departed from our homeport in Vero Beach, Fla., headed north to Maine aboard our 78’ Ocean Alexander, Rhythm ‘n Blues. This journey took us to many ports of call, traveling over 5,500 nautical miles from Florida to Maine and back. The daunting task of making all of these marina reservations was made easy with the help from the Marinalife staff. The length of this cruise created a new “rhythm” for us which leads to the boat’s name, Rhythm ‘n Blues. Now hop aboard as we take you through our journey from the Chesapeake Bay to Maine.
Part 1 — Chesapeake Bay
This was one of the highlights of our trip. College friends who were married the same year as us joined us for our 35th anniversary cruise through the Chesapeake Bay. We made it our quest to find the best crab cakes on the bay. We began this leg of the trip at Bluewater Yachting Center in Hampton, Va., The surf rider restaurant was the first of our many crab cakes!
The next day brought us to The Tides Inn in Irvington, Va., We biked to The Dog and Oyster Winery and had dinner and of course crab cakes at the Tides Inn Restaurant.
Zahniser’s Yachting Center in Solomons Island, Md., was beautiful. We took the dinghy all around the island where the topography was so interesting with cliffs and lovely scenery. We enjoyed crab cakes at Stoney’s Seafood House.
Oxford, Md., was one of our favorites places to explore! All of the quaint homes were in perfect condition. Many residents partner with local artists for a contest in which they paint a portion of the resident’s white fence, better known as “onion tops.” We stayed at the Brewer Oxford Boat Yard & Marina and had crab cakes at Schooner’s on the Creek.
St. Michaels, Md., was another fun spot with lots of shops and restaurants. We docked at St. Michaels Marina, which was an easy walk to everything. We actually had two crab cake tastings: The Crab Claw Restaurant and St. Michaels Crab & Steakhouse.
Annapolis was bustling with energy! We stayed at Annapolis City Dock and we were in the thick of the action. it was fun exploring the Naval Academy and all of the shops and restaurants that align the streets. Steps away from the boat was the winning crab cake, located at Dock Street Bar & Grill!
We finished off the Chesapeake Bay with stops in Chestertown, Rock Hall and Georgetown before cruising through the C & D Canal toward Atlantic City, N.J. Then we made our way to the “Big Apple” for an extended stay.
Part 2 — Long Island
New York City, or should I say “the Big Apple,” will rate up there as one of the most memorable days of our trip. Bringing the boat right up to the statue of Liberty was amazing. We wanted to sing “God Bless America” at the top of our lungs!
After a night at Danfords Hotel & Marina in Port Jefferson (locally known as Port Jeff), we traveled to Mitchell Park Marina in Greenport and on our way we passed Plum Island. For all of you Nelson DeMille fans (novelist) you will know exactly where we are. Mitchell Park Marina is located in town and we enjoyed a nice walk to Claudio’s for dinner (a Greenport landmark — the oldest family-owned restaurant in the United States since 1870). The next day we biked to Kontokosta Winery and did a wine tasting at this beautiful winery overlooking Long Island Sound. There are at least 50 vineyards in this region, and we have been surprised by the quality of the wines.
We left Greenport and had a short hour and a half ride to Sag Harbor, an upscale little town that is not far from the Hamptons with very nice shops and restaurants. We had lunch at Page Restaurant and enjoyed the very good grilled octopus!
Our final stop on Long Island was Montauk. Montauk Yacht Club is very nice with two pools, restaurants, a beach and a spa. After watching the sunset, we were greeted with a supermoon.
Part 3 — Rhode Island to Maine
Newport, R.I. is a city steeped in history and architecture. We docked at Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina and toured two of the “Summer Cottages” as they are called. The Cliff Walk was a wonderful winding walk that follows the coastline for 3 1/2 miles. Seeing the cliffs and the water crashing onto the rocks was quite a thrill!
We were happy that we docked at The Black Dog Wharf because Martha’s Vineyard has a nice historic streets with shops and a few restaurants.
Nantucket, Mass., has wonderful walking and bike paths throughout the entire island. We loved seeing the residential area with the immaculately restored homes on the cobblestone streets. The yards are lush and manicured with an abundant amount of hydrangeas in every color imaginable! We docked at Nantucket Boat Basin.
In Boston, we stayed at Constitution Marina located on Boston Harbor conveniently situated on the Freedom Trail. Boston Commons is unique with the “swan boats” and Newbury Street, the historic high-end shopping district with lots of outdoor cafes. We took the dinghy down the Charles River. It was the first time we have ever done locks in a dinghy! From the water we saw Harvard, Boston University and MIT.
We left Boston and headed to Newburyport, Mass., a wonderful little town. Arriving during their big Yankee Homecoming Festival, the streets were lined with white tents and the park had concerts during the day and fireworks at night. We tied up at Newburyport Harbor Marina and had delightful dinner at Ceia Kitchen Bar — a small European restaurant.
The next day we headed to Boothbay, Maine. On our way we saw a water spout and, wouldn’t you know, it was a whale! To be so close to such a huge creature was awe inspiring! The scenery and temperatures changed quite a bit as we made our way into the harbor. It was absolutely beautiful!
You know you have entered Maine when you can walk across the water on lobster trap buoys. It requires major maneuvering skills to make your way through the waterways and harbors. We took the dinghy out the next day to the town of Bath. Again, another amazing day of beautiful scenery spotting seals on our journey. The dockmaster asked us where we had gone and when we told him Bath, he said, “You took that little dinghy through Hells Gate, that’s adventurous!” (I guess that’s what they call that section of 6-knot rapids that we had to go through!)
We were in Rockland, Maine for a few days. We were able to dinghy over to Rockport (not to be confused with
Rockland) and also to Owl’s Head Point. Very beautiful coastal countryside. Lots of art galleries for visitors to explore in Rockland.
We finally arrived to Bar Harbor, Maine and met our daughter Stephanie and her husband John. They hiked
Precipice which is the most difficult hike in all of Acadia National Park. My wife and I had already hiked Precipice 20 years ago so we had our bragging rights! The guidebook says “climbers should expect an experience physically strenuous and mentally stimulating.” We decided that might be too tiring. The next day we all hiked Acadia Mountain together, which the guidebook called moderately strenuous. Let’s just say their definition of “moderate” is a little different from Kristi’s!