Hello US of A

‘Bout time the radio silence ended. My three week trip to the UK is history. The boat has been safely anchored in Newport Rhode Island for a couple of weeks whilst I clocked up work, friends and family mileage around the UK. My schedule felt a bit like military manoeuvres at times. I got to see loads of folk and enjoyed the company of everyone. It was great to catch up face to face, eat some good food, have the odd glass of wine and share some laughs. Inevitably I didn’t get to see everyone…..next time I hope. I earned a bit of cash too which the boat will gobble up hungrily.

Dave hired a car and came to pick me up in New York. Having someone meet you at the airport after time apart always feels such a joy and I did have a tear in my eye. Softie. We’ve spent a year living in each other’s pockets so three weeks apart felt like a long time.

The hire car was a swanky Mercedes SUV bursting with gadgets and features. It still wasn’t able to teleport us back to Newport instantly and by the time we’d driven for 3.5 hours and tendered out to the boat, I’d been travelling for the best part of 24 hours.

Waking up to a new day brought torrential rain and fog. I’d left a bit of a heat wave in the UK for dampness and miserableness. Hmmm. I also felt a bit under the weather, probably just run down from a non stop itinerary and having to share ‘bugs’ on the plane. Today however, the sun is out, we’re off to a kite festival this afternoon and having people over for dinner tonight. And they’ll be able to have chilled drinks and ice as Dave has reconfigured the fridge and we now have a FREEZER too! It’s been a fiddly job that’s taken many hours but will make a massive difference to how we shop, cook and fish.

The downside, if indeed it is one in my opinion, is that the freezer uses more amps so sticking some solar panels on the boat is now more of a priority. Hence my earlier comment about the boat gobbling up money.

There’s some money around Newport. Several of the properties are linked to the Vanderbilt family who were worth $100m in the 1880’s. They made their money in transportation, firstly carriages and then railways. There was lots of ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ behaviour. One family member would build a house then another would trump that property with a bigger more ostentatious one. Larry Ellison of Oracle fame, is building a property here to house his 18th and 19th century art work. We were informed the building work has overrun by several years and blown the original budget out of the park. So somethings would appear not to change in Newport.

The town also has a renowned boat building school. There was a big fund raising event happening last night where they expected to raise $1 million. So the site was closed to the public but a great lady called Frances who runs the museum insisted on showing us around their project of restoring a boat called Coronet on discovering we’d come from England. The oak is coming from Sweden and one man is funding the whole project. It’s employing many shipwrights from around the world plus all the apprentices who get to work on the job too. It’s going to take several years and will be stunning once finished as all the original oak panelled walls and furniture will go back in once the hull and deck is sorted.

It will be good to get moving again. Maine is calling.

 

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