Summer 2008 - New Hampshire to Block Island  -  Pg 1
On the 19th of July, we departed Portsmouth and headed south.  Our mission: to take Sno' Dog down to Bristol, Rhode Island, site of the first PDQ-U to be held in the USA.  Since the weather was good, we took the outside route around Cape Ann rather than going through the Annisquam Canal as we often do.
Passing the twin lighthouses off Cape Ann in a light fog - enroute to the Cape Cod Canal
We departed Great Bay Marina at 7:00 AM, passed downtown Portsmouth at 7:30 and headed out into the ocean at 7:45 AM.  We passed Cape Ann at 9:45 AM and continued across Boston and Cape Cod Bays against gentle SW winds and increasing FOG!  We arrived at the Cape Cod Canal entrance at 1:30 PM.  On the far side of the canal, winds had piped up to 15-20 knots and there was a small craft advisory for Buzzards Bay.
So we pulled into the Onset Bay Marina and spent a peaceful night.  Next morning, we headed for Bristol.  Unfortunately the wind was still blowing so the trip to Bristol was rough - and foggy.  Visibility less 1/4 mi.
Fog and lumpy seas in Buzzards Bay
We arrived at the Bristol Harbor Inn just after noon and tied up at their dock.  Winds piped up to 25 knots in the afternoon making for bumpy dockage.
Sno' Dog docked at the Bristol Harbor Inn alongside Heron
PDQ-U attendees pose aboard Sno' Dog at the end of the two-day instructional session
Paul & Ann Gooding look on as Nancy cooks dinner aboard Sno' Dog
Sno' Dog squeezed in at Payne's Dock on Block Island - reminiscent of our Baltic adventure!
PDQ-U began with a reception on Sunday afternoon and ran through Tuesday PM. A highlight for us was the visit to the Pearson Composites factory in Warren, RI where the new PDQ's will be built.
Before the visit, I had some doubts about the successful future of PDQ, but the visit was most eye-opening.  I now believe the new PDQ powercats will be better than the Canadian version - albeit a bit more pricey.  There is little doubt that this company can produce an extremely high quality product and they appear committed to doing so.  I doubt, however, that we'll see the first new PDQ-34 before the spring of 2009.
After PDQ-U, Paul and Ann Gooding, owners of Horizons (PDQ-34, hull 79) joined us aboard Sno' Dog for the trip out to Block Island for the PDQ Rendezvous.  Despite wind, rain and fog, we made it successfully into Great Salt Pond and we were actually able to find dockage on Friday afternoon at Payne's Dock. Getting in there was reminiscent of docking in Europe, the boats were truly packed in!  But our spot, right against the bulkhead was close to town, and near Beth & Dave Simkins' house, the site of the activities planned for Friday and Saturday afternoons.
There was a cook-out on Friday and a major lobster feed on Saturday. Beth organized a Scavenger Hunt which kept us occupied for a good part of the day on Saturday and proved to be good fun.  It was also a great way to see the island and gather lots of information.  We used our bikes extensively to ride around the island.  Due to extreme zealousness on the part of the Clews-Chandler-Gooding Sno' Dog crew, we achieved the highest score and won the prize!
One of the items on the Scavenger Hunt list was a photo of "Your crew at Settler's Rock". This item was far down the list and, by the time we focussed on it, there were only a couple hours left before the deadline.  It turned out Settler's Rock was about 5 miles north of our location, so rather than setting off on a 10-mile bike ride, we put our laptop to work.  Using this photo of our group taken by Beth in front of her house (with a convenient green background) and a little help from Photoshop, oilá, an instant photo of our group at Settler's Rock! We even printed it for the occasion.
Photo of our group at Settler's Rock - required for the Scavenger Hunt.  But is it real?
  Continue to Block Island Trip - Page 2
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