28 October: Left Point Judith just before sunrise and motored out of the harbor’s breakwater system. Today we planned to enter Long Island Sound via “The Race” and see how far we could get given SW winds and 3 ft seas.
As we neared The Race, fishing activity picked up and there were tons of seabirds in the area! Avoiding the large trawlers, we picked up speed with the current and cruised at a steady 7 kts. Soon, we had a small pod of Atlantic White-sided dolphins riding our bow through The Race. We immediately set the autopilot and Alex and I rushed forward to watch them. The dolphins — covered in scars and clicking and chirping to each other (SO COOL!) — played in our bow wake for about 10 minutes while we tried to get as many photos and videos as we could. Our first close-up marine mammal encounter! Luna even got some dolphin action; Piper of course stayed huddled in the stern haha.
After seeing how rich The Race waters were with marine life, Alex set our trolling gear out, and within an hour we caught an enormous 32-inch bluefish, who put up a damn good fight! We were still several hours from our next port, so we collected a gallon of seawater over the side, put the thrashing fish in a (clean) seawater-filled garbage bag with ice on the deck, and eagerly awaited a dinner feast.
Originally we thought New London looked like our best bet for dockage tonight, but as we approached New London we felt pretty good about continuing ahead, and set our sights on Saybrook Point, CT instead. Unfortunately, over the next half hour, the winds picked up strong (15+ kts) from the west and the seas got choppier and more confused. Great.
Arriving in Saybrook around 2:30pm, we got a sweet off-season rate for a slip at Harbor One Marina, and made the most of the afternoon tidying up the boat and prepping the bluefish for dinner.
Our awesome friends Sarah, Taylor, and their adorable daughter joined us for an aquatic feast on the boat. Maggy rocked a toothpick shaker instrument all night, and we only had one odd encounter with a fellow marina-goer, who tried to give Alex and Taylor attitude about our slip, and then ended up bringing us a copy of Eldredge. It was so nice to see good friends, talk about boats, and share our new sailing adventure with them!