Swedish people has a special relation to the sun, it’s not strange as we live rather far north. Stockholm is on 59 north, actually the same latitude as the south tip of Greenland. During a couple of month in the winter we do not see the sun at all due to two reasons, grey and misty weather, and if the sun shows it self through the clouds it’s not high enough to be seen as shadowed by trees or even the lowest building. For people living further north in Sweden they do not see day light for up to 6 weeks, it’s pitch dark. Hence when the sun starts to be visible in the early spring, you can see loads of people standing with the face raised towards the sun and the back against a wall or a fence to feel the first warmth from the spring sun. As soon Swedes has holiday they do whatever they can to be in the sun. Sun trips to the Mediterranean are very popular, as well as go sailing where ever the sun is shining.
Now when we are in New England the “North” part of the US East coast, currently at Martha’s Vineyard (if you can call North 41-42 degree for north, same latitude as Rome or Barcelona), we feel a little like home, similar green color on the vegetation, almost similar temp in the water as in a very warm Swedish summer, refreshing morning’s AND the sun is not burning but actually often very gentle. In Sweden we certainly dislike when sun and the wind are from different direction, they must come from the same direction else the sail will shadow the cockpit and one will freeze. In the Mediterranean and The Caribbean it’s the opposite, the sun burns like hell if you do not have the wind and sun from different direction, and a bimini top is essential. In Sweden one only see biminis on second hand boats from the Med, as absolutely no need for a Bimini in Sweden, but a total enclosure is better, it keeps the rain and cold out.
Strange that it’s such differences in climate in New England, even though about the same latitude as Rome. The Golf stream is blamed for a lot, the comparably mild climate in Scandinavia, and the comparably cold climate in US, even though the Golf stream passes relatively close to both Sweden and the US east coast. It’s also blamed for the frequent and heavy fog that affecting New England, and fog we got.
We had the alarm on very early one morning well before 06:00 to leave Nantucket for a ca 70 nM long trip to Newport, before even leaving the bed we heard the fog horns from buoys and ships, it was with some anxiety we left the bed and went up into the cockpit. Usually Kerstin is a very careful person and prefer to take the safe route, in this case to wait. I was waiting for Kerstin to suggest that we should wait, and I would not have blamed her, as the fog was rather thick, one could see maybe 100 meters, not a lot when boats are anchored very tight and high speed ferries passing very frequent. But obviously Kerstin was very keen to get to Newport to meet our old friends from our B50 Rally who had invited us for a birthday party.
With the help of our radar and AIS it was not really a problem, and a few hours later it cleared up, and a rather uneventful passage it was, except for when we were sailing through a narrow straight called Woods Hole, we had the current with us, I guess 4-5 knots, and we made maybe 5-6 kn by sail, so quickly we passed.
To our surprise we were greeted by a lot of persons arriving Newport, it must be a big thing to see a vessel arriving from Sweden we assumed. It could of course not been the regatta, or the jazz festival, such things they have more or less every day or…..
Newport is a very busy place with many boats, one notice the Americas Cup history as one often see old 12 meter yachts cruising the harbor, as well as the Americas cup boulevard.
But also very nice wooden houses
Even a church with Swedish originally a Methodist Church from 1888.
It was very nice to meet our friends again, the birthday party was at a park just by the water front, it became a very wet party but not due to the weather…. You are not allowed to bring and drink alcohol, so what happen?
A few days later we enjoyed our first Maine Lobster, yes we are not in Maine yet but the lobster came from Main. All lobsters are not for us, we invited Lady Rebel to taste how lobster can taste made the Swedish way with salt and dill. “The way to do lobster”
The next day Kerstin made a most fantastic lobster pasta, you can’t get better even if you visit the most exclusive Michelin stared restaurants in New York.
We rented a car to go to Boston as Kristoffer’s and Virginia’s flight back to Stockholm departed from there. Boston has a lot of history from the freedom war from England, such as the Boston Tea party. Kristoffer who is very interested in history, looked very much forward to the trip to Boston, and he did not become disappointed at all. We went the freedom trail which takes you to the most important places for the revolution.
The old State House one of several old houses which played an important role.
Paul Revere House
Else Boston is a very modern city, but with some very nice older buildings
I guess mid nineteenth century building
And maybe the highlights on the freedom trail the USS Constitution, unfortunately in dry dock. all of this historical places was already well know to Kristoffer, he was delighted to see them.
Spares of different dimension that we are used to
The freedom trail was very interesting and illustrative, on many places in US they have signs explaining the historical value of a house, a square, or whatever it is you see. That is very informative and make the history easier to take too you, I wish other’s did the same, both in Sweden but all of Europe is full of forgotten but still interesting history well worth to remember and make visible. One should be proud of the history. And if you cannot be proud of it even more important to remember to avoid the same mistake again, I believe too much history is hidden of that reason all over the world.
We left Newport also on misty morning
The trip ended at Cuttyhunk, but we become I little concerned because we meet a whole armada of sail- and motorboats obviously heading for Newport. The thought came to us, have we missed something such as the main event of the year in Newport?
Are we heading in the wrong direction? And what are the boats doing in the cluster to the right, they did not move at all for a while were they fishing? Well we do not think so as it were yachts where of many was 60 feet and up.
Well in Cuttyhank we got the answer from the Lobster man further out on the jetty, it was the New York Yacht club who had one of their annual event with around 100 boats, they had been in Cuttyhank the day before and next stop where Newport. They had bought most of his Lobster, so now he only had small ones left.
Of which we bought a few, tasted divine again.
View over a grey and murky Cuttyhank, note the narrow straight into the secure harbor, we are anchored outside, as only buoys on the inside, all was occupied and 45 USD per night.
The inner harbor, Cuttyhank is a rather up market area, but the grocery shop looked more as it would have been on one of the remote islands in the Bahamas.
But the road is impressive.
Next stop, Hadley harbor is a special place, the island or I should say Islands, they belong to the Forbes Family, who made its fortune on trade with Asia during the early nineteenth century. Many European companies made huge fortunes in those days, but obviously some Americans as well. The Islands which together are more than 6 nM long and close to 2 nm wide are now in a thrust so all relatives can share and use these islands. One can wonder how they all can come along without conflicts?
One of the main mansions on these islands
Very popular and buoys are free to use for any one at no cost.
One day we were approached by a man in an open boat, we asked him aboard as our coffee was just ready. He was 80 years old looked not a day older than 70 when he entered our boat from the side and climbed the guard rail with no problem at all. He told us the he was part of the Family and the reason for approaching us was that we carried a Swedish flag. He spent his first years in Helsinki with a Swedish nurse, his father was the American ambassador in Helsinki from 1938 to 1941 rather dramatic years in Finland and Europe at that time. His uncle was the ambassador in Stockholm during the same period. We got some of the family and island history told while we enjoyed a cup of coffee together a very nice meeting indeed.
A barn with very Swedish look, most barns and houses in Sweden has this special red color based on copper from the really old Falu copper mine, active from the 10th century until 1992, they still keep a stock of copper oxide for the Falu red color
The person on this SUP did not look very young either, he had invented or purchased a special SUP with “pedals” he got some god speed even up-wind looked very efficient.
The area was very beautiful for small excursions in the dingy
But also a lot of birds and bird droppings, guess the fellow on this boat were less happy to return and found his boat fouled with bird droppings.