We left Newport on September 24 originally bound for an anchorage near Fisher’s Island off the coast of New London, CT. Our habit is to identify a port that we want to travel to but we often re-evaluate our destination based on timing, wind conditions, currents, etc. This time we changed our mind because the anchorage on Fisher’s Island was a bit too open to the northeast winds and we wanted to be near a town that we could explore.
We passed Pt. Judith lighthouse compound as we headed to our new destination – Stonington, CT where we could take advantage of a cost effective mooring and the launch for shore explorations.
After a four hour journey on a warm and sunny day, we arrived in Stonington Harbor where we took a mooring ball among some beautiful sailboats. In New England we’ve found that sailboats far outnumber powerboats and trawlers like ours.
The historic town of Stonington is another charming gem along the New England coast. We took advantage of the local launch to bring us ashore where we explored this quaint town on foot. Since we are past Labor Day we didn’t encounter a lot of tourists in this popular seaside town.
We had planned to stop at a the local ocean-side fish market to buy fish and make dinner aboard. There we found a most unique arrangement. In an old warehouse type of building a section was designated as a self-service fish market. Packets of flash frozen fish, scallops, shrimp and stuffies (stuffed clams)were placed in freezers with a sign on the wall posting the prices and asking shoppers to deposit their cash or checks in a box – the ultimate honor system! After agonizing over which combination of seafood to purchase, we decided to delay our decision until after we had a chance to explore the town a little more. We would buy our fish on the way back to the boat.
As we walked up and down the streets lined with shops and restaurants, we got thirsty and decided to stop for a cold beer.
We discovered a very local bar called Noah’s that has been there forever. This was just the kind of place we were seeking – lots of locals hanging out in an old-style bar filled with wood and local memorabilia.
Fortunately we arrived at happy hour and took advantage of 2 for 1 specials of the local craft beer choices that they featured. We also discovered that they had a very appealing menu but we stuck by our plan to buy and cook our own seafood aboard. After only one round of beers, we took the bartender’s suggestion and ordered from their happy hour specials - $5.00 for most of their regular mouth-watering menu items. That did it – the food was delicious – mussels in wine sauce, oysters on the half shell, a great pate’ and much more. We threw in the towel on cooking our own dinner and just ordered more appetizers and beer.
And, we just had to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate Lynn’s birthday which was the following day!
When we returned to the boat that evening, Addie and Lange popped open a great bottle of champagne and we had our own private dance party late into the night. Luckily, none of the neighboring boats complained about the loud music!
Fortunately, we didn’t have to get up early the next morning to get to our next stop, New London, CT – Jonny’s home town.