Stonington- aka Hope Springs

View of Watch Hill, RI from our anchorage off Napatree Beach

View of Watch Hill, RI from our anchorage off Napatree Beach

With a wind shift to the NW due Wednesday we opted to head over to Stonington Harbor later on Tuesday after the fog lifted and the rain stopped. The wind so far had been a very agreeable mostly 3-10kts but Wed’s shift to NW was to bring 15-20kts and Napatree offered noting but fetch from that direction.  Stonington Harbor is just around the corner and in 35 mins we were anchored in the tiny anchorage set between two mooring fields. With room for maybe 5 well-placed boats, this space is a token anchorage; heck we and one other boat were quite happy to have it and not pay $45/night for a mooring.

Looking out to a small slice of the mooring-packed harbor from atop the lighthouse museum

Looking out to a small slice of the mooring-packed harbor from atop the lighthouse museum

A bazillion sailing craft in the harbor, plenty of Optis and other small sailing vessels out every day joy sailing and racing makes for fine scenery against the backdrop of lovely historic homes.

A fine day in the harbor for small craft sailing

A fine day in the harbor for small craft sailing

Most of the Hope Springs in-town scenes were filmed in Stonington along Water Street. Noah’s was turned into the Nor’easter Diner, the street wetted to enhance the look and the one-way traffic switched around “because it filmed better that way.”

Is it Noah's or Nor'easter Diner?

Is it Noah’s or Nor’easter Diner?

The architect office across the street acquired the “marriage counseling” sign and hung it below theirs; making for a puzzling display.

A very diverse firm- architects and marriage counseling a la Hope Springs

A very diverse firm- architects and marriage counseling a la Hope Springs

Twice a week in season, the historical society offers a walking tour of the “boro.” We were in town, the weather was beautiful, so why not? We learned more about local history, town characters and homes than I can regurgitate here (or remember).

Can you decipher this?

Can you decipher this?

One of numerous beautifully landscaped properties in the boro.

One of numerous beautifully landscaped properties in the boro.

Stonington is home to the last remaining commercial fishing fleet in Connecticut. Over near the commercial docks you will find the very unique Stonington Seafood Harvesters, Inc. The small building with the red awning at 4 High St offers self-serve cases of frozen-aboard-ship fish, scallops, shrimp and stuffies. The BI swordfish was so delicious that we went back for more the next day.

One of two price signs. You can pay by credit card, check or cash. Easy.

One of two price signs. You can pay by credit card, check or cash. Easy.

One of the boro's commercial fishing fleet heads out

One of the boro’s commercial fishing fleet heads out. Watch Hill lighthouse in background.

Always on the lookout for a decent bakery we spied a sign for Zest housed over in the old velvet factory.

Zest Bakery at the old Velvet Factory

Zest Bakery at the old Velvet Factory- their muffins were super-sized & delicious

In 1996 the 104-year-old American Velvet Factory announced it was forced to close its doors and move operations to Virginia within two years. Reborn, as old factories often are (thank goodness) into a haven for artists, a glass blower, a potter and a niche bakery the factory is clean and expansive. You can almost feel the velvet.

Overhead photo of the factory- note the multi-peaked roof that brings in more light

Overhead photo of the factory- note the multi-peaked roof that brings in more light

Our ½ mile walk took us over the Amtrak tracks; how thoughtful to provide covered walkways where the road was sliced to make way for the tracks.

A train came along as we walked overhead

A train came along as we walked overhead

Thursday’s lunch found us at Skipper’s Dock; let me recommend the Blood Orange Margarita. Aphrodite was tied up at the dock awaiting her passengers for the return trip to Watch Hill. I correctly picked the restaurant’s patrons who would be returning. Perhaps the  perfect, yet casual attire, even for those under 15, as well as many lobster shells gave them away. We had a few minutes to get closer before she took off; I mean who wouldn’t want to get an eyeful not to mention a ride in this gleaming beauty.

Aphrodite leaving the dock, heading back to Watch Hill

Aphrodite leaving the dock, heading back to Watch Hill

Do we stay or go? What to do with weather so wonderful; almost anything you want. Our next stop was going to be Mystic but the Brewer’s marina there told us they don’t take catamarans (well!). Another marina had moorings at $1.50/ft; ouch. We could pay that at Shelter Island. Anchoring opportunities were limited; however, we wanted to make a move Friday and where there’s a will (named Russ) there’s a way. Stay tuned.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Stonington- aka Hope Springs

  1. Too late for you, I know, but there used to be a transient anchorage just east of N30, north of Pine Point on Mason’s Island. Almost always empty, because it is relatively thin water. I think it is intended to be just a nod in the direction of a transient anchorage, but it is fine for Maine Cats.

    Like

    • yes, great location but perhaps only enough water for MC30s. Russ read all the ActiveCaptain reviews and with 3 1/2 ft max that’s too skinny for us. We did find a great spot as you will see 🙂

      Like

Please share any thoughts or questions.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s