Proof of Concept

October 3, 2020

Tardis went one long cruise and one short one, on anchor for the most part, giving the new electrical arrangements a good test.

The first cruise went east into Narragansett Bay with stops at West Harbor, Fishers Island; Point Judith Pond; Potters Cove, Prudence Island; Sakonnet Marina (3 days so Molly could come up); Third Beach, Newport, and Napatree Point, Watch Hill, RI). The cut second went to Mattituck Inlet on Long Island, and Coecles Harbor, Shelter Island. It was actually cut short by Hurricane Pauline pouring six-foot swells into the end of the Sound.

I was able to run the refrigerator all the time except a couple hot days where I cut it off for four or five hours at night. The hot water heater seems to take the batteries down about 20% for really hot water, but the new solar panel brings them back pretty fast. So basically you need to heat water in the middle of the day when the solar panels are really pouring in the amps, shower, then save the hot water for dish water after dinner. If you just try to go fort sort of hot for a shower, it really doesn’t work since as the cold water mixes into the tank, it gets cool pretty fast.

With new, slightly larger AGM batteries next summer I should be all set.

Not too many pictures, since one picturesque New England Harbor looks pretty much like another, but a few observations:

— Newport is such a cool destination that most cruisers from our area seem to get up there as fast as they can. But a stop at Point Judith Pond at the mouth of the Bay is really worth it. Totally protected, easy fuel access, lots of restaurants down by Galilee.

— I have always wanted to go down the Sakonnet River, the inlet on the back side of Aquidneck Island, whose major port is Newport. It was worth it. Easy going in a big northwest breeze, and totally lined with beautiful scenery and mansions. Not the famous Newport Mansions downtown, but just your regular garden-variety mansions.

— Mattituck Inlet on the North Fork of Long Island used to be a winding six mile creek with lots of fishing boats, a couple run-down marinas and a really nice place at the head of navigation called Strong’s. As the Hamptons have moved up into the North Fork, it has just totally changed with huge houses and docks all the way up. What’s called the Federal Anchorage, a dredged area at the top of the creek is still pristine though, and always calm since your normal jet ski’s and motor boats that ignore all speed restrictions really have to slow down or run into the low bridge that ends the creek.

The biggest change was that the folks at Strong’s have started a huge new marina just off the Sound filled with giant motor yachts. The problem is that they are all a brand called “Cruisers”. This may offend some readers, but in my opinion the Cruisers company has never produced a decent-looking boat in its existence, but I averted my eyes and made it past.

Tardis once again dwarfed at Sakonnet Marina

Newport mansions for miles

Taylor Swift’s little shack alwasy amazes


Federal Anchorage


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