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On a last-minute decision, we decided to take in Mystic, CT over the July 4th weekend. This made sense, as Mystic is one of the closer New England areas to us city folk. A quick 2 1/2 hour drive from Manhattan was nothing…. when chatting, singing and car dancing.

I’ve heard many people speak highly of Mystic so I was looking forward to the visit.

Mystic Seaport MuseumMystic Seaport TugboatMystic is a village in New London County. The history of this seaport area can be learned by visiting the Mystic Seaport Museum. At the entrance of the museum sits, the Kingston II Harbor tugboat. Kingston was built in 1937 and for 42 years worked the docks of Groton, launching many U.S. Navy submarines. So small but so powerful.

Ammestade filming location1Ammestade filming location2Looking out on to the waters of where various scene’s for Steven Spielberg’s, Amistad movie was filmed.

VV Whale & the Anchor1No matter where I go, an anchor is in my path. Rightly so, this was the perfect time to pull out my Vineyard Vines whale hat. This hat was a fun give-away at the grand opening of the Westport, CT store a few years ago. I arrived late to the event so I was lucky to get one.

Anchor2This broadway style anchor was perched in the window of the Mystic Seaport Museum Store.

Mystic Draw BridgeMystic Draw Bridge2Just our luck, we stumbled upon the opening of the Mystic River Bascule Bridge. The bridge carries both foot traffic as well as vehicles and spans the Mystic River.

Mystic River Yacht ClubI knew this wasn’t going to be a wild weekend and I was happy about that! In my own selfish way, all I wanted to do was take advantage of this sailing town. I’ve been taking sailing lessons for two summers now, more seriously this year. I casually mentioned, wouldn’t an evening sail be nice? Thank goodness I got the response I wanted. The Friday Sunset Sail was booked in no time flat. My excitement was crushed when Mystic and many parts of the northeast was slammed by Hurricane Arthur late day Friday.

Walking the plankImagine our delight when we woke up to a bright and sunny Saturday morning. I maxed out the day in one of my (old but) favorite maxi dresses by ADDISON (similar here).

Launch to the sailboatForget the sunset sail on a large boat holding 49 strangers. We chartered a private sailboat! I was so ready to get on that boat. But first we had to launch to the main sailboat via a teeny tiny vessel really only built for two people.

Chartered Boat
We made it there safely!

Behind the Helm
After being hit with many questions from the boat’s owner, he let me take the helm. This 35ft Cutter Cruiser has some years on her but she still commands respect and gets many looks.

Police Hot Persuit
Hmmmm, the Stonington Police saw something unfamiliar and needed to investigate.

Pulling in Sail
Full SailWhile still in the bay, the winds were low so we raised the main mast. Mother nature was on my side so I hauled wind. Once sailing in the open waters of Fishers Island Sound, the winds picked up drastically. That said, Stuart (owner/boat master) and I had to lower the sail down to half mast.

Me at the helm1

Me & Sailmaster
Me with Stuart Reininger, USCG licensed master. Stuart is a well accomplished cruiser, crossing the Atlantic seven times, (once with his daughter). As well, he’s an award-winning writer. Former Senior Technical Editor Boating magazine and former Senior Editor of Power and Motor Yacht magazine. For the last 10 years Stuart has tested and reported on almost every item of powerboat and sailing equipment made. As you could imagine, he had a wealth of knowledge and I tried my best to absorb it all. He was funny and charming, all while keeping me fully engaged in the sail.

IMG_4843-610x457[1]Food Food Food
After a long day on the water, we were famished to say the least. Instead of going back in to town, we decided to stay far far away from all the tourist and go where the locals do. Out of all the meals we had on this three-day weekend, Ford’s Lobsters in Noank, CT was hands down the best! If in the area, I highly recommend it. Be aware, it’s BYOB. Fortunately there’s Universal Package Store, a wine & liquor store run by the sweetest people, just a stone’s throw away. The best part, for only $4 they will give you a bucket, ice, cups and a bottle opener. Seriously? You won’t find that in Manhattan.

Do I need to say it? I had an AMAZING weekend!