On the way to Block Island

Block Island is about 13 miles off the south coast of Rhode Island. On a clear day you can see Montauk Point Long Island, N.Y. Block Island is also known as New Shoreham. I wish I’d known that when I was searching for accommodations. I eliminated any in New Shoreham because I didn’t realize it was part of Block Island. The island isn’t that large. It’s about 3 miles wide and 7 miles long. It is part of The Nature Conservatory. 40% of the island has been set aside and protected. The only way to get to the island is by ferry or by plane.

There are 2 lighthouses on the Island and a chance to photograph them was the impetus for my trip. I planned it about 2 weeks ago. We’ve been getting a lot of rain so I was hoping we would have dried out by the time I headed out on my trip. Canceling was not an option.  Next week is Memorial Day weekend and the room rates triple with the start of the summer season.I couldn’t afford that…not just to get a couple of pictures. National Geographic hasn’t discovered me yet! 🙂

So you can imagine my disappointment to wake up to pouring rain Tuesday morning. The weather person was all smiles and telling all the viewers that there was only 40% chance of rain. We might get a passing thunderstorm but  it wouldn’t last more than 30 minutes. I guess they haven’t looked out the window.

I got everything in the car and went to the “Facilities” for one last stop before I got on the road…oh oh  the flush mechanism on the toilet seems to be on the blink. I spent more time than I should have trying to get it to work but only ended up leaving a note of warning for the Pet Sitter. Then I was on my way. That is until I checked the driving directions. When I downloaded them I thought I had the directions to Point Judith. Now here in the car I realize all of the directions were to Newport.

No time to go back now, I tried my GPS…no luck. So I pointed the car toward Narragansett and crossed my fingers that I’d find the ferry. Of course I got caught behind a car doing 20 miles under the speed limit. I began to resign myself to the possibility that I will miss the 11 am ferry.

Made it! But it’s still raining and none of the Ferry Parking lots seem to be open. I finally found one…$20 for the overnight. I took it and headed as fast as I could toward the ferry terminal. I should have taken my time. I missed the boat (literally) by 10 minutes. The next one wasn’t until 3pm. With the rain coming down like it was, I didn’t even feel like exploring. Instead I sat on the benches in the terminal until wind kicked up. Then I moved to the benches in the restroom area. At least it was warm and dry there.

There didn’t seem to be much open in Point Judith so about 1:30 I went in search of lunch. There was a little restaurant and bar on the 2nd floor of one of the retail buildings. I lugged my stuff up the stairs and entered the bar. There was only one other patron and the bartender. You could say I got exceptional service. And the fish sandwich was wonderful. If you are ever in Point Judith and want a place to eat I recommend Clam Jammers.

It was clear that Point Judith Harbor had an active fishing fleet working out of there. Trawlers where coming in and going out the whole time I was waiting. Finally the ticket windows opened and the Ferry came in from Block Island.

 At about 2:30 they started loading. The trip on the “traditional” Ferry takes about 55 minutes. It’s about $25.00 for a round trip ticket so the price isn’t bad. They also had a High Speed Ferry but it was much more expensive and I didn’t think an hour was all that long anyway.

I had one of the seasick patches and had applied it in the morning so I was ready. Let the cruising begin! I’ll be able to handle any rough seas now!

I couldn’t help but be thankful that my “travel” philosophy is not to take any little mishap too seriously. It made the rough beginning to my little jaunt a bit easier to take.

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