|April through September 2002|
The Sonic is fresh from a complete sterndrive and engine refit, reborn over the winter with 160 more HP, and lab finished propellers on counter rotating Bravo drives. Twin Fuel Injected, Mercury Racing 377 Scorpion V-8s are rated at 350 HP each, and the X dimension was raised an inch, increasing top speed to about 70 MPH. Counter rotating props make docking a pleasure, rather than a pain. A huge improvement in all operating aspects.
Have caught and eaten several bluefish, one right off the beach at Watch Hill, Fire Island, during one of those exciting bluefish feeding frenzies I cannot resist.
Entered the June NYC Poker Run, and the boat performed beautifully. Jennifer, "Drama Queen of the Hudson", took incredible photos of the boat, one is on the home page of this website, the other graces the photo gallery page.
Despite the 70 MPH top end, the Sonic is still much slower than the 150 MPH + boats in the Poker Run. My wife enjoyed spending time with Jennifer aboard the Linssen, a nearly 1 million dollar yacht used as the official photo boat. Thanks Jim! Also thanks DJD for her observation trip on your 42 Post.
Tuesday, August 13th: Oakdale, NY to Shelter Island
We relished a terrific cruise in the Sonic from the South Shore of Long Island to Nantucket. We left Oakdale at 4 PM, traveled up the intercoastal waterway, through the Shinnecock Canal, up the Peconic Bay into Coecles Harbor on Shelter island, and docked at the Ramís Head Inn about 6PM. We cruised at 55 to 60 MPH on this leg of the trip.
Wednesday, August 14th: Shelter Island to Block Island
We enjoyed an excellent meal at the Ramís Head Inn, overnighting there. The next morning we admired a couple of Shelter Island yachts, fueled up with 92 Octane at Dering Harbor, then it was off to Block Island. We cruised past Plum Island, Fishers Island, Watch Hill on Rhode Island, and then over to Block. Docked at Block Island Boat basin, right next to the Tri State fishing tournament weigh in station. The largest fish caught were an 83.5 pound Yellowfin Tuna and a 76 pound Wahoo. We enjoyed good food at the Oar and then at Ballardís, as well as a pleasant swim.
Thursday, August 15th: Block Island to Newport
Since we were unable to get 92 octane fuel anywhere at Block, it was over to Point Judith on Thursday morning and all the way up the pond to Billington Cove Marina. They lifted the boat so we could bend the fish finder unit back into place, and get depth readings again. Why? The dedicated depth finder decided to go on the fritz, so we were glad we had the fish finder for depth readings as a backup.
Several hours were consumed going up and returning in the no wake zones, and the wind had picked up when we exited the breakwater into the open ocean. We experienced waves of up to seven feet and decided it would be foolhardy to continue to Marthaís Vineyard in these seas. Hence, we ducked up the West Passage of Narragansett Bay, around Conanicut Island and out to Newport. I certainly was glad the Hyperfishing box was on the back as it kept seas from rolling over the stern as heavy waves used to before the box was on it.
I was very pleased at the way the Sonic handled the nasty, confused waves. I am quite sure that some of the odd ball stepped hulls of other boats would have spun on the wacky waves, and a cat hull may well have submarined or flipped in the high winds. Thanks Sonic for sticking with a straight deep V hull that can take the nastiest conditions in stride.
We berthed at Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina Thursday and Friday nights, as the fog and winds made passage to Nantucket an impossibility on Friday. The Jazz bands, friendly fellow boaters, marina staff and crew at JTís ships chandlery, made the stay very pleasant.
Saturday, August 17th: Newport to Nantucket
Saturday morning greeted us with blue skies and light winds, so off we went. Once again, 92 octane or better fuel was impossible to find, but a radio call on channel 16 "any go fasts in Newport, do you know where we can get 92 octane fuel" resulted in friendly advice to get it some twenty or thirty miles north in Warwick Cove.
Several hours were spent getting fuel due to the no wake zones in and out, and we did not get back to Newport until about 3 PM. Light fog had arrived, but the good doctor next to us in the marina had advised it usually hung around the harbor and lifted out to sea. He was right. We shot across the open sea to Cuttyhunk Island, up Vineyard Sound and refueled at Edgartown, Marthaís Vineyard. The scenery up the sound was spectacular, high cliffs in the distance, and impressive island views.
We had to wait in line about forty minutes for fuel at Edgartown, then blasted across the open sea to the Nantucket Boat Basin, arriving around 6 PM.
Sunday August 18th, through Tuesday August 21th: Nantucket
Fog settled in for several days, but we did not mind, staying at Nantucket until Wednesday morning. We were berthed three slots in from the main town square, and relished the rich nautical history surrounding us. A walking tour of the town, whaling museum and historic home was most enjoyable. So was a visit to the small local aquarium, bus tour of the island and lecture at the whaling museum about the similarities of whale and elephant behaviors.
The boat basin was ringed with lovely flower boxes, enormous superyachts, and classic sailing boats. The Forbes huge Highlander yacht was berthed two docks over from us. We had arrived just in time for the Opera Sailing Cup, the largest race of wooden sailing boats on the east coast. We admired the the berthed boats, but missed the race and follow up beach party as we were just too tired to attend.
Captain Eric entertained us with interesting local tales and invited us to his anglers club. The next day we kayaked over to Coatue, a sandy point overlooking the harbor. We enjoyed a swim in the clear water, and then a school of small fish arrived to delicately sample Janeís legs, provoking much amusement on our part. We followed that with a taxi ride to Cisco beach to watch the surfers carve wakes, fog hanging in the distance.
Wednsday, August 22nd: Nantucket to Lake Montauk
We departed Nantucket into one to three foot seas, 15 to 20 knot winds. Why? The forecast was for four to seven foot seas the following day, and even higher winds. So, we had to leave when we did. Not a fun trip at all. The boat banged hard into sharp three to four foot head seas, and our speed dropped to about 35 MPH. We passed a forty foot sloop that looked like it was pinned in the middle, bow and stern alternately leaping ten feet into the air. I was amazed anyone could stay on it, pitching wildly like that. We took a lunch break on the boat at Edgartown, then retraced our route to Point Judith to get gas.
The trip from Nantucket was tough on the boat, and the good folks at Billington Cove marina, Dave and Steve, quickly repaired the wiring and trim switch that had broken in the tough seas. An incompetent electrician I had hired previously in New York had failed to support the dash wiring harness properly. Hence, it had pulled hard during the pounding, breaking the trim switch and pulling free of one of the drive switches.
We refueled at Billington and the wind mercifully dropped as per the forecast. It was a quick trip past Block Island and into Star Island Yacht Club in Lake Montauk, back on Long Island. Total time from the harbor breakwater at Point Judith to Star Island was about an hour and a half.
Several bluefish feeding frenzies were spotted, but we did not stop to fish. Another fishing tourney," Mako Mania" was in progress at Star Island, and the largest shark caught was several hundred pounds. Very nice facilities at Star Island, friendly staff and a good restaurant too. I believe the worldís largest sportsfisherman is berthed there, the incredible 126 foot Marlena with a 1,200 mile range.
Thursday, August 23rd: Montauk to Moriches
We left at 11:15, ripping past Hicks Island, Cartwright Island, and berthing for lunch in Dering Harbour at noon. Fabulous lunch on the terrace at the historic inn owned by the same good folks who own the Ram's Head Inn, then it was time to refuel. Just as we pulled out of our spot on the town pier, the Mystic Whaler square rigged ship arrived in for the night. Travelled through the Peconic Bay and the headwinds picked up, making a nasty four foot sharp chop.
We passed a couple fishing far from shore in a thirteen foot Boston whaler, I hope they made it back ok. I would not have wanted to be in their seats in those waves. Soon the Shinnecock Canal loomed into sight, we were through, and then we were into the intercoastal waterway, enroute to Oakdale on the south shore.
We had no problems, going up the waterway at high tide, so I tried it at low tide. The narrow "ditch" was most nerve wracking and we dragged the sandy bottom several times, finally deciding to berth for the night and wait for high tide on Friday. Remsenburg Marina on Moriches Bay was clean but had no restaurant facilities, and we had no food other than Ritz crackers and granola bars on board. Attempts to find a pizza or chinese food restaurant that would deliver to us were unsuccessful. Dialing the telephone operator, we lucked upon someone who knew the area. "Try Westhampton Pizza" he said, and sure enough, driver Dan kindly delivered a pizza to us. It admirably served as dinner and breakfast. A flock of swans joined us for dinner, and we enjoyed watching the ibis feeding on the other side of the natural channel. Quite a wild and beautiful area, yet so near the Hamptons.
Our weather radio warned of rain that night, so we erected the canvas for the first time on the entire trip. A strong downpour followed and let up around 2 am, when I opened the hatches.
Friday, August 24th: Moriches Bay to Oakdale
The trip home to Oakdale was uneventful, at high tide, which is the way I like it! We followed a large yacht for part of the way and a bridge had to be opened for him. Glad to get home, followed by a lift back onto the cradle and five hours of cleanup on the boat. The scum line and bottom were cleaned off with acid, as was the rubrail. Now we are ready for the usual weekends at Fire Island and local fishing trips.
The Hyperfishing products mounted on the boat worked perfectly, and saved us from getting swamped in the seven foot seas. Everyone, everywhere, commented how great the boat looked with the Hyperfishing products mounted on it. Should be a good sign for the Sonic's appearance in the Oct. 3rd to 6th floating Boat show in NYC/NJ. Come visit Liberty Landing Marina in NJ (ferry from the North Cove yacht harbor in Manhattan) and enter to win a Hyperfishing hat, shirt or sweat-top!
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