The Hyperfishing Car has PIAA driving lights added to help offset my declining night vision. They work well, roughly doubling the illumination and look like original equipment. Martin Cadillac did a super job installing them.
The Hyperfishing boat has new twin hydraulic pistons to lift the hatch, replacing the single electric lift. Functions better and adds room to work in the engine compartment. Falcon Hi-Performance did the hatch lift modification as well as stellar work on Bravo drives, steering etc. Falcon is terrific!
In addition to the standard fishing trips inshore and offshore, we entered the Great South Bay Weakfish Tournament in June. Had to turn back in heavy fog and rain the first day, then caught a large skate the second day. No prizes for that!
Because the boat was at Falcon in Hampton Bays for service, we targeting Bluefish in Shinnecock Bay. On the best trip we caught four nice ones on a surface popper during a massive feeding frenzy. The wife operated the boat while I caught the first three, then we switched positions and she caught the biggest one while sitting in the Hyperfishing chair. A picture of the fish is in the photogallery.
Over the July 4th weekend, we cruised to Shelter Island. Enjoyed hiking around the nature conservatory and spotted a turtle, deer, baby toads, lots of nice flowers. Also kayaked the marshes with a local guide, and observed the fireworks on Cresent beach. Cruising back through the Shinnecock canal, it was like a parking lot of boats. It took us two hours to get locked through.
The big cruise was supposed to be to Martha’s Vineyard to fly fish for stripers off the beach. But, the weather had other plans, washing out the entire first ten days of the trip, leaving us just enough time for a Hypercruise there.
We started on Tuesday, August 12th, casting off at 3PM. I was disappointed at the late start and knew we would not make Martha’s Vineyard that day. We went through the Shinnecock canal and got gas, and then flew up the coast to Montauk in light seas of two feet or less. We passed through about three massive fish feeding frenzies, but did not stop to fish as the day was getting long.
We fueled up at Montauk and noticed that one of the Bravo drive trim tank caps was off and floating in the bilge along with much of the fluid. Fortunately it did not drop below the add level. I had filled it up earlier in the day and not wrenched the cap tight enough. Bought some extra long nose fish hook remover pliers and reached down into the bilge to get the cap. Finally got it by putting on a heavy sweat top and leaning in between the hot motors. Ouch, but I got it. Wasted about half an hour doing that and now it was 6 PM as we headed into the darkening skies. Outside the harbor entrance, I turned on the GPS chartplotter and it locked up on the opening screen. All my attempts to completely reboot the system using the owners manual failed. Great! I decided to return to harbor rather than try to find Block island in the gathering gloom with my wacky compass skills. Tried doing this last year and could not find the island, had to resort to the GPS.
Well, this is one of the great things about having a thirty foot performance boat with a narrow 8.6 beam. Not only is it extremely fast, it will fit in any available marina slot, bigger boats with wider beams have to have reservations usually. We found a berth at the Montauk Yacht club on Star Island and it was terrific. Two outdoor pools, one indoor one, upscale spa, several restaurants and a large lawn suitable for softball and touch football. Walked across Star Island and visited the Star Island Yacht Club where we stayed last year. The marine store staff told me to put my name on a list for people to come and look at our chartplotter the next day.
The large submarine yacht (INCREDIBLE, see www.ussubmarines.com)near us ran massive and loud generators for hours to charge up its battery banks like a WWII Uboat. It finally turned them off at eleven at night so we got a good sleep after all. The approaching thunderstorm must have been pushed off by all the sub yacht's electrical energy, because it just missed Montauk.
The next morning I called RAYMARINE and was prepared to demand they FEDEX me a new 425 chartplotter the next day, as we weren’t going anywhere without a moving map system. They kindly informed me that my owner's manual was incorrect and walked me through a slightly different reset procedure, and it worked! Whew, our trip was not ruined after all! Casting off at about eleven, we headed offshore into the open Atlantic and slightly foggy skies. The fog became progressively worse as we neared where the GPS said Block Island was. Sailboats loomed out of nowhere and I slowed down due to the poor visibility. My eyes were playing tricks and showing land were there was none, and I had to keep fighting from turning the boat towards nearer land in the fog off to the west. It just seemed to keep turning that way. It was weird, almost like the boat did not want to head out to sea, but it was purely in my head.
Eventually Block Island materialized out of the fog. It felt like discovering the island containing King Kong that was hidden by a fog bank. Edgar Rice Burroughs must have had this experience of "discovering" Block Island also, because it felt the same. I decided there was no way we were going to continue to Martha’s Vineyard in the fog and radioed around to get a moorage spot. Once again, our small size nailed us a spot at the hotel marina. Good facilities here also with pool and a movie theater. Saw a friend who was leaving in his twin boat to mine with an extra 900 HP. He does 94 MPH, but not in the fog. He was there rafted with two other performance boats, for two days.
Well, we discovered why he was rafted together with other boats. It is a rafting marina: everyone rafts together. This means you have to either walk over someone else’s boat, or they walk over your boat. Oh well, beats taking a mooring in the harbor. A big Sea Ray owners club was entering the marina as we arrived along with a Marine Max customer gathering, so it was very busy and we had to wait over an hour to get docked. Climbed over a 33 foot Rinker to get to and from our boat. Jane did not like this, and I did not like leaving dirty footprints on the other boat. Can’t help it, but apologized to the other boat owner anyway. He told us once he was the fourth boat rafted out from the dock. The former presidential yacht was there, but not as many super yachts as Montauk, Newport and Nantucket.
We had a great time on Block. We hired a local taxi driver to give us a tour of the entire island for forty bucks. Marj took us to the highest points of land, scary cliffs that were eroding away, and some areas that were below sea level. She explained how the entire island is governed by a land trust, keeping all beaches open to the public and expanding hiking and biking "Greenways" throughout the island. One of the 15 best places on earth in terms of effective land development controls. Marj rubbed bayberry leaves together to produce the smell you get in your bathtub from these bath oils, showed us all kinds of historic homes etc.
Another guide told us to walk up a couple of lanes from the marina for lovely walk, which we did. Wow! Beautiful country with rolling hills and stone field fences, grazing sheep. It looked like Ireland, perfect green fields etc. It was farmers, not fisherman who first inhabited the place and it looks the same! Saw a pheasant, and encountered a great beach with a beach bonfire going on. The people were catching fish as we watched, then cooked them over the open fire. I found lots of interesting items on the tide line, including mangrove roots that had floated north on the Gulf stream current. Given the right climate, a mangrove will grow from these floating roots.
Enjoyed a terrific lunch of fresh lobster rolls and watched a huge moth that looked like a big bumblebee flit among the flowers. Missed Spy Kids at the theater, so watched the flick "American Wedding" which was truly disgusting, but maybe I am just getting too old. The thunderstorm just missed us and we awoke to perfect blue skies.
Left Block about 9:30 AM to tackle the 40 mile open Atlantic run to Vineyard Sound and another 45 miles to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The seas were less than two feet so we really could fly. We screamed past sailboats and other powerboats, traveling between 40 and 60 MPH, arriving at Oak Bluffs to get gas and see if we could get a spot for the night. I took care to avoid running aground on the middle ground where I nearly did last year, and apparently the QE2 ripped a hole in herself there several years ago. The marinas were all filled up, so we left for Edgartown and landed one of the last slots right on the main town dock.
Total trip time from Block Island to Edgartown, including getting gas and idling in and out of Oak Bluffs harbor, took about two hours. As it is intended mainly for pickups and dropoffs, maximum size permitted at the Edgartown town docks was thirty feet. Once again, we have the perfect boat size! We were right on main street and five minutes from downtown. Ideal, made better by a friendly dockmaster who informed us the next day there was a massive power failure in New York. We are totally self sufficient on our boat and do not need to plug into the grid except to get gas. Literally dozens of people complemented me on our boat, and it continues to draw "coolest boat in the marina" rave reviews and questions wherever it goes. It actually is getting a little tiring doing informal product demos for everyone at each port, but hey, I must spread the Hyperfishing word.
Took the local bus between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, saw the beach, bridge, freshwater town and lifeguard tower made famous in JAWS. It was weird as everything looks the same as the movie and this demonstrates how things are protected and cared for on Martha’s Vineyard. Took a bus tour of the entire island and the driver pointed out all the famous folks houses and lovely beaches. The driver teaches grade four during the school year, and many of the famous folks send their kids to the public schools, something I did not know. High atop Gyahead cliffs, a point of land so named as the minerals paint the rock wild colors. The minerals also screw up compass readings. Ha, now I know why my compass navigation efforts are so bad in the area! Our compass is way off heading towards Gayhead for this reason, and I am sure this has caused many shipwrecks.
All land on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket is also carefully controlled and no chain stores are permitted with rare exceptions. We loved our time at Edgartown and will definitely be back for a longer time. Lots of neat shipmodel etc. stores, and fantastic art studios all over the place. Saw the movie SWAT which was okay.
Friday we ran straight from Edgartown to Montauk for fuel, then onto Three Mile harbor in East Hampton. Lovely, but wondered why there was some sewage floating around. It was not until days later we found out that the power failure caused sewage plants to overflow. Yuck! Stayed at a really nice marina with a pool and our slip looked directly into a marsh with trees above. Saw lots of birdlife while sitting in our boat enjoying refeshments. It sure is nice to dive into a freshwater pool to cool off on a hot day. Jane bought a dress in East Hampton and always seems to find great clothes at low cost in these seaports. Saw another movie, Seabiscuit, and it was very good.
The next day we traveled to Sag Harbor, lots of super yachts there and the town flows right from the docks so it is very convenient. Once again, the only spot available for a three hour tie up was for 30 feet. Not much point in having a larger boat unless we want to always anchor in the harbor and take the dinghy ashore. Had more seafood and toured a historic windmill. Bought a large handkerchief and sweat band in the 5 and dime store to form a headdress to protect my neck and ears from the sun. Jane wore similar protective headgear, so we looked like a couple of pirates running a high performance boat.
The trip through the Shinnecock canal and the south shore boat was harrowing as the current was about ten knots and funneling through narrow openings. A sailboat would have been swept sideways in the rip, and shoved into the canal wall or into the bridge. I don’t know how a less powerful boat could handle the rip either. Not fun, but we arrived back at Hampton Bays without incident.
Other than the inability to flyfish Martha's Vineyard, it was a truly wonderful trip. Another example of the great beauty and practicality of the Hyperfishing products!
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