As I turned around the lighthouse that guards the entrance to Newport, Rhode Island, I met a cruise ship that was on its way out. Its height and sheer size intimidated me a little, and I remembered how tiny a spec I am on the ocean.

Cruise ships frequent the harbor. It’s less populated now because it’s so late in the season but it still seems fairly busy.

Newport is a small town that seems to be full of sailors and tourists — and the occasional cruise ship. And it’s a protected harbor so it’s a good place to wait out some bad weather, which is exactly what I did.

I’ve enjoyed my time here. I found work for a day on a large yacht. I walked all over the city and admired the mansions perched atop the cliffs. I visited with friends. It’s been pleasant, but fairly uneventful. The time has given me the opportunity to do a lot of work around the boat and I feel good about the condition it is in. Athena is clean and ready for action!

I had a little Elli-related PTSD while riding with a friend on the highway. A small dog wearing a pink tutu (really!) was running down the shoulder, much to everyone’s confusion. The driver of the car and I leapt out and tried to catch the runaway but the dog evaded us. I chased her for a while down the highway, but she disappeared, but not before a police officer stopped to tell me it was illegal to run on the side of the highway. I wonder what happened to the dog.

On a happier note, a plan for Elli’s return has been made. She will rejoin me wherever I am on Nov. 5, along with my mother, just in time for my 19th birthday! I look forward to seeing them both.

My next step is Stonington, Connecticut. It will be my fifth state to sail in, and the last in New England. One step closer to the Bahamas!

The sailing remains exciting and fulfilling but the weather is starting to wear me out. I can feel myself understanding the boat better and mastering her more fully, but I cannot feel my toes. That just acts as a motivator to sail fast and hard.


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