While everyone knows about AquaPalooza (August 6) off of Prudence Island, there are plenty of other ways to live the life aquatic. From dockside restaurants, regattas and furthering your knowledge of sailing craftsmanship, your summer will revolve around being on the water, just as it should.
Dock and Dine
Whether it’s a busy weekend or the Fourth of July festivities have begun, your best bet for parking is to dock at the free three-hour tie up at Thames Street Public Landing in Bristol Harbor. From there you have access to Indian fusion at DeWolf Tavern (259 Thames Street, Bristol. 401-254-2005, www.DeWolfTavern.com), cocktails on the deck of Thames Waterside Bar and Grille (251 Thames Street, Bristol. 401-253-4523, www.ThamesWaterside.com) and any number of delicious restaurants on neighboring State Street.
If you’ve never spent time enjoying the views on the Sakonnet River (which is truly a shame if you haven’t), then make your way to the Boat House (227 Schooner Drive, Tiverton. 401-624-6300, www.BoatHouseTiverton.com). With a dock just outside the restaurant, take in the stunning views that are particularly beautiful at sunset. While you’re at it, nosh on regional seafood favorites and chilled cocktails.
You’ve got to make a stop in the “Sailing Capital of the World” – Newport that is – and dock at Bowen’s Ferry Landing Marina (401-640-4104, www.BowensWharf.com/Marina). Their transient dockage rates vary, and reservations are strongly suggested, especially in the peak of summer. Once you’ve made a reservation, your access to mouth-watering seafood and sophisticated cocktails are a short walk away. 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar and Grille (22 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. 401-841-8884, www.22Bowens.com) is a harborside dining locale with ample surf and turf options for every palate. Or for some down-to-earth pub fare, The Wharf Pub and Raw Bar (37 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. 401-619-5672, www.TheWharfPubNewport.com) has everything from burgers to tots.
For the ultimate in dockside imbibing (no boating while tippling, please), pull up to the Borden Light Marina (508-678-7547, www.BordenLightMarina.com) at one of their transient slips (reservations recommended) and head over to the Tipsy Seagull (1 Ferry Street, Fall River. 508-678-7547, www.TheTipsySeagull.com). Located at the end of a pier, The Tipsy Seagull emits Caribbean vibes at the headwaters of Narragansett Bay. Grab a Dark N’ Stormy, sway along to the live music and let your cares slip away as the whole restaurant gently bobs with the tides.
Race to the Finish Line… or Buoy
The sense of adventure any sailor has goes hand-in-hand with a sense of competition. Knowing good and well that the yacht you own is capable of speed, there are plenty of regattas most folks can participate in. Plus, if there is a regatta you want to join but you don’t own that specific class, there are lots of opportunities to hop on board someone else’s boat and help out the team. If all else fails, watching sailors compete from the comfort of your own yacht is a great way to spend any afternoon on the water.
Sail Newport is the home of New England’s largest public sailing center where access to sailing is easy and affordable. Located at Fort Adams State Park, the sailing here is unmatched. Regattas to look forward to throughout June hosted by Sail Newport include the Youth Challenge (June 11-12), the Brook E. Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic (June 16-19), the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta (June 22-26) and the US 29er National Championships Regatta (June 28-30).
The Newport Bermuda Race was started in 1906 and continues until this day. This year the race starts on June 17 off of Castle Hill in Newport and ends off St. David’s Light in Bermuda. It’s a total of 635 miles of ocean sailing with usually 160 yachts participating. Twenty to twenty five percent of skippers are “first time skippers,” so in no way in this race designed only for the sailing elite. First time participants have the option to be guided through the planning and preparation process with the help of ambassadors who are well versed in all aspects of this race. www.BermudaRace.com
Hone Your Craft
Want to take your knowledge of boating to the next level? Is it not enough for you simply skipper your boat? Join the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) for their Mastering the Craft Lecture Event on June 7. The IYRS School of Technology and Trades is hosting a roundtable open discussion, where makers, builders, visionaries, restorers and innovators come together to talk about the craft of boat making in the modern world. If learning about this craftsmanship piques your interest, consider enrolling in IYRS to further your education. 7-9pm. Restoration Hall at IYRS, 449 Thames Street, Newport. 401-848-5777, www.IYRS.edu
If you want to dive deeper into the world of chartering, attending the Newport Charter Yacht Show is a must. From June 21-24, luxury charter yachts are showcased alongside related goods and services of the charter industry. From talking with captains and crews to attending seminars and forums, this show highlights advances in the industry vital to any captain. Newport Shipyard, 1 Washington Street, Newport. 401-846-6000, www.NewportCharterShow.com