June 24, 2016
NEBO TV Report from the Field: Stonington, CT
This week the NEBO TV crew traveled to the borough of Stonington, CT, just across from the Rhode Island border, and we have nothing but good things to report.
Overall, we were impressed by the harbor, its boating amenities and its proximity to other destinations (Block Island, Mystic, Long Island, etc.), as well as by the village’s shops, restaurants, architecture and the friendly folks who live there.
We started by launching our Pursuit C260 at the big and popular Barn Island ramp then ran the short distance to Dodson Boatyard at the head of Stonington Harbor. After docking, we filmed a quick interview with owner Bob Snyder and Yard Manager Mark Arruda, who were kind enough to provide a secure home for our boat for the next 2 days. Next we got a tour of the well-protected harbor with dock administrator Ariana, who grew up in the area and knows all about the local boating scene.
After returning to the marina, we enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Dog Watch Café, a local dock-and-dine favorite, as runners gathered for the weekly 5K run (participants receive either a free popsicle or beer, based on age). Alas, neither Parker nor Tom brought their running shoes, so they were unable to participate.
As the sun dipped below the harbor’s western shore, the crew drove a few blocks down Water Street to their very comfortable digs at the Inn at Stonington, overlooking the water. The evening was spent wandering the quiet, tree-lined streets of this most interesting village.
The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Noah’s (blueberry pancakes a must) before Parker filmed a cooking segment with chef Sylvia Kerry of Breakwater (formerly Skipper’s Dock), the other dock-and-dine restaurant on the harbor and which also offers free dockage to patrons. After Parker cooked with Kerry, the crew was treated to an assortment of dishes that included the green monster burger, crispy fish tacos, baked scallops, bouillabaisse, lobster bisque and more.
After lunch, it was off to film at the Velvet Mill and the downtown area, which comprises an assortment of cool and interesting shops, boutiques, restaurants and even a couple of old-fashioned barbershops. Parker stopped in at the Hungry Palette, Amapola’s Tea & More and Clad In.
We also filmed a segment at the Old Lighthouse Museum, where Cheryl Danis of the Stonington Historical Society gave Tom a tour and a lesson on the fascinating history of the Borough, including the story behind the town’s thwarting of a British sea attack in 1814.
But we weren’t done yet, as Parker and Tom had a date with Rick Ely of the Mystic Cycle Centre. Ely presented the co-hosts with pair of nifty Biria folding bikes, which the co-hosts used to visit Saltwater Vineyards, a short ride from the harbor. Owner Michael Connery led a tour of the facility, located in a former airplane hangar, and treated all to a glass of the winery’s excellent chardonnay. And if you care to hear Tom use the word “flinty” over 10 times, you’ll love this segment.
To wrap things up, the crew returned to the Inn at Stonington before visiting with the folks at New England Science and Sailing, which teaches kids and adults how to sail, kayak, paddleboard and boat in the coastal waters. The organization also offers extension courses and holds education classes in schools throughout the year. Parker interviewed founder/president Spike Lobdell and instructors Lauren and Taylor, who took Parker on an evening sail in the harbor. The dedicated staff at NESS does a terrific job teaching kids how to have fun on the water, and they clearly have fun themselves.
With Parker safely ashore after her sunset sail, the crew convened at Breakwater, where we met with fans Scott Henne and Ann O’Connell Henne, who cruised over in their beautifully restored Crosby Striper from nearby Westerly to say hello. We also made a few other new friends, whom we hope to encounter during our travels throughout New England this summer.
Stay tuned to NewEnglandBoating.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with our adventures.