Sunday 7th July, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
After New York City we were glad of a few days relative peace and quiet. Having done our laundry and some grocery shopping we left Port Washington after lunch on Friday 28th June. The next mission? Do 160 Nautical Miles to Hyannis, Cape Cod by the morning of Tuesday 2nd July where we would be picking up our friends Al and Jane McSherry.
About half the distance covered was in Long Island Sound, the body of water north of Long Island that separates it from the mainland. This is a delightful, sheltered cruising ground and the only real hazards are the literally hundreds of crab or lobster pot markers. I suppose we have been lucky so far, we travelled all the way around the UK last year without a tangle and about 5,000 miles since then. On Saturday 29th June our luck finally ran out and as we were sailing into our intended anchorage the boat was dragged to a standstill as we got snagged on a just submerged pot marker. Fortunately the engine was off so I was pretty sure we didn’t have it wrapped around the screw. Nevertheless we weren’t very happy and I was unable to untangle us before dark. We spent the night anchored by a crab pot and in the morning I was able to grapple the line and cut the offending float away from the rudder, so releasing us.
Sunday and Monday were quite long days with an overnight stop in Port Judith Harbour of Refuge. When we got up on Monday morning it was pouring with rain, cold and visibility reduced to a few hundred metres. For the first time since I can’t remember when I was wearing sea boots, full foul weather clothing and a warm top! Not what we signed up for.
By the time we sailed into Hyannis on Tuesday morning the weather was much better and the sun was shining as we tied up to a Hyannis Yacht Club mooring. As planned Al and Jane arrived just after lunch and will be with us until 15th July.
We spent three delightful nights in Hyannis which spanned the Fourth of July. None of us have ever been in the States for this occasion and we had a brilliant time. To mark the day we dressed the boat overall…..
After lunch in a British Beer Company pub on Main Street we watched the parade, huge fun. That was followed by sharpeners at the yacht club bar and then back to Emma Louise for dinner and the firework display. Unfortunately low cloud took the edge off the show but our ringside seat made up for it – the fireworks were set off on a barge positioned in the bay.
Hyannis was left astern on Friday and we retraced our tracks to the eastern end of Cape Cod and Woods Hole where we have been for the last two nights. Woods Hole is the home of a world famous oceanographic research institution from where Ballard led the search for the Titanic. We are leaving here this morning and heading for New Bedford – think Melville and Moby Dick.
Wednesday 10th July, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
We anchored overnight on Monday at Onset at the west end of the Cape Cod canal. After taking on diesel (approximately $1/litre) we motored through the canal and then north east to Provincetown where we are currently on a mooring ($55/night – boating in the US isn’t cheap!). The $55 does include the coast of a water taxi so getting the four of us ashore is easy compared with the two trips it would take in our very small tender. As some of you may know Provincetown has a large gay community and so people watching is a popular and fascinating pastime. We ate ashore at a place called John Doughs and had some pretty good seafood. This morning was for chores and grocery shopping and laundry were ticked off. Tomorrow we plan to head north west to somewhere just south of Boston. Al’s birthday is two days before mine and we plan to have a joint celebration on the day between, 12th July. I’ll let you know what happened!
Friday 9th August, Baddeck, Nova Scotia
A month between updates? Not good, I know. After Provincetown we sailed up to Boston with Al & Jane and spent our birthday weekend there. We managed to get a mooring right next to the downtown area for a modest (by US standards) $45/night, including water taxi. Here is a view from where we stopped…
Boston has changed somewhat in recent years as a result of the “big dig” – a project to put a ground level interstate highway, running right through the downtown area, underground. Apparently it cost $15 BILLION for TWO miles of road!!!! The result is very impressive and the city now benefits from a linear park that sits above the highway in a tunnel. It is a fantastic urban space with street markets, benches to sit and relax and wonderful parkland planting.
On the Sunday we took a short train ride to Salem, of witch hysteria fame and had a look around there. Al said something about taking the witches back to their spiritual home, I have no idea what he was talking about!
After two great weeks Al & Jane had to leave and Sheryl and I once again turned north and east, heading for Nova Scotia and our one time home.
After Boston we stopped in Marblehead to fuel and re-provision before heading across the Gulf of Maine. The two night crossing was interesting with the autopilot failing on the first night (diagnosed the following day as low hydraulic oil and easily fixed) followed by dense fog on the second night in no wind. We had our closest encounter with whales to date….
We eventually made landfall off Cape Sable Island on Friday 19th of July although we didn’t see it as we were in thick fog, welcome to Canada!
As luck would have it our chosen port of entry, Shelburne, was having a founders day celebration for the weekend i.e. there was a party in town! The members of the Shelburne Yacht Club were most welcoming and hospitable and I was delighted to find that a new micro brewery had recently opened locally, Boxing Rock. Like all North American so called craft beers it was very tasty and also very alcoholic, around 6%! Shelburne is a delightfull little town and its easy to see why so many ex pat Brits have settled here…
So thats July done with and now I need to get started on catching up with August!