Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Begin The 2007 Maine Cruise Journal

Aug 15, 2007 - Fairhaven, MA.

So many bags. A cooler, a tote with dry food, one small duffel of underwear, t-shirts and even a few white socks. My old and trusty Mac laptop and a PC. Books, bits of string, mineral oil for the depth finder. One entire bag of drink: mostly seltzer and diet coke, but yes, two and one half bottles of red wine. So it is, that the detritus of land follows me afloat.

On the drive across Massachusetts to the marina I was thinking about being on the water. There in the car, racing down the Buzzards Bay watershed, in between cell phone calls, it seemed to me that boating -- was all about floating. The rolling undulations are what we seek and bring us back. The frictionless glide across the surface layer where the mediums of liquid and gas meet. So blue. Always new.

I dropped my mooring pendant at West Island in Buzzards Bay at 1:50pm. The day was gorgeous, the wind out of the north-east. By 4 pm we were nearing Hog Island channel and by 5 entering the Cape Cod canal itself and doing about 4 knots as the last of the ebb current gave way to flood. By the time we were expelled out of the Canal into Cape Cod Bay, London was doing 7.5 knots over the ground. Time 6:40 pm.

The canal and Buzzards Bay were full of schools of blue fish and flocks of terns and gulls. I practically had to kick the birds out of the way to get through. In one case the fish were leaping completely out of the water. Silver fins sparkled in the air.

Once on Cape Cod Bay the immediate problem was to find an anchorage At this end of the canal there are not many choices. I should have opted for the beach off Peaked cliff, but I kept on, and soon encountered larger rollers from the north east. I had left the shelter of the long arm of the Cape and was exposed to the north-east swell. I decided on Manomet. I would just make it, in twilight.

The last time I stayed behind Manomet point the sea was still. Although the breeze was still from the east/south-east it was forecast to come round to the south. This I was sure would settle the waves.

You can pack a lot of stuff in even a small sized sailboat. And when you roll the boat violently from side to side or tip it from bow to stern or do both, the stuff comes loose and bangs around. Imagine rolling 30 degrees one way for 2 seconds and then back for two seconds. Add to that a bow to stern tip and yaw on a three or four second cycle and you have my evening of rattling motion. A few times after a particularily violent roll, I got up and looked out at the night, thought about moving, then made myself contemplate being out there in the dark, on watch again and I crawled back in the bunk and held on. Sometime after midnight I fell asleep. I woke once about 2:30 and the sea was nearly gentle, by morning quite calm.

This morning I put the kettle on for tea and then raised the anchor. Under sail we bobbed out between the Mary Ann rocks and red nun 17. Our course is 2 degrees magnetic which will bring us to land again near Gloucester.

Wind just came up – now making 4.1 knots. Time to sign off. The time is 8 a.m. Broad reach. Off Plymouth.

1 comment:

pfifield said...

I hope you find a better anchorage tonight. A feeding frenzy is always fun except for the prey.

We have a nice 15-25 SW breeze: dig out the whisker pole, hang on and Portsmouth by dusk!!!