Thursday, September 6, 2007

Buzzards Bay

Pocasset, Buzzards Bay, MA (Off Pocasset River)

The bluefish are feeding around the boat. A few terns have caught on and are flying overhead picking off the small fry forced to the surface. Ever since I rounded Cape Ann I have seen continuous bird and fish activity -- feeding frenzies. The number of seabirds in the air at Milk Island off Gloucester and at the eastern end of the Canal is absolutely biblical: scenes of diving and screeching, great waves and spiraling curls of birds fanning out overhead across the sky over silver fish tails slapping the surface, thousands of gray wingtips, pointy red beaks, and frantic black tern eyes.

The wind backed around me yesterday. We started downwind and brisk, then downwind and light. Those breezes blew from the northwest, then about lunch time, and beginning the second phase of the day, the wind began to sneak around to the east, first the northeast, then east and settled in, by the time I reached the canal, blowing from the southeast. 180 degrees in one day. Great stuff.

Off Plymouth was again the gustiest. It was too much for Autoleena, so I had to take the tiller for 3 hours to get us down to the canal. But we flew along at 5.5 knots and better for hour after hour. I made the canal earlier than I thought, and was in the entrance by 6. Unfortunately the railroad bridge came down in front of London so we turned just below the Bourne Bridge and ran up current. London's normal cruising speed was just enough to hold me in place. It is quite a sensation to face into the rushing turbulence of the canal's flow with the engine running full and look over at the bank to see we are going nowhere.

There was a French boat in the canal, sailing wing-on-wing until the patrol showed up. The boat looked custom, Trintella shaped, with a hull like a dark and a spectacular rigged dart. He entered the canal ahead of me after a beautiful show of sailing along the curve of the beach. Name: Rebel.

The other boating sight yesterday was off Duxbury, a twin hulled NOAA vessel, gray power boat with superstructure and many aerials was puttering along behind a man in a ocean kayak, several miles off shore.

I anchored last night off the Pocasset River in a spot I have used before coming and going through the canal. Dinner was Dirty Rice (New Orleans Style) with the last two turkey hot dogs and 1/2 bottle of red Rioja. Great dreams about when gravity becomes benign. I awoke with a big smile.

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