Michelle and Steve came the following day and by 11am they were on the boat. We filled the water tanks and then left for Provincetown. Forecasted winds were very strong out of the northwest, but it turned into the fizzle. Winds instead of being 20 to 30 knots were only 5 to 10 knots so we ended up motoring all the way over to Provincetown. Once anchored we headed into town and walked around the downtown area before finding a place to sit and eat a few appetizers. Then we headed back to the boat.
The next day was supposed to be sunny and warm; we woke to rain. It stopped shortly after we had eaten breakfast. Melanie made a wonderful omelette and that with a good cup of coffee gave us a good start to the day. We hauled anchor and ended up motoring the entire way to Martha’s Vineyard. Our first stop was the canal entrance which took about four hours, we saw some seals along the way but not much other life. It was very calm and very chilly, we were all wearing hats and gloves. Once into the canal our speed went up to almost 10 knots and we zoomed through the canal quickly. After coming out the other side we changed course and aimed for the cut near Woods Hole where we passed through the islands and then headed on to Martha’s Vineyard.
We tied up in Martha’s Vineyard to a mooring ball about an hour later, and headed into shore. The marina we chose was totally disorganized. Everyone had left for the day and the restaurant knew nothing about the mooring balls. We went and ate at the Black Dog Tavern, enjoying a stuffed Quahog and then headed back to the boat to watch some movies before turning in. We left our contact information with the restaurant manager as well as calling it in to the marina, but it felt almost as if we weren’t welcome. I have heard that from others as well, so no surprise there.
Next morning we were up and gone by 5:30am headed to Plymouth. We needed to catch the current through the canal and so we got an early start, heading out into a very rough area between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard. The current and the wind were against each other. We scooted through and by the time we got past Martha’s Vineyard there was no wind and we ended up motoring the entire way. Wouldn’t you believe it, right before we crossed under the railroad bridge in the Cape Cod Canal it closed! The canal Patrol yelled at us, forcing us to turn around and then yelled at us again because we weren’t getting away from the area. I pointed to my radio but apparently he wasn’t using it. What he never realized was that the current was 5 knots and our boat was only capable of doing a little over 5, so we pretty much marked time until the bridge opened again and we were able to turn and pass through.
We motored on to Plymouth, and there we spent the afternoon walking around the historic part of the city before enjoying a bottle of wine at the 1620 Winery and then heading back to the boat. After taking in a movie, we turned in and woke up the next morning bright and early to catch the outgoing tide to Boston. We ended up motoring the whole way into Boston as well which turned out to be quite busy because it was Father’s Day. There were boats of every kind all over the place and the flight banks at the airport were very busy.
We picked up a mooring ball and after tying up we dropped the dinghy and headed in to shore. We walked around the Italian part of the city, saw Paul Revere’s house and his statue and then started looking for a place to eat. We ended up settling on a place called the Sail Loft where we enjoyed a good seafood dinner before heading back to the boat. On the way we wandered down through Quincy Market and then once back to the boat we caught a quick show. We watched Absolutely Fabulous, a comedy show from England which is quite hilarious.
Next morning Michelle and Steve packed and after doing our morning chores we headed out, refueled and then dropped them off at the water taxi stop near the Hyatt so they could catch the shuttle to the airport. We headed out, motor sailing out of Boston Harbor and about 3 hours out, all of a sudden weather warnings started rolling in over the radio. Severe thunderstorms were all around us and headed our way! The wind piped up from 20 knots to over 30 with gusts over 40. The boat managed well, but we were very concerned that we would get caught in a bad storm. Friends and family started praying fervently and the Lord answered their prayers. The skies parted around us and storms moved to our North and to our South, missing us completely and we stayed dry even though the wind was quite strong and the waves made it quite rough.
About an hour before we arrived in Plymouth it started to rain, quite hard, but we were able to safely pick up a mooring ball around 11 p.m. and after a shot of whiskey we headed to bed. We got news that evening that Melanie’s oldest son and his wife were headed to the hospital for the birth of their baby girl. We were very excited. We slept hard that night, and next morning we awoke to find out that we had a new granddaughter, born at 5 a.m.! We were thrilled!
I worked in the morning until around noon and then we dropped the ball and motored out of Plymouth Harbor and set sail. We only used the jibs but we made good time down to the Cape Cod Canal and even though it was quite chilly, it was a glorious sunny day. Melanie made lunch while we were underway and we enjoyed being able to sail without the incessant throbbing of the diesel engine. It has worked hard and performed well, but we have never liked motoring and always preferred the quiet of sailing with the rushing sound of the water passing the hull.
Of course the wind died as it normally does and about 2 miles from the canal we reluctantly turned on the motor as our speed was only 1.5 knots. We made it to the entrance around 5 p.m. and took a favorable current, passing through the canal in about an hour. For the second time we heard a call to boaters in the canal that the railroad bridge was closing! It was difficult for us the first time because the current was at peak and was over 5 knots. This time the current was about four knots and we were further away, so I simply put the motor in neutral which slowed us down enough that we were able to drift on the current without worrying about fighting against it, and by the time the bridge came into view, the train had passed and it was on the way up. Once through, we picked up a mooring ball on the South side at the exit of the canal.
We enjoy the few Sundowner drinks and watched the traffic go by before heading down, watching a show and then going to bed. We went to bed early as we both felt run down from sailing the previous day through the storm.