We're back and here's a quick recount:
We left Fairhaven a week ago last Saturday afternoon, after loading up the boat with more stuff than we could possibly need for a week. We sailed up to Red Brook Harbor on a broad reach under reefed main only, in some typically steep Buzzards Bay chop. The best part (and the reason we only had the main up) was watching a wild thunderstorm racing parallel to us on the northwest shore of the bay. Where we were in the middle of the bay it was blue sky and sunny (though quite breezy), but we could hear the thunder and see the lightning just a few miles away. I was pretty confident the storms would stay on the shore and if not felt we would outrun it into the harbor, which is what made it fun as opposed to nervewracking
We moored at Parker's boat yard for the evening and got an early start to make the Cape Cod Canal on the tide the next morning. My first time going through the canal was relaxing and uneventful. When we reached the canal exit we had light air and a dead run to Provincetown. Currently I am lacking a genoa or any other large headsail so under working jib and main we only made 4 knots most of the way. It was a peaceful 5 hours spent bobbing across Cape Cod Bay. I rigged a preventer from a spare block made fast to the cabin hand rail that proved to be quite helpful when our attention waned and we veered off course to where the main would try to gybe.
In P-town our original plan was to anchor near town the 1st night, put the boat on a mooring while we stayed in a B&B night 2, then anchor again on night 3 across the harbor by the beach at Wood End. What ended up happening was that we spent 3 nights on the mooring - which was relaxing and secure, but at the not so cheap cost of $45/night. We grabbed the mooring the first night because when we arrived the wind had picked up significantly and the areas I thought were designated for anchoring looked chock full of moorings. Provincetown Moorings found us a nice mooring in close to the dock with a launch and facilities, and we just stayed on it for the duration.
We left Provincetown on Wednesday with the wind out of the NW at 15 knots. This happened to be the direction of our intended destination (Scituate). When we rounded Wood End and were due to make a 90 deg turn to the NW we found there were also 5-6 foot seas coming from the same direction. So we made a prudent decision to head in the direction of the Canal instead. I think we'd still be beating toward Scituate if we had tried; instead we had one of the best sails of my life, on a beam reach making 6 knots with a lot of spray coming over the rail. Another highlight of the day was sailing within a stone's throw past the tall ship Kalmar Nyckel just outside of Provincetown Harbor.
Wednesday night we anchored in Onset and my Dad joined the crew. The next morning we left around 10:30, motored down the channel, and tacked down Buzzards Bay until we got back home. I was proud we made it from the end of Hog Island channel to my marina entrance on only 3 tacks (off scraggy neck, at the mouth of marion harbor, and s of cleveland light) while beating right into the wind.
Here are some pictures:
Cal and Meghan's 2008sailingtrip slideshow on Flickr
I will post some videos soon too if I can get them uploaded.
- Thanks to everyone who helped rein in my earlier ambitions about covering much more ground than we did. We only made it a 5 day trip and it felt like the right amount of sailing for that.
- I am still a little tentative about anchoring in less than ideal conditions. I have a 18# danforth, 15' of chain and 100' of rode. The boat is 6700 lbs dry weight, 4 foot draft. I've never dragged but haven't tested it in any difficult conditions. Should I consider upgrading ground tackle and if so, to what?
- I really need a genoa and a depthsounder. I may spring for a roller furling setup and genny next year.
- Lots of good weekends left this sailing season but I'm already thinking about next year's cruise!