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post #11 of 12 Old 06-01-2011 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fallard View Post
Salem to P-town looks like 45 nm. My half dozen trips across Mass Bay had the wind all over the place and we found ourselves choosing a destination based on the wind direction. Scituate turned into P-town on at least 2 occasions.

Unless you want to go to P-town (sounds like you do) you might otherwise choose your intermediate stop based on the wind direction and velocity. Our last trip had us turning around to spend an extra day at Manchester-by-the-Sea when we encountered gusts to 47 kts out of the NW. My wife noticed that even the lobstermen were returning to port and so did we.

P-town to the canal entrance is about 22 nm and you might find the wind on the nose. We've also stayed over in P-town awaiting better weather (different trip) on the way to the canal. Your estimate of 5 hours sounds right, even if you are motoring.

The Boston option may take more time than you expect, especially if you are really going to check out the harbor. Salem-Boston-P-town looks like about 60 nm and would mean at least 12 hours sailing plus whatever time you take to explore Boston Harbor. It's doable, but sounds more like work than fun. If you want to do Boston, you might allow a whole day to a cursory check of the harbor and the outer islands, ending up in Scituate for the night.

In the end, the weatherman may be choosing your course. Hope you are allowing for such contingencies.
I've never been to P-Town so thought it would be fun and liked the idea of the longer haul farther offshore. That said, so many people recommend Situate that we will make our decision by the wind direction. All this info is very helpful and has made the planning less stressful so thank you.

On the different subject of my return, am I crazy to consider returning on the outside of the Cape? The trip would go Cuttyhunk, maybe Woods Hole or Hadley Harbor, then Nantucket. Then a long haul from Nantucket around the Cape to P town or Situate or maybe even home. We are taking her up on a long haul from the Chesapeake so I'll get a sense of how much is too much for me on the boat. Is this a worrying thought for people? I'veheard it can be rough out there.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-03-2011
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Day late and a dollar short

Others have given you some good advice. Having been to both P-Town and Scituate from Salem (my boat is in Salem harbor). The sail to P-town is a LONG sail. If you leave at 9 AM, average 4 to 5 knots, your in P-Town harbor 6 to 8 PM; 9 to 11 h later. We left at 9 and got on the hook in P-Town at 7:30 PM. We had no wind for roughly half the trip.

Salem-P'Town is a tiring sail and I was wiped out for a good portion of the next day. From P-town, it is a another 4 to 5 h to the canal entrance.

One thing about going to P-Town from Salem, aside from the first 2 h and last say 2 to 3 h, your view is nothing except open water, which I don't find really appealing. The sail to Sciutate is nice as your are far enough away from Boston Harbor traffic, yet can see the skyline. We have been to Scituate 2X and both times the max it has been has been 5 h.

P-Town is much more lively re: nightlife than Scituate, but the harbor of Scituate is better, in my opinion. Both have great restaurants and both are very walkable.

If it were me, I'd sail to Scituate or even the canal entrance, overnight and then continue on and save the P-Town trip for a long W/E. If you overnight in Scituate, you could leave Salem at noon and still be there in time for dinner or leave Salem at 9 ish and be at the canal entrance by 5 at the latest. Both options make for a shorter day than all the way to P-Town first.

As far as going outside of the Cape on your return, you're not crazy, but remember this, the currents between Nantucket and MV are tricky and once you leave Chatham area, you have no place to duck into, in case of an storm, until you reach P-Town, whose harbor is on the bay side. Also, the sandbars at the elbow of the cape are always changing, so you may have to really pay attention to where you are.


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