Monday, July 19, 2021

Pie rates of Penzance

We are northbound in Buzzards Bay, headed for the Cape Cod Canal. Timing our transit for a fair tide will have us crossing Cape Code Bay this afternoon; we've set our sights on Provincetown, where we should have the anchor down before dinner time. We will just miss our friends aboard Blossom, who are leaving there today for points north, but perhaps we will catch them later on.

Saturday, after I posted here, the adverse current slackened through the afternoon, and we actually had the anchor down in the Point Judith Harbor of Refuge (map) just a few minutes after 7pm. I started the grill while we were still underway and making plenty of electricity, and put a nice steak on as soon as we had the anchor secured. Seas were three feet on five seconds by the time we passed the breakwater, and we were glad to have the protection.


At high tide the waves can overtop the breakwater, and even when they don't, a swell refracts around the ends and can make the harbor a little rolly. We had a pleasant enough stay, but the roll made for an uncomfortable night for Louise. We were eager to get underway after coffee in the morning.

Seas yesterday were also forecast at three feet on a relatively short period, and we contemplated making it a short day into Narraganset Bay and Newport, Rhode Island. But the weather gets no better this week, and even a two night stop would ace us out of a fair current in the canal until Sunday or Monday. Once we left the harbor and found tolerable conditions, we opted to press all the way to the protection of the Elizabeth Islands. It was three hours of bashing through beam seas, but once in the lee of Cuttyhunk Island everything flattened out.

Woods Hole as seen from our anchorage in Penzance Bay.

We had a fair tide all the way to Naushon Island, and we continued all the way to Penzance Bay near Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on the southern tip of the Cape Cod "mainland." A swimming event was taking place in the bay when we arrived, and we skirted around their northern mark and dropped the hook well away from the event (map), not far from our previous spot in this bay. We could hear the swimmers and their support kayaks talking about Vector. We shared the anchorage with just a single other boat, a sailing cat.

We weighed anchor at 10:45 to have slack water across Buzzards Bay and arrive at the canal with current behind us. As I wrap up typing we're passing the Bourne Bridge with three knots behind us. We are looking forward to a few days in P-Town; when next you hear from me we will be under way across Massachusetts Bay.

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