Sunday, September 5, 2021

Evading Larry

We are underway across Cape Cod Bay, headed for the canal. We are once again running before a storm, and it is dictating our choices. In this case the storm is Hurricane Larry, and while we will not see storm force winds or even much rain from this system, it is generating enormous waves in the North Atlantic that will make conditions along the coast untenable, extending well into the bays.

Friday afternoon we dropped the hook off Stage Head in the western part of Gloucester Harbor (map), exactly where we had been when we left a month ago. On a Friday of a holiday weekend, we knew that our preferred spot in the inner harbor would be unavailable.

Sunset over P-town on our tender ride home.

We also knew that finding outside dining would be challenging, so when OpenTable told me there was availability up the Blynman Canal at the Mile Marker 1 restaurant in the Cape Ann Marina Resort, I grabbed it. That was actually a shorter tender ride than downtown, and dinner was pleasant. We were amused that the indoor pool at the resort has been turned into a water feature and koi pond, complete with wooden skiff anchored in the middle, for the pandemic; I'm sorry I did not snap a photo.

The Gloucester outer harbor is no place to be with big waves on the ocean, and Larry's arrival meant choosing an area with more protection. We considered heading to Boston, always a nice stop and where we have friends, but conditions would have us pinned down there for more than a week. In normal times a week in Boston is barely enough, but with it feeling unsafe to ride transit or partake of any indoor activities, it felt rather limiting. Beyond that, on a holiday weekend we'd have no choice but to anchor in the harbor in miserable conditions.

We saw at least four different whales through our binoculars en route to the cape. This was the best shot I could get from 1,500' away. The way you find whales is to look for the whale-watch boats.

We opted instead to use our one perfect day of outside weather to cross over into the relative protection of the cape. We dropped the hook yesterday afternoon in Provincetown, in a new-to-us spot northeast of the breakwater (map). I once again turned to OpenTable, fearing all the outside joints would be packed on a pleasant holiday weekend, and we ended up in the courtyard of the Pilgrim House Hotel for a very nice dinner. The courtyard is set well back from the street, so it was not a good spot for the people-watching that we normally enjoy in P-town.

We left the tender in the water overnight, on the chance that the forecast might afford us one more night in town. But this morning's check of the weather revealed we'd need to keep moving to get off Buzzards Bay before it got too rough, and so we weighed anchor early enough to catch a fair tide through the canal. That's twice in a row now we've made a one-night stop here; our last visit was cut short by a virus surge.

Courtyard at the Pigrim House. Louise studies the menu.

Once we are in the canal, we should have a fair tide all the way to Onset, where we have a familiar anchorage. If we're early enough, we may continue on into Buzzards Bay and find anchorage in one of the bays along the north shore. Tomorrow we'll continue to the Sakonnet River, which will get us far enough inland to be comfortable as Larry passes by. Our Boston friends Erin and Chris have their boat in Fall River right now, and we're hoping to connect there for a visit.

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