Monday, July 17, 2017

Cape Cod Canal and Provincetown

We didn't really have a firm plan when we left Martha's Vineyard - we thought we would just hop across to Woods Hole or Hadley's Harbour, two places that people have raved about, however it was a bit of a grey day with a touch of fog so we decided that there was probably better days to experience Hadley's in particular which is just a remote bay with no services ashore, then Andrew took a glance at the tides for the canal and we were spot on so we carried on to the canal.
Passing Woods Hole

The Rail Bridge - luckily it was raised

The cape cod canal is 7 miles long (to go around cape cod is over 100 miles) and there are three bridges, the first is a rail bridge which is generally up unless there is a train coming (we later found out that we missed it by a few minutes and all the boats ahead of us were held up). The other bridges are much higher than our mast so no concern, the current however is a different story. The current can run at about 5 knots, we had a favourable current of 2 to 3 knots most of the way through, however the wind against tide effect and waves enhanced by wash created some interesting conditions - we had waves breaking over the deck!! Not impressed as we only washed the boat down a few days before.

Cape Cod Canal

Current effects in the Cape Cod Canal

I have read the canal can be closed if a whale decides to make a transit and we are pretty sure we saw a North Atlantic Right Whale shortly after we came out into Cape Cod Bay. There are only about 500 of these endangered species in the world and over half of them are reportedly around Cape Cod Bay at this time of year. They are apparently called 'Right' Whales as they were the right ones to catch for their high blubber content for turning into oil in preferred by whalers back in the day.

Cape Cod Bay

We motored in a grey sea and grey sky out towards Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod - as we approached we thought we were witnessing an optical illusion as it looked like their was buildings all across a huge stretch of the ocean. As we got closer and took out the binoculars we found these were all fishing and whale watching boats - truly amazing.....
Fishing boats in Provincetown with the Pilgrim Monument in view

We had been to Ptown as it's known before with Chris and Bev aboard their boat Luana so knew what to expect, however this week was the Bear festival and we are not talking teddy bears...... Ptown was where the Mayflower first dropped anchor bringing the first Pilgrims to America in 1620 however they didn't stay long, but it's key landmark is the Pilgrim Monument standing tall over the town. It has long been known for it's artists and LGBT community as well as welcoming people from all over the world, especially Portuguese. We anchored just off town and as we walked up the main dock a group of drag queens were posing for photos on the beach in bikini's, yes this was Ptown but during the festival it was pretty buzzing with posters for cabarets and multicoloured flags galore. We had a great afternoon and ended up enjoying a few drinks at the Harbor Lounge where we met Roland and Ed each single handing their own yachts up the coast.
Lobster Pot Artwork in Ptown

Harbour Lounge dock

Lively Ptown
Provincetown dock

We returned to Askari for a lovely fresh fish dinner and were enjoying a wine when Sherry and Frank paddled by for a chat - they came aboard for a drink we learned how to talk like a Maine local and got some great tips for events in Maine - they are heading there too aboard their yacht K2.
Cape Cod Lighthouse

Next morning was just glorious, so we took the dinghy over to the beach right at the tip of cape cod, we went for a long walk on the beach and it was so hot we actually burned our feet on the sand. I even went for a swim - my first in the USA. We spotted a few seals swimming around and then found a whole colony when we went to explore a bit more by dinghy; they were amazing and quite curious but swam off if you came close.
Exploring Cape Cod Bay

Seal colony

We called to order a cooked lobster however we got two due to communication issues!! Ah well two lobsters it is then.
Dinner and some.....

Sunday morning we headed out to sail to Boston - but along the way changed our plans and ended up in Salem after a quick look at Marblehead, which didn't have a suitable spot for us.

A T37 anchored next to us - same as our old boat we sold two years ago to the day

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