Sunday, August 27, 2017

Gloucester and the Cape Cod Canal revisited and onto Padanaram

Thursday 24th August 2017 – we dropped the mooring at Biddeford Poole at 5.15am – yes seriously the sun was only half up but us and the Lobstermen were! There was a really shallow spot we had to creep over and then work our way out through the channel, we got to less than a metre under our keel but all was fine and the sunrise over a glassy ocean once as we rounded the cape was incredible, we had seals and dolphins all around us; I was so pleased I got up for this.
Sunrise on our window

We had a perfect day to motor 60 miles to Gloucester, mostly a glassy day with only a gentle swell and it really was starting to warm up. The reason for all these early starts is to get South West when the sea-breeze that kicks in most afternoons on calm days is SW and can bring up a fair chop, on this trip the favourable current was also in the morning – bonus!
Sundowners in Gloucester
As we were making our approach to Gloucester a loster boat went by called the Freemantle Doctor – we gave him a big wave but never got to hear why she was named after our Sea-breeze at home – what a shame.
Whales on the way Gloucester

BBQ on the way to Gloucester

Freemantle Doctor

We arrived in Gloucester at about 1.30pm and crashed out….. One of our favourite meals since we arrived in the US was in Gloucester last time we were here, so we cleaned ourseleves up and went out for a date night. Drinks on the wharf followed by another great meal at Tonno.

Entering Cap Cod Canal

Luckly we weren’t out too late as we were up again at 6am – this time with a mission to get to the Cape Cod Canal for the tide change at 12.48pm – Gloucester is 50 miles north of the Canal so we had a big day ahead. Another glassy day with light northerly winds and we were in a convoy – we arrived at the canal just on time with 5 other boats for a much easier transit than last time.
Railway Bridge - we heard on the radio it shouldn't close unless an 'unscheduled train arrives....'

Tugs at the entrance to the Canal
It was like another world when we came out on the south side of the canal – the water was now 24 degrees, we saw it as low at 14 in Maine, the sea was calm and a gentle north westerly breeze allowed us to have a slow sail down Buzzards Bay towards Apponagansett Bay. With a northerly wind forecast that night this seemed like a good spot, however I wish I had asked about the price of the mooring at New Bedford Yacht Club - $55!! Oh my gosh and the club was closed for a fundraiser that night so we couldn’t even enjoy the historic club house. We did get a free launch service though in their 1929 restored boat and enjoyed a sundowner at the Sailloft bar instead. Padanaram was a very cute little town, but very upscale.

Padanaram Harbour

New Bedford Yacht Club Launch

We had planned to head to Newport, Rhode Island the next day but the weekend was glorious so we decided to take advantage and had a gentle sail over to Cutty Hunk Island where we anchored and went ashore – we considered a swim, it was that warm, but jelly fish put us off. Instead we went for a hike ashore and met a lovely couple who lived on the island who gave us a history lesson and directed us as to where to see the best view. There is a school on the island with only 2 pupils, a library, a museum and a church – the population is just 52 and it’s quite different to other the other islands near here (Nantucket and Martha’s which we know), it felt much more like a community, there was farming on the island and everyone drives around in golf carts. We bought some lovely fresh veggies from a farm stand and enjoyed a lovely relaxing evening.

Cutty Hunk inner harbour - very busy

Cutty Hunk

Art in Cutty Hunk
Can you spot Askari? Anchored outside on the left

School House at Cuttyhunk
This morning we had a fabuous beam reach sail down the coast to Newport Harbour, we found a spot to anchor in Dutch Harbour and tomorrow will be heading to the Hinkley Yard where the work starts….

Sailing to Newport

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