We arrived back in Portland on Monday, October 20. It was great to be back on board and sleeping in our own bunk. A Nor’easter was predicted to blow in Wednesday so we picked up a slip for the week at DiMillos where we had a slip while living aboard in Portland! We spent the week preparing for our departure south on Saturday. We got a nice surprise visit by my dad and his friend Chuck who were returning to New Jersey from a bird hunting trip up in the North woods of Maine. We had a nice lunch with them before they hit the road again and Tim and I finished up the things on our “to do“ list before leaving early in the morning to start South.
We departed Portland around 7:30 A.M. headed for Brace Harbor, on Cape Ann in Massachusetts. We motor sailed almost the entire way as the winds were basically WSW. We did cut the engine and sailed a little because a bearing went bad in our alternator off of Cape Porpoise. Luckily, we had a spare on board. Tim, my very handy man, installed the new alternator while I got to do a little sailing albeit a little off our course as I had to bear off a little to fill the sails.
At some point while I was sailing along and Tim was fixing the engine a little bird landed on deck and stowed away until we arrived at Cape Ann. He hopped around on deck, and flew around the dodger but he spent most of the time tucked in out of the wind between the blocks at the base of the mast.
Later in the afternoon we experienced our best wildlife encounter in all our years of sailing. Some large porpoises were very close to our boat. They surfed our bow wave and our wake. They followed closely behind us for a while and one or two provided us with a spectacular aerial display as they jumped vertically out of the water. FANTASTIC!!!
Brace Harbor is not a very pretty anchorage and there were rollers at night during the high tide. It does have a small beach were we could walk Shamus. We decided we would return here only if we needed too.
The rudder position censor and autopilot are being a little finicky. We could still use it but had to monitor it closely which is not really a problem for us as we always have someone at the helm while the boat is under way.
So we had a couple small glitches with the boat along the way but some fabulous encounters with mother nature! Thank goodness I have Tim. I would have been calling Sea Tow when the alternator blew and I would have missed seeing the whale spouting and the dolphins since I was sleeping when they arrived on our bow wave! Once we get the oven issue fixed I guess I owe him a few tasty treats!
We motor sailed in big seas to Plymouth, MA on Sunday, October 26. We left Brace Harbor early in the morning and arrived in Plymouth in time to tune into the Patriots game around the start of the second quarter. Plymouth is definitely a tourist town – serving mostly tourists arriving by car. The Harbormaster does have about 3 moorings for rent just off the end of the breakwater as you enter Plymouth Harbor. They charge $35 a night for the mooring and you must pay the mooring fee via check or money order. No cash or credit cards accepted. There are no showers or bathrooms available for cruisers included with the mooring fee. The moorings are close to Plymouth Plantation State Park. The monument that encloses “Plymouth Rock” and the replica of the Mayflower can both be seen from the mooring. There is also a small dinghy dock located next to the Mayflower. During the day, the park has public restrooms but I am not sure they are open at night.
There are a couple small markets up the hill from dinghy dock next to the Mayflower where you can pick up some staples but there wasn’t a grocery store where you could really provision well within walking distance. Every other building seemed to be a tavern so there is no shortage of beer on tap if you’re thirsty!
The next day we had a nice sail down to the Cape Cod Canal, motored through and picked up my dad’s mooring at Kingman’s Yacht Center in Cataumet, Massachusetts for the night. It was pretty quiet there this time of year but during the height of summer it is quite busy.
October 28: Cuttyhunk – the Elizabeth Islands
This morning Tim was up bright and early. He checked out my oven and found the jet for the oven burner was almost completely clogged. After cleaning it out my oven was back to working great and I will be getting back to continuing to learn about baking bread and making other tasty foods!
He also re-wired the connections for the rudder censor and the autopilot. They worked perfectly today when we left Kingman and motored southwest across Buzzards Bay to Cuttyhunk.
We are currently anchored in the pond at Cuttyhunk. All the moorings have been pulled for the season and the small businesses that are open during the height of summer are closed. Given the number of logs marking moorings it is easy to tell that there are A LOT of moorings here in the pond and even more outside the channel. I am sure there are rental cottages on shore but it is obvious this place is packed with boats during the summer season. I am glad we are here now when it is quiet and peaceful so we can appreciate how pretty it is.