"There is nothing more pleasant than cruising on a boat with the whole family."
Letter from Empress Catherine the Great

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Days 80 & 81, September 5-6 -- Plymouth to Redbrook Harbor and Lay Day -- 33 NM

This was our roughest day of the summer, caused by the wind, from the SW, at 20 to 25 knots, gusting to 35 and 40 and waves. Not so bad motoring the 4.8 NM out from Plymouth to Cape Cod Bay, nor in the Cape Cod Canal which we timed perfectly and during which the wind opposed us but was not as strongly as the 3.5 knot current which aided the engine in pushing us through at about nine knots.

The hard parts were the fifteen miles in Cape Cod Bay and the five miles in the Hog Island Chanel of Buzzards Bay, into which the Canal let us out.

As to the first, of these rough parts we sailed with double reefed main and small jib beating toward the entrance to the Canal, heeled to about 30 to 35 degrees and not going that fast, though we did cover the ground on "schedule" having left the mooring at 7:45 and arriving at the Canal entrance at noon. We started SSW, which took us out into the open Bay, I tacked back toward its west coast, with the partially successful hope that by being close to shore, we would have less  . During all this Lene was afraid and complained but kept her cool and did not panic. The errant batten popped out of rear end and quite a bit of its length out of its pocket, AGAIN!. This time I went up on the coach roof, fully slid the batten out  and stored it in the cabin. (As soon as we arrived on our mooring I reinserted the batten and sewed up the end flap of its pocket so it can't pop out again until I cut out the threads at the end of the season.) During the tack back toward the coast we were going slowly and our course was making our distance to the canal entrance longer rather than shorter. We tried to use engine as well as sail, but the propeller was cavitating which, I understand, is not good for it. Once we got close to the beach and tacked back to SSW, we made it to the Canal entrance without another tack, using both sails and motor, and then furled all sails for the passage through the Canal.
Hog Island Chanel, in Buzzards Bay, after the respite in the Canal, was worse, and here it was waves because we were not sailing. The wind had built up the waves for more than the length of Buzzards Bay, and they converged in a channel that the chart says is 250 feet wide. Big  steep waves, five to eight feet tall, were coming straight at us. The kind that come onto a beach after a storm. These were not the lovely ocean rollers, perhaps two hundred feet or more apart. Those are a pleasure as we ride up and over them gracefully, effortlessly and pleasantly. Our engine was powering us but most of our four knots of speed over the ground was due to the tidal flow pushing us forward against the waves. By getting to the Canal early in its six hours of favorable current, we had the benefit of that current out in Buzzards Bay. Whenever wind and tide run strongly in opposite directions from each other big close waves result. Our last experience of this was coming out of Government Cut in Miami, early in 2015.
Our bow faced directly into the waves and we were constrained to continue on this course by the narrowness of the channel. In hindsight, though, had I steered back and forth across its width, the effect would have been to prolong the unpleasant passage but lessen the intensity of the unpleasantness. The waves lifted ILENE's bow high out of the water, after which it slammed down into the trough in front of it with a loud crash that caused Lene to fear that the boat would break apart. Alpha Girl gave us her very loudest yell  - of fear, not a meow, and Lene sought to cuddle and comfort her. Immediately after plunging downward, the bow would plow through the top of the crest of the next wave, repeatedly sending gallons of water streaming back over the deck. A picture would have been useful here but I had my hands full. We closed the companionway hatch, but had not battened down the hatch over the port settee quite tightly enough: about a half gallon of seawater infiltrated onto the cushions there. They are drying out as this is written.
We were given a choice mooring by the Kingman Yacht Center in Redbrook Harbor; our mooring is very close to the dinghy dock. This is our fourth visit to Kingman, which is a marina. It is windy here but no waves get in. I had planned to anchor or take a free mooring in Pocassett Harbor, behind Bassetts Island, where we stayed last summer, a mile away. But our plans to meet up with Lee and Patty did click so we had to go ashore to meet them (they drove an hour to us and drove us to a supermarket and the restaurant and back; Thanks again, guys!) Two reasons persuaded use of the marina: (A) it would have been a rather long dinghy ride to shore in this wind and especially back to the boat near or after dark, plus (B) a glimpse into mouth of the anchorage area as we passed suggested that there were a lot more boats in there than last year. And heavy rain and thunderstorms the next day caused us to lay here, giving us a rest, a laundry stop and for me to get caught up on this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment