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

Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 10-11 -- P Town to Rockport, Mass. 49 Miles, and Lay Day There

Eight hours of motoring. Sails up but the winds too weak and from behind us to do us much good. The longest stretch, all but about six miles around the curling cape of Provincetown to the tip of Cape Cod at Race Point (at the beginning), and the last miles from Thatcher Island off Cape Ann to tiny Rockport, was a straight shot for 40 miles. In order, Race Point light, the Thatcher Island twin lights, (an artful touch: shot through the open window of our dodger), and the light on Straitsmouth Island.

Sunny and warm but I'd rather be sailing, like yesterday, but too long to go slow. We crossed the Stellwagen Banks, famous for whales, but the only one I saw on this trip was 3/4 of a mile away, through the binoculars. She or he jumped entirely out of the water to the delight, I'm sure, of the passengers on the large whale watching boat nearby. I had trained my binoculars on that boat because 1) AIS had given me the name of the boat so I knew it was a whale watching boat, 2) they usually figure our where the whales are playing and 3) the boat was stopped so I presumed they were seeing whales. We crossed the traffic separation lanes approaching Boston Harbor but saw no commercial shipping. We viewed the coast line, 15-20 miles west, but Boston's skyline, ten miles further, was obscured by the distance and the light ground haze.  Witty on the prowl, toward Lene's cushioned knees.

Again we selected Rockport (this time over Gloucester), as the stopping place between Provincetown and Isles Of Shoals -- to put in more miles the first day so we would have less to do the second.
Here in Rockport we were assigned to a floating dock closest to the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. To the left of the photo is the most photographed  red fishing shack, the highlight of Rockport Mass tourism: Motif One.
A close-up.

Lene brought the boat to the floating dock perfectly, and our lines were caught by Tom and Tina of "Goody Two Shoes", a Gozzard 39 out of Maryland's Eastern Shore in Chesapeake Bay.
Lene asked if they wanted  to go to dinner with us and they accepted. Nice folks. After they rowed their dink ashore to walk their big dog, Lucy, Alfie Girl naughtily explored their boat. This is their first Maine cruise so we talked about favorite spots. Lene will email a list to them.
Before dinner, at a restaurant on the dock, we showered, filled our water jugs and sat around reading on the YC's front porch, overlooking this tiny packed harbor. The club does not have a restaurant but brings in catering to its small dining room. It was founded in 1885, two years after the Harlem, and is very friendly with an active vibe among its mostly mature members, With dues of only about $400 per year, it has 300 members but room for far fewer boats. So most members keep their boats in Gloucester and there is a 20 year waiting list among members for moorings in the harbor. We noticed a group in three quartets of Mah Jongg players and another group of perhaps ten women which meets on the deck overlooking the harbor to share discussion and the refreshments that they bring -- residents, summer residents and visitors, who are all friends. I told them that their group was like the Harlem's Old Salts Club but without the lunch and sailing. The Clubhouse from Motif One, with ILENE's stern.
A quiet night, excpt for the heavy rains for an hour at ten. Some charts were left out and are spread about to dry.
While I often say that we like to sail, not motor, I have to confess to being a bit of a hypocrite. The lay day here was caused by a prediction that the course to Isles of Shoals would be a 21 mile beat into apparent winds with gusts to 25 knots. Some wag (provenance is disputed) said that "Gentlemen do not sail to windward."  Gentlemen were apparently defined as persons of leisure, the idle rich (like us retirees) who have time to wait out the need to beat to windward. So we stayed and may have to motor when the windstorm subsides. Our floating dock is a very reasonable $43 per day, in cash, placed in an envolope in a locked box.
On the lay day I did some cooking and cleaning, some reading and writing and then, after lunch, a walking tour of the town. Lene stayed aboard to rest her sore leg. I visited its beaches, this is Front Beach from its western and eastern ends,
some suburban looking streets, the Historical Museum (which was closed) and the whole length of its main drag, starting at its western end which is more upscale and less crowded and ending on the point at the end of Bearskin Neck where ice cream stores, souvenir shops, beach clothing and even tatoos abound,
But most of the walk was visiting galleries and the Rockport Art Association Museum. Several stand out. One was Rusty and Ingrid where the process of artistic silk screening was performed in back and its results were sold out front by the two young women entrepreneurs: scenes from New England venues in three colors. I did some silk screening of posters announcing lectures during college and it was fun to see the process done in a professional manner. I also liked David Arsenault's work, including his take on the twin lights of Thatcher Island. His mentor was Hopper.  But I spent the most time with Steven and Donald who retired from the ministry and medicine (the black and the white) to operate Decouvert Fine Art. They specialize in small drawings on paper in red pencil and charcoal from several centuries ago, the genre of Michelangelo that was exhibited at the Met last winter. We talked about many arts and sailing until I tore myself away. Dinner aboard and a cool peaceful night.

No comments:

Post a Comment