Around the Cape and onto Maine
Nantucket to Marblehead
Up at sunrise 5:00 AM. The sun is bright orange, but the wind is blowing 17 knots again. We are off the buoy heading out Nantucket Harbor by 6:00 AM. Bright blue clear skies and a lot less traffic than yesterday afternoon. We head northeast to run around and outside of Cape Cod. First step is to navigate the shoals on the southern end of the cape. Luckily the winds die down and calm seas help us to follow the red/green red/green buoy serpentine until we break out into the North Atlantic. The charts mark numerous wrecks. Memories of less fortunate mariners.
Running offshore, dodging lobster trap buoy’s, we head north. Individual whale sightings on the east coast of the cape culminate in a “whale paparazzi” gathering off the north end. Radar and AIS display tour boats dashing to a central location at 30-knots only to stop and circle each other jockeying to obtain the best view of the whales for their passengers. We detour around the mob scene and head northwest.
Avoiding Boston, we continue north towards the birthplace of the American Navy, Marblehead, Massachusetts arriving around 6:00 PM. Calling Boston Yacht Club, we obtain a mooring buoy just inside the entrance to the harbor. Another exciting mooring episode finding and catching the buoy in 17 knot winds and a setting sun in our eyes! Locals are out for an evening in sailing dinghies, tack effortlessly in-between buoys and boats. Other boats drift past fishing until after dark. The air is cool and starts to smell “salty”. We are definitely crossing the border into New England waters. Since we did not go ashore, BYC provided the buoy gratis. Thank-you BYC! Pooped after a 12 hour 90-mile day, we have an easy dinner and hit the sack. North to Portsmouth/Kittery tomorrow.
Marblehead to Kittery
Friday dawns grey and cloudy. Releasing the mooring buoy, we are on our way from Marblehead to Maine. As the day progresses, the weather worsens. Clouds turn to heavy rain, fog, and heavier wind… gusts up to 26 knots. Visibility is crummy (technical nautical term) and the waves are strangely flattened in the heavy rain. Navigation, monitoring two radar screens, AIS, and lobster buoy look-out avoidance tactics requires two people’s undivided attention. Solid fog all around us as we pass the channel markers into Portsmouth Harbor. We have no idea what it really looks like. All is grey fog.
Our entry into Pepperell Cove, Kittery Pt., ME is in pouring rain, fog, and 15+ knots of wind. Luckily the Kittery harbormaster kept us on the phone with turn by turn directions in the murky light to a mooring buoy adequate for BRAVO. After a wet sloppy wrestle with the seaweed covered mooring line we are hooked up for the night. Drenched… but secure.
When I say drenched, I do mean we are all wet… Karl, Nora, and BRAVO. Since mooring requires quick teamwork, the pilot house doors remain open for in/out moves and assistance. As a result, when we are finished, the pilothouse floor is a pool of water. Two towels used as doormats are saturated. Good excuse to run the washing machine and test out the dryer.