Southward Bound

We leave Portland and focus our energy on plotting cruising routes and overnight stops along the New England coast.  Our plan is to get back to the Chesapeake Bay area in October and then continue south to Florida in November.  Creating and executing a cruising schedule is a flexible process.  It is all dependent upon what the weather brings.  Plan A always includes a Plan B.

Kittery/Portsmouth
We stop overnight in Pepperrell Cove which is in Kittery, Maine.  At the back end of Pepperrell Cove is the Chauncey Creek where we have some fantastic steamed clams.  This is the only restaurant that we found in Kittery.


Downtown Kittery


Going up Chauncey Creek



And from Kittery we dinghy up the river to check out downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the huge Portsmouth Navy Base.


Lobster Boat versus Tanker








Marblehead
We spend two nights on a buoy and again experience the gracious hospitality of the Boston Yacht Club.


Boston Yacht Club picks us up in a Hinkley launch!


Marblehead Harbor has an insane number of buoys!



Nora meets her match!

Extremely dense fog slows our departure, but with two radars running and the route plotted into the computer, we head south.

Fog cruising

A long day’s cruise takes us from Marblehead, MA, past Boston, through the Cape Cod Canal and on to New Bedford, MA.  Since there was nothing but fog for the first six hours of the trip, we have no clue what Boston looks like from the water.  Visibility varied from less than ¼ mile to maybe ¾ mile.  Very strange cruising on grey silvery water surrounded by grey clouds.  From Marblehead to the Cape, there is no horizon.  Sea and sky blend into one grey fuzzy surface.  Watching radar and AIS for other boats, listening to the VHF radio, and steering around lobster pots consumes all of your attention.  We reach the Cape Cod canal around noon, and within ¼ mile, the fog is gone and it is a bright blue sunny sky!



Cape Cod Canal


New Bedford
Exiting the canal, we continue south and east to our next destination, New Bedford, MA.  We chose this stop because hurricane Jose is on the way north and will apparently wreak havoc on the waters and coastline from New York north.  New Bedford harbor has a super hurricane barrier constructed and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.  A giant rock jetty/seawall (like you might see in Holland) starts on both shorelines, continues across the bay leaving a narrow channel for boats to enter and leave the harbor.  This narrow entrance has two huge gates that will close to prevent storm surge from entering the protected waters.




Pope’s Island Marina
We called Pope’s Island Marina to determine if they had a mooring buoy that could handle Bravo’s weight and swing.  They said their buoys for this size boat are occupied for the week.  However, they would contact another marine business that might have a suitable buoy.  Pope’s Island called back to say that one was available through another marine service company and provided specific instructions on how to locate the buoy in the busy harbor.  When we arrive, the Pope’s Island dock-master, and the launch operator boats meet us and assist in a tricky hook-up to the designated mooring buoy.  Once again, we are fortunate to meet amazing people who step up above and beyond to help.  We put the dinghy in the water and head to Pope’s Island Marina to thank them for their assistance.  A shout out to all the Pope’s Island staff for their top-notch help finding a safe spot to ride out the oncoming storm.


The Pope’s Island staff also gave us a “Welcome Packet” with a wide variety of maps and brochures regarding New Bedford.  As one of the top fishing ports in the USA the community is proud of their heritage and its deep maritime history.  As an example of their maritime roots, the Whaling Museum’s information states, “In January 1841, 21-year-old Herman Melville set sail from New Bedford harbor aboard the whaleship Acushnet, on one of the most important sea voyages in American literature.  Out of Melville’s adventure came the classic novel, Moby Dick.”


New Bedford Harbor
It is interesting to see different communities adopt a marine animal that defines their relationship with the sea.  The northwest has their salmon, Maine has their lobster, and New Bedford has their whale!  New Bedford also has a huge fishing fleet stationed in the harbor.  As we dinghy around the harbor, the size and scope of the fishing industry is impressive. We learn that New Bedford is the largest fishing fleet in New England.  It is a top harbor for haddock, cod, and sea scallops.  At the height of the season, 500,000 pounds of scallops cross the docks on a single day.  We sample the local specialities, scallops and cod, for lunch at Fathoms, a restaurant on Pope's Island.  The fish is so fresh it just melts in your mouth!





Comments

  1. Thank you for the photos and journal... vicariously enjoying your adventure.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jim! We've certainly been enjoying ourselves with the exception of waiting out the effects of huricane Jose. So far it's been 4 days of wind gusts in the 50-60 mph range. Yuk!

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