Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Retrospective: Day Two

Sunset at our anchorage behind Sachem Head, mentioned in the previous post. Arose the next morning early and had the anchor up by 7 or so. Light air once we got into the Sound again, but it freshened and we nipped through The Race just before the flood started, around noon. Had to stem a bit of current through Block Island Sound but found ourselves entering Buzzards Bay just about sunset. All under sail, doing six and seven knots steadily. Hell of a good run, by my standards.

I had expected to get through the Cape Cod canal overnight, and anchor on the other side; we're picking up a third crew member, let's call him Tom, early tomorrow morning. At the rate we we going we could have squeaked through before the current came foul. But the westerly wind came up pretty strong, and a nasty chop built up, and we had too much canvas up for the conditions.

I was sailing and Steve was sleeping a well-deserved sleep, since he had done most of the steering through the day. I tried to heave-to and douse the main, which produced enough noise and abrupt motion (and swearing, of course) that Steve woke up. The heaving-to was OK but it proved quite difficult to get the boom onto the topping lift, what with the motion of the boat and the sail knocking around.

(The boom is quite high above the cockpit in this boat, which is nice insofar as it reduces your chances of a concussion when you gybe, but makes it awkward for a short guy like me to manhandle it onto the lift. I think I need to rig a little block for this purpose. Fortunately on this occasion I had Steve, who is probably a foot taller than I am.)

I didn't really want to be in the open water at the Sandwich end of the canal with this amount of west wind -- there's no shelter at all, except in the tiny Sandwich city marina, and I figured it would be full. So we headed up into Mattapoisett Harbor, a nice easy-in, easy-out little place, sheltered from the west wind. Anchored maybe a quarter-mile or less from the Ned Point light, in about 20 feet of water.

The satellite image below was taken at the wrong time of year, so it doesn't show the very crowded mooring field in the inner harbor, to the northwest.

It had been a strenuous hour or two. Midnight is probably a bit late for Martinis, but Steve and I improvised one apiece, and then another, and then turned in.

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