Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homeward bound, Day Four: Poor reading skills

As noted, we arrived at the Cape Cod canal's eastern entrance a little before dawn on Day Four. I had consulted Eldridge and concluded, from my researches, that the current would be turning to the ebb at just about that time, and we would ride it in the usual log-flume fashion into Buzzards Bay.

A half-mile or so into the canal, it became clear that we were not moving as fast as I would have expected. I consulted Eldridge again, and realized, with a deep blush of shame, that I had got it wrong. It was the flood that had just begun, not the ebb.

Shown above is my shadowed visage at about the time this insight sank in, a bit past the Sagamore Bridge. We had the option to turn around, go back outside of Sandwich, anchor and take a nap, and in retrospect, this probably would have been the right choice.

But neither of us really felt like doing that, and so we cranked up the engine to 25 KRPM, and toiled along making maybe a knot, knot and a half, over the ground, through the roiling, upwelling, eddying waters of the canal, past gawping early-morning fishermen who clearly couldn't believe what they were seeing. The rocks they were standing on were leaving wakes, for Heaven's sake.

I felt like such an idiot.

By the time we got to the railway bridge, within sight of the canal's western entrance, the current was running so strong we were making maybe half a knot, and I seriously wondered whether we'd have to give up, drop all the way back, and start over. (You can't really anchor in the canal, and you're certainly not supposed to.)

But the little old engine-that-could pushed us through into the broader waters of Buzzards Bay.

There, the tide was still making, and the wind wasn't favorable, and we were dead tired, so we anchored here:

View Larger Map

... and napped for a couple of hours, until the tide turned.


  1. You are my anchoring hero. I am amazed at where you drop it. A couple years ago, you anchored in BB between Westport and Dartmouth overnight; and then, I was impressed with the off Kittery one, but the best is off the Maritime Academy that you just described. I would have been afraid that the Academy or Canal Authority would have chased me off.

    1. Awww! Flattery will get you anywhere.

      It's not a great place to anchor for any length of time -- too exposed. If it were overnight I'd probably venture up into that little bay to the northeast
      (Phinney's Harbor). There's a tongue of relatively deep water (20 feet or so) on the west side of it that *used* to be the Canal approach. It's narrow, though, and the water on either side is shallower than I like.

      Isn't the Academy further up, and on the other side? Or do they have stuff on that side as well (Mashnee Island)? It just looks like houses to me.

  2. You are right. I didn't expand map out to see enough. Still a brave spot to anchor