Motoring Again - All the Way to Boston
16 July 2008 | Boston, MA
Beth - upwards of 30C
They were fine days to be on the water - but they would have been finer if we could have sailed!
After leaving Newport about 10:45 on Tuesday, we motored along through Buzzards Bay right to the western end of the Cape Cod Canal. We had talked about various places to stop for the night and opted for easy. There is a narrow little tongue of deep water just inside the pilings on the east side of the channel south of Taylor Point and we edged in there for the night. Lots of mooring balls and fishing buoys littered the area, but only one other little fishing boat was in the deep water. It is one of those places that we'd think twice about without a chartplotter, but it was easy to do, our depth sounder never got worried at all even with a tidal swing on 90 feet of chain, and it made for a quick getaway in the morning.
I had some Italian sausage to sautÚ with onions and peppers and tomatoes and olives (those last were add-ons for me) but no pasta or potatoes, so I served them over cheesy grits, and it worked well - a new experiment in fusion cuisine. Lunches this week have been salads, and breakfasts are fruit and yogurt - Jim and I are trying to drop some of the excess pounds we picked up - and keeping away from bacon and eggs, and bread and rum sure helps!
A 6:45 departure allowed us to make use of the eastern setting flood tide through the Cape Cod Canal and were in and out of there in less than an hour. We saw 10 knots at the start, and kept going at 8.5 to 9 knots most of the way. Once into the ocean, we motored along in some low-lying fog at first, but it lifted as we continued and it was never heavy enough to turn on the radar. Once again, there was very little wind. We contemplated digging out the DRS sail but there wasn't even enough of a breeze to make it worthwhile, and the swells on the starboard side probably wouldn't have helped it any.
So... we played a couple of games of Scrabble - I trounced Jim on the first one, and he returned the favour on the next one. We have a little travel version with tiles that snap into the board and we've discovered that if we both perch on the back rail and put the board on the seat behind the wheel, we can keep an eye on the water and play as we travel. There were occasional interruptions to alter course to avoid lobster buoys but it worked well and kept boredom at bay.
We missed out on Nantucket and Cape Cod sailing yet again (we said last fall that we'd explore this area on the way home) so we'll just have to come back. While we don't regret any of the stops we made farther south, we have to make up for it now.
After the last of our long days for a while, we headed into Nantasket Roads, through the Narrows - a winding passage that links up with President Roads and into Boston's Inner Harbour. Navigating Boston Harbour seems much more complicated than New York. There are far more channels and marked routes, making it confusing unless you have the waypoints entered on the chart plotter; we had them. Planes flying low overhead to and from Logan Airport, fast ferries and tour boats come and go in all directions, and all eyes available are needed to keep a watch. It was a satisfying feeling to navigate through it all and arrive at the Boston Harbour Sailing Club just off the Aquarium in downtown Boston.
We stayed here last fall, and when we called to reserve a spot, we were lucky enough to get a mooring ball again. Because I was staying on the boat while Jim went to Ottawa, we didn't want to be anchored, and didn't want to pay the big price of a dock. Unfortunately there have been some changes here. The Club no longer has an arrangement with Rowes Wharf for showers and laundry facilities, so while the price has increased from $40 to $45, there are fewer services. We didn't find out about that part till we got here, and I'm not thrilled about it. However... we made do in the south without showers and I can do it again. I may have to tear apart Madcap's shower drain and try to fix it myself if I get desperate.
Jim and I went ashore for a pub dinner - 1-╝ lb lobsters for 12.99 - and took in a free outdoor concert. What a hoot! It was an evening of oldies; Shirley Austin Reeves - an original from the Shirelles with her group of new Shirelles, and Charlie Thomas from the Drifters with a mix of old and young back ups singers performed that night. She is 67 and he is 72 and they both still have their voices and great stage presence. Charlie said at one point that the young folk have to pull their pants up and start performing. "We need a new Elvis Presley and a new president!" Interesting combination! I bet he'd have been a neat person to get going in a conversation, but he restrained himself to a few curious asides and kept on singing.
Besides the music, a highlight of the evening was watching the seniors in the audience. School buses lined the street outside, and dozens of seniors filled the seats. Several got up to dance - and could they move!! We watched one lady who had to be in her eighties really dance up a storm. These folks who learned to dance when they were young still have it. Later in the evening, we stopped in front of Rowes wharf to watch another group of young folks dancing to the music of the orchestra on the Blues Barge. They knew how to dance too. Most were dressed up and they knew all the steps to those dances that involve more than just moving independently to the music.
It was a fine ending to the day. Jim heads off to Ottawa on Friday (after spending Thursday getting ready) and I'll amuse myself here.
As an update on the checking-in process, Jim has been dutifully calling a number from his list each time we move to a new jurisdiction. When he called the Newport number, though, he got a surprise - it was Newport, Oregon! The officer said this was the fourth call of the same nature this summer. (Such an efficient system these Border Protection people have.) After a call to another number he was directed to a Houlton, Maine office. We hoped that one call would do us all the way to the border, but no such luck. The number remains the same, but the calls must be made from each state. It's not a problem - just a quick call, our location given and a reply that we are updated. No answer yet to WHY we need to do this - we'll spend more time on that question when we get back home.