Boston, ho hum
31 July 2006 | Provincetown, MA
August 1, 2006
The dreary weather and discouraging weather prognosis kept us in Plymouth harbor until Monday, July 24. We have been away so long that we had no idea where we were going to stay, but we still know a lot of people, so we called a few of them to find out what they suggested. Unfortunately, it wasn't much. We were told that the South Boston Yacht Club, which a friend belongs to, wouldn't allow us to use their dinghy and parking lot to park our rental car. Marina Bay said that it would cost $102 per day for a slip, which is just unacceptable.
We decided to anchor well up the Neponset River because it is very calm there.
There is a narrow navigable channel past where we anchored, and in the week we were there, we only saw one boat go up the river past us. Another friend asked a local boat dealer if we could use their dock to tie up our dinghy, which they said was okay.
Our family was underwhelmed, though. We invited them to go on a little harbor cruise, their choice of date and time, and got no takers! No problem, we took our friends out, and that was very nice. It was surprising how much cooler it was as soon as we stuck our heads out of Boston Harbor. All those roads and big buildings are a giant heat sink.
We spent one day just running around getting things for the boat. When Peter climbed into the engine compartment to insure that shaft seal, hoses, clamps, and such were okay, he saw that the sight bowl for the air conditioner raw water intake was badly crazed. He closed the sea cock and removed the bowl so that we could get another one. It is so badly crazed that it is difficult to see the state of the strainer and the water, and I would think that it would fail at some point. With no manufacturer name, no part number anywhere to be found, we wandered around West Marine opening boxes to see if any of them matched our part. We finally had to ask the store manager to help us, and he found a Groco strainer that worked, but we had to buy the entire assembly. The entire assembly cost $34.00, or we could have special ordered a sight bowl only for $29.00. Not wanting to wait, we bought the entire assembly which was the only one they had in stock. We need three more, but we will have to wait until we are some place a bit longer than a week or so to order them.
We got our business taken care of early and with a forecast for a dangerous heat wave and no comfortable place for us to stay at anchor, we decided to leave early and get away from the city. We tried to give our fuel business to the boatyard where we docked our dinghy, but after pumping 17 gallons of diesel, their tank ran dry! I guess they don't sell much diesel, though it is a bit peculiar that they would run out of fuel on the Saturday morning with a heat wave forecast.
Ironically, after almost a week at anchor, the night before we were leaving, two fellows came by to invite us over to the local yacht club for a drink. The second fellow said that he was sorry he hadn't seen us anchored there sooner, but we were welcome to use his mooring for as long as we wanted to. And the lady who runs the SBYC sailing program came by as we were dropping our friends off on their dock to tell us that we were welcome to anchor out and use their dock to land our dinghy. Drat! I wish we had known sooner, but we were now committed to leaving Boston.
We had planned to head straight for Newport, with a short stop in Plymouth, perhaps. However, once out of Boston Harbor Peter decided that he wanted to see Provincetown again, so we changed course.
We made good time across to Ptown, the only breeze was from our moving through the still air. As hot as it was in Boston, the water offshore was cool, making it a pleasant trip. The sea was almost glassy calm and I was intrigued by the masses of birds sitting on the water. As I was theorizing that maybe the birds were sitting around waiting for a whale's food scraps, a whale surfaced close by. I guess my theory was correct. We could see whale watching boats on Stellwagon Bank, but Peter wasn't interested in chasing whales so we continued into the harbor.
Oh, my, what a surprise Ptown is. It has been 25 years or more since Peter has been here in his own boat. Nothing is the same. The inner harbor is full of moorings, as is the most of the rest of the harbor. The fish houses are gone, and it looks as if most of the fishing boats are gone, too. Ptown is full of tourists, whale watching boats, restauarants and art galleries, and what looks to be wall-to-wall souvenir shops.
We anchored outside the mooring field which made for a long dinghy trip into town, but that's okay, we aren't in any hurry, and it is nice and cool. The weather reports warn of dangerous heat, but we are enjoying a lovely cool breeze out here.
Peter threatened to get a foot-long hot dog and fava beans, but as we walked by the fish market he relented and we went in for a clam roll. We are overdosing on clam rolls to carry us until we can again return to New England.
Just living on the boat is a pleasure, and we are hanging around longer than I expected. With nobody to meet for a few days, Ptown is as good a place as any to hang around and keep cool.