Transiting the Cape Cod Canal
30 June 2018 | Massachusetts
After visiting Cuttyhunk Island, we stayed overnight at Onset marina waiting for the best current to transit the Cape Cod Canal. Large cargo ships transit this 14 mile long canal to avoid the long ocean passage around the "elbow" of Cape Cod. So the bridges are all more than sufficiently high for our mast to clear -- thankfully.
Just like transiting the East River in Manhattan, the current in the Canal ran about 4 knots. There is speed limit of 10 MPH,which is about 8 knots --- so even just motoring with enough RPMs to keep steerage, we were speeding through the Canal at 10 knots. Luckily, we didn't get a speeding ticket!
On the Cape Cod sound, we went into Plymouth Harbor where the pilgrims first landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Several surprises at Plymouth:
1. The Pilgrims intended to go to Virginia but got off course and winter was setting in so they actually made land fall near Providence out on Cape Cod. They spent the next month exploring the bay looking for a good place with fresh water to settle, and finally settled on Plymouth about a month later.
2. The harbor at Plymouth is full of sand shoals and very shallow so they had to land in small boats. In fact, the current channel is about 5 miles of a twisting dredged channel.
3. While the Pilgrims sought religious freedom, they were not particularly tolerant of others.
After touring Plymouth's museum, we walked to the Rock which is now surrounded by a fence and monument (evidently folks had been chipping off pieces of the Rock in the past)
Our next harbor stop was the little town of Scituate which provided good moorings, and easier entrance than Plymouth and was much less touristy.
Next stop: Boston