Even when you’re cruising, sometime you just have “one of those days.”
Yesterday was one of those days.
It all started in the early morning hours. We were anchored in Potter’s
Cove, a location with little protection to the north, and no protection from
the northeast. This was fine because the winds were supposed to be northwest
and then die down and shift to the north. Tuesday night was great, we
enjoyed the cool NW wind and then it died down like it was supposed to as we
went to bed. But early Wednesday the wind built, and then shifted around to
the northeast with gusts to 20. I didn’t get much sleep between the waves
rolling down the river and worrying about being anchored on a lee shore.
Since I was tired in the morning, we decided to make a shorter trip than we
originally planned so I could get some rest. I checked the weather, and it
looked like a good day to sail up Buzzard’s Bay. We motored in light winds
past Newport, cleared land, the wind increased, we turned off the motor, and
we had a great sail… for about an hour. Yep, now that we wanted wind,
there wasn’t a breath on the water. So we started the engine and motored
along with all the other sailboats on Buzzard’s Bay. Later in the day the
biting flies arrived, and we had to wage war on them for several hours like
we did on the Delaware Bay.
We proceeded to head to Woods Hole to see the various research institutes
that are located there. We also read in the cruising guide book that there
was “ample anchorage” in Woods Hole, but the tidal currents in the in the
Woods Hole Passage could run up to 5 knots or more. I checked the tides and
we would be fine, and ample anchorage space sounded perfect. We ran the
Woods Hole Passage with the favorable tide and entered the harbor without
incident, but the “ample anchorage” has been completely filled with private
mooring balls. (A sight that is really starting to irk me.) Some locals said
that they were unaware of any that might be for rent, and since it was
almost sunset, we gave up on Woods Hole and abandoned the thought of trying
to shoehorn ourselves into the mooring field in 50′ depths.
Away we headed to nearby Hadley Harbor, which was back through the Woods
Hole passage. Now we were fighting the tidal current, and it was winning. I
kept increasing the engine RPM’s as our forward progress continued to
decrease. I was traversing the full channel, trying to find where the
current was less. A large ferry appeared on the horizon from Vineyard Sound,
but luckily they docked in Woods Hole. Then suddenly a fast ferry appeared
from Buzzard’s Bay, I headed to the right side of the channel moving
laterally against the current as he passed us at 25 knots in the channel. At
this point I looked over at the channel marker and realized that we had
ceased to move at all, I told Sabrina to watch the temperature gauge as I
pushed the throttle to the red line. Gradually the tide’s grip on us
decreased as we made it through the narrowest point of the passage.
We proceeded to Hadley Harbor as the daylight failed, and we dropped the
hook with four other boats nearby. Just as I started to relax and be
thankful that the we had the hook down safely, I heard Nermal’s bell and a
clatter from somewhere. I ran outside trying to find him while Sabrina
checked below. He was nowhere to be found, but then I saw a meowing orange
otter swimming next to the boat. I jumped into the tied-off dinghy and
grabbed him as he tried to clamber in. Sabrina grabbed him from me and
rushed him inside to wash off the salt water with warm freshwater. We don’t
know what he was doing when he fell in, but he was swimming back from the
bow, we think he might have fallen off the bimini and then swam the wrong
way up and around the bow of the boat.
After drying Nermal off and closing him inside, we sat down to dinner. After
dinner we hurried to bed, anxious to get to sleep before something else
happened. We awoke today to beautiful weather, and now we’re trying to
figure out what we want to do over Labor Day weekend on our way north.
[Side note: While traversing Woods Hole we passed M/V Freedom, the beautiful
wooden boat that we saw in Staniel Cay, Exumas. We didn’t have time to take
a picture while all this was happening though.]
[Also, thanks everyone for your support on the sailrite contest. Sabrina’s
entry has catapulted since our last post from nearly dead last to fifth!
Today is the last day of voting, so if you haven’t already, please go to:
to vote for “Going Solar, but Still Made in the Shade.” Thanks again for