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Further North

June 30, 2019

We’ve made our way further north step by step. The limiting factor in moving north has been the weather. Cold, wet and grey spring weather has kept us down below and reticent to move north as fast as we would like. Nevertheless we have taken advantage of poor weather to see more of the north east American coastline.

We have found it to be a potentially beautiful cruising ground despite the array of mooring buoys that pepper every wonderful looking anchorage. Of course, we are moving through the area at a time when there are very few boats out here and the moorings remain unused but still blocking anchoring possibilities. So, what do we do? We just grab a mooring with the assumption no-one is coming; so let’s make use of it. This works in most harbours with the downside meaning we are never sure how secure the mooring would be in a blow.

Martha’s Vineyard

All the iconic names of the NE boating and glitterati set are in abundance in this area and all of them preparing for the summer onslaught – Cuttyhunk, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket etc. But a real treat for us was Wood’s Hole – a US oceanographic/climate change centre.

One of our sunnier days so no need to wipe our feet!

Woods Hole is a “scientific research organization that studies climate change impacts and solutions. WHRC was named the world’s top climate change think tank for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 by the International Center for Climate Governance”

Woods Hole offered a glimpse into the scientific world of oceanographic and climactic studies. There were numerous buildings open to the public complete with interesting displays of some of the work completed or underway. We spent a couple of windy days tied to an unused mooring and walking around fascinated by the ships in dock and the public displays and aquariums.

Love the gate

Standing on the lifting bridge and looking to the totally protected inner harbour of Woods Hole

Cape Cod Canal

Time to move north – in a mixture of weather we decided we had best take the plunge and transit the Cape Cod Canal. Here the current can run at upwards of 7 knots and it’s the widest sea-level (127metres) canal in the world. No doubt we are going to meet sea-going ships on this canal!

In preparation we beat our way up Buzzards Bay to anchor at the southern end of the canal in order to be ready to transit the canal at 0400hrs. We spend the night on another mooring buoy and awaken at 0330hrs. The canal is lighted so it’s an easy start. Thinking the current wasn’t too strong we entered the canal and in an instant we are doing 9 knots.- wow. No ships, all lighted, constant current and before we know it we are in Cape Cod Bay.

There are no anchorages on the north side of the canal. The wind was light and Provincetown is only 20 miles across Cape Cod Bay. By 1200hrs we were tied to another mooring buoy that was marked Raider 3. We picked the largest mooring buoy in behind the breakwater thinking that it must belong to a huge boat and more than likely is quite secure (we later learnt it belonged to a 34ft local fish boat).

Provincetown’s bay is lttered with mooring buoys and the only place to anchor is well out in the bay. It’s a safe anchorage but the bay is like a wind tunnel that magnifies local winds. The anchorage is choppy and combined with rain and cool weather we didn’t like the thought of putting on oilskins just to dinghy into the docks hence we stayed oon the mooring ball until 2 days before departure when the harbourmaster asked us to move. There were at least thirty mooring balls behind the breakwater and only 5 were being used!

There is a marina in Provincetown ( Provincetown Marina)- the cost for our boat (38ft) for one night was US$240!! They also had showers (none onshore) and a laundromat both of which they said we could not use unless we were staying the night. Their cost was the most expensive of anywhere we saw in 9 years of cruising the world. For 2 nights in this marina we could stay a month in a luxurious marina in Grenada with pool, restaurants, wi-fi etc Needless to say we didn’t take them up on their offer not did anyone else other than a super yacht and three visiting powerboats from Boston.

However, we did enjoy the Provincetown Film Festival including 2 great movies. One was called Maiden and the other was Yesterday. There were others but both of these were very enjoyable.

From Provincetown streets

Provincetown also has many other things to enjoy but again weather played its part in restricting movement and then it was time to go.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill McDowell permalink
    June 30, 2019 10:47

    Hi Tony and Connie thank you for your wonderful up dates of your northern travels up the coast Yes take your time enjoy the history , topography ,and I hope the weather will get warmer and less overcast skies. For your info Dale Chandler is sailing around Vancouver Island on Bandit will be back mid July . Enjoy your north bound route ,there are still many places to explore , It is the journey ,not the destination in life that counts ,😁 Bill.

  2. June 30, 2019 11:37


    Great photos. your descriptions remind me of how wonderful the coast of BC is. But… the best lies ahead of you in wonderful nova Scotia. Keep on blogging.

  3. Mark Shapson permalink
    July 3, 2019 07:48

    Sounds cold

    Really enjoying your writing

    We are in the heat of NC

    Not going farther North than Chesapeake by end of July

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