Friday, July 18th is a sunny beautiful day with no wind, but we put put up sails anyway and motor sail. It's great to have a working autopilot finally. Autopilot makes sailing a lot less tiring for old folks. You can pretty much let the boat steer itself, although someone still has to be on watch. The autopilot wouldn't know if another boat suddenly decided to cut in front of us!
Scituate is still a cute little town. We walk the dogs and stop for some ice cream. We have a dinner on the boat of shrimp, pasta, and salad. Beets and lettuce are from the garden, but no tomatoes yet.
The next morning is still, foggy, windless. It is time for our new sailing adventure, across Cape Cod Bay to Provincetown. We turn on the AIS so we won't run into a freighter, but not the radar since we really don't understand how to read it yet. We are out in deep water, no rocky outcrops so there is very little danger except for other boats and the fog starts to lift anyway. With the GPS we always know where we are and like good sailors we always double check things on the paper charts too. We are learning!
Provincetown is on the the outermost point of Cape Cod. We thought perhaps we would be out of sight of land for a bit on this part of our journey but actuallly we can always see land somewhere, either behind us, to the south along Cape Cod, and eventually Ptown itself.
As we approach Ptown we see a huge fish blow steam skyward and leap through the water. A whale! We watch it leaping over and over. Today is Lee's birthday and this is the best birthday present he could possibly ask for. We see several more whales before this day's sail is through. Lee takes a video and several pictures.
Ptown harbor is huge, but kind of wide open. There is a seawall, but unfortunately our mooring is not behind it so we we are in a pretty bouncy location. On our first time into town we take the dinghy but Flyers has such a good launch service that we decide to just take the launch instead for the rest of our stay.
Saturday at Ptown is a hoot, boy is it a "LGBT friendly tourist destination, with a thriving gay community". We are a distinct minority but we are not alone. We walk the main drag, hike to a hardware store to get a part for the boat shower, stop for ice cream. There are lots of dogs for Harper and Cosmo to greet, lots of people that have to pet a Westie.
In the evening we get dressed up and take the launch into town for dinner at Johnny's Hideaway. It's a good restaurant and hard to get a table so we end up sitting at the bar. This turns out to be really fun, with good bartender/waiter and interesting people sitting beside us. We have lots of fun talking to Frank and his boyfriend from Philly.
On Sunday morning I go for a run through town and along the Cape Cod National Seashore. It's a beautiful run, I almost wish I was running farther! I meet Lee and the dogs on my way back and decide to take Harper with me for the last part of my run. She hasn't run with me in awhile but she is really gung-ho except for the last 5 minutes or so when she thinks that's enough! It's so funny how she catches right on that the beeper tells us when to run and when to walk.
Monday it's time to sail back to Scituate. It's a cloudy day with not a lot of wind. At about 10 miles out we think we should be able to see the south shore, but we can't see a thing. It gradually dawns on us that we are surrounded by fog! It happened so slowly that we just couldn't see it, or just didn't know what to look for. Another thing to learn I guess, the Many Faces of Fog. But unlike the fog we hit on our sail to Cuttyhunk , this time we are prepared. We have AIS, which allows us to see any other boat with this equipment. We go ahead and turn on the radar, but it's old and sort of funky, although it does show us some things. Lee plans on replacing it next year. And we have an excellent GPS, which clearly shows where we are, and which way to go. It's nice actually that we are out in the middle of Cape Cod Bay, and that Scituate harbor is uncomplicated, with an easy approach. We see their seawall, and the buoy that marks the entrance, when we are about 100 yards away. Even the harbor is completely socked in, but the launch service leads us straight to our mooring ball, so all is good.
This time we decide to use the Scituate launch service to go ashore. Well silly us! It turns out that their launch service is also excellent and they have comfortable showers to boot. This makes this little town even more of a favorite sailing destination than before.
We go ashore that evening and eat dinner at a restaurant called Riva's. Another good meal, and we sit outside on the patio so the dogs can join us. They are so good, sitting quietly under the table while we eat our meal, even with another dog not so well behaved a couple of tables down. A couple of small bites of potato chip don't hurt, either.
The next morning it's bright and sunny, and gee, it's my birthday, I go for a run along the shore while Lee walks the dogs. We grab a breakfast sandwich at our favorite coffee shop and then head back to Salem.
There is a little wind so we put out the jib, mostly for show. The slowly rolling seas make for a rhythmic motion to our trip, a little TOO rhythmic for my tastes. I don't normally get seasick but this sort of slow rolling sea means that it's better for all concerned if we stay out of the cabin in the fresh air.
As we approach Marblehead it appears to be kid sailboat racing day. There are clusters of small sailboats everywhere, racing from point to point. I'm a little envious of these children, learning to sail when they are so young that it will be instinctive for them, unlike me, who has to really think about what she is doing!
It's good to be home, where my flowers and veggies are going gangbusters, and I'm slowly trying to catch up on various tasks. I have a new turtle out in the yard, and new Westie flip flops too. Not too shabby for a 62 year old woman!