At least for a bit we get a chance to relax as Irma has taken a southerly route that will put the bulls eye on points further south.
We made our first trip through the Cap Cod Canal yesterday. Our trip down from Boston was fast and fun as we rode westerly winds that were the last vestiges of Hurricane Harvey on a fast reach down the South Shore towards the neck of Cape Cod. The weather kept us on schedule to catch the tide that roars through the canal.
Passing through the canal is not dramatic, just a quick motor run down a wide ditch. Canal rules say “No Sailing” so no matter the wind you have to come through under power. It was a quiet day, without any big ship traffic to deal with. Coming out the east end things got a lot more interesting. The 2 to 3 knot current that had been pushing us along so nicely suddenly was running straight into a 4 foot chop generated by a 20 to 25 knot southwesterly wind that was blowing up the length of Buzzards Bay.
Thanks to the current, the waves were stacked up very close to each other, at times less than one boat length apart. Up, and down. Up and down. We really had no choice because the channel is narrow and straight into the wind for a couple miles. Finally, we got to the deeper wider water and set sail. Even sailing close hauled was way more comfortable than motoring into that!
We had been coming up behind a couple other sailboats just as we cracked off and set sail. They continued to motor straight up the channel, bashing into the waves hard and often. As we came back up on the channel after our first tack, we found we had made far more progress to windward tacking off then they had motoring straight on.
We continued across Buzzards Bay and anchored in Mattapoisett Harbor to take a break and wait for a wind shift to a more desirable direction.
With the usual proviso that our plans are made to change, it looks like we will ride out a cold front tomorrow here are anchor, and we can then catch a good weather window out of here the following day and make a snappy run all the way down to the entrance to the Chesapeake. So–for now–that’s our plan!