A Maine Cruise was not on our summer plan, but we find ourselves on our way!
Since we expect to be on the boat for an extended cruise over the winter, we had planned to stay close to home this summer. However, a quick road-trip to Maine a few weeks ago for some family matters gave us just enough of a taste of Maine that we looked at each other and nodded in agreement: yup, we want to do Maine. Again.
Over the last 21 years we have done some 20 cruises to Maine ranging in length from two weeks to six weeks, on three different boats: our Able Whistler 32, our Sabre 386, and our current platform, an American Tug 395. Each cruise has had its own unique imprint. We will add another one.
The start of this cruise was delayed for four or five days, thanks to a stationary weather system created by high pressure to our northeast and a low to our west that has been driving super-saturated warm moist air up the coast, bringing strong winds, a persistent swell, rain, thunderstorms and oppressive humidity. We could certainly have left if we had to, but without an itinerary to adhere to, why leave in unpleasant conditions?
Finally, yesterday, chafing at the bit, a small window opened up and we decided to shove off. BUT…
On my final little whiz into town for last minute items, I decided to get into a fender-bender that crushed my spirit. During the next few hours we managed our way through that crisis, got the car off to the auto body shop, and decided that leaving would break the bad mood.
We pulled out of New England Boatworks at 12:30 under gray, breezy skies, hot humid air, and thunderstorms with flash flood warnings scattered across southern New England. Our window looked good, except for the buoy reports off the coast showing five-to-eight foot seas rolling in from the south. These would be beam seas for the twelve miles between the mouth of the Sakonnet River and Cuttyhunk. The boat would be fine, but we worry about the dogs, as they display clear signs of stress and anxiety as things get rough or the engines get loud.
In the end, it wasn’t a bad trip. As we left the river the seas did indeed build. We played with the throttle and managed to stay tolerably comfortable. The skies cleared, turning the afternoon bright and sparkly, which always helps. The wind eased and the swells diminshed.
We pulled into Cuttyhunk pond at 4:30. The moorings inside were roughly half-empty, and only one boat was anchored. Outside there were no more than half a dozen boats. It was a Thursday, but at high-season we expected more congestion. I think the bad weather for the previous four days kept people away, but we have definitely noticed that Cuttyhunk seems less crowded in recent years. We wonder if the increased mooring fee, at $45 per boat, might be taking a toll?
We anchored in the northeast corner near the shallows and enjoyed a very pleasant Flybridge Evening. A perfect way to try to diffuse the stress of my bad morning.
I treated myself to a blueberry martini made with fresh puréed blueberries from Sweet Berry Farm, a splash of Cointreau, a small glug of home made ginger syrup and fresh lime juice. Bruce enjoyed his favorite Manhattan. The Raw Bar came by with some chilled shrimp. An excellent steak from Aquidneck Meat Market on the barbie with grilled and sautéed local fresh veggies.
The sun gradually set while the full moon lifted over Nashawena. The damp marine layer rolled in with the gradient southerly. Perfect end to the day.