High tide at 1:23 today in Plymouth Harbor. Temp: 64-76. Wind 5-7 NE early am, 8-7N, 6-7NE, 8S. Wind gusts 9-12-15. High tide 1:30, Low 1:45 in Wellfleet. We might set out ~12:45 to meet the slack tide and head up the channel by 1pm.
The clapboard houses of Wellfleet beckon us. Then again, the harbor we are in provides everything we need as we refocus. But, we’ll check in with the dock master in the morning and make a plan.
Last night a brilliant, full tide moon flooded the bay and created orange and yellow reflections across and below old wooden fishing bows pointing into the town docking. Today, we will head for Wellfleet Harbor.
Leaving The channel from the Portsmouth Harbor on a south, south east wind going 5 knots at high tide, a Mississippi river boat crew yelled out, “hello beautiful “, as she sailed on by. In 30 minutes, we spilled out again into the Cape Cod Bay. Cream puff cliffs stretched along the landscape. Lined with low strokes of umber that led upward to tall, deep and lime green, grasses, these cliffs hung behind the remains of pilings from older piers.
Four navy boats passed our starboard on the horizon, as we navigated a course through restricted waters, and whale sanctuaries. A light south, southeast wind blew us close-hauled as we headed southwest. We tacked across the bay until a lighter southwest wind slowed us down.
We adjusted our sails to a beam reach and climbed the rest of the way. Shades of pinks spread low in the sky and the sun started calling quits on another day. Deep blue ripples of satin stretched for miles ahead. Water lapped side-to-side, port to starboard-then turned silver and black against our freeboard and bow. Then the moon went missing for awhile.
A seafarers bell rang a melody tolling for me. Tolling us in toward the shore. We spotted land before it all went dark. The buoy channels flashed red or green but it was so difficult to motor through the channel of shoals and variable depths. It is narrow and nearly impossible to cross in the dark. Our new diesel feels close to broken in!!
Thoughts of the seas became of graves and ghosts. The contour of the main sail lying across the boom fashioned a woman fish, or a mermaid, or something like that. The furled jib tied to the bow held the form of Zeus. He was carrying a child on his back. These seas, these tales, chanting in my head held til I quietly prayed. All calmed till we touched ground. It became apparent that the Harbor Master retired for the night. So, all our hails were to no avail.
Reaching 2-4 ft depths in the shifting tide too close to her beam, we tossed around thoughts of throwing her anchor. We needed bearings. Finally, we gave it up and tossed her anchor in! I hailed TowU.S. With a swift arrival she took it from there…
Shouting out to dispatch and Nate and Miles at TowBoatCapeCod! Your intervention elevated our nautical know-how. Thanks for the navigation tip, your rapid response, calm assurances, and for steering the way!