Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Another storm arriving...

The anchorage is quiet; stars glitter across a dark, but not ominous sky and once again we await the arrival of a major storm. We were hoping to use the northerlies coming off an upcoming front to get south but it became obvious as we prepared to leave Belfast that this was going to be one to hide away from.

With final, final farewells and the third and final pie from Mary T, we headed out from Belfast with a good northerly breeze to see us on our way. We had hopes of making a non stop crossing of the Gulf of Maine rather than the usual stop start that has plagued us in the past. And so it proved to be with good speeds across a lumpy sea. Bee and Toots felt decidedly unwell from the motion as we ploughed on, dropping a second reef into the main to help balance the course and motion. The night was cold, very cold but we crossed and got to within 5 miles of the canal entrance at Cape Cod before the wind eased and speeds dropped below 3 knots. Not a speed we would ordinarily consider motoring but we needed to make sure we were through the canal before the tide turned and with less than 4 hours left to do so we needed to get on. 30 hours after leaving the dock we entered the canal and our speed began to pick up.
Railway Bridge, Cape Cod Canal

Still with the main up we slipped through the water at 8 knots and as the sun began to set through the arches of the railway bridge we knew the last section would be in the dark and cold. Our original plan had been to keep going to Cape May but the speed with which the front was moving plus the distance still to go suggested we should anchor for the night. Pocasset Harbour is pretty small but the bay outside has good holding and shelter from northerlies and we dropped anchor tired but content.

Monday saw a flurry of emails as we sought advice from friends about anchorages in the Buzzards Bay area. Our thought was either Block Island or Hadley Hbr, both of which we used in the past. In the end we chose Hadley and all the advice seemed in agreement. A short hop from where we were and we approached the tight entrance about 3 hours later managing to sail, impressively we thought though no spectators on such a cold day, through the narrow entrance and into the anchorage. We motored into the inner hbr but found plenty of local boats still on buoys so came back out to anchor south of Bull Island. The forecast is for NE 25-35knots with gusts of 55 on Wednesday, Thurs having similar strength winds.

As I write this the wind can be heard beginning to pick up...could this be the start?

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