Newport, Rhode Island – Provincetown, Massachusetts – Gloucester Massachusetts – Biddeford, Maine

July 27-August 2, 2021

It’s been a busy week.  As I write this, I am wedged into my seat, because we are heeled over at over 8 knots, close hauled for Maine.  I was loving Newport, but Jeff was ready to go.  We completed the 50 hour service on the engine, and that was the only thing holding Jeff back.  He is so excited to get to Maine.  I had noticed the breeze getting chilly (72 degrees today – brrr!), so I would have been happy to stay in Newport a few more days for Jazz Fest, but we did that a few years ago, and we’ve never sailed our own boat to Maine. 

Friday at sunrise, we motored past Fort Adams and turned out to sea.  We left at this time to make the tide through the Cape Cod Canal.  I was shocked to realize I’ve never been to Cape Cod before, so I was all in favor of a stop in Provincetown.  The canal itself is quite pretty, with nice bike trails on either side, and lots of greenery.  Of course everything looks better at 10+ knots.  We love to go with the flow these days, ha ha.

It was a sunny, almost windless day.  We got in just 2 hours of sailing in a 10 hour day.  Sigh.  We adored Provincetown.  We saw the beautiful beaches, got a nice look a a seal swimming in the harbor, and went on a great 13 mile bike loop through the Province Lands out to the beach.  Amazingly beautiful! 

After the bike ride, Jeff’s sister Becky spontaneously visited us for an overnight from Boston.  She knows the town, and helped us find some great restaurants, and my first truly great cappuccino since NYC (The French Bakery next to Boxed Lunch).  They don’t advertise because people like me spread the word?  The people watching is outstanding, the produce at the farmer’s market was gorgeous, the weather was sunny and 75.  What’s not to like?  I turned the produce into an amazing pasta primavera last night, with some shitake and hen of the woods mushrooms for a little excitement.  Yum! If I do say so myself.  A highlight of our visit was going to a drag show on Saturday night.  The drag queens spend the afternoon on the streets, busking for their own shows, and then perform at night.  We saw the “Immaculate Miss Conception”, and she brought down the house.  We had to wear masks inside, and drink our drinks furtively under them, but the show was so high energy and fun that we didn’t even notice the typical annoyance of masks. 

The whole vibe in Province Town is of everyone doing their own thing, hoping you like looking at their own thing, but not being in your face about it, and just generally being out to enjoy life, which is pretty darn good there.  I did notice more male couples than female couples, which surprised me,  but also lots of families and straight couples.  I loved that everyone mixed together so comfortably. 

A must do stop!  A note for boaters, moorings are expensive at 100$ a night.  We first tried to anchor on the west side of the breakwater, and it was so packed with moorings, there were like 2-3 spots left for anchoring, and those were taken.  We were worried, because there’s a deep drop off to 75 feet, where it’s too deep to anchor.  What would we do?  Well, we motored over to the east side, and there was plenty of room for anchoring with only one other boat over there on Friday afternoon.  Saturday after the show, there were 5 new boats around us, but still room for more.

Sunday, we had no wind, but Jeff wants to get to Maine in time for a wooden boat regatta his uncle is competing in, so no rest for the weary.  We bucked the non-weather, and motored 6 hours in flat seas to Gloucester.  This is a pretty spot with a nice breakwater with a tiny lighthouse on the end, and what look to me like big stone castles on the shore.  However, the lobster pots are so thick on the ground, it was like threading a million needles weaving the few miles in through them.  They were in the harbor itself, so even if they hadn’t expanded the mooring field in recent years, it would have been tough to find a spot to anchor.  There is a 10 foot tide, and we came in at high, to anchor in 37 feet.  That’s the deepest spot we’ve ever taken.   Our first spot, we started dragging right away, and picked up a random line that seemed to be stuck on the bottom at both ends.  Glad we discovered that right away and moved from the unlucky spot.  We had a very still restful night though, so I shouldn’t complain.  If you do come in here, when we arrived it was REALLY rolly, but all that died even before sunset.

Today, we have CHAMPAGNE SAILING!  We are in the grove on a close reach, zinging along under a wide blue sky, still dodging a totally unreasonable number of lobster pots.  I told Jeff I was worried about over fishing, and there should be a specific area for lobster pots, like a restricted lobster farm area.  I can’t believe they can just leave all this mess all over the place! Jeff explained that the lobster men can’t believe that I am allowed to sail my boat through their lobster farm!

Stay tuned for our next episode, which based on Jeff’s excitement level, will likely be titled, “Rushing Through Maine.” 

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