Monday, August 2, 2010

A Bumpy Ride

Silent Maid's departure from Edgartown was quick. There were no thoughts of harbor tours, it was roll out of the bunk, fire up the engine and get underway. Coffee can be made and drunk in motion as well as at rest. Well almost.
Once clear of the moored yachts in the outer harbor we rounded up to set sail. The sail had a reef already in and another quickly followed with a third right after that. The wind instruments hovered around 20 gusting to 25 and boat speed was around 7.5. Once we hit open water the sea was jumping and the spray flying across the foredeck. The boat was buttoned up and happy for a bit of breeze. The three reefs made steering light work, I am ever mindful of that quadrant now.

The sea was really up off the entrance to Woods Hole as the current raced out into Vineyard Sound. At this point we really buttoned her up with the cabin doors closed for the first time. Silent Maid was thriving on it as we punched into the seas and current. In the relative calm of Woods Hole we needed the engine to stem the tide. What a dramatic and treacherous place that is with current washed rocks just outside a serpentine channel. It was with some relief that we entered Buzzards Bay and started a long beat to the Northern shore.

We shook out two reefs as we tacked along the shore and by the time we reached South Dartmouth we were comfortably sailing with one reef in flat water. We toured the harbor under sail, much to the delight of the boat workers, who seemed to be the only people around on a Thursday, then sailed back out of the harbor for a leisurely lunch with the boat drifting and the sheet fully eased, lunch was as unlike breakfast as possible. After lunch we furled and motored in to tie up at Marshall Marine’s dock. We were visiting the home of the Sandpiper and Sanderling.

Photos by Peter Byar

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