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Ahoy from beautiful Wellfleet, MA!
Yesterday we finally got another taste of that summer that we've all been dreaming of as the skies cleared and some of that oppressive humidity disappeared. For once I'm happy to report that the forecasters had it all wrong, as they had said that it was going to be mostly cloudy. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
When you last heard from us, we were in Onset, MA, which is located just before the Cape Cod Canal. You really have to plan when you're going to pass through the Canal as the currents can be very strong, reaching 4-6 kts. If you time it wrong, you can spend a long time moving very slowly or you can have a sleigh ride. These huge currents are caused by the varience of tides between the Cape Code Bay side and the Naragansett Bay side. Our window of opportunity opened at 10:45 AM when the currents switched to being in our favor.
It had been a cloudy morning, but just as we approached the Canal, a fog bank moved in, dropping the visibility to a few hundred feet. In normal situations, that's bad enough, but there's a ton of traffic that moves through the canal and some of it's pretty big. We have radar, bur playing dodge-um based upon dots on a radar screen isn't my idea of fun. We had multiple boats travelling with us in the same direction and had at least 5 pass us in the opposite direction. Thankfully the fog bank lifted after about 10 minutes. The picture to the right shows the fog bank lifting. I was too busy avoiding traffic before that to get any good pictures, and besides, it's hard to get an interesting picture of fog...
Once we made it through the canal we raised our sails and had a great trip to Wellfleet. One of the interesting things about Wellfleet is that the channel into the harbor is about 4 miles long and on some sides, you've only got a couple of feet of water outside of the channel at low tide Speaking of tides, the tides at this side of the bay are 10 feet! We arrived at low tide and I carefully threaded my way into the harbor.
After grabbing a mooring ball, we headed into shore to explore the area. Or maybe I should have said that we tried to head into shore, as the motor kept dying we were heading in. I was able to get it restarted and running sufficiently to get us back to the boat, where I practiced my roll as a small engine mechanic. I disassembled the carburetor and found some slimy residue which I diagnosed as emulsified water. We have a Racor fuel filter on the stern of the dingy which was attached with adhesive, but the adhesive had detached and it was just sitting on bottom. This appears to have allowed some of the gunk that it seperated out to flow to the engine and engines don't like buring stuff like that.
After a hot sticky night sprinkled with rain showers, the opening and closing of the hatches and the banging of the halyards from the boat in front of us, the day dawned cloudy but cleared by mid-morning. We explored Wellfleet, which is a wonderful town filled with galleries and upscale shops. After lunch we headed out to watch the locals raking the bottom for clams and oysters. We took a loooong walk down the beach and enjoyed the exquisite beaches and views of the dunes across the bay. Then we went to the fish store and selected a 3.5 lobster for dinner. We had an absolute feast last night, with corn, clam chowder, Quahog stuffies, lobster and some great Chardonnay while sitting in the cockpit! Yum!!!!
Today we're headed to Plymouth, so I've got to get moving.
-- Geoff & Sue