Friday, July 8, 2016

Catching Up in Edgartown

Good connectivity this evening, so we have some catching up to do! Wednesday, we left the Block in light drizzle and fog, fighting an unfavorable, and unavoidable, current in light wind. The fog gave us the chance to toot our lung powered horn and give the AIS a workout: specifically the Vesper Android app. Sweet. We sailed slowly for awhile in 4 kts. Then no wind. Nadda. Drifting backwards beam on to the Atlantic swell. Ugh. Up to this point, I've been well behaved, if I do say so myself, but this slatting around and, in the end, four hours of motoring boiled the cuss to the surface. Rest assured that I was later dressed down by the admiral on our arrival at Cuttyhunk where we hung out in the low rent outer harbor outside the breakwater.

A short row to the harbor side gravel beach got our feet on the island. We walked the beach and roamed the small town. We haven't tick proofed ourselves as of yet. Frankly, the Lyme disease problem leaves us reticent to hike through the grasses. We need a bit more time to get used to the tick prep and inspect routine.

For her birthday, Cath was due a little more than Cuttyhunk had to offer, so we made a lazy departure for Vineyard Haven. Even though we would never be able to get a mooring in the harbor, we figured on anchoring outside the breakwater given the settled weather. There was no rush as Eldridge declared that the current would not turn favorable for us until around 10:00. Having never plied these waters, Eldridge is, for me, a newly discovered gem: the bible of currents and tides with an emphasis on currents. Getting around here under sail requires careful minding of the various currents. Available since shortly after the dawn of man, Eldridge has current maps for the critical areas and cuts for each hour after a specific ebb and flood, such as the Race off Long Island Sound. Very cool. Perhaps Jim can tell me if such a work exists for the Northwest?

Outside the breakwater at Vinyard Haven we dropped the hook under sail. We looked very neat right up until we started to drag. Rats. It's hard to really set the hook well under sail. Up with it. Down with it. Back down under power this time. All's good.

Turns out the cruising guide mislabeled the yacht club dinghy dock as the town dock. Hmmm. I haven't been kicked out of a yacht club since I tried to walk into the Pontchartrain Yacht Club dripping wet after a Laser race, years ago. Apparently one must shower and change before parading before the ladies playing bridge. In any case, away we were shooed, though we left the dinghy (and our trash) on the beach while we got our town bearings. Snooty clubs aside, it was kinda cool to see the kids out sailing en masse in prams and 420s. One young lass sailed her Optimist just behind us and asked if we were really from Colorado. Seems she skies Vail in the Winter and sails Martha's Vineyard in the Summer. Oh my.

There is, however, another side to Vinyard Haven. We were goofing off in the water and testing various methods of entering our hard dinghy Puff from the water. Not too bad really. While scrambling into to Puff, Spencer grabbed a bee underneath the thwart. Spencer and bees don't get along. He quickly got the venom sacs and most of the stinger out, but it wasn't long before his face started breaking out in hives. I called the launch service and explained the situation. In fifteen minutes we were sitting at the dockmaster's office with paramedics ready to whisk Spencer to the hospital if the double dose of Benadryl didn't curb the systemic reaction. Everyone involved was kind, concerned, and helpful. The launch driver wouldn't take a dime for the priority shuttle. Spencer stabilized and, after a quick bite at the Black Dog Tavern (an institution here that goes with the Black Dog schooner) we hitched a ride back to Alizée.

There were more bumble bees on the boat in the morning as we raised anchor to sail around the corner to Edgertown. Maybe Fighting Lady Yellow is a bee attracting boat color. It was essential for us to find a sports bar to watch France vs. Germany at 3:00 and that wasn't going to happen at Vinyard Haven. The wind came and went and finally filled in nicely from the SW. We were overhauling a boat obviously heading to Edgertown as well. It's hard not to try and chase down whatever sails you see in front. She had 5 feet on us (we found out later) and some nice carbon sails, but we're fast with new performance cruising sails. As the short tacking commenced up the bay and into the entrance channel, we started losing ground. Getting close to the beach, we tacked over to port and cleared them by only a couple of boat lengths. On the next tack we pulled a few more boat lengths out when we crossed on starboard. I called it good and we dropped sail in the narrowing channel, but they kept going, obviously more familiar with the area than us.

Sail cover on, a little clean up, and, yikes, already 2:30. Off to town to see the game! And a game it was. France won 2-0, but it was much closer than the score would indicate. In honor of Edgertown, a.k.a. Amity, we watched Jaws onboard, recognizing many of the local landmarks: great fun. By evening, the fog was rolling in. By morning, thick as soup it was, and chilly, almost cold. I stayed aboard doing boat chores while Cath, Spencer, and Spencer's swollen mitt went ashore. We met up for lunch and a bus trip to Oak Bluffs. OB, as they call it, is a village of tightly packed and colorful gingerbread houses: very unique.

Back on the boat, we've packed as if we're leaving tomorrow for Nantucket, but the weather is not cooperating nor does it look like it intends to for a couple of days. With a front going through, the forecast wind on our nose and against a substantial current. Not to mention a dense fog advisory and chance of thunderstorms. At best rough and wet. We may beg the harbormaster for another night or two here, but that'll throw off the rest of our mooring reservations and we don't know if there is room for us to stay. Not having real anchorages and few available transient moorings is a real issue around here. PITA.

1 comment:

  1. Spencer needs to quit grabbing bees and fish hooks. Glad the "mitt" is starting to get better and he didn't use up your stash of Benadryl. Let me know if I need to bring any more emergency medical equipment!

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