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Ballard Sailor

The Three Bay Triangle, Part III

Rating: 7 votes, 5.00 average.
The sun was out Friday morning and the wind looked perfect for a jib reach all the way to Cuttyhunk from Newport. We filled our tanks, water and diesel, before heading out of the harbor just as the race committee was setting up the starting area for the afternoon’s start of the offshore sleigh ride to Bermuda. We quickly had our sails up and pulling, gybed around the point and were reaching hard for the little island 20 miles away. But like every other day we’ve had, the wind just doesn’t stay from the same direction around here. We started with the 130%, thought about the 150% for a moment and then quickly threw up the 75% #4. The winds swung on the nose, the current then switched against the wind and we had 5’ waves crashing all around us. We met two 8‘ers the hard way as they slid down the deck into the cockpit but eventually we made it to Cuttyhunk and as the sun set we were anchored in the cove with dinner brewing. What a great day pounding to weather with waves crashing down the deck while thinking of the Newport to Bermuda racers flying off the starting line under spinnaker, couldn’t have been a better day!


We had arrived at Cuttyhunk on Friday and the place wasn’t too crowded. Yes there were a few boats anchored out, and a few on the town mooring balls but there was a ton of room for us. As we were tired and it was late we had time to walk Mac and have dinner before it was bed time. Our plan was to walk some of the small island in the morning and then leave with the tide at about 2pm for the trip up to Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth for some reason). So come Saturday morning we headed ashore in some beautiful conditions and walked the small town to the top of lookout hill. There were golf carts everywhere, well at least one at each of the 20 houses in town, it’s a small place. Every once in awhile a pickup would drive by with people in the back, if you looked closely you noticed they were 60 year old grandmas chatting away in the pick up bed as it drove by. Different world here. We walked up to the lookout and had some amazing views of Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound and Block Island Sound. Crisp scenery with sailboats in the distance, islands, shoals and tide rips. A view that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. We visited the grocery, a one room affair, and purchased some home made cinnamon rolls before heading back to the boat for lunch and preparing to leave.


We had just finished lunch and were sitting in the cockpit reading when we we hear a passerby yelling “Bainbridge Island? Are you really from Bainbridge Island?” They had seen our hailing port on our transom. “Yep” we yell back, “Braden’s from Bainbridge.” They yelled back their names but of course we couldn’t hear each other and we nodded and smiled while waving. But as the boat passed I read its’ transom and it read Morning Star, hey, that boat has been anchored in Hidden Cove for awhile, that’s the Utley’s boat! They found a mooring and then motored over in their dinghy for a chat. Yep, Dave Utley and family on his C&C. He had shipped it across the country in December and planned to spend a few years cruising over here - again, what are the odds? We had a short talk and then it was time for us to catch the tide and leave the now very crowded harbor at Cuttyhunk. Seems the New Bedford Yacht Club had done a race/snooze and cruise Saturday and it was full. Sad to leave such a beautiful island but we were glad to leave the weekend crowd. It seemed that every mooring ball was full and there was no room left to anchor, but as we pulled out of the harbor there was a long line of boats still coming in. Busy place on the weekend.

We motored up to Quicks Hole and then rode the waves into the cut that reminded us of Hood River and soon were through into Vineyard Sound were we motorsailed the rest of the way up to Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth). We arrived Saturday evening to the town dock and found an almost new facility awaiting us and a tight little harbor with some great town walking and grass fields. We walked a few blocks into town and then worked our way back to the boat, along the way we found a bar with an open deck that allowed dogs. We bellied up to the bar with MacIntosh at our feet, ordered some drinks and then felt we were keeping the bartenders from closing up. It was 9:30pm, somewhat cold out, they were shivering in hoodies and the place was empty, we were the only customers there. We said we’d finish our drinks and hit the road, thinking they were waiting for us before they closed up. “No worries” they said, “take your time, in 1/2 hour this place will be packed.” Really? It was empty? Sure enough by 10pm the place was packed and hoppin’. We met the son of the lady that runs the timeshare Jennifer’s parents were staying in and got a ton of information on what we had to see while in Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth). Crazy place and fun first night on the upper arm (another oddity). Seems Cape Cod looks like an arm on the chart, what you would think is the lower part of Cape Cod is what would be the shoulder on an arm, the upper part, hence upper arm. Way out in Province Town (known as P-town locally), at the upper end of Cape Cod, it would be the hand and such, the lower arm....these people are crazy, Falmyth, hah!

Sunday rolls around and we clean ourselves and Libra up for inspection and by the early afternoon Jennifer’s parents show up and we begin 5 days of visiting with our East Coast family. We tour Woods Hole, an incredible marine research town, we do an evening sail on Nantucket Sound, followed by a sail over to Martha’s Vineyard the next day. Our friends from Northport, Bryant and Mercy, show up on their Halberg Rawsey for a night of dinner and revelry, but the crazy highlight of the week was sitting in a small local diner finishing up our breakfast and in walks someone that looks familiar. They sit at the table behind us and I turn around and say to the patron across the table, “Is this Dave?” about the guy with his back to me. He nods yes and around turns Dave Utley, the Bainbridge sailor we had seen Cuttyhunk, REALLY? What are the odds of us being in the same diner in Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth) at the same time on the same day? Absolutely crazy if you ask me. We laugh and joke about it, meet Dave’s breakfast companion, a guy that had purchased one of Dave’s old boats (a C&C of course) and then walk out flabbergasted at the situation. So flabbergasted that we forgot to pay our bill and had to run back in before the waitress ran out the door after us. The Bermuda triangle has nothing on the Narraganset Bay, Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound triangle, things are close to home here!


Our final day in Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth) was hot, I don’t mean hot by PNW standards, I mean that kind of 90+ degree heat that burns into your skin if you venture outside. The kind of heat meant for Death Valley not a coastal town in Massachusetts. Our plan for the day was a road trek down the arm to the hand at P-town, but we needed air conditioning for this so we rented a car with a brand new air cooler in it and hit the road. Thank god we did as at each stop we didn’t make it very long before we longed for some cooler air and hopped back in the car. It was great to see Cape Cod but is it always this hot here? We finished the day at a place called The Beachcomber on the ocean side of Wellfleet. An old lifesaving boat house turned into a bed and breakfast turned into a restaurant/bar. Cool place down in a ravine on the ocean side, with the cooling misty breeze off the ocean we enjoyed dinner with a view before returning to Falmouth (pronounced Fal (like Hal) -Myth). A late evening of errands to finish our provisioning before heading out to Nantucket on Friday morning, some 25nm away. It was a fun filled week with Jennifer’s parents and we were tired from fun and worn out from the heat. Getting moving again is what cruisers long for after a week of sitting still and the feeling was great. Yes there was no wind, yes it was too damned hot, but we were moving again and Nantucket was the destination.

Updated 06-28-2012 at 04:35 AM by Ballard Sailor

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East Coast Cruise for 2012

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