Good-Bye Maine, Homeward Bound

We left Isle of Shoals at 7:00 am on Saturday morning for a run of 46 nautical miles to Scituate, Massachusetts.

It was a sparkling morning in spite of the humidity.
The seas were comfortable. Again. We have been so fortunate that on every traveling day over these weeks there were rarely challenging seas. (except for the first day….)

It was a day with not much to photograph as we traveled back to Scituate, Massachusetts our first repeat stop of our summer cruise. I noticed an unusal pair of lighthouses to the west. Curious again, I learned these were the “Twin Lighthouses” or Cape Ann Light Station on Thatcher Island, one mile offshore of Rockport, MA.

The Watch and Wait, a vessel captained by Anthony Thatcher was wrecked in a serious storm near the island in 1635. The disaster claimed the lives of 21 passengers and crew. The original 45-foot towers were constructed and lit in 1789; making them among the oldest of America’s lighthouses

The 124 foot granite towers seen today replaced the original lights in 1861. The two towers were constructed so that when a ship sites on both towers, they point to true north allowing sailors to check and adjust their compasses. I had never heard of this before. Interesting.
A closer view of one of the twins.
The yellow line is our route on the chartplotter. Red circle is Isle of Shoals; blue circle is Scituate. 46 nautical miles

Along the way, thanks to that awesome Krogen Finder app (affectionately known as the “stalker app”) we were in touch via the VHF and texts with Acadia, another Kadey Krogen. We both ended up in Scituate.

From our mooring we had a great view of Acadia arriving in Scituate harbor, with the lighthouse in the background.
A mini-Krogen rendezvous happy hour with Tim and Diane from Acadia.
Our after-dinner trip to Nona’s Ice Cream. Afterall, isn’t that the reason we stopped in Scituate? I do believe this may have been the only time we were out in the dinghy after dark on the whole trip. 
Scituate Lighthouse at predawn, about 5:15 am..

Sunday morning was our Cape Cod Canal day and timing that right meant a late morning departure so that we wouldn’t be fighting the current in the canal. Unlike our north and east bound trip through the canal, it looked like we would actually be able to see the canal. The day was bright and breezy, and much less humid than the past few days.

No fog at all – there’s the entrance!
People were out and about enjoying the Sunday afternoon on the breakwater and on the banks of the canal.
There may be a Coast Guard Station and signs posted about the speed limit and “no wakes”, but there were plenty of boats that ignored the rules. And got away with it.
Declarations of love on the bridge supports. “I love you Nancy” and” I love you Corinne. ” Unrequited or love returned? We do not know.
The Cape Cod Railroad Bridge, much more visible than last month’s trip under it.

We anchored in Onset in front of Wickets Island again.

After dinner, Al tried a little fishing when he saw the water swirling. He did miss Dean, his fishing buddy/mentor!
Setting sun in Onset.

Monday morning was another early departure so that we would have a favorable current down Buzzards Bay. We left at 5:45 am and arrived in Cuttyhunk in just 3 hours, in time for breakfast.

Whoooaa! We wanted a favorable current but this was crazy! 10.2 knots – speedier than our usual 7.2 knots. But it didn’t last. We were simply glad not to fight a current.
Swirling patterns of light on the water’s surface
It was a very peaceful and uneventful ride down the bay. Just fine with us. 😉
The captain on watch with the autopilot remote by his side.
Clevelands Ledge Lighthouse. The location was originally known as Pocasset Ledge until President Grover Cleveland made it his favorite fishing spot.  Cleveland was U.S. President for two non-consecutive terms from 1885-1889 and 1893-1897, but the Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse was not officially completed until June 1, 1943.

We had the whole day ahead of us at Cuttyhunk and decided to stay the next day, too, after three travel days in a row. I’ve done other blog posts about Cuttyhunk – In 2017, 3 Weeks, 4 Islands, 6 Harbors  and in 2019, Block & Cuttyhunk, so this is just a refresher with a few new observations.

Cuttyhunk

We really, really needed to stretch our legs, so I pulled on my yellow rubber boots and we dinghied to the outer harbor beach to take a walk. 20-25 years ago we would find handfuls of sea glass here, but not so much anymore. It’s really disappointing, because it is harder for me to even get off on a beach, and there is less sea glass everywhere. I think that is due to two factors. 1) Environmental consciousness and recycling which is hard to argue with. IMHO, sea glass is special and should be exempt. 2) More people hunt for sea glass now than did before so the completion is stiffer.

Cuttyhunk has become much more crowded over the years. The inner harbor mooring field has expanded and the moorings are very close together. The outer harbor now has an ever-increasing number of moorings as well. We were shocked to learn the mooring fee is now $55 per night. That’s a lot for no services other than a ball with an anchor block.

The crowded inner mooring field.
A very sweet example of an older wooden cruising boat.
We try to only stop at Cuttyhunk when the conditions are safe for anchoring in the outer harbor near the breakwater.

Ice cream on the docks was always one of our must-do activities when at Cuttyhunk. But, alas, that has changed as well.

The ice cream shack in the parking lot near the dock was not open. On a warm afternoon! Al was distraught. It has been days since he had any ice cream.
We walked to the little Cuttyhunk Market (yes, it is down that little path in a former house. Just one room.
Hoodsie cups were the only ice cream options that the market had. In desperation, we enjoyed our little cups with the wooden spoons very much. Memories of “Dixie cups” when we were in elementary school. Feeling young! 😜
Sopranos, one of the few restaurants on Cuttyhunk, was closed for the season, but the “diver down” flag was new. ???

We continued our tradition of breakfast at the Cuttyhunk Fishing Club B&B. On our walk there, we noticed some new sights.

It’s been a couple years since we were here, but we are fairly certain that this hill with scattered rocks and a memorial bench did not exist then.
The lily pad has four new occupants – a unicorn, a shark, a fish and an unknown.
Someone(s) had a fun arts and craft day painting rocks! “Cuttyhunk Follow Your Dream” and BEAM are the messages.
But some things don’t change and we are glad they don’t. The tub and toilet planter still adorn the hill.
Cuttyhunk Fishing Club – another enjoyable breakfast on the porch overlooking the harbor and beyond.
Cuttyhunk is a great place for kids. Sailing lessons in the inner harbor (top) and even in the outer harbor (bottom) The lessons in the outer harbor were right beside us. Great observation point from our flybridge!

It is comforting to see the usual Cuttyhunk sights, the gray cedar houses, the US Coast Guard Station, the ferry from the mainland.

The Coast Guard Station and the Coast Guard house (? dormitory ?)
People boarding the ferry to return to the mainland.
The natural grayed cedar shingles of the homes.
Look at this – another Kadey Krogen! This time Eye of the Storm, A Kadey Krogen Whaleback, arrived at Cuttyhunk. Bob and Lori stopped by to introduce themselves and say hello. The boating world is indeed small at times. We had been on this same Whaleback in Baltimore in 2013 on our first cruise to the Bahamas. The previous owners of what was then Steadfast, were on the same dock as we were.
Sunset over Cuttyhunk’s inner harbor.

Our final 50 nautical miles were next.

THE FINAL 50 NAUTICAL MILES – Cuttyhunk to Shennecossett !
7:00 am. Looks like it might be a slightly overcast day.

We know we are almost home to SYC when we see these landmarks —

The stately yellow Ocean House of Watch Hill.
Taylor Swift’s white house sitting above her very big sea wall in Watch Hill.
Watch Hill’s US Coast Guard Station on the point.
Latimer Reef Lighthouse, at the eastern end of Fishers Island Sound, is a “sparkplug design” built in 1884.

And then we were back at our homeport in Groton, really just in time. The track of Henri, a tropical storm/hurricane, is aiming for New England (as of Thursday evening.) We had nearly 6 weeks of decent weather with only a few rainout days, fog that usually disappeared by late morning, and incredibly comfortable sea conditions. Why push our luck? It’s good to be home!

Our welcome home included hosting dinner for dear friends, Mary Jo and Dean. They were brave enough to come for my “what can I make with what’s leftover in the refrigerator and pantry” dinner.
😉

I still have some thoughts and reflections about our first cruise to Maine. After the dozen loads of laundry are finished, the house pantry and refrigerator are restocked, we see family and friends again, and catch our breath, I will tackle that.

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