Monday, August 23, 2010

Red Brook Harbor, Bourne, MA

Red Brook Harbor, Bourne, MA 41 40.8 N 70 37.9 W

Since our last post we have traveled from Portsmouth NH, to Gloucester, MA, to Duxbury Bay (near Plymouth,MA), back through the Cape Cod Canal to Bourne, MA (on the Cape side of Buzzards Bay).

Sunrise at Little Harbor.
We spent a total of 3 days and nights in Little Harbor in New Castle, NH…. just down river from Portsmouth. It was a nice, snug little harbor... but it also turned out to be one of the most uncomfortable places we've been in yet. Incoming sea swells generated by the winds we were intentionally sitting out combined with a strong current flow in / out of the harbor during every tidal change had us rolling beam to beam for most of the 3 days. It got so bad on Monday that we resorted to taking some Motion-Eze to reduce the woozy feeling.
Another view of Little Harbor
Unfortunately it was not very convenient to get off the boat and onto land either. There was only one resort type marina in Little Harbor:  Wentworth’s By-The-Sea, which is a 4 star marina/ hotel/ golf course resort that was described as “transient friendly” in our cruising guide. We called in advance to ask if we could use their dinghy dock. The response was it would cost $50 to tie up at their dinghy dock for a day… that is unless we were going to their dockside restaurant, in which case we could tie up for free. Translated… Kathy did not have to make lunch that day. We took a short walk after lunch in search of a market to purchase some much needed provisions but there was nothing nearby. Nor was it convenient to take in the sites of nearby Portsmouth with our dinghy due to the choppy conditions outside the harbor.
Morning fog lifting in Little Hrb
Over all, Little Harbor was not very memorable for us. We were anxious to get underway on Tuesday after the winds had finally shifted to a more favorable direction. Once again though, we were delayed waiting for a dense morning fog to burn off.
We were finally able to leave by mid- morning and motored to Gloucester with winds so light it was not worth raising sails. We ran into two more fog banks rounding Cape Ann, one that we were able to alter course around most of it but a second fog bank that did not clear until the Gloucester breakwater entrance.

Gloucester waterfront with
historic town center on hill behind.
We had never been to Gloucester by boat before. It claims to be the oldest fishing port on the east coast. The inner harbor is a mixture of old and new, both a working commercial harbor but still touristy; Commercial fishing boats of every size / shape alongside schooners, yachts and small recreational boats; Charming vintage houses that overlook the harbor juxtaposed against enormous dockside warehouses that receive and process seafood. You can smell the odor of fried seafood in the air and hear the background noise of enormous refrigeration  units cooling these buildings.
Fishing vessels of every size and purpose
tied up in Gloucester's inner harbor. 
We anchored in the designated anchorage area in the center of the inner harbor. A friendly harbormaster greeted us and gave us directions to a Super Stop & Shop where we were finally able to buy those provisions. That evening we dinghied over to the town dock and had a delicious Sushi dinner at a dockside restaurant.

Barnacle watching ocean tug leaving
the harbor channel just off our anchorage

We left Gloucester Wednesday under overcast skies but much less humidity resulting in unlimited visibility & no fog. The water was absolutely flat calm with no wind which meant another day of motoring. We traveled about 45 miles south across Mass. Bay to Plymouth MA. We were now past the dense lobster pot buoys and this was the 1st day in quite awhile that we were both able to read books in the cockpit while the autopilot kept us on a track without having to dodge pot buoys.

Looking south across Duxbury Bay to Gurnet Pt. and Saquish Neck.

Looking west over Duxbury Bay towards
Clarks Island & where Carina is moored.
We anchored in Duxbury Bay just north of Plymouth Harbor. The bay is about 2-1/2 miles in size and other than the navigable channels, the water depth is very shallow averaging about 2'-3' at low tide. Weenjoyed kayaking and walking along the sand beach in search of sea glass and other "treasures"

Mark pulling dinghy ashore for a walk
on Duxbury Beach. 


Kathy walking along Duxbury Beach.
Folks can drive their SUV's on to this beach.
Sunset over Duxbury Bay
from where we're moored

Carina anchored along Bassett Island
After spending two days in Duxbury, we left Friday morning, timing our transit through the Cape Cod Canal. We anchored in Red Brook Harbor along Bassetts Island which is in the town of Bourne, on the Cape side of Buzzards Bay. We were happy to finally be down in waters warm enough for us to want to swim in again as the 57-63 degree temp range of the water up north was not conducive. Mark had not inspected Carina's underside since leaving Onset 6 weeks before. The water in Red Brook Harbor was a balmy 77 degrees and Mark spent about an hour using the hookah breather to scrape both props free of barnacles, change the prop hub zincs and inspect the hulls. 
Sinbad checking out afternoon cocktails
We decided to re-anchored on Sunday moving to a more protected part of the harbor against gale force winds and heavy rains that were predicted for the next few days. The wind has been howling through the rigging and the rain has been heavy at times since last night but as we finish this blog on Monday afternoon, we are quite snug and 
comfortable (far better than our stay in Little Hrb. last week !).

We have spent today relaxing, reading, internet surfing, and planning for a game of scrabble during our afternoon cocktails as the generator hums in the background charging batteries and heating shower water. Once the weather breaks, our plan is to move on down Buzzards Bay, through Wood's Hole for Lake Tashmoo on the NW side of Martha's Vineyard. However, as in the past we know that our plans often change as the wind and sea gods may have other ideas for us. Stay tuned...

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