Province Town, Cape Cod

Goldcrest was ready to go by Tuesday but we still had a few jobs – re-provisioning and installing a new VHF radio - so it was early Wednesday before we got away.  The day was officially a test-sail to make sure all was OK after the yard work, but all was well so we pressed on with a favourable tide out of Long Island Sound.  The first few hours amongst the reef strewn waters off the Connecticut shore were a bit tense but passed without mishap.  The forecast was for no wind to speak of, but after a very foggy start we managed 4 hours sailing, making great speed to windward in very light airs.  We over-nighted at Cuttyhunk, one of the islands we visited a few weeks earlier, so we felt no need to go ashore.  Thursday took us into new waters, up Buzzard’s Bay, through the Cape Cod Canal and into Massachusetts.  Our original hope was to get well north towards Maine, but light winds on the nose prompted us to make for Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod instead.

Lovely detail on the lifting railway bridge over the Cape Cod Canal:

Friday was planned for exploring this first landfall of the Pilgrim Fathers, but it proved a difficult landfall for us.  This was the first time we’d used the dinghy since June and circumstances had meant we didn’t put the outboard “to bed” as we normally would before a lay up.  It would not start.  After 3 hours of blistering fingers with the starter cord and then checking all the obvious things (spark, fuel – well that’s it really), I rowed ashore initially to check for wet fuel (no, new fuel didn’t help).  Two miles of rowing later I’d tracked down an engineer who diagnosed a stuck carburettor  and a couple of hours later we were running again – but too late to explore Cape Cod for the day.

Our neighbour at anchor off Provincetown:

Saturday started dull and windy (which would have made it a great sailing day) as we finally made it ashore to explore the town and coastline beyond.  We tied up at MacMillan Wharf and wandered up and down the very commercial main street before walking out of town and across the wetland and sand dunes to the nearest beach.  You wouldn’t think we lived on the water the way we are always searching for more sea views!  The beach was inviting but not the water at a mere 17C.   Back in town, the crowds had really built up as many people come for the day on ferries from Boston and this was an August Saturday.  The town is a gay paradise and very full of holidaying male couples which adds to its fame.  Beyond the main street are gorgeous clapboard houses and beautiful gardens and the town is dominated by a very tall granite tower which commemorates the first pilgrims.  We enjoyed the museum there and the views from the top of the tower.

The dunes at Cape Cod:

Provincetown and its towering monument to the pilgrim’s 1st landing:

Looking up the tower:

We were rather taken by the exhibit in the local museum, especially the walrus tusk cribbage boards…