Day 11 - Cape May NJ - Beverly MA
Phil, Di and Annelise
Sun 10 Jun 2018 17:18
Setting off again in the early morning light - anchor weighed and we took our place "in line" amongst the many boats leaving the Great Salt Pond As soon as everyone entered Block Island Sound we scattered in our different directions - apparently no racing today, most yachts making their way back home to the mainland.
Mainsail and motoring in very light winds and mirror-like calm waters.then suddenly a number of fish are jumping, several gulls have congregated on the surface . a spout appears, then a large black back and a fin near the tail - a whale! Hard to identify if it was a baby Finback (mature to 80ft) or a Humpback (mature to 50ft) - only the one sighting about 50 yards off the starboard stern, but fascinating none-the-less!
Running low on water as we had not come dockside since leaving Staten Island - time to fire up the on-board water-maker (first time this year) and make some colourless, odorless and tasteless pure water from the surrounding seawater. At some 70 litres/hour we had a half full tank in no time!
Crossing the shipping lanes of Rhode Island Sound - not a ship in sight - obviously quiet on Sundays! Only the ubiquitous lobster pots to avoid (even in the shipping lanes)!
At last the multi couloured clay cliffs of Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard. Coloured veins of earth-hued clay (white, yellow, tan, sienna, brown) make the cliffs appear as a muted rainbow. The first Europeans to visit the island were believed to be the Northmen in A.D 1000, naming it Vineland due to the wild vines that grew on the hilly slopes. Somewhat later, an English explorer, Bartholomew Gosnold in 1602 landed on the islands after first landing on Cape Cod (named due to the abundance of codfish). He named the Island Martha in honour of his mother. Although accounts have various other explorers claiming Martha was in honour of wives or daughters!
A lengthy motor sail using the rip tide currents along the 20nm coats of the island to reach its northerly point and across to Oak Bluffs harbour. Plenty of ferry traffic in and out of the harbour but fortunately we arrive at a timely gap in the traffic to enter and pick up a mooring bouy in the tiny harbour adjacent to the dockside restaurants, small houses and village centre.
Phil and Di