PASSAGEMAKING 30 June - 3rd July 2013 - Norfolk, VA to Boston, MA via the Cape Cod Canal - 456nm

Wed 3 Jul 2013 14:24
Having just missed a good weather window to head north from Deltaville we made a decision to go south to Norfolk and spend a few days with Gary and Greta (OCC representatives), waiting for favourable conditions to return!
The slow moving low over Virginia was producing unsettled conditions with strong southerly winds and thunderstorms, with little likelihood of change!  However, after a couple of days of watching the weather patterns, there were signs of the wind decreasing to 15-20 knots, producing perfect sailing conditions.  So after making Nimue ready for sea, we slipped the dock at mid-day Sunday and headed up past the Norfolk Naval Base and out toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  By this time we had all the sails up and were sailing on a nice beam reach.
Taking a direct course to Boston, via the Cape Cod, canal our track took us well offshore and by the time we got up to the New York area, we were 50nm off the entrance.  The winds were as forecast and in fact we were able to hold full sail for the first 24 hours.  Day 2 produced a very overcast and dismal day (typical British weather) and as we headed out further to sea, the swell increased to between 2-3 metres and breaking on Nimue’s starboard quarter, producing some quite uncomfortable conditions.  In these conditions, once the wind increased above 20 knots we reefed both head and mainsails, which helped the ‘lurching’ movement.  Despite the swell, I still managed to prepare a pork teriyaki stir fry, which went down well with the skipper!
Signs of blue sky and sun appeared on Day 3 and in fact the wind dropped below 10 knots and we ended up having to motor sail for a few hours.  Having heard so much about transiting the Cape Cod canal, which must be undertaken with a favourable current, we had worked out that our transit would take place around 0100hrs on Day 3.  Bearing in mind that we hadn’t done this trip in daylight, we took a cautious approach down Buzzards Bay and ticked off every flashing channel marker as we headed towards to actual canal.   By the time we reached the entrance the current was up to 4 knots, as we went underneath the railroad bridge (which was up!).  Lights on either side of the canal helped to guide us through and by 0300hrs, we were out into Cape Cod Bay.  Time for a couple of hours sleep, whilst we headed up to Boston and as the sun came up we had a cracking sail up the Bay to the harbour entrance.
Kenny, our friend, on Loon had managed to secure a mooring for us at the South Shore Yacht Club, near Weymouth and he was out in the club launch as we turned into the river to guide us to his buoy.
‘Door to door’ in 71 hours an average of 6.5knots!  A good trip