Monday, August 13, 2012

What a Difference a Ray Makes

Room with a drier view
The gloomy rain has drifted away along with the thunderstorms, which never really managed to hit the Lake Tassmoo bullseye, despite all those tornado-like images on the weather radar. The humidity has plunged -- well, 70% is way down in comparison of the last three days' diet of near 100% -- and we're swinging about in gentle breezes beneath blue skies. It feels so different.

Lake Tasmoo town dock
Today's task is to retrieve the bikes, top up the water and get out of here. We arrived ten days ago to stay the night and head out for Nantucket. We should have checked the events calendar as well as the weather. As it turned out neither was favorable and Nantucket was a landfall too far.

Race week meant that all the Nantucket moorings were occupied. I've been anchored in Nantucket harbor on the edge of the mooring field in OPB (on Tenacity, a Valiant 42). Anchoring there is way too exciting for my taste though it is quite a show if you like that sort of entertainment. I even saw a dinghy climbing an anchor rode and dangling high above the water looking like a kid who fell off the climbing wall at a shopping center.

Seeing that dinghy trying to board a stranger's yacht made a big impression. As I was idly watching the current sweep past moorings in Nantucket Harbor, a Cape Dory sailed by with a hard dinghy in tow. It was a quintessential New England yachting scene, colorful and placid. Suddenly the film changed to a jerky horror show when the dinghy, which had sagged off at an angle in the current, failed to clear a large power vessel's anchor rode. Quick as a wink the dinghy climbed right up the rode and tried to crawl aboard. This stopped the Cape Dory dead in its tracks, but for only a moment. The current and wind slammed her along side her new mother ship, jamming the boom between the life lines and thoroughly tangling her rigging. I've never seen anyone raft up in such a hurry and tie on with so many lines.

Greeted by a flock of  Herreshoff
Being told that there was no room for us at Nantucket took the gloss off calling there. Instead, we have taken a mooring in Buzzard's Bay's Quissett Harbor and are exploring Woods Hole and Falmouth via trolley, which is a short walk from the boatyard.

As we arrived at the described stop a big white bus flashed by and disappeared around the corner. Thinking it might have been the trolley I asked a fellow who was building a deck nearby if the trolley looked like a bus or like, well, a trolley. As he was telling me that he was from out of town and only doing construction here, a strange look came over his face and he blurted out, "It's red and looks like a trolley". I glanced around just in time to see it flash by, too. Unmistakably an old time trolley and red. As the guide books say, the prudent mariner always seeks local knowledge.

In Quissett Harbor, nestled among classic vessels a short row from the dock

You can never be too thin
Now we're nestled down in front of Huntress, a needle-thin historic sailing vessel designed by C. Raymond Hunt. (He is more widely known for designing the classic Concordia Yawl and the Boston Whaler.)

There are several fleets of exquisite Herreshoff 12 ½'s in this tiny inner harbor, the yacht club dinghy dock is crowded with oar power,  and we're surrounded by grey shingled buildings and rock ledges.

It looks much like Maine and not at all like Nantucket. These classic vessels and rays of sunshine don't hurt a bit.
Huntress off our stern

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