After leaving Marion, on the Massachusetts coast of Buzzards Bay, we headed for the southern shore of Cape Cod and Hyannis. The trip took us through Woods Hole, a narrow cut between the Elizabeth Islands that is notorious for incredible currents – needless to say timing of the tides was critical. A very narrow channel, ferrys heading in both directions, a sea of boats with engines running to fight the current, and lots of chatter on the VHF radio – a little excitement for our day.
A few hours later we sailed past Hyannisport, (aka the Kennedy compound) and on into Hyannis Harbor where we settled into a berth at the marina. Hyannis was settled by a handful of Puritans well over 400 years ago and is a yachting hub of Cape Cod. We took a day to explore the area. The highpoint was a visit to Brewster Flats on the north coast where the tides create a beach/coastline in constant change – moving in and out by as much as a mile. (See photo below).
From Hyannis, we had a very early morning departure (5:00 am) south to Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard – the early departure because of forecasted winds of 25 kts coming from the south creating a challenging sea state for sailing. We had to motor most of the four hours across Vineyard Sound, plowing into the waves.
Vineyard Haven is one of New England’s busiest ports due to its central location on the northern side of Martha’s Vineyard – another classic New England port. We took a short taxi ride to Oak Bluffs, just east of Vineyard Haven to see the blocks of gingerbread houses and, of course, more shopping.
From Vineyard Haven it was off to Edgartown, a port with a reputation as a great yachting center – a place where they take yachting very seriously. Because it’s mid-summer, the town was jam packed with tourists from around the world.
It was then time to head east 25 miles to the remote island of Nantucket – purported to be one of the most beautiful islands on the east coast. When going ashore it’s a step back in time where whaling ships formed the landscape. The cobblestone streets with lanterns, the homes built in the 17th and 18th centuries, all add to this national historic landmark. Nantucket is a magical place whose DNA is all history, a history that is embraced by the entire island. Nice memories.
From Nantucket it was time to head west back to Newport but not without another overnight stop on Martha’s Vineyard in the small fishing port of Menemsha. On this stop we took the time to visit the colorful Gay Head cliffs, which dramatically accent the western tip of Martha’s Vineyard – a magnificent view. From there it was a four-hour sail back to Newport, in the fog, where we ended a wonderful two plus weeks of exploring the waters and ports around Cape Cod.
Spirit is now in a boatyard near Newport for maintenance and awaiting her next adventure.