2 September 2023

Wind stopped play!

Thursday (31 August 2023) morning our BBF was up first. He had got up twice in the night to look at the stars, but the Blue Moon had chased them away! He put the kettle on for tea and Brec emerged so the two men had breakfast and discussed the plan for this day. It had blown hard out of the North most of the night and was blowing hard now. Since we wanted to go North too it looked as if we would have a wet bumpy ride under engine for more than 6 hours. None of us on board fancied that. Could we sail to some place else on the mainland coast or the islands comfortably and use that as a jumping off point? Part of the problem was the fact that this wind would still be blowing out of the North on Friday! It was a beautiful day too, nice and sunny and really hot out of the wind. Consequently the men, hardened sailors that they are, felt a certain pressure to keep going. A plan developed to sail for New Bedford and wait there. When Brec went on deck to start getting the boat ready for sea, the dinghy had to be brought up on deck and deflated, for example, he stood in the cockpit for a bit clearly undecided. Alan went up on deck and they both agreed that prudence was the art of survival and that they should remain here in Cuttyhunk! Some years ago, Brec and Sandy were stuck here in a Hurricane! They were able to moor the boat against pilings in the harbour and were given a place to sleep ashore in the Fishing Club with a few others who were caught out here. Brec took all the sails and stuff off the deck and placed them below, so that the boat had less windage. They survived that and we would all survive this.

Sandy emerged, the men put the outboard engine on the dinghy ready to go ashore. Sandy did not really want to go as it was blowing hard, but our BBF persuaded her to go with them. They left us aboard and motored slowly to the dock where other yachties left their dinghies. The all used the Public loos there, but sadly there were no showers. The sun shone and all seemed right with the world. 

They walked, we’d like to say into town, but really this place is just a collection of houses, there is no town as such. They found the Cuttyhunk Market which was in a house set back behind another. Here they were able to get some sandwiches and coffee for a picnic lunch. Sandy had to fill in a form to get them and there was a wait to get them freshly made. The men had Tuna Salad and Sandy had Chicken Salad, Alan had a coffee and Brec a tea, Sandy a cold drink. Our BBF found some post cards and bought a couple to send home. He then went next door to the Post Office to buy stamps for them. He found now that the Postmaster could not change a $100 bill so had to owe the man 50 cents! He went back to Sandy who kindly gave him the money.

The humans now walked up to the top of the hill where Brec had done his lovely little sketch yesterday. There were park benches here so they sat and enjoyed the view and their picnic. The could see for miles which after a couple of foggy days was marvellous. 

They discussed the weather and all agreed it was a good decision to stay here.

Walking back down the hill they came across some boxes of stuff for people to take for free. Brec and Sandy chose some small photograph frames while Alan found a pair of brand new extendable forks for grilling S’mores which he couldn’t resist.

They then went to the local Historical Museum which had an interesting collection of paintings. Alan was amused by the Cuttyhunk song which stated;

Down in good old Cuttyhunk
Where many a billow curls
The Light House  Service tends the buoys
And the Coast Guard tends the girls.

At the cross roads was a house set back which looked like a store so Sandy and Alan explored it. He bought a couple of items and then when they got back to the harbour Brec was there with blocks of ice for the cool box on the boat. There were also other houses that seemed picturesque.

The journey back to OTTER was now up wind and there was a bit of a chop in the harbour. Although Brec did his best steering the dinghy, spray came over the top wetting Sandy and Alan. Sandy shrieked each time this happened which the men found amusing! A bit wet but safe and sound they got back on board. 

There had been a notice on the Harbourmasters Shack about access to WIFI, but it was impossible to use if on board. Later Alan asked the Harbourmaster, when he came for the mooring fees, about it. He remarked that it didn’t extend out to the moorings, but Alan was welcome to sit on the dockside and use it there. 

Brec once he had sorted out the cool box and put the blocks of ice in went  ashore again to paint. Alan had a nap and Sandy sat in the cockpit out of the wind soaking up the sun and reading.

Our BBF prepared and cooked the evening meal. When Brec returned he brought with him a pot lid he had found at another place offering free stuff. The large pot on board did not have one so it was very prophetic we all thought. He also had done another lovely painting in his sketch book.

Everyone enjoyed the meal and as Alan had bought some funny shot glasses which said on them, “Let’s get ship face!” They all had couple of glasses of port and dud just that after the meal.

There was a nice sunset which makes us all hopeful for tomorrow.

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