Monday, September 3, 2018

Buzzards Bay 4: going home

I breakfasted in time for an eight o'clock departure on Friday morning.  The weather report promised gusty winds; I decided to sail under main and mizzen--and a good thing, since winds were light and gusts never materialized.  While the coffee was brewing, I took some last photos of the anchored boats around me.

Sarah Abbot is a trim little schooner.  (Not "little" by my standards, but
schooner rigs are usually restricted to much larger--and historic--craft.)

Restive is a real wooden boat that has come a long way.

I've never seen such an out-sized wheel.

Leaving Sippican Harbor.

Rounding Converse Point.

Aucoot Cove is just south of Sippican Harbor.  Backed by wetlands, there are few homes around it.

Even smaller--and rocky--Hiller Cove.

With my rig, sailing " wing on wing" is the best way to deal with wind astern.

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing
as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Traditional gaff catboat with its wide beam, short mast, and "barndoor rudder."

Peases Point and Connett Point spread over a stretch of coastline before Mattapoisett Harbor opens on the right.

These homes may be safe for quite awhile, but the commute will be a bear.

I'd like to see some of these houses on the inside.

An osprey guarded the daymark that warned of  Angelica Rocks.

Entering Mattapoisett Harbor.

Coming around the point into the harbor, I was joined by a few "houseflies" that buzzed about 
my ankles.  I mostly ignored them until it became clear I was being bitten.  My friends 
at iNaturalist later identified them as stable flies.  That pointy mouth can inflict a bothersome bite.

Ned Point Light.

I'd wanted to visit Mattapoisett Harbor and perhaps go ashore briefly, but the wind died, leaving me and other motorless sailors in the lurch.  I unshipped one oar and rowed awhile, but finally gave up and turned around.  Of course, once away from the harbor the wind began to return.

The black-backed gull is the largest of our seagull species, dwarfing the familiar herring gull.

Reflection and Compass Rose are double-enders.
 They are meant to ride better in following seas.

Ebb Tide is a schooner.  She looks a solid, serious, workmanlike boat.

Abigail is another wooden beauty.

Friends sailing a gaff-rigged beetle cat.

The Coast Guard was busy today.  This helicopter flew back and forth overhead several times.

Another sailboat not acting like one.

Leaving Mattapoisett Harbor, the wind is back up.

A wishbone cat is "self tacking": with no jib, tacking is as easy as putting the rudder over.
Lines strung beneath the sail from one side of the wishbone to the other form a "hammock"
the sail is simply dropped into to furl.  My boat is also a cat, but has two sails with the sprits
only on one side.  I can usually tack without putting my coffee cup down.

Coming into Nasketucket Bay, I was being careful to stay away from the rocks and submerged parts of West Island, and not get tangled up in fish pens that could tear my rudder off.  I got so turned around that I got lost in the tiny bay--sure I was headed for the ramp when I was actually among the rocks behind West Island.  (Use your compass, Luke!)  Eventually I got back on track, and hit the ramp in mid-afternoon, ending a nice sailing adventure.

House on West Island.  Hoi palloi need not apply.