Trip to P Town in August 2005

Barbara Garland, editor
Contributions by Tony Di Stefano and Chip Hindes
pictures by Steve and Karen Silvia

As I start this article, I'm going to combine thoughts of several people. This was a trip taken by 4 NE-TS boats. Vice Commodore Ed Goodhue with crew Don Huff on his San Juan sailed out of Pocassett on the Cape. They met the group who launched in Wareham as they were going through the canal. Treasurer Tony Di Stefano and Mona came over from NY on Friday night to sail his Mac 26S. They stayed with Steve and Karen Silvia, who live in Wareham. Chip and Janice Hindes, new NE-TS members who live near Albany NY, joined the group after seeing the "Sail together Board" posting on the member only page. Steve & Karen and Chip & Janice both sail Mac 26X's. Chip writes
Janice and I had been discussing a trip to the Cape since we first got our Mac in Sep '00, and this was a great opportunity to try it out on short notice with minimum planning. Thanks to Steve Smith for pointing it out to us, and to Steve and Karen Silvia for their advice and for shepherding us along.

First of all, those of you who know Tony, understand that sailing comes first. So when he had problems with the boat the week before, some of them were fixed - others weren't quite done. He wrote
"As usual neglect and poor repair and maintenance caused the Beep to have a problem with the mast raising system, I had to rebuild it. When the problem occurred it also damaged the mast cleat and the spreader. When we left home most repairs were made as the Beep ie Tony makes repairs as needed on site.
Arriving at the Steve & Karen's and trying to park brought out that fact that the reverse brake on the trailer must be disabled when backing up. But that will get done after this trip. After a great dinner at the Gateway (great chowder) and restful sleep at Steve & Karen's a 5am wake up was early. Steve, as usual, just could not let the broken spreader go, Duct tape would have done the job but no, he had to bring out the tools. The repair was better than new.
After a stop for coffee we met Chip & Janice at the ramp in Wareham and all went well till the motor on the Beep would not start(actual maintenance was preformed but the idle was not returned to low). The dink placed on the roof of the car stayed there after the launch and the cabin wenches were sent to retrieve it from the roof of the car in the parking area to the water as it should have been (well almost as they got it to the top of the ramp and the captains had to finish the job).
On the way to the Cape Cod Canal Chip decided to find the only rock with his prop but not to much damage.

I better insert in here Chip's comments about the rock
For all, the "only rock in the Wareham river" which I hit is, I believe at N41d42.128m, W70d41.484m. It is about 200 yards ENE of red buoy number 2. There are actually four rocks on the chartplotter in that vicinity and I'm not 100% sure that's the correct one, I didn't specifically mark it when I hit it. You will note it is clearly outside the marked channel. We learned the hard way that despite extensive personal experience to the contrary from one of us who shall remain nameless, high tide doesn't save you from that one and it's best to stay in the marked channel. Interestingly, if I had followed the leader directly, I probably would have missed it; but when I saw that we were going directly through the rock cluster as it appeared on my chartplotter, I figured our leader wasn't paying attention and had already started a turn to starboard to head back toward the channel. I wasn't 30 feet to the right of his track when I hit the rock.

Back to Tony's tale
- The ride thru the canal was great, little traffic, 7 to 8 knots and sun and blue sky.

a tug and barge on the Cape Cod Canal

The ride to Wellfleet was a run, a reach, a run, a reach etc. good ride lots of wind but, because the Beep had a cabin wench (Mona) the bubble of the clinometer never went over 15. The entrance thru Billings Gate was fun and lots of shallows so we used the red and green to get in. The wind was still up when we anchored and things just got worse so we all ate on our boats and there was no visiting. Not that we were tired from what seemed like 12 hours of sailing. A thunder storm passed over then the winds died and the sleeping was excellent.

After a meeting on Ed's San Juan in the AM it was off the P-Town. The trip took all day some took longer it was said that the captain of the Beep fell asleep reading his book and forgot to tack at the proper time. But all went well as we anchored in the west end of the bay.(lot of moorings around and if your have about $45. you can pick one up) After the boats were set we hopped on the dinks and took the long ride to P-Town. After checking out what seems like 10 restaurants the Surf Club was the winner but when we got the bill $5.00 beers slowed us down. After that we walked around town taking in the local color, Marine specialties, Cher, a 73 your old transvestite singing as he pulled his wagon, the bakery, spank the monkey and so much more that only P-Town can give. Before we went back to the boats we had a drink at the Bradford and watched snow white and her seven female dwarfs named naughty, slutty etc. sing karokee and we still wonder what Steve was doing with the horn in the bag.

Snow White and the Dwarfs

Tired and full of ice cream and fried dough it was back to the dinks and a great ride, with a wonderful view of the town, back to the boats.
At about 8 am we were at the gas docks. Chip & I had to fill up. Had to buy my 3 gallons as we had to motor the 23 miles to the canal into the wind. As it turned out a little motor sailing was going on as I set the motor to 4.5 knots and the genny got me over 5 knots it was a beautiful calm ride and once again the book and the sun got me a little off course.

Chip and Steve had a different trip back. Here is Chip's side of the story
Steve and I didn't motor all the way back from P-town. In fact we shut down the motors and beat to windward for about two hours. I tried to pass Steve to leeward, but he blanketed me and I couldn't get past. So I tried passing to windward but he was able to point slightly higher than I and I couldn't get past that way either. So I fell off a good ways to leeward and was able to stay even but not get ahead. I saw better winds to windward and had just tacked behind Steve to take advantage, but before I could tack back to try to pass again, the winds pretty much died and it was time to fire the motors and hurry to the canal so we could pass through with the current. Of course it wasn't a race :-) but it seemed to me our boats were quite evenly matched

. Back to Tony and the trip through the canal.
The ride thru the canal going back was a trip. It was like a flume ride at a park. At times half the boat was out of the water and waves would break over the bow, all this at 9.5 plus knots. It sure was fun but it seemed to take forever to get back to the ramp. The canal was fun but next time I'll launch from the power plant at the north end. Per Mona it was a great trip with great people but we should have gone directly to P-town and skipped Wellfleet. Maybe next time

The Flume ride - part 1

The Flume ride - part 2

I also want to thank Ed and Don for keeping in touch with me by phone. I knew that they all got out on Friday - though the Wareham group was a little late - fixing things and forgetting dingy's took extra time. They had a great sail on Friday. I touched bases with them Saturday afternoon and they were tacking up to Provincetown from Wellfleet. After several hours of splitting tacks, Ed and Steve were quite close together. Don's comments about the ride through the canal on Sunday (at full current with them) sounded like it was something he didn't want to do again.

Hopefully some of you other people out there will try getting a group together and doing an impromptu rendezvous.