Suppose you’re on Buzzards Bay for a little getaway and the weather is less than perfect?
Let me be more specific. Suppose it’s May 13th, you just got your new boat, the skies are gray, the wind’s blowing 20 out of the east, there’s a gale warning coming in later in the day, and you’re determined to take you’re sister-in-law out to lunch – what do you do?
If you’re me, you convince Mrs. Horne that “it’s really not that bad” and you head up the Cape Cod Canal for lunch at The Fisherman’s View Restaurant!
Be advised that there are a few sea tales in this post before I get to the restaurant review, so feel free to skip ahead if you’re the impatient type!
The Cape Cod Canal
Before I get to my review of the Fisherman’s View, let me talk a little about my new favorite Buzzards Bay Sanctuary – The Cape Cod Canal.
I first discovered the beauty of the canal in our 26′ Boston Whaler 15 years ago. There’s lots of action with big boats passing by, folks fishing or walking on the paths, and of courses the 3 iconic bridges which make excellent frames for photographs.
Another great thing about the canal is that it’s an extremely well protected body of water. With it’s 10 MPH speed limit, it’s about a 45 minute ride from end to end.
Finally, with both Tenacity and Vigilant’s Garmin Autoroute doing the driving, it makes a perfect little trip to turn over to the autopilot and socialize with your guests.
As I mentioned above, we had an unusual east wind that day, which pretty much left the canal as smooth as the proverbial “mill pond”.
Did I mention that I wanted to test out how comfy Vigilant could be on a raw day? Well I did and she passed! Vigilant’s AC system can be switched to reverse cycle and somehow pump heat out of cold sea water. She has 4 separate AC compressors and they need a lot of power, so I need to run her Kohler Generator to get heat or AC.
Fortunately, the generator is located in a locker near the very stern of the boat and it’s nearly silent. Needless to say with the hardback doors sealed and the main salon unit set to 72 degrees, Vigilant’s salon rivaled a comfy family room.
Sandwich Marina (508) 833-0808 (Ch. 8)
Since this is a Dock and Dine story, I need to say a few words about the Dock part. I first discovered this cute little harbor years ago when the Pilot House was still the Aqua Grill. Back then, the Aqua wasn’t very good, but for those us in smaller center consoles, it was a welcome alternative to The Chartroom.
As Dock and Dines go, this is a pretty easy in – easy out spot, but be advised, there are no reservations for lunch. That said, in all my years of visiting, I have never been turned away.
The first time I called, the dockmaster told me that everyone who was leaving after staying overnight had to be out by noon and those arriving weren’t guaranteed space until 2:00 PM. Knowing this, I always try to time my arrival between 11:45 and noon.
The dockmaster hangs out in the gas shack southeast of the Coast Guard dock. His VHF doesn’t work very well, so it may be best to call him on the phone, or just pull up and shout.
The typical day docking spot is on the northwest side of the gas dock. This is pretty long pier. Yesterday there was a 60′ Viking parked when we arrived and even after sliding Vigilant in behind, there was plenty of room for 2-3 more boats. I did arrive once when this dock was full and the dockmaster found us another spot.
I can also tell you that like a lot of docks, the Dock and Dine fee isn’t always the same. I’ve been there and been directed to the office where the price is $20 for 2 hours. Yesterday, the dockmaster asked me how long Vigilant was (41′) and then said “fifteen bucks an hour, how long you gonna be?”
I told him about an hour, gave him a twenty, and he said thanks alot and took off.
The Fishermen’s View Restaurant Review
This was actually my second visit to the Fisherman’s View; the first was a few weeks after it opened and as I Yelped, it was just okay – not anymore. This place has turned into a first class seaside eatery.
This was a raw, gray day in early May and there marina was 3/4’s empty. My first indication that the Fish View had become a hot spot came as I walked around the new Harbormaster Building and saw a full parking lot.
As an ever resourceful diner, I immediately grabbed my iPhone and dialed the restaurant. As I suspected, I was told the dining room was full, but that there were a few open seats in the lounge. She asked where we were and I told her she could see us coming if she looked out the window and she said “okay”.
What a difference that phone call made. We were given the last 3 seats in the lounge and as we were being seated, another threesome came in were told “we can seat you in 45 minutes to an hour”!
Anyway, we made it and I’m so glad we did. Our waitress arrived within a minute to take out drink order. I love local micro-brews so I ordered the F/V Boston Ale ($5). It was as good as anything I’ve ever gotten from Sam Adams.
Our drinks also arrived promptly and we ordered our lunch. I ordered the Cod Sandwich ($9). Mrs. Horne and her sister Paula both ordered the Caesar Wedge ($10) and shared the Blackened Salmon Wrap ($12).
The Cod itself was very fresh and flaky. I’m not a big fan of beer batter, but as beer batters go, this was just fine.
We were in and out in about 45 minutes and the place was packed went we left too. It could be that it’s a great spot on a lousy day. It could be that it’s one of the few places on the Cape where you can dine over a great ocean view.
Or it could just be that it’s a great restaurant…