It’s not quite the end of the 2018 season, but I can see the end in sight! In honor of Columbus Day, we decided to visit Plymouth – the home of the American Pilgrim!
This past weekend we hosted our dear old friends from our Harvard days – Peter and Mary Lee, for an overnight holiday weekend cruise.
Thanks to the northeast wind and 60 degree temperature, we enjoyed a delightful sunset on our seaside deck in Mattapoisett on Friday night…
Maximizing The One Nighter
When we head out for multiple days on the boat, we tend to take it easy, stop along the way, read books, and just relax.
But when we’re just going out for one night (like we did in Sandwich in August), we tend to pack everything possible into the trip.
The run from Mattapoisett to Plymouth is just under 40 miles – similar to Newport, but it takes longer because we have the long ride through the Cape Cod Canal where we’re limited to 10 MPH.
The nice thing about the jam packed weekend trip to Plymouth is the way the lunch venue’s line up. On the outbound leg, we stop in Sandwich for an early lunch at the Fisherman’s View before the 20 mile run into Plymouth. On the return, we stop at The Chartroom after making the 35 mile run south.
Crisp Clear Saturday
The forecast for weekend held up nicely all week – light winds, sunshine, and unseasonably warm. As is too often the case, the forecast never quite lived up to reality.
The winds were light and the sun was bright on Saturday morning…
…but the temperature was stuck at 61 degrees from the time we left Mattapoisett Boat Yard until sunset in Plymouth.
Finally – Docking Near The F/V
As you may know, the F/V (Fisherman’s View in Sandwich) has become our favorite Dock and Dine over the last 3 years. The only problem is that it’s on the opposite side of the boat basin from Sandwich Marina.
Normally, we welcome the half mile trek, but Mrs. Horne broke her toe (again) and she’s rather limited in the walking department.
As I started to pull Vigilant into the long dock, the dockmaster hollered out “Are you going to the F/V again?” (I told you we go there a lot).
“Yes” replied Mrs. Horne…
“Pull into the gas dock, pay to tie up, and you can use that slip over in front of the restaurant.”
“Well that’s a first I thought!”
Lunch at he F/V was great as usual and we shoved off for Plymouth just before 1:00.
On To Plymouth
If you haven’t been into Plymouth Harbor, you’re in for a treat. There is a rather long run between the markers as you enter, but it’s full speed ahead until the last quarter of a mile, so it goes fast.
I think the run along the dunes after the Duxbury Pier Light is breathtaking, but the channel is narrow, so you have to keep your eyes on the road.
The Straight Wharf at Plymouth Marine
Knowing that it was going to be a cool night, I requested a spot on the dock where we’d have the aft deck in the sun. We’ve overnighted at Plymouth a few times and always had a slip with double deck cruisers on either side blocking the sun.
But not last Saturday!
Shortly after we tied up, the Dockmaster – Chris, came by to see how we were doing.
I first met Chris before I bought Tenacity. I was in Plymouth for music, had some time to kill, and went in and introduced myself. He was very straightforward about Dock and Dine tie-ups (he bends over backwards to get you in). I’ll always be grateful to Chris and his team for getting us in when a stiff northeaster deterred us from getting to Boston.
As he was talking, his walkie-talkie chirped out that a center console had capsized on it’s mooring in the harbor. It turned out that it was only about 1/4 mile from us and we could see the bottom facing skyward.
There was no wind or waves, so my guess is that it had a leak and eventually the bilge pump drained the batteries and it swamped. Once swamped, all it would take to capsize was the wake of a passing boat.
Because the weight of the hardtop and engines are above the gunwale, it’s very difficult to right a big center console and pump it dry. When we left around 10:45 Sunday morning, it was still “bottom’s up.”
The Afternoon Music Scene in Plymouth
You may know I’m constantly searching for great live music – particularly in the afternoon. When I decided to make Plymouth our destination for Columbus Day Weekend, I made some inquiries and discovered there are quite a few venues featuring live music on weekend afternoons.
My friend Doug Bangham (Carver Institute of Rock) connected me with a Plymouth Musician named Matt Putnam. Matt tipped me off to all the top spots and then it just took a little time on the ole interweb to inventory all of our options:
T-bones – Lonsesome Jukebox 1:00 to 5:00 and then Mark Purcell 5:00 to 8:00
Speedwell Tavern – Adam Frates 2:00 to 5:00
Main Street Sports Bar – Jeff Rosen and John Tag 3:00 to 6:00
Crabby Shack – Jeff Hitchens 3:00 til …
T-Bones, Speedwell, MSSB are all in the same block along with other spots featuring music. Crabby Shack is down on the waterfront.
We stopped by T-Bones first, but it sounded like a band playing a song I didn’t know, so we kept going. The next stop was Speedwell and Adam Frates. Adam was playing my kind of acoustic pop so we headed in an grabbed a high top for 4.
I made a short video of Adam doing Let Her Cry, Into The Mystic, and Wagon Wheel. Adam is a great singer and I loved his classic song list…
By the way, we sampled Speedwell’s homemade potato chips with blue cheese dip.
This sign is a little creepy, but I will tell you there were no less than 10 young kids running around in a bar with less than 50 customers (you can see them in Adam’s video). I guess this is a family friendly bar!
October Evening on the Sea
We got back to Vigilant around 5:00 and hung out on the aft deck enjoying the rapid cool down…
I performed a few of my favorite “autumn songs” while Mrs. Horne and Peter took power naps (Mary Lee took a more serious nap in her cabin). As I was singing, a very friendly duck entered Vigilant’s cabin through the back door. I guess my music is for the birds…
Mrs. Horne gave him a cracker which was the only invitation he needed to spend the rest of the weekend hanging around.
On the way to dinner I spoke to a crew who had just come in from fishing. I asked them how was the catch and they said “no tuna today.”
The East Bay Grille
As always, I like to try new seaside eateries so I made a reservation at the East Bay Grille the moment I knew we were heading to Plymouth.
This is a big place with a huge bar and several dozen tables inside as well as a long row of tables outside on the water.
It was cold and dark when we arrived for our 7:00 PM dinner reservations, but in reviewing the EBG ahead of time, it looks like their main claim to fame is an outside bar with harbor views.
Our service was provided by a lovely young woman named Mickey…
The food was all excellent. We sampled seafood, salads, and beef. I ordered the most unusual steak on the menu – The Boston Strip…
The huge plate makes the steak look small, but it was a least 12 ounces. Note the mound of seasoned sauteed spinach next to the fries. I barely ate half of my meal.
I zoomed in to show you the care the chef put into crafting this dish. It’s sitting on a rich dark demi glace, draped with caramelized onions, and topped with blue cheese that was seared – probably by blow torch.
Plymouth is a very competitive restaurant market and I’ve dined at all the top spots. While I never had anything that wasn’t great, this could have been the best yet.
Back To The Future – Our Uber Ride Home
Mrs. Horne is quite a trooper. She broke her toe on September 8 and had some minor surgery on her leg last Thursday. Nevertheless, she made the half mile walk to the East Bay Grille for dinner.
When it came time to leave she said “can you just call Uber?”
Being a warm and sensitive husband I said “sure”.
The only car around was an Uber X, which is the cheapest way to go. It’s also likely to have the sketchiest drivers and we were not disappointed.
He got there super fast – before the bill was paid so I ran out and give him a $10 tip to wait (the ride itself was only $7.35).
Once we got in his rather cozy Chevy Cruz, I tried to engage him in conversation. Although he was responsive, it was almost impossible to understand what he was saying,
After a few minutes I realized he looked rather familiar. At first I was thinking George Carlin and then it hit me – he was a dead ringer for Emmett “Doc” Brown!
Yep, I’m talking about the mad scientist in Back To The Future. His name was Donald (or so he said), and he did get us back to the boat in short order.
I had left the heat on in the salon and it was quite toasty when we got back to Vigilant. We enjoyed a nightcap, a few BJ Sugar Cookies and watched Kitchen Nightmares on Prime Video.
All was good – or so we thought!
Never, Ever, Lose Anything in an Uber Car!
Everyone got up early and just as I was about to open the discussion on where to go for breakfast, Mary Lee realized she lost he iPhone!
After fumbling with the Find My Phone App on her iPad for a half an hour, we discovered it was in a residential area in Brockton. It didn’t take a Mad Scientist to guess it was probably in “Doc Brown’s” Chevy!
Ten minutes later, Peter discovered a way to “recovery a lost item” using help on the Uber App. Since I booked the ride, we had to use my phone.
I’m usually up around 5:30 on the boat and sit by myself and enjoy my morning coffee. For some reason, everyone was up early and by the time we got ready to act on the Uber Lost Item App it 7:00 AM.
After a few key strokes I hit “submit” and 5 seconds later my phone rang.
I answered the phone and heard a very gruff man’s voice “Hello, Hello, Hello”…
To which I said “Hello, are you the Uber driving who picked us up in Plymouth last night?”
And Doc replied “It’s 7:00 in the damn morning” and hung up.
So that didn’t go too well…
We waited until 8:00 and tried again – this time we got Doc’s voice recorder and Peter left an extensive message.
Finally, around 9:00, we’d still not gotten a call back so Peter tried again and got Doc on the phone. Suffice to say, it went marginally better. Doc had no idea what Peter was talking about. He wanted to know how we knew he had the phone in his car, and how we got his address.
Most of all, he had zero interest in helping Mary Lee get her phone back.
After another 10 minutes of negotiating, Peter got Doc to agree to bring the phone to Plymouth for $70. We then spent the next hour watching his every move on the Find My Phone app. At about 10:30, Peter and Mary Lee went out, paid Doc the ransom, and got the phone back.
Closing Weekend at The Chartroom
The final leg of our jam backed Columbus Day Weekend cruise was to hit the Chartroom for their closing weekend. By the way, you may have heard some folk lore about $1 drinks and free food at the end of the season. It’s all bunk. We spoke to the head maître d’ and she assured us “that’s never happening here.”
Sunday was warmer, but it was another one of those Buzzards Bay days when the weather app keeps saying “it’ll be sunny in an hour” and an hour later, it says “it’ll be sunny in an hour.” The sun never came out.
A friend told me he’d gone over on Saturday and said it was packed, but on a gray Sunday, I’d say it was about normal…
We did follow protocol and enjoy a few boat drinks outside before going in for lunch. While we were sitting there, a beautiful 9 month old Golden Lab came by and hit on Mrs. Horne…
Don’t tell Daisy, she might get jealous!
We had a great time (our 3rd weekend in a row that involved The Chartroom), but it’s sad to think it’s going to be 7 months until we’re back for opening weekend (the first Thursday after Mother’s Day if you want to mark your calendar).
All in all, it was a great weekend and although we didn’t see any Pilgrims, we did visit Plymouth Rock for the 88th time!
It’s looking like Hurricane Michael is going to slide 100 miles south of Nantucket on Thursday night, so Mrs. Horne and I will likely make our final overnighter of the season this weekend.