Life's Adventure

A Day Tripping Weekend

As you may have noticed, we haven’t been doing a lot of day trips this season. In fact, other than the three we did with our kids on My Summer Vacation, I can’t think of more than one or two others.

But last weekend we had two day trips; with the first coming right after we launched Vigilant following her mid season Fluff and Buff…

Mrs. Horne was running a little late so we didn’t shove off til about 3:00. We didn’t even know where we were going until about 10 minutes into the trip. I phoned South Wharf – thinking The Sail Loft, but they were pretty full up, so we headed for the Chart Room.

The Chart Room only serves appetizers and sandwiches between 3:00 and 5:30, but that was fine with us. We were just looking for Steamers ($29) and after that, we didn’t care what else we ate…

The nice thing about hitting the Chart Room after 3:00 is that there’s plenty of room at Kingman Marine as well as the outside patio dinning room.

It was a tad gray in the early afternoon…

But it was absolutely perfect when we boarded the MBY launch for the last pick-up of the day..

Sunday – New Guests Aboard!

We followed up a “no boating” Saturday with another Day Trip with 4 friends who had never been out on Vigilant before.

Although Jon and Joan have partied on Vigilant many times, it’s always been while sitting in port after they traveled along side her on True North – their Pursuit 34…

Jon and Joan

Our other guests were Scott and Joan, also from Mattapoisett…

We had a great day at sea, although Mrs. Horne almost nixed the plan when she woke up Sunday morning, looked at the gray sky, and watched the weather forecast – none of which looked very promising.

Fortunately she agreed that we should let our guests decide and at 7:38 AM I texted everyone…

Let’s face it, if you call Buzzards Bay your home, you have a lot of days like this. Back in my Center Console days – before we had such great weather apps, I’d make the call myself and cancel plans for the day.

But now I have better forecast tools and a boat that can pretty much handle anything the seas send our way. Of course barreling through 4-5′ chop is never pleasant. And some people get very scared in these conditions while others really love it. So I’ve changed my approach and just ask!

Needless to say, with Doc Ruel in the crew I knew he’d respond in the affirmative very quickly – and he did…

Jon replied at 7:41 AM – just 3 minutes after my text, and Scott chimed in a minute later!

What more could a captain ask for?

F/V Bound

The forecast called for Small Craft Warnings with 15-20 knot winds out of the Northeast. With this in mind, I made plans to cruise the Cape Cod Canal up to Sandwich and arrive at the F/V (Fisherman’s View restaurant) around noon.

The Canal is almost due Northeast out of Mattapoisett Harbor so I expected the worst waves rounding Angelica Point at the very beginning of the trip.

The nice thing about the CC Canal – F/V day trip is that no matter what the seas, you’ll never have much to deal with for 75% of the trip. And with the NE winds, the sketchy 20 minute run would come at the very beginning and before 11:00 AM – the time Buzzards Bay usually serves up her worst seas.

I was right, we did hit 3′ chop around Angelica and as we passed Bird Island it started to fade. By the time we hit Hog Island, we were in nearly flat seas.

The flat seas and 10 MPH speed limit in the canal create a great atmosphere for conversation as we checked out the traffic back-ups on the Bourne and Sagamore bridges to The Cape.

When we pulled into the Sandwich Marina I spotted a Princess 64 and almost immediately recognized our Nantucket friends Harris, Nancy and their crew Billy walking down the dock.

They were just leaving as I pulled Vigilant in behind them. As everyone chatted, the dockmaster told me we had to go over to the other side – by the Pilot Boat, since he was expected a big boat coming in.

That was fine with me since the Pilot Dock is much closer to the F/V…

As we were getting settled in the restaurant, I saw My Buddy (Harris and Nancy’s Princess 64) heading out…

Lunch was great as usual. Jon and Joan had never been to the F/V and I was excited to hear Joan order the Buffalo Cauliflower for lunch. I’ve considered it many times and wanted to try it out…

It’s a large portion that has an almost identical flavor profile to Buffalo Wings. I’m sure some people will order this thinking it’s a low calorie alternative, but I’d guess not. The Cauliflower is deep fried and although Cauliflower has very few calories, that healthy disappears when you fry pretty much anything. That said, I would recommend it to a vegetarian who misses their wings.

The ride home was very pleasant as the NE wind pushed us along…

While Jon sat out back with the girls, Scott joined me near the helm as we crawled along at 6 knots…

Entering Buzzards Bay

Cocktails At The Mooring

Most of the time I drop our guests off at the boatyard, rinse down Vigilant and return her to the mooring myself. But with a boat full of experienced seamen, I decided to go to the mooring and host a little impromptu cocktail party…

It’s really a great way to end the day. In fact, I think it may become a regular fixture on future day trips!


Categories: Life's Adventure

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