Life's Adventure

Nantucket 2020

This might be the most tardy story I’ve ever published. After all, we’ve been back from Nantucket for almost 3 weeks and I’m finally wrapping up our Tales of Adventure.

It’s not like I’ve been laying on the couch eating bon-bons – I did get four Nantucket reviews out in the last few weeks…

Wheels of Delight

Fifty-Six Union

or, The Whale

Cru

Truth be told, I made a conscious decision this year to delay the publication of new tales of adventure until I completed all the new reviews related to the trip. Last year I discovered reviews flow best within the first 24 hours.

Our Nantucket Tale of Adventure

In 2019 the Flotilla of Vigilant, True North, and Ocean Drive all departed Mattapoisett Harbor at 7:00 AM to avoid a strong ocean gale due to hit Nantucket Sound between 9:00 and 10:00.

This year the forecast was for light winds so we decided to meet near Ocean Drive’s mooring and head off at 8:15.

Traveling in a Flotilla makes the 50 mile ride more fun and it also provides a little comfort for the ladies who aren’t crazy about the run north of Tuckernuck when we can’t see land for 20 minutes.

Flotilla In The Fog

Buzzards Bay was socked in when I woke up…

But the forecast was for it to burn off by 8:00, so we stuck with the plan. Captain Jon and David elected Vigilant to lead the way, which was fine with me. We agreed to use VHF Channel 15 to discuss any issues that popped up along the way.

We were about a mile out of Mattapoisett when we hit the ole pea soup and I quickly fired up the radar, got on channel 15, and told the flotilla to tighten up our formation.

Vigilant has an excellent combination radar and chart plotter that makes it very easy to spot a potential collision five minutes off…

That big red blip turned out to be Scout, the 220’ Super Yacht. Although we were on a collision course, I clicked on her AIS icon and saw she was going 12.2 MPH while we were doing 22. Still. I altered my course 10 degrees to port just to be on the safe side in our 500’ visibility.

As comfortable as I am running in fog, I’ll never get comfortable going through Woods Hole in poor visibility.

In 2017, I made the run with Rudy and Peter in 100’ visibility and it was absolutely terrifying! The problem in Woods Hole is that the dozens of big steel cans and nuns look like huge ships on radar.

I swore to never go through Woods Hole in the fog again and as I watched us getting closer and closer to the southeastern exit from Buzzards Bay, the fog remained intact.

I was picking up markers about 250’ away and as we entered the Hole I was relieved to see both of the green day markers off my starboard bow. It was a lousy Thursday morning in June, so there wasn’t anything else on the radar as we motored on through.

Joan shot this excellent short video…

Not only was the traffic light, but it was also one of those rare moments when the current was slack, allowing us to pick our way through the treacherous pass at 15 mph.

Nantucket Sunshine

There is a funny dynamic that happens when you arrive at your island destination after a long or perilous voyage. It always seems like the tougher the ride, the sweeter the arrival.

Nantucket did not disappoint, she greeted us with blue skies and sunshine…

Once we tied up, Mrs. Horne and I ventured out to new spot for lunch – or, The Whale (click here for full review)…

They feature a beautiful garden patio and more importantly, a delectable home roasted pastrami sandwich…

Opening Cocktail Party

As has become the tradition, Vigilant hosted the opening afternoon cocktail party on her aft deck…

Kevin and Haiti arrived later in the afternoon in their 44 Searay The Eighth Day later in the afternoon after making the big run from Plymouth around the outside of Cape Cod.

Our Flotilla took over the second dock in from Cru and we enjoyed catching up watching the steady flow of boats entering the Boat Basin…

Everyone brought an appetizer, but the highlight was Doc Ruel’s Panko Shrimp. We had originally booked The Brandt Point Grill for dinner, but we were so full, we just got a couple of pizzas from Oath.

Full Nantucket Friday

You’re probably sick of me pontificating about the virtues of eBikes, but if you haven’t tried one yet, you should. This year I was delighted to find a couple of bike rental shops offering eBikes on Nantucket.

As an avid eBiker, I know two hours is a good workout, so I went with Wheels of Delight since they rented by the hour (click here for a full review and maps for Nantucket bike trails).

We took off around 10:00 and headed northwest. Downtown Nantucket is a little tough for conventional bikes since there aren’t many bike lanes and a fair amount of traffic. But with an eBike, you can keep up with cars doing 20 mph. I just wish the bikes had mirrors.

Lunch At Cru

We wrapped up our ride just before noon and headed over to Cru for our 12:30 lunch reservation…

This was our first visit to Cru, but not our last (click here for full review).

Our lunch was great and the atmosphere was spectacular. Best of all, the staff was engaging, friendly, and prompt…

Although bar service was shut down, it’s still basically a bar and the acoustics were quite good so Mrs. Horne engaged a group of guys next to us…

Bugsy, Jake, Eddie, and John

They all grew up together in Brockton and reunite every year at Jake’s House on Nantucket.

Fifty-Six Union with Doc and Joan

Friday night we continued our quest to try all the restaurants on Nantucket with great outdoor dining. Despite all their visits to Nantucket, Doc Ruel and his wife Joan had never been to Fifty-Six Union and they decided to join us.

I discovered Fifty-Six Union because they’re one of a half dozen Nantucket restaurants that take reservations through opentable.com.

As mentioned above, I did a full review a few weeks ago (click here to read).

The food and atmosphere was great, but what really struck us was how nice everyone was in this family run restaurant.

Captain’s Concert on Our Dock

One of the under appreciated victims of the government shutdown has been Gig Musicians who typically perform popular songs at bars for happy hour. With bars being closed and restaurants forced to reduce seating to maintain social distancing, no one’s paying anyone to make music these days.

With this in mind, I decided to put on a little free concert for folks on our dock at NBB…

I’ve always had a guitar on board both Tenacity and Vigilant. I also print up a song list for requests (I’m not good enough to play every song ever written on request.)

My father had a good friend names Al Jones and he played guitar and sang. I learned the secret to performing from Al Jones – always do songs people love to singalong too!

Here’s my current song list…

If you’ve got any kind of singing/guitar skills, get an old guitar, learn some singalongs, and liven up your own Dock…

Breeze – The Nantucket Hotel

After the singalong, Mrs. Horne and I tried out our fourth new restaurant – Breeze at the Nantucket Hotel. We were originally seated poolside, but it looked hot, stuffy, and most of all lonely. There was no else around and Mrs. Horne promptly got us moved to the front veranda.

We started with an interesting appetizer – Crispy Cauliflower, fried in rice flour and tossed with an Asian Citrus Sauce…

It was quite tasty, but a tad heavy – we only ate about half.

Mrs. Horne went for Pasta…

It’s actually a vegetarian dish – Mushroom Ragout Gnudi (with ricotta dumplings, exotic mushroom ragout, parmesan, and arugula.)

We asked what Gnudi was and our server told us it was Gnocchi – go figure.

I was in the mood for meat and potatoes so I ordered the filet…

It had creamed spinach and unusual fries as sides. The fries were a cross between a shoestring and a potato chip.

The dish came with a Chimichurri sauce. I asked for a Blue Cheese Butter and they brought me both..

Chimichurri and Blue Cheese Butter

While I’m a steak lover, the filet is probably my least favorite cut. I also tend to avoid any steak in a nice restaurant that costs less than $40 since most restaurants spend one third of the price on the protein and it’s hard to find a good steak for thirteen bucks.

The filet at Breeze was actually called a Steak Frites and it cost $36. Most of the time a Steak Frites is a hanger steak. This was the first time I’ve seen a filet in a Steak Frites.

All that said, this was the best filet I’ve ever eaten and one of the best steaks – regardless of cut…

And it was cooked perfectly medium rare!

Father’s Day 2020

Yet another glorious day on Nantucket, in fact this was the first time we’ve been there when every day was quite pleasant.

We started the day with brunch back at or, The Whale…

It was every bit as good as lunch on Thursday and I think it’s safe to say or, The Whale will be a regular stop every time we’re on Nantucket.

Final Evening on Nantucket

After a leisurely afternoon working on new songs while Mrs. Horne napped, we returned to one of the top restaurants on Nantucket for Father’s Day dinner – The Brandt Point Grill.

As always, the food, service, and ambiance of Brandt Point was spectacular and the half mile walk each way gave us a little bit of exercise on this calorie rich day.

Since we were technically eating outdoors, I planned an 11:00 AM brunch and a 5:30 dinner to make sure dinner was enjoyed at a comfortable temperature.

Final Evening on The Dock

June 22nd is just about the longest day of the year and thus there was still plenty of light when we got back to NBB. Mrs. Horne and I walked the east end docks and shot a few stunning photos…

After our little walk about, we returned to Vigilant just as David and Monette were getting back from dinner. Mrs. Horne invited them to join us for a nightcap and lots of great conversation followed.

Fog Coming and Going

We left Nantucket Monday morning around 9:30 amid a soft haze…

About a mile out we entered the ole pea soup as visibility dropped to few hundred feet. Somewhere north of Tucknuck we emerged from the fog with Ocean Drive hot on our tail…

Vacations are funny. Sometimes they feel like they end right after they start. And it often seems like the second time you visit the same venue, it’s never quite as magical as the first.

2020 was our third Father’s Day on Nantucket and I’m still happy to report that every moment was as sweet as ever and had become my favorite cruise vacation of the season.

Dave

Categories: Life's Adventure

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