Friday, January 30, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

Originally, on Sept. 4, the crew of M/V Gypsies had planned to go from our first port of call, Rockport, Mass., on to Provincetown. The idea was to spend a couple of days at the tip of Cape Cod, only to have Hurricane Hannah thwart those plans.

John writing, by the way.

Since Hannah is moving up the east coast – NOAA is calling for 50 mph winds and 17-foot seas – we decided to make a seven-hour run to Sandwich, Mass, which is at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal. The next step, on Friday, is to make a four-hour passage to Newport, RI, which offers a great, protected "hurricane hole" to ride out the storm. We’ll get a less-expensive mooring for Friday and a safer, sturdier (and more expensive) slip to ride out the storm on Saturday night

It would have been nice to goof off for a couple of days in P’Town, but obviously, on board a boat, Mother, Mother Ocean calls the shots.

Our two days in Rockport were spectacular. The weather was gorgeous – the setting even more so – and we took advantage of the chance to go ashore. Colleen went for a long run, Doug and Tammy went for a three-hour hike and I wrote a column about Colleen’s cousin, Kelly Caron, who is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s private pilot. I’m not complaining, mind you. I wish my office always had a view of Rockport Harbor.

Bear in mind that we’re always trying to save money when we can, so it was great to discover that our historic dock site in Rockport, alongside the famous fisherman's shack known as "Motif No. 1," was bargain-basement priced at a dollar a foot. For us, that means $49 a night, and you can’t get a room at Motel 6 for that.'dock-in-rockport.jpg'

Speaking of living on a budget, we had something of a cruiser’s splurge for lunch. When I went off on my own exploration, I found a little fish shack called "The Red Skiff." The four of us went back later – fish sandwiches were $7.00 and the fried-fish plate for two was $14.95 – but the best part was that the place was BYOB. Our own beer and wine filled the cooler, and soon, fresh fried haddock filled our bellies

Colleen’s folks went above and beyond the call on Wednesday when they drove to Doug and Tammy’s house in Kennebunkport to get a much-needed part for the winch that lowers our dinghy and kayaks. Then, the Kelleys drove straight from K’Port to Rockport – about 75 miles – and delivered the part to us Wednesday evening. That enabled Doug and Tammy to immediately repair the winch, which, in turn, allowed us to skate at 8 a.m. Thursday, which set us up for the seven-hour run to Sandwich.

Tomorrow, we begin evasive action as Hannah bears down upon us…

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