07 September 2014

Nostalgia: Manchester-by-the-Sea and Peddocks Island

It was fitting that we completed our LASVA at two of our favorite local places:  Manchester-by-the-Sea was where we did our very first overnight sail out of Boston Sailing Center on a J24 thus it has special meaning to us.  In addition, it is an absolutely beautiful and protected harbor that funnels in to this very quaint town.  Peddocks Island is one of the Boston Harbor Islands which we frequent when we have only an afternoon or late evening often dropping the hook and hanging out for a few hours or overnight.

PTown to Manchester-by-the-Sea:  In Search of Whales
We leave PTown Harbor promptly at 07:00 Friday morning to catch a positive current around Race Point and, more importantly, to provide ample time to get to Manchester-by-the-Sea via an extended arch along Stellwagen Banks, a national marine sanctuary and a popular feeding ground for whales and the target area of the whale watching tour boats out of northeast harbors.
Linda is determined to see whales today.  We stayed along the western edge of Stellwagen Banks which proved to be a mistake as we could see only with our binoculars that the whale watching tour boats were quite successful several miles away on the eastern edge instead.

At the northwest tip of the Banks we were fortunate to spot these two whales swimming in our opposite direction.  Interestingly, we were also visited by a whale right in PTown Harbor both of our two prior days anchored there.

After sailing about 9 hours with main and genoa most of the way, then main and spinnaker the last leg, we approach the rocky NE coast and dots of islands prior to the harbor of Manchester-by-the-Sea

Navigating in to Manchester Harbor
A quick boat maintenance  job needed attending:  the paddle wheel that measure STW (speed through water) has been hung up since leaving PTown Harbor.  We (Bob) normally dive under the boat to unclog the paddle wheel.  Linda, despite being a former PADI certified SCUBA diver, despises diving under the boat (gives her the eeby jeebies) but she did so reluctantly recently in Stongington Harbor.  However, there is a much easier way to unclog the paddle wheel - simply pull the unit out of the hull from the inside near the V berth and unclog the wheel (while staying warm and dry inside, and no eeby jeebies).  However, this entails willingly opening a two inch diameter hole in the hull of the boat under the water line through which water comes rushing in.  Given that this is the normal way to unclog a paddle wheel and "it's simple, everyone does it this way", it was time to try.
Linda successfully unclogged the paddle wheel from inside without letting Argon sink to the bottom of Manchester Harbor.  It was, as everyone says, easy.  No more diving under the boat to unclog the wheel.  Not too much water rushed in but it definitely feels better when that hole is closed up.
Linda's son, Joshua, and his girlfriend, Sharon, who are visiting here from Amsterdam join us again on our sailing trip - this time for dinner in Manchester-by-the-Sea.
Linda, Sharon, Josh and Bob on the dock at Manchester Marine
Saturday we began our trip home to Boston and our return to normal lives.  We have been rising by 0600 or 0700 each morning on our three week trip as we enjoy the early part of the day on the water.  We have "slept in" as late as maybe 07:30 perhaps only twice during this entire vacation.

The wind is directly on our nose at about 15kts so we motor a good part of the way.  Heavy thunderstorms are forecasted for the afternoon.

Leaving Manchester Harbor, coffee in hand

Large container ship en route to be unloaded at the docks in South Boston
The horizon is hazy and the temps are foretasted to be quite steamy at 90 on land so we decided to make a detour close to home and set anchor in Perry Cove at Peddocks Island, while keeping an eye on the weather and radar to ensure we return back to our marina before the thunderstorms arrive.  We relax and read for a couple of hours as the wind picks up to 15-20kts and gusts even higher.  Linda grumbles that the water is only 63 degrees and she is already missing the nice water temperatures we experienced most of our vacation.

View of home not too far away as we sit at anchor at Peddocks Island
Prairie Gold gives us a drive by while we are at Peddocks Island.  You can read more about Phill and Yolande's adventures at Treasures from Prairie Gold
Boston off Argon's bow as we head home with a reefed main in gusty 25kt winds

Winds sailing back in to Boston Harbor were variable in both intensity and direction.  Gusts were 25+kts but in the inner harbor would also fall to less than 10kts, and direction was sometimes S, sometimes SW, sometimes W.  Made for alert sailing on this final leg of our LASVA.
After cleaning up Argon, touching base with some dock friends, and hauling lots of dirty laundry and several computers back home, we close out our wonderful three week sail at our favorite local Arlington restaurant, Scutra.  A fitting end to a spectacular vacation.

Bob, Dieder (Scutra owner), Linda and Louis (Scutra GM, fantastic bartender and creator of Sailor Bob's Mule)
Stay tuned for Argon Voyages data and statistics up next!

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