Monday, July 18, 2016

Cape Cod Canal

July 2, 2016 - Cape Cod Canal

We left Third Beach and headed towards the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal. Timing is everything here, again, with currents that run back and forth at 4.5 knots based on the tidal flow. You do want to get this right. For power boats, it is not a big deal. For barge and tugs, they can save a ton of fuel by playing the currents. For sailboats, it is the difference between a fast trip and standing still.

We had several miles to go before we reached the 'entrance' and we had some nice sailing along the way. You can feel the Long Island Sound coming to an end as you approach Onslow and the land starts closing in from both sides.

The light at the entrance to the canal

Onslow - We could have stopped and anchored here
but we had good timing on the canal.

Marker with bell.
There are very few sounds that I like better than
the bells on channel markers.

Like the C & D Canal a few weeks ago, the Cape Cod Canal is an uneventful trip if you plan correctly. We had a fast ride with a few interesting currents but very easy.
Bridges are works of engineering art.


We did have one interesting episode when a power cruiser driver got absolutely reamed by the captain of an ocean-going tug that was transiting the canal. Apparently, around the bend ahead of us, the power boat was acting stupid and cut off both a sailboat and the tug. The tug captain spent several minutes on the radio lambasting the guy, in mostly professional terms, for his lack of piloting skills. It had no real effect that we could tell. The idiot drove up the wrong side of the canal at high speed , roaring between us and the rock wall only 100 ft to our starboard side. He then proceeded to cut to his right across the entire canal and, get this, cut off the tug that had just finished reprimanding his lousy driving. Unbelievable.

Irresponsible driving.
The current we were riding as we exited the canal.

As we exited the canal, we intended to turn north to an anchorage up the coast. But, the wind was clearly in our face and practically begging us to turn east towards Provincetown. So, we did. We had just enough daylight to make it across Cape Cod Bay and into the harbor before dark. We probably shouldn't change plans on a whim like this but sometimes you just gotta go with it.

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