We were at sea for 8 days. We had 5 storms in the fist 5 days, so we decided Ireland would have to wait until next year. We ended up with some damage from the knockdown and had to make repairs. So we headed to Cape Cod, the shortest distance back. As we approach Martha’s Vineyard about 50 miles out, the ocean is like glass and we can see for miles. Gary and I start seeing fins all around us. we are thinking whales or dolphins, as we get closer I start hearing the theme song from JAWS. They are sharks, hundreds of them. No not the Great White, but White tip Sharks. We had a blast looking for them and then chasing one down to get a photo. They were elusive.
We limped into Martha’s Vineyard and dropped the anchor in a beautiful area, light house to the right of the inlet and town to the left. We wandered around this picturesque fishing village for 2 days then moved to the other side of the island to Vineyard Haven. Here we saw kids at day camp learning how to sail, one boy missed his jibe and hit the back of our boat. No damage but a look of surprise on his face. I helped get him back on course.
From here we head to New Bedford and Fairhaven, which is just behind a huge hurricane barrier about 20 miles for Martha’s Vineyard. They have a near by hardware store, West Marine and a welding shop. We need to order parts to repair the rudder, new lines for the jib, stainless to beef up the enclosure and some badly needed rest. We dropped the hook by the first green marker which according to Active Captain is the only place in here we can anchor. We are amazed at all the large fishing boats in this one little area. We did some research and found out this was at one time the whaling capital of the world and today very active in scalloping and shrimp.
After our first night at anchorage we receive a visit from the harbor master, Captain Bob.
CB – “You can’t anchor here, you have to be on a mooring ball”.
CD – How much. CB – $45.00 per night.
CD – can you make us a deal as we are going to be here about 10 days?
CB – will check with the boss. You can stay one more night at anchor and I will chat with you tomorrow regarding mooring.
So the next day Bob gets back to us. No deals on the mooring, we are to use ball #1, it is rated for a boat our size and it is across the bay.
Now Gary and I have only grabbed a mooring ball once before in Key West at the coral reefs, so we are going to learn how to do this in 18kt winds. I am very nervous about grabbing a ball. Gary will steer the boat up to the floating buoy and I was to reach over and snag the float with the boat hook. So we slowly motored over towards this ball, I reach out and on the first try snag it. Now what do I do with it??? Gary yells, hook it on to the cleat quickly. Well I was not fast enough because the wind caught the boat and I had to drop the line, so we took a second swing at the mooring ball. I snagged it again and this time just wrapped the line around a single cleat. We are now on a mooting ball. This took about a half hour, whew glad this is over with.
We receive a phone call from Stan Walsh, another 470 owner who also has his boat in this inlet at the Fairhaven Marina. He offered to drive us to West Marine when our parts are in and drop me off at Wal-Mart for grocery shopping. Also, his son is putting on a regatta for the Wounded Warrior with a benefit dinner afterwords. We said we would join them Saturday for the dinner.
Gary and I went to New Bedford to check out the sights. First we have to find the dinghy dock that is tucked in between the huge fishing boats. Once at the dock we walk to town. This is a very unique town/village with lots of whale history. We run into Captain Bob and he offers to open the Visitor Center for us as it is after hours. We wander through and get to chatting with Bob regarding his history. He is friends with Steven Taylor and writing a book with him. Bob is a photographer and has taken photos of many of the rock bands and even did Faye Dunaway’s wedding. What an interesting life he lead.
My job the next day was to find stainless steal for the enclosure. After several phone calls I came across Ocean Marine Fabricating, Steve Shurteff. He said he would meet us Saturday morning at his shop to see if he could help us out. Once we arrive, Gary’s eyes grew large, Steve is building a KitFox airplane in his shop. They got to chatting about planes and 2 hours later we got around to what we came for, STAINLESS! Steve was very helpful and provided us with the correct sizes of stainless.
That night we met with Stan and his wife at the benefit dinner. Had a great time visiting with them and dinner was pretty good. Chicken for me, hamburger for Gary. Stan offered their sons mooring ball to us so we could save some money. We moved the next day. I am becoming a pro at grabbing these balls.
The next couple of days, Gary worked and I dinghy to town to do laundry. On Wednesday Stan picks us up and we head to West Marine, our parts are in. They dropped me off at Wal-Mart. Afterwords, Stan gave us a nice driving tour of Fairhaven, with a lot of history of the town. Back to the boat to make the repairs. We had to shore up the rudder so it won’t fall off when we remove the bolts which hold it. We are in 25′ of water and this would be a disaster. We re-glassed the rudder area and drilled new holes for the bolts. 6 hours later we have this repair done. On to the next project, adding the new stainless to the enclosure, then the new lines and tighten the boom-vang tang.
Saturday morning we receive a call from Captain Bob stating we can not be on this mooring ball, it is against the rules, something to do with insurance. We have to move back to ball 1. We have been on this ball for 4 days. We agree to move. Sunday we met up with Bob at the marina and he asked us when we were leaving and we said July 5th. He asked that we settle up with them that night, we asked what do we owe you? Bob $270.00! What, we were only on the marina’s ball for 2 days. Bob states his boss is charging us for using the private ball. We pay the man and he says we can stay on a different private mooring ball on the other side of the harbor, no charge. So me move again. We are not sure why we can stay on this one for two day for free, but had to pay for the one our friends gave us permission to use???
The Fireworks on the 4th in the harbor are beautiful. The next day Gary writes an email to Stan regarding the payment of the mooring and to make sure his son gets his portion. Stan forwards this email on to the City, which stirs up the pot. Bob calls us on Friday at 4 in the afternoon and says we have an hour to get off the mooring ball. So we were run out of town.
Our next stop is Cape Cod, Provincetown. What a cool place. This semi-island is not very lager, but has a very diverse culture. You know the flower hydrangea, it changes color with the acid in the soil so you can have pink, blue and white all on the same bush. That is what P-town is like, you can be blue, or pink, or both!
We also found that our boom-vang tang was cracked and needed to have it welded. We actually found a shop who could do this for us, Michael Kacergis. As we approached his place we see metal flowers, fountains and stuff all round his shop. He gives us his history and how the shop was his fathers. He fix the vang part and off we went. Met a couple, Paul and Carol who were anchored on a Valiant 42 just behind us. Had them over for dinner. They are cruising for 6 month each year.
We pulled anchor on Wednesday July 10th and headed to York Maine. Once underway I discovered that there was no place to anchor in York, so put our anchor down in Kittery Point instead. When the fog lifted in the morning, low and behold, there is a another 470 just like ours moored not 200 feet away. Since we did not make it to Ireland we decided to meet as many 470 owners as we could and Dan and Pam Morrison were on our list. Once we were secure at anchor we fired up the WiFi and found out that Gary’s Cousins Jeannie and Ruth went through Kittery on their was to Portland ME. They had on their bucket list to go from Portland OR to Portland ME, and they had just driven right by us and none of us knew. We got a hold of them on Facebook and on their return trip they stopped to see us. Had a great dinner at Captain & Pattys and caught up on all the family gossip. We met up with Dan on Thursday and walked to Fort McClary which is the backdrop view from our mooring. Friday night we had dinner with them. Lobster at last!