It’s the kind of morning when the grey of the sky so nearly matches the grey of the ocean that it seems to suck the color out of everything else, including my mood, which is as grey as the monochromatic vista stretched out before us. “I don’t want to leave this awesome place,” I say sadly. The XO astutely points out that I say that about nearly every boating destination. Yeah, okay; she’s right.
“Well, I’ve seen prettier days. And higher tides!” I say as I pilot Ginger Lee due east past Harding Beach Point into Chatham Roads. The tide is so incredibly low that the Coast Guard is issuing a heavy shoaling warning for this very area we are cruising through. Wet sand is showing a mere ten feet on either side of us. It looks like you can walk all the way to Monomoy Point. My eyes scan the depth finder more often than usual, but for now there seems to be enough water under us; one can’t be too carefull in a place where the aids to navigation are as moveable as the channels they mark. I think of it as a suggested pathway and boat accordingly.
We leave the rusty, red and white “SH” buoy to port and find deeper water. “Good-bye beautiful Chatham. I hope we’ll be back someday.”
The seas are not kind to us this morning. Oh we’ve certainly experienced larger waves, but they’re coming straight at us; it will make the ride uncomfortable the whole twenty nautical miles to West Bay, Osterville. To avoid burying our bow into every wave, we tack back and forth, adding even more time to the ordeal. It’s all part of boating: taking the good with the bad. But I don’t feel threatened or unsafe; it’s actually very exciting. I feel alive and living in the moment. “Ha! Take that you wave! I got you that time! Is that all you got?” I stand at the helm, determined to win the battle. Hands grip the wheel firmly, legs spread for optimal balance. Man against the ocean! Jeez I was never so happy to see Wianno beach and the rock jetty that cuts into West Bay, where we have rented a slip at the Nauticus Marina.
“We beat the rain,” is the only good thing I can say about that ride. The long and winding channel through West Bay is so calm and welcoming. Like an old friend it speaks to me: “Hello weary boaters. Before you tuck your boat into its slip, enjoy this slow cruise though the most picturesque bay in all of Cape Cod.”
I hail the Osterville Bridge; it opens; we cruise though and immediately see the familiar face of Dockmaster Ken waiting on the dock. He expertly guides us into our slip, helps with our lines, and listens to our excited tales of the harrowing passage. We, in turn, listen to his tales of a similar trip years ago in his old Boston Whaler. All the while we are smiling and laughing, so happy to be here, safe and sound, in wonderful Osterville, Massachusetts.