It’s a warm July day. The kind of day that makes you thankful for the haze that filters the raging sun. A delicious breeze circulates through the salon as we pass the Weweantic River. Burgee and ensign both come to attention and salute to starboard.
“Man that feels good,” I say, spreading my bare arms, soaking it all in. I set my binoculars down on the chart to keep it from blowing off the table. We are on our way to Pocasset to anchor off Bassets Island.
It’s Sunday and boaters are everywhere. Smiles and waves abound; everybody is happy to be on the water for the first decent weekend of summer.
The predicted wave heights of one foot or less is wrong and we run into a washing machine of confused ocean out near the Cleveland Ledge Channel. Ginger Lee dips into a trough then bravely plows headlong into a four footer. A torrent of seawater floods the deck just moments after I closed the hatch over our bed. But I forgot to close the little flip-up front window and the galley parquet floor gets a salty wash. Not so bad though, nothing that a bath towel can’t handle.
Soon we’re in the protected waters between Wings Neck and Scraggy Neck and life is good. Our GPS beeps as we near the red-green buoy marked Eustis Rock on our chart. We have re-named it Useless Rock for no particular reason except it sounds funnier.
I like to enter the well-marked channel near Hospital Cove so I can look at the hundreds of boats are anchored off the Eastern shore of Bassets. We pass by the loud party people and head to our usual quiet spot near channel marker “RN12” which floats directly across from Patuisset Point. Because of the shallow depth, not many boats dare anchor here. I drop the anchor and it grabs on the first try. Sweet! Our sounder reads two feet at low tide, but that would be two feet under the transducer which is mounted on the lowest point of Ginger Lee’s transom. Plenty of water.
We’re entertained by a large sailboat that keeps trying to get its anchor to hold. I don’t mean to make fun, but they fail so many times it’s a bit comical. They’ve been trying for an hour and a half now. We could see the problem right away: they have no scope. They’d run the anchor straight down to the bottom then immediately back the boat up. Of course it won’t catch. Ya need to run out at least fifty feet of line to get the right scope, or angle to the water, so that the anchor can do its job and dig in. Finally, somebody dinghies over and shows them how to do it.
We idle the afternoon away reading, talking, and people watching. As the sun gets lower and my tummy says it’s dinnertime, I fire up the grill. Over a delicious dinner of steak tips, zucchini, and olive salad, we try to guess which boats will spend the night, and revel in the luxury of having nothing else better to do.
Darkness falls; a lovely time to be on a boat; a gentle and velvet-like quiet surrounds everything. Time seems insignificant. We light lamps, something we used to do to save electricity, but even though I’ve replaced all the incandescent bulbs with wicked miserly LED’s, we still prefer the warm glow of our oil lamps.
I wake to the sound of hunting Osprey. Believe me, it’s a nice feeling. The holding ground is so good here that I never worry about dragging. Also a nice feeling. While the world is asleep, and all the other boats nearby still have their anchor lights on, I hop into the dinghy and putt-putt over to the Island for a walk on its beach. There is one small section that has big NO TRESPASSING signs posted every five feet (in case you missed the last one five feet back). I go past them, pull Salty up on the sand, and dig in his anchor. There is not a soul around except a murder of crows. I managed to get within two steps of them before they noticed me. “What are you doing here!” they screech, obviously startled to see a human being on their beach.
It’s 11:30 Monday morning, the only time you can actually get into the popular Chart Room restaurant without waiting. Ol’ Salty zooms us over to the Kingman Yacht Center, the largest marina on Cape Cod.
LIke most dinghy docks these days, this one is an ocean of rubber. So as not to offend our rubbery brethren, we put out fenders on both sides before we tie Salty up.
We are the first patrons in the place, but by the time our lunch arrives it’s nearly full, and just as the cruising guide describes it: clamorous. A large family is seated next to us. Waitresses push four tables together to accommodate them. The small children begin to whine and cry, having nothing to do and no food yet. To my utter amazement, the matriarch, Nanna, gathers them up and takes them outside to play on the lawn. I nod my approval as she walks by. She, in turn, smiles softly back at me. So respectful! I wanna hug Nanna. Who does that? Me! Years ago I used to do that every time when my wee ones were acting up in restaurants. But sadly, I’ve never seen anybody else do it until today.