Hadley Harbor is nestled between three Massachusetts islands that few Bay-Staters have ever heard of, and even fewer have ever been to: Naushon, Uncateena, and Nonamesset. The names of these islands are so seldom heard of that my computers spellcheck refuses to acknowledge that I have in fact spelled them correctly. It’s like they don’t exist. But I assure you, not only do they exist, but they are among the most beautiful, unspoiled, untouched pieces of real estate anywhere in the entire Commonwealth. Nobody is allowed on these islands unless you are a guest of the very protective owners: the Forbes. They are truly unsung heroes for protecting these incredible natural wonders for so many years. I bow to their wisdom and pray that forever may it be so.
All the moorings are first-come-first-serve, and free of charge, compliments of the Forbes family. Usually, Hadley is so popular, you’d be hard pressed to find an unoccupied one, but because it’s so late in the season, we have our choice of several.
In this secluded paradise, the chilly wind is blocked on all sides, leaving the toasty warm Sun to stream in unabated. It’s funny how the word “chilly” is subjective. In September, after a hot Summer, our “chilly” 68 degrees causes us to break out the sweatshirts, but if we hit the same temperature in March, we put on tee shirts and shorts, open up all our windows, and fire up the barbecue.
Morning brings us overcast skies. Heavy rain is predicted for the next few days. Hadley Harbor is one place I would love to be stuck in, but we gotta get home, and after checking the weather map on the XO’s smart phone, we see a small window of opportunity, so we reluctantly free Ginger Lee from the mooring and make the move toward home. The grey threatening sky grows darker as we leave the Woods Hole Cut and direct our boat across Buzzards Bay. Surprisingly, the waves remain quite small.
Two miles from home, we pass Bird Island. Extra large raindrops splatter on our windshield, then increase in intensity until our wipers can barely keep up with the deluge. But it’s not scary at all. We are safe and warm and driving from the salon. It’s sort of like driving from your living room. The couch, TV, and refrigerator are close by. It is really pouring outside and the visibility has dropped significantly, but we are in our back yard, with familiar landmarks and nav-aids. We’ve cruised through here so many times I almost think Ginger Lee could drive herself to our mooring.
Is this our last cruise of 2016? I hope not, but here on the South Coast of Massachusetts, one never knows.