Whales, birds, and Supermoons

We have had two good days of long day passages under motor (we never saw winds above 5 knots).  We left Cape Elizabeth /Richmond Island at 0500 bound for Gloucester, but made good time early on and decided to head for Provincetown instead.  Along the way, we passed over Jeffrey’s Ledge and Stellwagen Bank, two great places for sea life.  We saw a huge pod of common dolphins, many birds, two sharks (we think small basking sharks) drifting on the surface, a few blows in the distance, and as we approached Provincetown, several finback whales, the second largest animal on the planet.  They are stunning.

Finback whale, Cape Cod, 9 August 2014

Finback whale, Cape Cod, 9 August 2014

 

finback whales, Cape Cod

finback whales, Cape Cod

We also enjoyed seeing the supermoon.  Here’s the moonrise over Cape Cod:

Supermoon over Cape Cod, 9 Aug, 2014

Supermoon over Cape Cod, 9 Aug, 2014

Here’s the moonset from Provincetown harbor.

Supermoon setting, Provincetown harbor, 10 August.

Supermoon setting, Provincetown harbor, 10 August.

Anyone out there know how to tell which picture was morning and which was evening other than looking it up or remembering from this specific day?

From Provincetown we hauled up the anchor at 0500 again and headed around the tip of Cape Cod for a few hours of whale and bird watching.  Yes, we can’t miss any opportunity to see whales again.  We saw several fin back whales again, a gray seal and many shearwaters. By 0830 we were on our way to the Cape Cod Canal and Cuttyhunk. The run through the canal was some of the roughest water we have seen in a while. We had a seemingly endless parade of powerboats heading against the current pushing creating steep, confused waves. We buried the bow in one and took water all the way into the cockpit and down the companionway. So much for the no wake zones.

The summer weekend trend continued at Cuttyhunk with more boats than we have ever seen here. Of course, everyone was in a rush to elbow their way into a spot. We anchored in the outer harbor at the edge of the anchorage and away from the chaos.  Can you spot us in the picture below?

Cuttyhunk.  Hurrah is in the outer anchorage.  The lone dark-hulled sailboat in the outer anchorage in the picture.

Cuttyhunk. Hurrah is in the outer anchorage. The lone dark-hulled sailboat in the outer anchorage in the picture.

The inner harbor was even more packed with boats rafted on many of the moorings that fill the harbor. Here’s the “skyline” of the inner harbor from our anchorage.

Cuttyhunk skyline.  11 August, 2014

Cuttyhunk skyline. 11 August, 2014

Our 1958 edition of the Duncan cruising guide notes:

“Before World War II, four large red and white mooring buoys were available to visiting yachtsmen when not in use. During the war, these were removed, but they may be put out again. At the present writing, there are no town moorings available.” What a different scene it must have been in those days.  Cuttyhunk was also famous for striped bass fishing.  We loved this sign:

A relic from the famous striped bass fishing days?

A relic from the famous striped bass fishing days?

 

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