Nantucket Journals

Do It Yourself Cruise

Best of IgoUgo

A July 2002 trip to Nantucket by Ellum Enopee

Lighthouse Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts More Photos
Quote: Ever wonder what it’s like to lose your lines and take to the seas? We experienced the highs and lows of ‘living the dream’ last summer when we took our 38-foot sailboat on our annual cruising adventure to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and the Long Island Sound.

Two days by Boat, Three Hours by Car

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Lighthouse Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quote:
Our adventure started on a Sunday. We sailed from our home port in New York Harbor to Black Rock, CT, between Fairfield and Bridgeport. This was a short hop intended to get the boat past the tricky Hell Gate tidal currents, which can only be safely transited twice a day. Once past the aptly named Hell Gate, we’d no longer be slaves to the whims of the tide. Entertainment during this sort of trip is often provided by our radio, which we are required to keep on and tuned to channel 16 so that other boats may contact us in case of emergency. There is no music on this station, just the occasional chatter of boats contacting each other to negotiate right-of-way. Occasionally you hear the Coast Guard chid...Read More
The Chappaquidick Car Ferry Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quote:
We resumed our trip on Friday morning. We began our sail to Mattapoissett, MA, where we planned to overnight before attempting the Cape Cod Canal, a 19-mile passage that must be timed precisely to make the best use of a strong current that can get up to 4 knots at peak, making it essentially a one-way street for a motor-impaired vessel. The following night we planned to put the boat in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod and go whale watching (and people watching!) Mattapoisett is a charmingly sleepy little fishing village, but Provincetown is a continual party in the weeks before and after the 4th. We wanted to be sure we had a mooring reserved before committing to the Canal passage. After a fe...Read More

Of Wharfs and Whaling: Nantucket

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Welcoming Wharf Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quote:
On Monday we headed for Nantucket – home of ultra-preppy clothing, whaling memorabilia, and sky-high prices. Nantucket’s harbor is wonderfully inviting to boaters. Like Vineyard Haven and other New England fishing communities, everything you need is a short walk from the docks. We slid our floating home into a comfortable berth at what turned out to be the Rolls Royce of marinas. Not one but three dockhands came out to help us with our lines. We’ve been to quite a few marinas and no one has EVER offered to help with our lines before except drunken neighbors eager to show off in front of their out-of-town guests. These "helpers" invariably end up dropping the lines in the water or tying them to the w...Read More

To Provincetown ... by Car?

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Whale Watching Trio Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quote:
After brunch we headed for Falmouth, Mass., just next door to Woods Hole. Instead of a long 15-hour day fighting 15-20 knot winds and waves to the tip of Cape Cod, we took a mere 5 hours to get across the Nantucket Sound. Conditions were truly horrific until we were well into the Sound and in 80 feet of water. Both the swells (8-10 feet) and the chop (2-4 feet on top of the swells) lessened, leaving us just the 20-knot winds and 25-30 knot gusts to contend with. Piece of cake! The sail was rough but worth it, as we arrived just in time to rent a car so we could DRIVE to P’town the following morning. Have I mentioned how much faster driving is than sailing? We opted for a quick trip to Woods H...Read More
Another Lighthouse Photo, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quote:
We left in the dark, navigating by retracing our path on our chart plotter, and were treated to a spectacular sunrise as we slipped through the Elizabeth Islands on our way to Buzzard’s Bay. The wind was averaging a brisk 20 knots – unfortunately it was coming straight at us, and had been doing so for the past 14 hours or so. This had whipped the seas into a fairly robust set of erratic choppy waves that were battling obnoxiously with the prevailing 2-knot current coming from the exact opposite direction. End result: one bumpy ride, with the wind directly on our nose. Fortunately that didn’t last long; we were able to tack slightly and keep about 20 degrees off the wind using just the staysail. Late...Read More