>Across the Gulf of Maine and into home waters

>It’s Friday morning and as I write this we are passing Cuttyhunk Island, the southern most in the Elizabeth Islands Chain.  We left Rockland on Thursday morning at 05:00 under power and a light NE wind for the Cape Cod Canal.  The winds remained fair the entire way so it was a very easy run.  We probably have sailed nearly the entire way except that we wanted to keep our speed up as close to 7kts as we could.  While some of our sailing time was in the 6kt range, we were able to turn off the engine for a little bit more than 1/3 of the time.   The rest of the time we motor sailed.  With the winds on the stern quarter it was a very pleasant run and while the seas were a bit bumpy, we were steadied by the wind in the sails.

We did two hour watches beginning at 20:00.  For my watch from 02:00 to 04:00 I was treated to a moonless sky which meant that I was able to see the water sparkle with the jellyfish and other animals in the water that give off light when disturbed.  As we sped along the bow wave sparkled like millions of little green stars in the water around the boat.

We did see two whales off in the distance that I spied because of their nearly 20′ high steaming spout as the took breaths.  As they were perhaps a mile away, it’s wasn’t hard to imagine how easy it would have been to hunt these creatures in the age of sail.  

We entered the Cape Cod Canal at 04:00 on Friday making the 155 mile run from Rockand at an average speed of just under 7kts.   The canal is well lit with range markers and lights along both banks for the entire 10mile length but I missed it as I was down below asleep while my friend Keith took her through.  While I have been through the canal perhaps 20 times, I have never gone through in the dark.  Perhaps I will be awake next time as it is a very different experience.

Today is a glorious day with bright sun and clouds.  The wind continues to be fresh from the NE so we are booking right along at better than 7kts.  It continues to be amazing to me that Pandora can make those sorts of speeds with no more than 10kts apparent.  And, the motion is very nice.

I should note that I am sitting at the cockpit table writing this and the view is really nice.

The sun on the water over the Elizabeth Islands this morning. 
Perhaps not the most inspiring shot but I hate to have a post with just one photo.    This doesn’t do justice to the view of the water rushing by the hull.  It’s very nice.   
We will be back in Mystic later today where Pandora will spend the next month prior to my taking her to Norwalk to be hauled for the winter.  It goes without saying that after two months afloat with Pandora that I am not at all pleased to be calling the season over.  Yes, we will do a few weekends prior to hauling, but it’s just not the same as being aboard for an extended period.
That’s all for now. 

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