Cuttyhunk-a-burnin-love

We took off from Onset heading southwest down Buzzard’s Bay.  We’d planned to catch the tide down the bay, but there was an unnatural phenomenon we didn’t take full account of.  When the tide is going out of two bays at once, as in the Cape Cod Bay and Buzzard’s Bay or the Delaware Bay and the Chesapeake Bay, and a man-made canal has been carved between them, there is a suction in both directions.  I (Dena) thought that Onset was far enough on the Buzzard’s Bay side of the canal that we would get only Buzzard’s Bay currents.  When we got out of the entrance channel for Onset though, and turned down the major channel to the bay, we nearly stopped in place. Dropping from 6.2 knots down to 2.8 knots in seconds is a better than decent clue that the tide is against you. I pushed up the RPM until we were burning at 2600 and going 3.7 knots, and that was good enough.  Within 15 minutes, the speed started creeping upward.  There isn’t a definitive pinnacle where the tide reverses.  Instead, it took about 10 minutes to cover enough distance for our speed to bump back up past 6 knots.  At that point, I reduced the RPMs on the engine in order to burn less fuel. A steel grey day faced us with constant rain.  Everything was wet outside, and we did battle against drenching the interior of the boat.  We were doing one hour watches because of the intensity of the weather.  Each time we switched places, the person who went below dried off at the foot of the companionway steps and boosted up the propane heater to dry things a bit.  We really won that war. Outside, the winds were variable from 5 to 15[…]

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