Great sailing Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard

by Oana

Sunday 26 August: Nantucket to Martha’s Vineyard.
A bit of a dull morning, overcast and chilly. By the time we had breakfast and made a tentative plan for the day, looks like it will be brightening up and we happily go ashore.
Better luck today at the fuel dock: the pumps are working and we get petrol for the outboard. But ouch, our wallet, we paid US$5.85/gallon! When we usually paid only US$3 in the past. This island is expensive!
We walk through the pretty town towards the Whaling Museum, where we bite the bullet and pay US$40 for the tickets. Ouch again. Looks like we arrived just on time for a live presentation of Nantucket’s whaling history backed by a silent movie from 1920 of how the whales where caught. All very interesting, and the lady delivering the presentation made the experience worthwhile. We knew these islands gained their wealth on whaling In 17-1800s but we had no idea the whaling voyages took them into the South Pacific and lasted 3-5 years each! The longest recorded was 11 years! In the room they exhibit the skeleton of a young sperm whale which was beached on the south coast of the island in 1997.
The visit through the candle factory is somehow less interesting, and we walk through the rest of the exhibitions till the next live presentation, Essex Gam. It is about a whaling expedition that ended badly when a whale holed their ship. Later on it inspired the book “Moby Dick”.
On the museum’s roof deck we bask in the sun and take in the view over the harbor, before we head back into the town.
Instead of our usual coffee break we have an ice cream break today, which was yummy, mostly because we indulged ourselves into the freshly made waffle cups. Once we are happily topped up on calories, quick stop at the supermarket for fruits and vegetables, then stroll back to Cloudy Bay.
While onboard, we fly the drone off the back of the deck, to get a quick footage of the picturesque Nantucket Harbor before we leave. Unfortunately, the camera lens gets steamed up and the image quality is not good at all. Take two, with the same result. Hm, some rest in the rice will be needed. Can any electronics work properly on this boat? At least one item? Those damp foggy days in Maine are to blame. In-between the flights we noticed an environment police boat hovering in our area, and for a moment we were worried we will be told off, but they left and we carried on being naughty with the second flight.
Mid-afternoon we upanchor and head for Martha’s Vineyard. Bright sunshine by now, fingers crossed we will take this splendid weather with us.
Sails are up even before we exit the channel. The wind is a gentle 10-15kts, and with the wake from all the speeding boats which is breaking us we only do a modest 5kts SOG, but we are happy to be moving again. Once in the open sea, the wind picks up a bit and so does our speed. We must have some serious growth on the hull, as in this wind we would normally go faster.
Gradually, the wind turns more into our nose, and we end up having a glorious upwind sail, at 8.8kts. That should clean off the weed from the bottom of the boat.
We aim to anchor in Oak Bluff, but as we approach the shore lots of ferries are speeding passed us in and out of the harbor. And we don’t like rolling in ferries wake! Quick change of course and half an hour later we are anchored at the head of Vineyard Haven Harbor next to Tisbury town, just as the sun is setting. A wonderful 20 mile sail.
We’ve been a bit chilly in the last couple of hours, and we don’t fancy going ashore on a cold and wet dinghy ride. Plus, we both feel like we’ve done enough today. So quiet evening onboard. We’ll explore tomorrow!

Martha’s Vineyard photo album
Martha’s Vineyard video on Sail Cloudy Bay YouTube channel
Nantucket photo album

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