Monday, July 21, 2014

North of Cape Cod

        Provincetown is notable for one of the largest concentrations of gay men on the East Coast. When we arrived ashore it just so happened to be 'Bear Week', a huge celebration of hair, beefcake, and pulsing male testosterone. Quite a sight to behold. The town is beautifully tarted up for the tourists with numerous art galleries, fine dining and randy nightclubs, one of which was sponsoring a 'Tea Dance'. Hundreds of brawny, bare-chested males paraded through the streets and overflowed the bars. While we were there, high winds had whipped the waves into white caps and we got soaked to the skin on our way home in the dinghy!
Boston Yacht Club, Marblehead

The Mayflower
 Marblehead to Plymouth
          Generally known as the sailing capital of the Eastern seaboard, Marblehead has a deep, wide, sheltered and very picturesque harbour. We spent three days enjoying reciprocals at the prestigious Boston Yacht Club. Marblehead is an exquisite maritime town of narrow, winding cobblestone  lanes and brightly painted seafarer's lodgings of days gone by. It is perhaps, the prettiest community we have visited thus far. Plymouth is, of course, famous for the arrival of the first Pilgrims in 1620. We checked out the Pilgrim's Museum and the remarkably small (100ft) replica of The Mayflower. How 102 passengers and 25 crew crossed the Atlantic in this tiny vessel boggles the mind! A quick glimpse of Plymouth Rock  and we set our sights on the great city of Boston.
Plymouth Rock

           Home of the Red Sox, the Bruins and the Celtics, the non-sports fans will appreciate Boston for it's role in the early shaping of America. We rented a car and made our first stop the John F. Kennedy Museum and Library. It left us in awe of the power of the man for oratory and the sense of his belief in his convictions, his many great speeches...."Ask not what your country can do for you..." and his vision for racial and religious freedom for all. We also happened across the Holocaust Memorial, a series of glass towered fountains with steam coming up from around your feet. The tatooed numbers of the the six million people who died in the camps were etched upon the glass, a testament to the potential for cruelty of mankind.
          A tour of Boston would not be complete without an Irish Pub crawl in the old town, and as luck would have it, as dusk set, an amazing outdoor Rhythm and Blues concert in the park.

John F. Kennedy Museum

           The fog finally lifted as we set a course for Gloucester, Massachusetts. The home of the fishing vessel the Andrea Gail, and the now ignominious setting for the film A Perfect Storm. The famous bronze statue of the lone fisherman at the helm, commemorates those lost to the perils of the deep. Daragh and I wandered the docks in hopes of locating the Crow's Nest Pub, local to the five young fishermen who lost their lives that tragic day in 1991. We took a moment to reflect on all those brave souls who have gone to the sea in ships since time immemorial, never to return.

The Crows Nest

          Our final stop before the New Hampshire border was the most darling village of Rockport. With it's tiny granite ringed harbour filled with dories and skiffs it looked just like a small town in Cornwall, England, minus the pirates! The old Sandy Bay Yacht Club allowed us to tie to their pier, which took some doing considering the 10 foot tides here! We side-tied fender-board style, using two old boards tied to the dock lengthwise to fend off the dock poles. Very ingenious, and a bird's eye view of the lovely harbour!

Lobster Pots - aaargh!

10 foot tides

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