New England Trailer Sailors

My trip to Nantucket in 2005

by "The Beep"
With comments in italics by "Whale"
and pictures by Tony DiStefano and Barbara Garland

Editors note - "The Beep" is a 1990 MacGregor 26 Classic owned by Tony DiStefano. When not sailing she gets on the VHF and talks to other boats. She has also done quite a bit of writing this summer. Her friend "Whale" is a 1988 MacGregor 26 Classic owned by Barbara Garland. "Whale" has been in the repair shop most of the summer and was happy to see all her friends at the rendezvous. BG

With my electrical problems the VHF was off just after the Boston trip and I had no idea what was going on with the other boats. Then on Tuesday Tony fixed the bad wire and I was back in communication with the other boats. On Wednesday the Whale called and said she was fixed and heading to Wareham on Friday. I was so excited about this. The Vineyard trip usually was only 2 or 3 boats and now I knew all three boats would be there. Then the call came from Zemer Hayam that she would be there, then Karamel. The numbers were growing. By the time I reached the ramp in Wareham, Whale, Karamel, At Ease, Puddle Hopper Mildred Rose were there.

Tony rigging

Shortly after I got there Zemer Hayam and Magic showed up. San Juan was waiting at a mooring and we all got in the water and left for Bassett Island. If you were not there you missed the best sunset of the summer, it was beautiful.

You forgot to mention Wings Neck Light in the fading sun. That was beautiful too. But I guess I got there before you. Your skipper has a picture of the lighthouse with the red sky in the background. You can hardly see the lighthouse.

After a interest night sleep with a 3am wake up to set my own anchor, rafting was not allowed when the wind comes up. And did Zemer Hayam drag her anchor or did the power boat move? We woke to and exciting morning and eager sailors, all but the San Juan and I went to Woods Hole under the leadership of Whale.

Well Zemer Hayam was leading us out of the channel to the south end of Bassett Island. My skipper couldn't get her in the picture but the other boats were like Ducks in a row.

The San Juan and I went to Cleveland Ledge to meet up with Puddle Hopper, who stayed at the ramp for the night, with Paw Prints, F31 and Istoler. Then it was a slow run to Woods Hole

Woodls Hole as we flew through with a 2.8 knot current

and meeting the rest of the Group. Yes if you add it up there were 12 boats. It looked like Lake Champlain! On the way to Tashmoo the wind died and we had to motor. After a few tries we got the anchor set and got ready to go to town. Below are pictures Tony took of some of my friends

But before they went to town it seemed the water was full of people who wanted to swim. After all got dry they piled into the dinks to town. I understand the ice cream at Mad Martha's was as great and expensive as ever. The group walked around the harbor, did a little shopping then back over the hill to the dinks.

The ice cream store

Some of the skippers and crews

There was the usual boat visiting then a good night of sleep and the group broke up into the ones who had to leave at 7:30 to make Woods Hole with the current and the Nantucket group who would wait till 11am for the tide change. The VHF was full of good bys mainly because of the same picture that was taken a dozen times at the ice cream store causing all of the sailors to smile and get closer and have something to talk about. After the split the VHF was still alive telling of the progress of the Wareham group. It seems that Whale went sailing around and the other 6 went straight to the dock.

Well I've got more to say about that. Those other boats decided to motor to Woods Hole. We sailed and my skipper got a great picture of Nobska light

And then of course there was the parade of ducks in a row again. My crew for the weekend, Jim(who did most of the sailing) thought that should be the name of the group. Barbara took a picture of them headed into Woods Hole.

We sailed most of the way back but had to motor to get in so Jim could go home. Right after we took the sails down the traditional southerly came in. Ed, on the San Juan, said it would happen - and it did.

As the remaining boats prepared to leave the F31 had mast problems but said she could still hit 8 or more knots so it was off we went. It was a slow start with motor and sail and the current picked up as did the wind and off we went sailing to Nantucket. Paw Prints took the south route which turned out to be faster as Puddle Hopper, San Juan and I took the path with no shallow spots. Longer but safer for my friend,the fixed keel San Juan.

my friend thw San Juan can sail all by herself

Suddenly I just felt great and left the two I was with and flew to Nantucket. F31 passed me and when I got in the Harbor. Paw Prints was there and shortly after Puddle Hopper and San Juan showed up and we took a tour of the harbor looking for a place to anchor. It was after 6pm so the F31 purchased a mooring as there was reports of high wind after midnight. As we set our anchors Puddle Hopper took a mooring that was near and we thought we were set for the night. We were tired so just a little visiting and off to bed. At 12:30 the wind started and Tony added 20 feet to the rode and I did well at anchor with no drag. Paw Prints was not so lucky as she had to reset her anchor at 3am. At 7:30 am the harbor master told Puddle Hopper she would have to leave the private mooring. I sat in the wind in the morning while fixing and cleaning was going on then.

Paw Prints straining at her anchor line

Puddle Hopper in Nantucket

The San Juan in windy Nantucket

Steve called over to borrow the dink as his hat had gone into the water. The little beep to the rescue the hat was found and returned. The captains stayed on the boats till 2:30 then they put on their rain gear ( except Paw Prints) got in little beep and headed to the dock. They got wet from the wind and the waves but they were in great spirits. I do not know the whole story but there was something about a cycle gang of 3 who terrorized Nantucket for over and hour till they were forced to return their scooters (no cycles) to the shop. I also understand that there was drinking and eating involved and a great dink ride back to the boats after a taxi ride to get gas. Again a little visiting and the plan was set for a 5am sail on Tuesday. At 5am I was ready but the others were a little slow so I kept my speed down to 2.2 knots and headed out.

sunrise on Tuesday morning

All caught up by the time we exited the harbor and this time Puddle Hopper and Paw Prints took the southern route, San Juan and I took the deep route. After about 2 hours Puddle Hopper joined us as we motor sailed to Woods Hole. We made the trip in 6 hours and started through at 11 am. Paw Prints was a little behind but in VHF contact. Once into Buzzards Bay the wind came up and we sailed towards Cleveland Ledge wing on wing where we split up. Paw Prints and San Juan heading to Pocasset and Puddle Hopper and I to Wareham. At this point I have to admit I just could not get the speed up down wind and Puddle Hopper, after motoring to catch up, passed me and kept ahead till I put my motor on to get back to the dock by 3pm All I can say is it was a great sail with great boats and a great area to sail.