Continued from “A Pirate Looks at 40 – Part 1”
I continued through the small zig-zag channel and made my way into Cotuit Bay. At this point, the winds were light and I had already doused the sail, so I continued under power. The deeper I got into this network of bays, the more interesting they became. I motored the length of Cotuit Bay past an entire fleet of Beetle Cats resting softly art their moorings likely tired from being at the mercy of some young sailing school kids. Cotuit Bay continued to narrow until it suddenly spit me out into North Bay. At one end of North Bay was a large marina with some sort of event going on. Young people motored slowly by in droves which led me to believe it was some sort of yacht club social event. In the quiet of the afternoon, the voices of young folks carried over the water. I could hear conversations of topics that I had covered over and over in my youth. Marsaili rocked a bit as I slipped through and crossed over the wakes of this caravan and continued my journey further into the northern unknown.
I then entered a small spit in the north corner of North Bay. At first I was unsure if in was navigable, but a couple of “No Wake” signs gave me confidence to continue. Marsaili was designed for shallow New England waters and only draws about 19” but there was plenty of water for me here. At this point I was in the wilderness. A couple of houses poked out from the shore here and there, but it was mostly marshes and trees. I passed a couple of small boats, but it was otherwise quiet until I rounded the corner into Prince Cove. Here in what felt like the middle of the woods, there were dozens of boats moored in a small cove. I am told that it is a great place to escape hurricanes later in the season and if there is a storm forecasted boats are crammed in there rafted up 3-4 boats deep. The cove was already too crowded for me and Marsaili to meander around, so I turned around and started my search for a nice place to anchor for the evening.
I ended up tying off to a mooring at the south east corner of North Bay. I was enjoying watching the boats crawl by on their way to the party and there seemed to be a handful of open moorings. I was hoping nobody would mind if I borrowed one. I tied up the sail and fired up the camp stove for a nice hearty beef stew meal. After dinner, Johnny Walker and I had a wonderful time just relaxing in the cockpit and watching the sun go down over North Bay. A big old wooden catboat ventured out into the bay and sailed a couple of tacks until it was too dark to see. It was glorious and Mr. Walker agreed.
It was as if I had sailed through 4 worlds starting at the open ocean where my solitude reigned, through Cotuit Bay where my wooden boat maiden lived, through North Bay where the festive young folks made a caravan to a party, and finally into a secret hidden cove in the woods. Please don’t think that my overactive imagination hinders my sense of perspective. This was a journey of about 6 hours covering a mere 20 nautical miles. I do realize that it was a very small adventure but keep in mind that perspective is relative. This was my largest voyage to date by about 15 miles and my first overnight outside of Lewis Bay. I have always been content just sailing around Lewis Bay and since I usually have some children with me was a bit restricted from leaving there. I am now bitten by the bug. This season, my daughter Maggie (8) will join me to Cotuit and I will hopefully extend my solo journey a bit further to Popponesset, or Waquoit, or Woods Hole, or someday Cuttyhunk.
The sun rise the next morning was equally gratifying. I brewed up a cup of coffee and huddled into the cockpit with my blanket while it rose. A couple fisherman floated slowly by, but otherwise the bay was mine on this sleepy Sunday morning. The trip back was almost identical to the trip out in that I had to head about 2 miles off-shore to find a breeze. I stopped by the heralded Crosby Boat Yard on the way out and was on my way. I am not going to tell you that I returned a changed man or that my days at sea hardened me. Oh no. My kids did that to me years ago. Instead I will tell you that I returned home a relaxed and peaceful man. It is amazing how such a small time and a small distance spent in a sailboat can give a man such a broad range of happiness and content.
Thank you for reading.