Trip to Vancouver via Panama Canal: Day 3 - Cape Cod Canal and arriving in Newport | Yachtsmiths PEI

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As we approached US waters we decided to alter course to tuck inside Cape Cod due to an approaching weather system. Our new course took us within a mile of the northern tip of the cape where we were treated by a huge pod of 10-15 humpback whales feeding on herring.

Trip Map

 
Day 3 – June 5th

As we approached US waters we decided to alter course to tuck inside Cape Cod due to an approaching weather system. Our new course took us within a mile of the northern tip of the cape where we were treated by a huge pod of 10-15 humpback whales feeding on herring.

We stopped the boat and Neil and Ruby took several picture of these magnificent animals feeding.
Humpbacks feed by swimming in circles down deep below the herring schools while blowing bubbles. This forces the herring into a tighter area. One of the whales then dives deep and lunges up through the herring with its mouth wide open and broaches. If you looks intently at the surface of the water you will see a lighter area where the bubbles are coming to the surface just before the whale broaches. We saw this happen several times that morning….very beautiful to see. I am trying to get some of their pictures to post later….I was driving the boat…:(

Once we rounded the cape we headed straight for the Cape Cod Canal. The winds inside the cape were blowing a steady 20 knots but the waves were only about 1 meter.

For those of you that have never been through the Cape Cod Canal, it is very easy to transit and the views are stunning. the history of the canal can be found here:

http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/CapeCodCanal/History.aspx

and here:

http://www.history.com/topics/us-states/massachusetts/videos/a-challenging-story-the-cape-cod-canal

Sometimes there is a current in the canal but we did not notice it on this transit. We spent most of our time trying to figure out where to get a berth and refuel because we were told we could not clear customs in Falmouth as it was not a “Designated Port of Entry”. So, we decided to carry on to Newport, RI. We later found out that this wasn’t true and that we could have cleared in Falmouth…

Here are some pictures and video of the canal transit:

Cape Cod Canal east: VIDEO

IMG_0017

Cape Cod Canal west: VIDEO

The west end of the canal opens into Buzzards Bay and there is a very long transit thru channel markers. It seems to take forever to get back out into deeper water.

Entering Buzzards Bay: VIDEO

Once you finally make it out of the bay you are essentially in open water and as luck would have it, the gyro quit working again! We had beam seas of 1 meter and a 20 knot wind, so we were taking rolls of +- 15 degrees. We did a bit of zig zagging to try and minimize the rolling as we headed into Newport.

Once in Harbour we radioed the yacht club and were directed into our berth. We requested a berth that was easy to get into as I was fairly new at driving this boat and not all that comfortable with the 20 knot winds.

Well, the entry to the berth was a 20 foot wide path between million dollar sail boats!! And to make it worse, we were the closest boat in, meaning we had to thread the needle thru the boats and then move sideways into the dock with about a foot of room from the bow.
I always say that I wouldn’t mind if it were my boat I was driving, but I really don’t want to scratch someone else new boat?

Long story short, we made it in with some help from the marina guys….All I could think about was having to get back out!

Neil went ashore to pay for the dockage and nearly fainted when he was told the bill for the night was $300 UDS!

Customs came aboard a bit later and cleared us into the USA. Total time 33:15, logs showing 472 Nm from home.

At yacht club in Newport.

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