Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

Chip Ahoy's 2010 Cape Cod Cruise

July 21 - Aug 5, 2010

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This morning the weather forecast was for showers, and thunderstorms all day at various time -- early and late morning, afternoon. I wanted to get home, was torn with indecision, prepared to get wet -- but not struck by lightning. I went back and forth with myself, finally decided maybe I can make it; maybe the forecasts -- all over the place yesterday and I probably could have made it then -- were just as inaccurate. Finally I decided to take a chance, give it a shot.  (Aug. 5, 2010)

Though it looked increasingly threatening as the early morning was passing me by, I knew if I was leaving, then the earlier the better -- before the afternoon and its probable thunderstorms moved in. I dropped the mooring at 7:00 am and was on my way home.

Heading out beyond the Scituate Harbor breakwater I ran into the first of the fog. The forecasts had called for "patchy fog," and I've done blind fog before, so I gritted my teeth and kept going.  No wind -- I tried hoisting sails off Cohasset Light but it was a waste of time.  I kept motoring, still hoping to beat any thunderstorms.

Out to sea some 3-5 miles offshore, the fog lessened; visibility increase from 20 yards to maybe half a mile. The next challenge was the Coast Guard alerting all boats in the Boston Harbor shipping channel that an LNG tanker was leaving Port of Boston. Wonderful. I radioed the CG, gave them my position and situation. They advised that I'd see the security cordon before I saw the tanker, proceed with caution.

When a huge ship loomed out of the fog, I thought I'd found it, but it was only an anchored freighter in the middle of the harbor.  I continued motoring toward Marblehead, as the fog thickened until visibility was back down to maybe 20 yards.

Before I reached the entrance to Salem Sound from Massachusetts Bay I was running purely by GPS, utterly blind.  Once inside the sound, I heard the first horn from another boat. Then a chorus of boats' horns in reply. Immediately we were all signaling each other with horns.

Approaching Salem Harbor the fog suddenly moved off, visibility increased abruptly and significantly, though the inclined planes of it were all around

I made it easily to Chip Ahoy's mooring, at about 1:00 pm. It took an hour or so to put everything together that was coming ashore or needed to be stowed. I called, told Barbara I'd be taking a short nap before coming ashore. That was a mistake. An hour or so later, as I was putting on the sail cover before leaving, the showers started -- followed by a vicious thunderstorm, followed by another, both accompanied by torrential downpours. This was the first significant rainfall of the cruise, and aboard I found a few unexpected leaks

I was on the launch with the camera equipment Pelican case and laptop case heading for the dock as soon as it looked like there was a window between storms. Barbara picked me up at the top of the dock, had me home a minute or so later.

Another seafaring cruise successfully accomplished; at least survived.  (Aug. 5, 2010)

For Chip Ahoy's complete log of the 2010 cruise, click here


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