Sailing Grounds of Buzzard's
Bay, Vineyard Sound and Cape Cod
Images and stories of
coastal cruising along the shores of Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound,
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands
Cove, Naushon Island
Padanaram Woods Hole
Cove, Naushon Island Waquoit
Bay and Vineyard Sound are a special area for sailors. Throughout the summer, the prevailing winds
come from the South West,
and tend to pipe up to 20+ knots each afternoon. A
beautiful swell builds through the afternoon, one that is predictable.
vessels from far flung hailing ports can be seen in abundance during
the summer season.
I have known the bay in the best of conditions, and some of the worse.
From Nasketucket Bay it is an easy reach to Wood's Hole, a hard beat up the
bay to Cuttyhunk.
currents from Lake Tashmoo to the Elizabeths can be so strong that a
actually moves backwards over the ground, as you charge through the current.
sailed across the bay in the dead of night, no auxiliary to propel her by,
with the air still and no choice but to sail the vessel back under sail
It took hours to cross, hours of quiet reflection, catching each zephyr of the
seen the bay with huge waves, once with a shark eye to eye with me in a swell
parallel to the vessel. The standing waves of
Quick's Hole and Robinson's Hole are real, and to be respected. A hundred foot
working vessel was flipped in these waters.
Over four foot walls of water that one must simply plow into, on and on and on.
once saw a water spout churn up the bay, the clouds a pitch black. I've been
by a squall that was so blinding the bow of the boat disappeared in the downpour
Bay and Vineyard Sound are my home. I have sailed her waters for the last forty
Being on the bay brings a sense of acceptance, of transcending time and place,
and of the majesty of the spirit of nature.
Mistletoe and Scrooge
of the Cape and Islands
for the Steamship Authority
for Cape Dory Yachts
I lay on the
bowsprit, facing astern, with the waves foaming into spume under me,
the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me.
I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it,
and for a moment I lost
myself-actually lost my life.
I was set free!
I dissolved in
the sea, became white sails and flying spray,
became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred
without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy,
greater than my own life,
or the life of Man, to Life itself!
To God, if you
want to put it that way.
O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night