Plymouth Ho!


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North America » United States » Massachusetts » Plymouth
August 24th 2013
Published: September 1st 2013
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The tide is rolling into Cape Cod Bay as we head out of Scituate harbor and it continues rolling us all the way down the coast to Plymouth. We stop at the fuel dock for fifteen gallons of diesel before leaving Scituate.

The outer entrance to Plymouth harbor is marked by Plymouth Light, high up on the hill on Gurnet Point. From there, you still have five miles to go before you get to the dock in Plymouth town. First, you head down the main (and only) entrance channel to a little pepper-pot lighthouse whose official and curious name is “Duxbury Pier”. From this point, you can head South to Plymouth or you can turn North into the enormous but very shallow Duxbury Bay.

In the past, we have stayed several times in both places. Anchoring in Duxbury Bay is an interesting exercise because most of the bay is less than two feet deep and you must, very carefully, find a deep-enough spot at the edge of one of the narrow channels that wind their way across this big expanse of water. One evening, two sailboats tied themselves alongside each other and anchored near us using the bigger boat’s anchor. This is a common practice, known as “rafting”. But the next morning, our neighbors were on deck laughing uproariously. They had drifted out of the channel and both boats were sitting on their keels, leaning comfortably against each other until the tide came back and re-floated them.

The other place that we have stayed in the past is at Brewers Plymouth Marina. But it is one of the last Saturdays of Summer and they have no space. So we call the harbormaster as we arrive and ask if he has any space. Yes, he says, we can pick up Mooring Buoy #1.

This mooring is well protected from the sea by a long spit of land with a few houses on it. But it is in open water alongside the main channel and is over a mile from the Plymouth waterfront. We believe that the harbormaster runs a launch service but are not sure whether it visits these distant moorings. Not to worry, we are quite happy just to hang out here. There are no speed limits in the main channel in and out of Plymouth and while the big whale-watching and ferry boats proceed in and out at a sensible speed, many private motorboats run in and out at their usual speed, which is “as-fast-as-I-can-make-it-go”. So it is a bit rocky out there ... :-)

In the evening, two very smartly dressed young harbormasters turn up in a big black Rigid Inflatable Boat that would be quite at home in any James Bond Movie. They have two big black outboards to reinforce this thought. They have brought out a form for me to complete, in triplicate. When I ask what kind of payment they take, they answer “Only a check”. I go search for my checkbook. I know it is aboard but I have not needed it since I came aboard and cannot find it. “No problem”, they say. I can simply mail it in. But their fill-it-out-in-triplicate form (one for the harbormaster, one for the town and one for me) does not carry the address. So the nice polite young harbormaster hand-writes the address for me. And then they burble off, with their big black outboards just ticking over, to the next moored boat to repeat the procedure.

It is now 6:30pm, the sun is beginning to set, everyone except the two Sunset Cruise boats has gone home, we have a nice steak in the fridge and a barbeque on the stern, and all is well.

This is where we have been for the “next” few days ...
Sunday & Monday, Aug 25 & 26 - Marion MA
Tuesday & Wednesday, Aug 27 & 28 - Quisset MA
Thursday, Aug 29 - Marion MA
Friday, Aug 30 - Westport MA
Saturday, Aug 31 - At anchor in the Kickemuit River behind Bristol RI
Sunday, Sep 1 - Brewers Wickford Cove Marina RI

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