Cruising Chatham

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By Rich

Monday saw us in no hurry at all to leave Hyannis. We pulled into the docks to fill water, wash the decks, clean up the tender, and to enjoy another one of Paula’s delicious breakfasts. The girls even got in a few laps of swimming before we enjoyed another leisurely reach toward Chatham.

When it’s a light air reach on this boat, I like to set the auto pilot to steer, give the sails a good careful trim, then sit to leeward back at the helm station and watch the water go by. I like to imagine that I’m riding the Trades across thousands of miles of open ocean with nothing but days’ more of the same to look forward to.

Interestingly, Chatham hadn’t even made our list of destinations for this trip until a fellow Sabre owner we met on a SUP in Cuttyhunk convinced us that rumors of guaranteed shipwreck with the loss of all hands on the perilous approaches to Chatham were overblown.

We’re glad we listened. Near the conclusion of our glorious light air reach we approached the Chatham channel in bright sunshine – and while our approach came at the cost of neither a single human life nor newly refurbished yacht, we could see where Chatham gets its reputation. It was evident that these sands shift at the whim and whimsy of the Gods, no doubt with channel markers shifting just as frequently. Easy enough in broad daylight – nighttime and or foggy approaches justifiably would give mariners pause.

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Once we’d made the anchorage with keel intact, we found ourselves moored next to a legitimate fishing boat – another of the wonderfully odd sights I have beheld outside of Seb‘s portholes this 2015 cruising season.

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One can either walk to downtown Chatham or take a tender up the river to the dinghy docks. Thought it takes plenty of time, we can’t recommend strongly enough the latter for the breathtakingly beautiful views the trip offers.

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Once downtown white sharks, white sharks, and white sharks are the theme of Chatham but keeping our eyes peeled as we did coming and going we saw not a one. Infuriatingly, good Samaritans saved a beached juvenile Jaws just days after our departure and we missed out on all the fun.

If we’ve proven one thing this summer it’s that we have no luck at all with monsters of the deep. If you’ve any hope at all of being the one to capture proof of Nessie’s existence, be sure to time your trip to Loch Ness for any dates other than our own.

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