Hurricane Jose smashed through the Caribbean, roared up the east coast, then sat off New England bringing four days of high winds and waves off Boston. So we scratched our plans for Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and some of Connecticut and prepared Boundless for the storms. Then we waited.
We planned to be at the Hingham Shipyard Marina for a day, we ended up staying there for 7 days. Saturday was great hanging out with family. Sunday and Monday we did boat chores, the kids caught up on school and we went out more with family. And on Monday evening we readied Boundless for high winds and rains, and did a last minute late night shopping run before the rain started. Doug and I were an odd sight walking down the street at 11pm with tall backpacks full of groceries.
Then we sat for 3 days without leaving the confines of Boundless’ 56 x 15 feet. Hingham is a well protected harbor and we had no storm issues, just 3 days of rain, wind and boredom. Happily, we weren’t in Nantucket where a number of boats sunk in the harbor. Some of the things we did to pass the time:
- Me: completed 2 puzzles, cooked a pot roast, chicken noodle soup and chili, spent hours obsessively looking online at hurricane destruction in the Caribbean
- Doug: reworked our cruising plan between now and November a few times, built an iOS app, and spent hours obsessively looking online at hurricane destruction in the Caribbean
- Erin: played hours of video games, watched Youtube, slept for hours, and on evening 3, she was so stir crazy she spent half hour running back and forth on a 50 ft finger pier in a brief gap in the rain
- Andy: spent hours playing video game, watching Youtube, and researching arcane information online
- All: watched 3 movies
All in all, we did pretty well. And I continued to hone my less than stellar patience skills. Compared to when we were waiting in Newport for our dinghy, I’m getting better. The best course of action was no action and I was at peace with that.
We were particularly at peace with our situation given the mass destruction in the Caribbean from hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and now Maria). While we were thankful that we weren’t experiencing the hurricane wrath ourselves, we were heartbroken to see the devastation in places that we know and love. So many lives, homes, businesses and boats destroyed. Entire islands leveled. It’s so sad.
Given the destruction, we’re not exactly sure which islands we’ll visit for the rest of our trip. Economic recovery is critical to long term recovery and tourism is critical to many island economies. So we want to visit islands that are ready, even if accommodations are only partially there. We’re happy to drink a beer in a half finished beach shack, then hopefully lend a hand in the clean-up. But places focused on basic cleanup and recovery don’t need extra mouths to feed, garbage to dispose of, and boats crowding critical harbors. It’s hard to know which islands and harbors will be ready for us. So our plan is to not have a detailed plan for the time being and decide when things get closer. For example, our original plan had us sailing from Bermuda to St. Martin. St. Martin is one of our favorite islands and we were looking forward to visiting again. But they were hit very hard. We suspect they may not be ready for visitors, but if they are, we’ll be there. Similar story for a number of other islands. We shall see.
Our Massachusetts Itinerary
As we head to Connecticut and an abbreviated tour of Long Island Sound, below is a recap of our itinerary from Massachusetts.
Salem – We left Maine at daybreak to make it to Salem before sunset. Much more than the Witch Trials, Salem sports a historic downtown seaport, the amazing Peabody Essex Museum and a quirky downtown with great restaurants.
Boston – A quick daysail brought us to our temporary home base in Boston. We enjoyed a game at Fenway, the JFK Library, a Boston University tour, eating in North End, running in Boston Commons, and catching up with friends and family in Boston.
Hingham – Family fun and waiting for Jose!
Mattapoisett – With Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and some of our Long Island Sound stops now off our schedule, we made a hasty retreat to CT with a brief overnight stop back at Mattapoisett harbor. An easy place to quickly drop the anchor at dusk and head back out at first light.