Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Rockland MA, Waiting for the Gale

We are anchored in Sandy Bay in Rockport MA, waiting for a cold front to pass through tonight and tomorrow morning. There is a gale warning, the forecast is calling for 20-25 knot winds with gusts up to 40 knots with periods of rain. The 40 knot gusts are of concern. I picked this spot because it is well-sheltered for southerly winds. The anchor is set hard, we have plenty of chain out and double bridles rigged. I've set an anchor alarm on chartplotter and have a bailout plan with plenty of sea room behind me.  Nothing else to do but wait and see what happens.

We left Kittery ME at 08:30 this morning. Heavy fog was forecast and I expected to have to wait until later in the morning to leave, but when I woke up the sun was peeking through cloudy skies and conditions were calm. Since winds and waves were forecast to build in the afternoon, I was glad to get an early start.

We motored with wind on the nose the whole way here. The trip began with low, thick clouds and a grey sea with a gentle southeast swell, the water sparkling from cloud diffused sunlight off in the distance. By mid-morning, the sun was out with a line of thin cumulus clouds across the horizon, wispy high cumulus clouds overhead, the sea steel blue. Pleasant but unsettled weather.

We arrived around 12:45. It took us a couple of tries to get the anchor set. On our first attempt, close to the shore, the anchor rattled along a rocky bottom, never really grabbing. We tried again further offshore in about 25 feet of water and the anchor set right away in a sandy bottom. We b

acked down hard with both engines for ten minutes to set and proof tested with 125 feet of chain out and the anchor held fast. Then we let out another 75 feet of chain to achieve a 7:1 scope, more than the 5:1 (length to depth) ratio at which we normally lie.

With Intermezzo settled in and the weather calm and pleasant, we headed into shore to explore the town. I'll write more about that later. While ashore, it was sunny, it rained, it was windy, it was calm, it was warm, it was cool. Clearly a lot going on in the atmosphere today.

Intermezzo (red arrow), well-sheltered from southerly winds

Intermezzo lying at anchor off the beach in Sandy Bay, Rockland MA