Down East Cruise

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Follow our progress by scrolling down. This photo log progresses in chronological order. Enjoy!


Aug. 26: Great Harbour fleet goes from Newport, R.I. to Onset, Mass.

The Great Harbours charge out of Jamestown, Rhode Island, staging point for the Downeast Cruise, sponsored by Mirage Manufacturing. The fleet had a leisurely 40-mile passage through an unusually calm Buzzards Bay, under beautiful clear blue skies.

The first stop was the Victorian seaside village of Onset at the West end of the Cape Cod Canal. East Passage and C-View took advantage of the town pier, while the remaining six anchored in the bay. Great holding here!

Evening was pizza night for many of the cruisers, at Marc Anthony’s pizzeria.

The village hosted an open-air jazz concert that night, and some of us attended. Others strolled the shady streets or simply relaxed in perfect evening temperatures.

On to

Aug. 27

With a boost from the flooding tide the GHs made quick work of the 9-mile landcut that forms the Cape Cod Canal. With an 8 a.m. departure from Onset, we arrived in Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod at around 2:30 p.m., thanks to near glassy conditions on Cape Cod Bay.

The launch driver asked whether we had warned the cruisers about Provincetown. Of course we had; the town’s eccentricities were part of its charm. A Boy George lookalike leads the gang in Kareoke at the Governor Bradford tavern. They’re singing “Don’t Sink the Boat.”

Sue Graham of Odyssey photographed this scene from the Pilgrim Memorial; it shows six of the eight Great Harbours. the beach leading to the tip is visible and the curving arm of Cape Cod is at top.

Clambake on the tip of Cape Cod

Aug. 28: A taste of New England with Chef Charles

With the Pilgrim Memorial in the background and cups of genuine quahog chowder in their hands, the Great Harbours pose on the beach of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Chef Charles, at center, prepared a meal that also included steamed and raw quahogs, baked whole codfish, native squash like the pilgrims ate and blueberry cobbler and streussel for desert.

At left, Gail O’Donnell and Terry Woehr, caught up in the spirit of culinary adventure, slurp down their first raw littleneck clam, aka quahog.

Whales on the way

Aug. 29

Fiddler’s Green steams northward astride Stellwagen Bank en route for the Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire coast. Because a rough patch of weather associated with Hurricane Katrina was expected on Aug. 31, The Great Harbours were bypassing today’s original destination--Gloucester, Massachusetts--and forging ahead to the next stop at Gosport Harbor on the islands. The change will allow the boats to arrive in Portland before the snot hits.

As luck would have it, the most playful of the dozen or so whales spied by the Great Harbours performed his acrobatics in front of Odyssey. Odyssey is home to Paul and Sue Graham, the latter being the most prolific photographer in the fleet. She captured this big humback as it waved to the passing trawlers. There was some speculation that the great creature was attracted by Odyssey’s unique aquamarine colored hull.

As the Great Harbours approached the Isles of Shoals, an impressive 100-foot schooner drove past us. By now the boats were surfing on comfortable 4-foot seas, before finally rounding up into placid Gosport Harbor.

Isles of Shoals to Porland

Aug. 30

The Isles of Shoals were ghostly in their shroud of fog. That and the encircling rocks were proof that the Great Harbours had reached the great state of Maine. With an 8 a.m. start, they were off to the next stop: The Maine Yacht Center in Portland.

Katrina gets a pass

Aug. 31

The Great Harbours hunker down at the Maine Yacht Center as the remnants of Hurricane Katrina pass through Portland. Because of Katrina, Portland has become a three-night stopover, but that has allowed the group more time for shoreside exploration, including the famous L.L. Bean store in nearby Freeport, Maine.

A night with Eileen Quinn

Sept. 1

The Great Harbours enjoyed a performance by Eileen Quinn, whose songs are an amusing and sometimes sad commentary on the cruising lifestyle. Here in one of the funnier moments Eileen dons a mermaid costume while the audience creates special undersea effects. The concert was held in the lounge of the Maine Yacht Center.

Great Harbour Down East cruise is a chance for New Englanders to see the boats

 We expect to be in Onset, Provincetown, Gloucester, Isles of Shoals, Portland as well as Boothbay. The longest layovers, and therefore the best opportunity, to see a boat will be when we are in P-Town, Portland and Boothbay Harbor. For more info, call Mirage Manufacturing at 352-377-4146 and ask to speak to Peter Swanson.

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