Life's Adventure

Columbus Day Weekend in Plymouth

We seriously toyed with the idea of heading to Nantucket for the Columbus Day, but I never got comfortable with the forecast for the backend of the weekend.

All sources agreed that Friday would be nice, Saturday would be wicked, and Sunday would have wind from the east, but forecasts for the strength of the wind and amount of sun/rain were all over the place.

Our friends Gary and Amy were on Nantucket and we loved the idea of an October visit, but facing the real possibility of being stuck there in the rain for five days, we pulled the plug on that idea and booked Plymouth.

Summer Flashback Friday

We took off around 9:30, just as the temperature was passing 70…

We encountered minimal wind and a favorable current in the canal resulting is smooth two hour run from Mattapoisett to Plymouth…

After we docked and washed down Relentless we were pretty hungry and decided to go the Surfside Smokehouse right at the Marina. One of the trademarks of Safe Harbor Marinas is hosting a good restaurant on the property and Surfside is one of the best…

Noon on Friday was totally a summer experience with a light breeze and temperatures in the mid seventies.

Brussels Sprouts at Surfside Smokehouse
Smoked Kielbasa at Surfside Smokehouse

Interesting Annie

Right after we sat down (at the bar as usual,) a young woman down sat next to Mrs. Horne and ordered lunch. Of course they struck up a conversation and we spent the next hour getting to know Annie…

Annie and Mrs. Horne

She’s a Plymouth local with a heart of gold (she offered us a room at her house if it got too windy). We frequent a lot of the same spots in our travels and she even knows people in Mattapoisett.

But as the conversation progressed, we learned that her road has not been an easy one. You may have heard the sad story about the young man who died recently in Dennis…

Turns out Marty (Luttrell) was one of Annie’s dearest friends and she was still dealing with the grief of losing him.

As the conversation continued, we learned that Annie almost died in College from leukemia. And if it weren’t for a random act of kindness from over 500 strangers, she probably wouldn’t be with us today.

Annie needed a bone marrow transplant to survive and none were available, no one in her family was compatible, nor was anyone in the National donor bank. The odds of finding an acceptable donor were 20,000:1.

Her friends and family organized a massive donor event in September of 1991 and over 500 strangers showed up in an effort to save Annie’s young life (see Selfless Act on a Summer Day – Boston Herald).

We had plans to bike after lunch, but quickly abandoned them in favor of watching the movie “Taken” back on Relentless. Although Mrs. Horne is a very social person, she’s perfectly content relaxing and watching a good movie … and sitting by Mrs. Horne while she’s enjoying a movie is also Daisy’s favorite pastime.

Oktoberfest at The New World

I met musician Jeff Hilliard the last time we were in Plymouth and we’ve stayed in touch since. When I was thinking about Plymouth as a weekend destination I texted Jeff to see where he was playing. Jeff rotates through The Speedwell Tavern, Tavern on the Wharf, and The New World Tavern most weekends and it turned out he was playing at The New World’s Oktoberfest on Friday night…

Since we’d eaten a little late, we were just planning a few appetizers for dinner, so a lively gastro pub was perfect.

Jeff was great as always…

The Stein Hosting Contest

At one point someone approached our table and asked me if I’d like to join the Stein Hosting Contest. Thinking it was a drinking contest, I declined. It turned out that the contest was to see who could hold an enormous stein of beer perfectly horizontal the longest.

The contest lasted about a minute – here’s the video…

The food was classic gastro pub…

Of course we were simultaneously watching the Sox annihilate the Rays…

And being entertained by our highly personable server Bianca (as she said “just like Bianca Jagger.”)

The walk back to Relentless was almost a mile, but it’s mostly downhill and the evening was crisp and clear…

Is There Biking on Plymouth?

As you may recall, Mrs. Horne and I ventured south on our bikes when we visited Plymouth last month. We managed to get in 15 miles by snaking in and out of neighborhoods off of 3A.

I’d heard there was a short bike trail running along the old railroad bed north of town that was near the ocean.

I picked my way out of town and found it. It’s mostly crushed stone and a little bumpy for my lightweight Tern bike. I shot this video and it was obviously shaking from the rough road and lack of shock absorbers on my bike.

At first I thought is wasn’t very good, but once I set it to some head banger metal music, it all came together…

It’s only a few miles long so I still had to loop through a few neighborhoods to get in 15 miles. Meanwhile Mrs. Horne took Daisy to a park in town and she was a happy dog.

Taken Movie Marathon!

After a great lunch at Dillon’s Local (full review here), the Taken Movie Marathon continued with Taken 2. Liam Neeson is one of our favorite actors and as parents with a young daughter who traveled Europe at 19, the Taken series really touches home.

I remember when our daughter Natalie flew from Germany to London for the weekend ALONE and her return flight was canceled. It was 2005 and no one had cell phones with international service so as you can imagine, we spent several hours calling and searching the Lufthansa website for information.

Lufthansa London had closed for the day so I called New York. It’s amazing what a crying parent can get out of a good hearted person in time of need!

After about twenty minutes of crying and pleading the person from Lufthansa finally said “I can’t tell you what flight she’s on, but I can tell you she’s with us and she’s checked in safely.”


It wasn’t until the next day that we learned that taxis had stopped running when her train got to Heidelberg and she walked several miles home at 5:00 AM! Oh well, she made it and now she’s a parent so she can understand why we worried so much…

Salt Raw Bar – Plymouth

About a week earlier, when I thought Plymouth might be our fallback destination if Nantucket didn’t work out, I made reservations for Saturday night at Salt.

It gets top ratings across the board with a menu that reminds me of Nobu in Malibu. It’s an interesting venue with several indoor and outdoor dining areas.

We ended up in what they call The Downstairs Dining Room. As soon as we sat down I knew we had a problem – noise!

As reported before, I wear hearing aids and I love them. I was a sound man for a rock band in the 70’s and really did some damage. The German aids I have are designed for musicians and tend to pick up noise across the room at the same volume as someone sitting right next to you, so I wasn’t blaming anyone – at first.

Mrs. Horne asked if we could move to quieter table, but they were sold out. We ordered a bottle of Jordan and tried to tuff it out…

Searching the room, it was obvious all the noise was coming from a table of five sitting in the corner. The men were fine, but the three women were all talking at once and seemed to be shouting over one another. Not wanting to trust my own ears, I pulled out my iPhone and tested the sound level…

The ambient noice level was 82 db, about the same as a food processor. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the peak was 91 db – about the same as a gas powered lawn mower.

At this point conversation was pretty much pointless. We talked about leaving (well, shouted about leaving), but it looked like the LOUD LADIES TABLE was paying their bill.

They left as the oysters arrived and I thought the dining room was going to break into applause…

One more test confirmed the obvious – the noise problem had left the building!

I doubt the noisy fivesome even knew the misery they bestowed on the other 20 diners in that room, but it was palatable. Next time you’re out with a bunch friends and it feels like you might just be having too much fun, look around the room and make sure you’re not catching the bad eye from everyone else in the room.

The 10 db drop in ambient noise felt like coming in from the pouring rain. Suddenly we were out at a great restaurant having the wonderful time we expected to have and just like that the incredible food showed up.

Food at Salt

We eat out enough to know that restaurants that feature “The Nobu Like” menu invite us to order a few small plates rather than entrées. So we did…

Ponzu, ginger scallion condiment, crispy shallot
($23) at Salt Plymouth
Soy braised duck, hoisin sauce, yuzu aioli, pickled cucumbers, cilantro
($14) at Salt Plymouth
Egg, Chinese chives, Napa cabbage, carrots, sesame, fresh herbs, aji Amarillo aioli
($18) Salt Plymouth
Kabayaki, crispy garlic + shallot, Tokyo scallion, shiso
($28) at Salt Plymouth

All four dishes were excellent, but the Duck and the Fried Rice really stood out. Interestingly they were also the best values. One could imagine dining on just those two and enjoying an incredible dinner for $32.

By the way, the rice is a really big portion- so big that we couldn’t finish it…

Before we left the manager came by to see how everything was going and apologized for the earlier noise. He said the Downstairs Dining-room has the worst acoustics and suggested we request a quiet spot next time.

Early Run Home

Sunday wasn’t suppose to be very nice and the east wind was forecast to pick up sharply mid morning so we planned an 8:00 AM departure…

There wasn’t much wind at the marina when I took Daisy out for a walk and the water was like glass as we passed the dunes toward Duxbury Light. But as soon as we faced east, we hit a wall of chop that was too tight for our boat length.

I picked my way through them at 10-15 MPH knowing they were likely driven by the east wind pushing waves from the deep of Cape Cod Bay into the shallows of Plymouth.

Beware of The Shoals of Plymouth

There were a few fishing boats out as we headed out into open ocean. I was making way past the green markers in what was suppose to be 20’ of water when I looked down at the depth sounder and saw 2.9’!

I immediately turned to port and said “I don’t believe this,” but of course I did.

Here’s where we were…

I have my depth sounder set to below the props so 2.9” is actually 7’, but my chartplotter was showing 22’ at that point.

The shoals of Plymouth are mostly sand, so it’s not that surprising to see that they’re shifting north due to the prevailing south winds. Just beware next time through!

Thankfully, the waves did spread out once we cleared the mouth of the harbor and we were able to make the 20 mile run to the canal at about 25 MPH…

If you’ve traveled this stretch then you know it’s strewn with lobster pots which all disappear in 3-5 chop. Mrs. Horne and I both did “pot watch” all the way and had to do two hard back downs to avoid hitting them.

We got home for Columbus Day where my new iPhone Pro Max 13 was waiting for me. I’ll close with a sample of the night vision camera…

Categories: Life's Adventure

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