Memorial Day weekend is generally considered the unofficial start of summer in New England. And if you’re a boater up here, you’re used to having your plans go up in flames due to lousy weather.
The boating forecast for Memorial Day Weekend 2022 was questionable all week, but it never looked as bad as last year when all three days were rainy and very cold.
“Sliding” The Weekend
We were initially scheduled to leave for Plymouth Friday morning, then Saturday when the forecast soured. And we finally did a Slide to Sunday through Tuesday, when the forecast turned warm and sunny.
I love it when The Slide works; unfortunately, not all marinas will work around the weather, and our schedules aren’t always that flexible.
Smooth Run to Plymouth
With an eye toward lunch around noon, we took off at 9:30, leaving a little over two hours for the 45-mile run. Unlike the weekend before – when Buzzards Bay was empty, the bay was covered with boats fishing for stripers.
The ride was smooth and scenic…
The Shifting Sands of Plymouth
You may recall that on our October 2021 trip, we almost ran aground in a spot that was showing up 22 feet deep on our Garmin Chartplotter.
I had heard that the winter storms had shifted the sand bars in Plymouth’s outer harbor. It’s always tricky because the harbor looks huge, but it’s really a narrow channel. And when the shoals are covered by water it’s downright dangerous.
The culprit is something called Brown’s Bank. It’s a fragile sandbar on the south side of the outer harbor. It’s very popular and even has its own Facebook page devoted to its constantly changing geography.
I made a mental note to constantly monitor the depth sounder and the depths reported on the chart when we got near the shoal I had almost hit in 2021. When I looked down on the Navionics 2022 chart, it showed Browns Bank shifting on the chart.
PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT:
Do you know how old the charts in your Chartplotter are? If not, find out and update them before you end up on a sandbar.
The dock crew at Safe Harbor Plymouth was even more proficient than ever, and they had us tied up and connected to shore power in five minutes. It has become a Plymouth tradition to just take the short walk to the Surfside Smokehouse for lunch, and off we went.
The Surfside has two dining rooms – upstairs and down. The downstairs bar was located in the north back corner. It was always dark, and most of the seats looked at the wall. The upstairs bar was on the south side, and looked out at the marina and inner harbor.
When we visited in October, only the upper dining room was open, but on most of the warmer days, it’s closed and only the downstairs dining room is open.
New Bar at Surfside
Much to our delight, the Surfside has moved the downstairs bar to the south side, facing the harbor!
The view, the food, and the Bent Water IPA draft (from Lynn, Massachusetts) were all as good as ever…
MBB Goes Droning
After lunch and a quick wash down for Relentless, I decided to play with my newest tool (toy), a DJI Air 2S Drone!
I got the idea for shooting drone videos from Dave Kaiser (MBY Owner). He got one last summer, and he posted some videos of his marina – Brandt Cove, on Facebook.
It occurred to me that it could really spice up my MBB Music Videos, so I dropped a grand on a factory refurbished combo back on Amazon (BUYERS TIP; This is the second major refurbed electronics product I’ve ordered on Amazon that actually arrived brand new).
The combo is the way to go. You get extra batteries, chargers, propellers, a nice case, and more…
This is a sophisticated piece of equipment. It’s a well-built little helicopter capable of 30 minutes of flight, flying up to one mile high and as far as seven miles away. It has a built-in GPS and collision avoidance sensors. The camera is unbelievable (4K), and I’m assuming that it must have a cell phone built in to enable me to communicate with it seven miles away.
I did my first video last week for my other blog – peasespoint.com. Here’s the one I made of Plymouth Harbor…
DJI includes a lot of software to automate videography, but I can already see that I will have to develop another set of skills if I want to create some true video eye candy.
Evening with John and Jeanne
One of the great things about visiting Plymouth is that we often get to see our California friends who live in the area. John and Jeanne live in Pine Hills, which is a short trip from the marina.
The evening began with a cocktail party on the aft deck…
The Rye Tavern
We dined at The Rye Tavern, located within Pine Hills but far older than the golf resort community. It opened in 1792, and in 1794, three years before he was elected President, John Adams apparently stopped by one night, and none of the locals knew who he was!
From the Rye Tavern website:
Rye Tavern is an excellent spot with tons of New England history; you can read more here.
There’s an outdoor covered bar with live music…
The music was a little too loud for conversation, and I forgot my pullover on the boat, so we ate inside the old tavern…
The food was quite good…
I had the Croquettes and Sprouts. The Croquettes were nothing special, but the sprouts were incredible. First time I’ve ever had jalapeños in my Sprouts, but they were actually rather subtle heat.
After dinner, we retired to John and Jeanne’s fire pit and then watched a little of the Celtics – Heat game seven. Eventually, it was time to go home, and the only Uber that would come to Pine Hills on a Sunday night was Anthony and his Escalade (XL Black – $70 for a 15-minute ride).
It turned out to be well worth it. Anthony had a TV in his Caddy with the game on. He was a big Celtic fan but only thirty years old, so I educated him on the Bird era while we watched the Celtics build a big lead over the Heat.
Back on Relentless, we toasted the C’s first return to finals in over a decade!
Memorial Day in Plymouth
It was a beautiful morning, and we both wanted to get out biking and burn off a few calories. We headed back up the Rail Path, hoping to find a big quiet neighborhood to bike in. Sadly, there just isn’t any good biking in Plymouth. We did get in 12 miles and saw some lovely scenery, but way too much riding on 3A.
My friend Jeff Hilliard was playing at Crabbyshack, so we decided to catch a late lunch and take in a little live music.
Mrs. Horne was still a little hungry after lunch, and we stopped at Cupcake Charlie’s for an ice cream cone and cupcakes for dessert. Mrs. Horne loved her cone, but what impressed me was the display of cupcakes.
As the afternoon faded on Plymouth Harbor, I practiced my drone skills and took in Memorial Day on the Flybridge with Mrs. Horne…
As Memorial Day 2022 faded, we went below, watched Netflix and ordered Chinese food from Asia Tasty. Their food is quite good, reasonably priced, nearby, and they deliver directly to the Safe Harbor Marina.
The delivery thing is really big because Asia Tasty employees actually do the delivery – not Uber Eats, Door Dash, or some other ride-share service. I’ve given up on restaurants that say they “deliver” when it’s actually a ride-share service picking up your order and hopefully bringing it to you. I’ve been left high and dry too many times.
If you Google Asia Tasty, you’ll be directed to a website that’s actually not theirs! It looks like this…
The website (asiatastyplymouth.com) belongs to BeyondMenu Food Delivery Service – not Asia Tasty!
If you want to take the risk that your dinner might show up cold, or not at all, try the delivery app. But for me, I’m calling Asia Tasty directly at (508) 747-7888, knowing it will arrive quickly 100% of the time.
We woke up Tuesday to a warm, still day. We contemplated continuing the “Memorial Day Weekend Slide’” and going to The Fisherman’s View, but the weather forecast called for a strong front passing by around noon.
We set a 9:30 departure and started preparing to leave. Suddenly the salon door slammed shut, and I looked out to see boats suddenly spinning 180° on their moorings from the 20 knot northeast wind. The temperature also dropped nearly 20°.
The wind was blowing back toward the dock, and Mrs. Horne wisely requested dock hands to assist our departure. The Thrusters worked like a charm, and I put together a short video (with straight audio) memorializing the journey home.
I took a few screenshots of the real-time wind speeds from various buoys illustrating the front coming through…
At 9:20, it was blowing 20 knots in Massachusetts Bay and 6 knots in Chatham. Two hours later, as we were pulling into Mattapoisett, it was blowing 20+ knots off Chatham.
Good wind data is critical to voyage planning. We were flying through 4-5 footers off the port quarter at 25 MPH. If we were heading into that mess, we’d have had to slow to 18-20, and that would have been very uncomfortable.
That’s all for now. Next stop, back to Oak Bluffs…