Statistically speaking, the hottest day of the year generally falls in late July. After a rather lousy weather summer in 2021, the good God has blessed us with an old-fashioned “scorcha” for 2022.

Knowing this, I plan a tour of local islands for this time of the year, hoping to beat the heat with a sea breeze. We’re hosting our dear friends from Texas, Jake, and Peggy, who had to cancel at the last moment in 2021.

Peggy and Jake

The plan was to head south to Rhode Island, Long Island, and end up in Menemsha – on the southern tip of Martha’s Vineyard. Other than two nights in Greenport, NY, we’d be making way between ports every morning, including an 85-mile run in open ocean from Long Island to Martha’s Vineyard on Monday.

But as the departure date drew near, the forecast wasn’t looking great for a southern island tour. The weather pattern called for unsettled hot weather and afternoon severe thunderstorms coming in from the Ohio Valley every day. It looked like they would likely pound New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island but might miss the upper Cape and the Massachusetts Islands.

Plan B

The best option would be Nantucket, but by June 15, every slip in Nantucket Boat Basin is sold out for the summer. With less than a week to go, I didn’t have time for Dockwa – I started calling marinas directly to see if we could get in.

I lucked out and booked Provincetown for Thursday and Friday, then Black Dog for Saturday and Sunday. I already had Menemsha, so my Plan B came together beautifully.

P-Town Bound

Jake and Peggy arrived Wednesday from Austin, and I treated them to my signature dish – Rack of Lamb.

Hats off to the crew for being ready to shove off at 9:00. The forecast called for 10-12 knots from the south, and since I’d never had Jake and Peggy out in rough seas, I wanted to make an early start.

The southern breeze pushed us all the way northeast to Provincetown.

About halfway across Cape Cod Bay, I spotted a Sport Fisherman on anchor. I looked up and saw a balloon in the air over his boat. I now know that meant he was floating a chum, and I gave him a wide berth.

Ross’ Grill

We walked over to The Canteen, but it was getting hot, and they weren’t getting the sea breeze. Mrs. Horne suggested the Ross’ Grill, and they quickly sat us in their air-conditioned dining room.

I was still hot from docking the boat and walking to the Canteen, and I knew that only the iciest cold IPA would soothe my thirst, so I did something I seldom do – I ordered a. Margarita!

And it was perfect – cold, tart, not too strong, and not too weak.

We also ordered the Steamed Littlenecks for the table.

Garlic-Steamed Littlenecks ($16.00) at Ross’s Grill Provincetown

I admit, it wasn’t my choice, but I was wrong. It’s a perfectly composed dish. Yes, the littlenecks are little, but the anise slaw, broth, and ample crusty bread for sopping pulled it all together.

Mrs. Horne and Peggy split the Arugula Salad. It’s tossed with Feta Cheese, Kalamata Olives, and Roasted Red Peppers.

Arugula Salad ($12.00) at Ross’s Grill Provincetown

The special of the day was a Softshell Crab Po Boy. Jake got one, and the girls split one.

Softshelled Crab Po Boy at Ross’s Grill Provincetown

Having gone rogue with my Margarita, I continued down the road less traveled with Coconut Shrimp and the Chorizo Frito, and. Shishito Peppers.

Chorizo Frito & Shishito Peppers ($12.00) at Ross’s Grill Provincetown

This was our second time at Ross,’ and both were excellent. They are consistently ranked #1 on OpenTable for Provincetown, and I concur.

The Fantasy Football Draft Lottery

Jake runs a Fantasy Football League. It started over a decade ago when we were neighbors in California. I won’t bore you with the details of playing fantasy football, but it all begins when each so-called Captain drafts their team. But before the draft, there’s a lottery to see who drafts first, second, etc.

Jake likes to host the draft lottery in an exotic spot. In 2019, we held it in Newport on the deck of Vigilant. In 2021, he held it in a Pub in Scotland. So this year we did it on Relentless in Provincetown.

Jake got the third pick – which is pretty good. I got the seventh pick which is – meh…

The Scientific Lottery

Dinner At Spindlers

We had a great dinner at Spindlers last September, and it seemed like an excellent spot to bring Jake and Peggy for our first dinner at sea. They sat us in the upstairs bar overlooking Commercial Street.

It’s a cool and eclectic spot. I remember having an incredible Steak Frites, and Mrs. Horne had a beautiful lobster pasta dish. But Thursday night, the entire menu was Mexican!

The only thing that was left from 2021 was the Charred Bread.

I’m not sure what the secret is, but the char flavor and honey butter make this a delightful prelude to dinner.

Then came the oysters.

Given the menu, we went all in for Mexican, and we were not disappointed!

Peggy and Mrs. Horne shared the Chicken Fajita.

Chicken Fajita Del Norte ($29) at Spindlers Provincetown

Excellent presentation, handmade corn tortillas, all served in a warm gooey skillet.

Jake hit a home run with the Pork Carnitas Tablita.

Pork Carnitas Tablita ($32) at Spindlers Provincetown

I’m a huge fan of authentic Carnitas, and these were perfect. The skin was dry and perfectly seasoned. Inside was soft and juicy.

The portions were huge, and Jake shared generously – which was great. I probably would have ordered the Carnitas if Jake hadn’t.

I ordered the Bizteka Azteca, which sounded great on paper.

Bizteka Azteca ($35) at Spindlers Provincetown

It had some good flavor but ended up being a poorly executed Mexican Poutine. I love my fries hot and crispy – not buried under wet stuff. But I left satisfied thanks to the Carnitas!

There was still light outside as we walked home, and I got a few more photos of Provincetown.

9 Ryder Seaside Dining

As we approached the marina, I pointed out that our California friend Carol’s brother owns the restaurant there – 9 Ryder.

That’s all Mrs. Horne needed to hear. She and Peggy went in and discovered he did indeed!

Mrs. Horne, Francis, and Peggy

Friday – Bike Day

One cannot visit Provincetown without getting on a bike and heading out to the trails that twist through the National Seashore.

In case you missed it, here’s a short video I shot last year.

Despite the heat, our extra power enabled us to pedal along at 13-15 mph, which was enough to keep us cool.

After the bike ride, we picked up some terrific Foot Long Hot Dogs at the shack near the marina parking lot.

Provincetown Drone Video

After lunch, I took out the drone and shot some excellent footage of the marina, beaches, and Commercial Street.

Interestingly, the birds seem obsessed with the drone and keep buzzing her in flight.

Summer Storm

Whenever we get an extended heat wave in New England, we tend to get severe thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Jake and I were up on the Flybridge watching it move in and wondering if it would be a hit or miss in Provincetown.

Looking to the southwest, we could see the thunderheads moving toward us.

Afternoon ten minutes, it looked like there was no way that we’d avoid a downpour.

We took off early for dinner in raincoats and armed with umbrellas.

Front Street Restaurant

We returned to a very sentimental spot for our final dinner in Provincetown. My late brother Charles was once a waiter there and a close friend of the owner (at the time). I remember being back in the kitchen with Charles and the owner sampling the Veal.

It’s an excellent restaurant with an extensive menu of pasta, meats, and seafood.

Jake ordered an espresso martini, and having never had one; I ordered one too!

It was delicious. I’m not sure what the ratio of coffee to vodka was, but it wasn’t as strong as a regular martini.

The bread service isn’t free, but I have no problem with that, as long as it’s good. And it was.

The Double Baguette at Front Street

Jake started with the Soft-shelled Crab, and the girls shared a Caesar.

Jake and Peggy shared the Veal Marsala.

Veal Marsala at Front Street

Mrs. Horne and I split the Gorgonzola Stuffed Filet.

Gorgonzola Stuffed Filet at Front Street

We started chatting with our server Max about the history of the restaurant.

Mrs. Horne, Peggy, and Max

I asked Max if he knew who owned the restaurant back in the ’70s, and he got us the current owner – Marianella.

She bought Front Street two years ago, and the owner before her had owned it for thirty years. Some quick math only got me back to 1990. It had been the mid-seventies when I hung out with the owner in the kitchen.

It rained while we ate, but it was dying down as we walked home.

I got up early Saturday and watched the sunrise on the wall of fame.

Miss Peggy did a little research and discovered the artwork was dedicated to the Portuguese Women of Provincetown.

“Norma Holt’s photographs from Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum collection of Almeda Segura, Eva Silva, Mary Jason, Bea Cabral and Frances Raymond, are meant to represent all of the women of Provincetown who over the years have been the backbone of this vital fishing village.

They came from a long line of hard-working people, immigrating mostly from the Azores and mainland Portugal. Their families fished the waters off Cape Cod for over 200 years, built a major fish packing and distribution industry and made an important contribution to the history and culture of Provincetown.”

“They Also Faced The Sea”

Next Stop – Martha’s Vineyard

It’s about 60 miles from Provincetown to Vineyard Haven, so we shoved off around 9:00 AM.

Mrs. Horne is very fussy about how her dock lines are coiled, but Miss Peggy passed her test.

As we cleared the breakwater, I noticed a very impressive Superyacht.

I punched it up on the AIS and discovered it was M/Y Excellence, owned by Herb Chambers. Chambers owns a bunch of car dealerships in Boston.

Here’s a great story about the boat and the man.

The 30-mile run across Cape Cod Bay was as smooth as glass.

As we cruised down the Cape Cod Canal, we passed four navy ships.

When I was writing my report What is a Safe Speed for Boating in the Fog?, one Captain told me that navy ships didn’t appear on radar.

Of course, I checked and discovered that they do indeed show up!

As we past Hog Island, the wind picked up, and so did the chop. We were clearly back in Buzzards Bay.