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The Great Loop

09/30/11
Nantucket    Chart
(Lat: 41º 17.36'N Lon: 70º 5.47'W )

Today we caught the first fast ferry boat from Hyannis to Nantucket. The ferry boat is a larger catamaran ferry and travels at 34kts. It was a very clear day.
Nantucket is much smaller than Martha's Vineyard and really only has the town of Nantucket located right on the harbor. The remainder of the island are small beach communities with miles of pristine beaches, some farming areas and golf courses, etc. It is a very pretty island and the town of Nantucket is very charming with its cobblestone roads, shops, restaurants, museums, harbor and very attractive cedar homes and cabins.
Jackie and I wanted to see the entire island so we rented motorscooters and drove all over the island to see the remote beaches, villiages, etc. It was great fun. We also visited the Whale Museum, some of the shops and had lunch right on the harbor waterfront.
The cobblestone roads on Main Street are attractive but not so comfortable to ride our scooters on :-).
09/29/11
Plymouth, MA    Chart
(Lat: 41º 57.3'N Lon: 70º 39.49'W )

Today we explored by car. We started by visiting a cranberry bog to see how they are grown and harvested. We saw them from a distance on our RR trip and have a picture in that days events. We wanted to see them up close and personal. They are almost ready to harvest and we got to see how they do the dry harvest and wet harvest.
After that we went to Centerville to have lunch at the Centerville Pie Company. They are famous for their pies and not just for dessert. They make chicken and beef pies and have a little cafe where you can have lunch or breakfast next to their bakery.
After lunch we went to Plymouth, MA which is where the Pilgrims settled after first landing at Provincetown. They felt Ptown was too exposed to the elements and didn't have enough fresh water so they moved farther in the Cape Cod Sound to establish Plymouth in 1620.
They have the Mayflower2 at the Plymouth waterfront right next to a park where Plymouth Rock is located. About 3 miles down the road there is also the Plimouth Foundation where they have rebuilt the original settlement with both indian and Pilgrim villages. The Pilgrim village was set up to each cabin had an area behind or beside it where they could keep their own few animals and garden. These were inside the fenced area. They also had larger farming areas outside the fence.
09/28/11
Cape Cod RR and Hyannis Harbor Tours    Chart
(Lat: 41º 39.071'N Lon: 70º 16.531'W )

Today we did 2 tours. First we hopped aboard the Cape Cod Central RR for a tour of the center of Cape Cod. We went from Hyannis station through the center of the Cape all the way to the Cape Cod Canal. The canal is 17 miles long and was built starting in 1904 to shorten the distance for commercial boating between NY and Boston by 100 miles through dangerous waters.
Our tour was narrated and we learned a great deal about the area, its farming, its development and changes through the years. We saw cranberry bogs, Cape Cod Bay wet lands and sand dunes, the old village RR stations and the Cape Cod Canal. It was an intersting and enjoyable 2 hours.
We then went to the Hyannis Harbor to take a harbor tour. We were scheduled to go on a 100 year old tour boat named Prudence but the wind was too strong and sea conditions too much for the Prudence to comfortably navigate. As we were walking along the waterfront we met Capt Bob and his son Jacob. They own and operate Bay Spirit Tours and their boat is a 66' catamaran. Cats are very stable so they were still going to do their tour so we joined them. Their tour lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes the harbor area, the Pt Gammon Lighthouse and Bishop Clerk Light Tower and then stopping in Hyannis Port Harbor to view the Kennedy Compound and then back to the dock in Hyannis Harbor. They did a great job handling the boat in the rough sea conditions and also gave us great information on what we were observing on the tour. We would highly recommend them if you are in the area and their email address is Bayspirittours.com.
Jackie took some pictures of both tours which we show below and captioned so you can know what you are seeing.
We had another very busy and good day.
09/27/11
Martha's Vineyard    Chart
(Lat: 41º 27.273'N Lon: 70º 35.934'W )

Today we drove from So. Yarmouth to Falmouth/Wood Hole to catch a ferry boat to Martha's Vineyard.
It was very foggy (less than 50' visibility) that really didn't clear up until after we reached the island.
We arrived at Oak Bluff where we caught a tour bus that drove us around the entire island giving us an overview, stories of who and where all the important people live or have lived and the major cities.
For the first hour we could see well on the land but couldn't see any of the great water sites from the island so we didn't take many pictures until the last few hours of our time there.
After our bus tour we had lunch on the water in Oak Bluff and took some pictures and then we took a public bus to Vineyard Haven to see that town and take to ferry back to the mainland.
Our pictures are of Oak Bluff, Vineyard Haven and our return to the mainland at Wood Hole/Falmouth.
It was another good day of exploring.
09/26/11
Provincetown and Whale Watching    Chart
(Lat: 42º 2.909'N Lon: 70º 11.07'W )

We drove to Provincetown which is at the very north tip of the Cape. It is a very interesting bohemian type town located on a beautiful harbor and national wildlife beaches. It was the place the Pigrims first landed but they decided not to settle here because they couldn't find a sufficient amount of fresh water. They went farther west on the Cape Sound to the Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, MA.
Ptown, as they call it, is the home base for the whaling tours.
We had an incredible day on the water. The weather was beautiful, the ocean table top calm and we saw 5 different species of whales including a right whale, a Sei whale,a minke whale, a fin whale and a number of humpback whales. It was a glorious day. Since the tour ship is also a research vessel we could get right up next to the whales.
We saw the humpbacks swimming and diving and exposing their tails and learned that the black and white pattern on their tale is unique to each whale and is used to ID them. We will show some pictures of Ptown and of some of the whales, including a complete diving sequence of a humpback whale.
09/25/11
So. Yarmouth on Cape Cod    Chart
(Lat: 41º 38.477'N Lon: 70º 12.767'W )

We arrived yesterday on our first visit to the Cape Cod area. We are staying in So. Yarmouth which is located right in the middle of the Cape so we can conveniently explore by car or ferry. Today we attended an orientation program about the area and after watching some NFL football we drove out to Chattam and the eastern shore of the Cape. It is a beautiful area and we took a few pictures of the Coast Guard lighthouse and base. We also enjoyed seeing the people water, the small towns, the beautiful homes and harbors.