Rubber Duck Says: Cape Ann Needs Another Boat.

Someone is twisting Rubber Duck’s little rubber wing to post a story about bringing her boat up from Woods Hole to Gloucester.

Woods Hole Yacht Club

Woods Hole Yacht Club. Flares, horn, fire extinguisher, PFDs, VHF radio, Sudafed, check check check.


Up Buzzard’s Bay to the Cape Cod Canal, Wind 7 knots from the west. Familiar territory.


Cape Cod Canal Railroad bridge. Still a train a week. Last time through the canal was 1972. Looks bigger. That bridge is way the hell up there.


Bourne or the Sagamore Bridge, always mix them up. FYI: if you have a head cold and you just took a football sized antihistamine cocktail do not look up at an eighteen wheeler crossing the bridge as your boat squirrels around in the current.


The wind freshened from the WSW to 25 knots so too wet to take photos of Plymouth, Duxbury, Scituate, Cohasset, the Graves lighthouse. From the Graves, aimed at the Salem powerplant stack then picked up the windmills of Gloucester.

Arrived 11:30 AM, 93 miles, four hour trip. Take home: This is an easy trip if you can pick your day. It’s all about the wind. Having VHF and a paid up SeaTow membership (the triple A of the water) helped too. The boat is faded blue. Rubber Duck is christening it “Blue Duck”.

“Blue Duck request opening Blynman Bridge.” Went out for a spin on Saturday up the Annisquam then over to Rockport and Straitsmouth Island. Flat calm tried out the 225HP Suzuki topped out at 30.9 knots, 35 mph. Dialed back to 22 knots, a nice cruising speed.

Photo of Navionics Track



  • GREAT NAME! I like Ducks (real ones).
    Blue is my favorite color.


    • Thanks, with Rubber Duck strapped to the bowsprit, (she was down below for the trip because of choppy seas), Blue Duck will be easy to identify in the harbor. Besides being the name of a real duck, Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos, I picked it for its connection to the character in Lonesome Dove. Blue Duck is also the code name of the Ikara anti-submarine missile. I was going to spell it Bleu Duck but that got a universal thumbs down from the peanut gallery.

      It also is two words with strong consonants which is handy when stating over VHF channel 16 “PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN, THIS IS BLUE DUCK”. Something I never want to have to say but it should be clear if I do.


  • Well, I’ll glad I twisted the duck’s wing a little bit. Nice photos of a successful boat ride, home to Cape Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I recall doing that passage and being in a spot where no land was visible but three landmarks were prominent — the Sandwich power plant, the Prudential and the Magnolia dump fire. We took bearings and had a perfect fix.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The offshore oil rig Zeus (here for sewer work) was a great landmark when off of Gloucester. You could see her halfway from Provincetown.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Al, talking to you at the chocolate chip cookie MugUp convinced me to go and do the trip instead of trailering. Way more fun.

      The dump fire finally got put out. 😉 The Prudential was an awesome landmark through the 70s. It was how I navigated Boston by car back then keeping a bead on it.

      All the towns south of Boston kind of looked the same a lot more sand dunes than I would have thought. Then Boston was obvious and The Graves lighthouse pretty clear (fun fact named after a dude named Graves, no one is buried there). Then the Salem powerplant stuck out plain as day. The three windmills of Gloucester really stand out. There are a few other places with three windmills but you would really have to be out to lunch to head for them. Gloucester, last windmill on the right.


  • When do we get to go for a ride on Blue Duck?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Madfish Wharf MugUp on Sunday? I’m trying to squeeze in an entire season of yachting before the first snowfall so I’ll be buzzing about Friday Saturday and Sunday too.


  • It’s easy, the bridge thing on the canal; the Bourne comes first, then the Sagamore, which begins with an s just as in Sandwich! Hope your cold’s better!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Paul T Morrison & RD

    Bourne, Sagamore, BS, Bourne next to Buzzards Bay, Sagamore next to Sandwich. I’ll never mix them up again.


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