Rafting up in Hadley Harbor

After that beautiful beach day in Tarpaulin Cove, we had plans to move on to another anchorage, Hadley Harbor, which was just a few miles away, right by Woods Hole.

With not too far to go, we spent some of the morning watching the activities on the big schooner anchored nearby. The Shenandoah is a topsail schooner with no engine(!), and she sails out of Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Ocean Academy (formerly called FUEL). They host week-long trips for kids on the boat during the schoolyear and summertime. It sounds pretty cool…you can read more about it here. Anyway, we watched the kids and the crew working on raising the sails and the anchor. It was quite the process.

Our plan to spend the night in Hadley Harbor came together nicely, as Patrick had recently been in touch with a fellow NYYC member, Rory, and discovered that he and his family were wrapping up a week-long sailing vacation nearby on their boat. The two of them made a plan for our two boats to meet up in Hadley Harbor for a raft-up. As we were motoring up to the Woods Hole passage, we spotted their boat on AIS. Kind of fun to be able to see your friends on the instruments!

We managed to get into the passage first, so we ran the gauntlet with the current, then scooted into Hadley Harbor to scout out a good anchoring spot.

By the time we got the anchor set, Relentless was pulling in, and we prepared for them to raft up on our port side.

Rory and Michelle have two daughters, Grace and Charlotte, and they and Cecelia were immediately ready for adventuring. They took Relentless‘s dinghy out, and the adults followed in Oestara‘s dinghy. We did a little harbor tour and then pulled up to a dock where we could go on land for a short hike.

Just before sundown, the girls asked if they could go back to hike again, but this time on their own. With the caveat that they needed to stay within our line of sight, we let them go. It was so great to see them having fun!

We had a progressive dinner on the boats (kids first of course!), and spent a lot of time exploring both boats and talking about projects and upgrades and all that stuff. (Rory and Michelle have a Blue Jacket 40, new to them as of this fall, and this was their first big cruise on it for more than a weekend.) It was fun to compare notes and opinions.

Thanks Rory, Michelle, Grace, and Charlotte, for a great raft up!

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