|TED AT SIXTEEN|
Sunday, June 21, 1959, Cohasset to Province-town and back
Left dock only one half hour behind schedule (10:30). Aboard were Kathie and her friends Priscilla Lincoln, Roy McDonald, Sue Churchill, Sue’s friend Ned, Kathie’s fellow veterinarian Leo, Swarthmore classmate Becky, and Bruce Elder.
About two hours out, Kathie suddenly remembered why she was so hungry--she hadn’t had any breakfast.
“Where did you put the sandwiches, Dad?”
Meanwhile we debated the question of whether to return to Cohasset, pick up the sandwiches, go out again for a short time (Dad’s suggestion), or keep on toward Provincetown, go ashore for a snack, and get home late (Kathie’s suggestion). Kathie won out because, as she said, it was her last boating chance (Germany-bound Friday), and she was therefore entitled to special consideration, was she not?
Spotted all kinds of marine life: whales, sharks, tuna. One of the sharks had a fin as big as a cellar door. Kathie maneuvered the boat close enough to this granddaddy for her father to throw the harpoon at him. He couldn’t miss. The line whipped from the barrel, the barrel went under, and, goodbye barrel, goodbye Granddad..
Got to Ptown around 3:45, only slightly starved thanks to Priscilla’s eight egg salad sandwiches and the case of beer which Leo, clever lad, had not left on the dock. That boy is going to amount to something some day.
Walked into town, ordered hamburgers, hotdogs, pickles, popcorn, etc. While the order was being filled, the kids all had ice cream as a first course. I was hoping they’d ruin their appetites but there wasn’t so much as a kernel of popcorn left for the seagulls and me.
Gave the young folks until 4:30 to investigate Ptown, then headed for home. Arrived Cohasset 8:15.
Saturday, July 4, 1959, Cohasset to Onset
Left Cohasset shortly after 10:00 a.m. with Tim and his buddy Neil Porta. Ideal cruising weather--sunny, warm, ocean calm. Arrived Onset 3:30, tied up alongside Seabird II. Had cocktails, took launch ashore for clambake. Alden took a peek at the predicted Log Race results and found he had come in fourth--n big improvement over fiftieth last year. Had his eye on a compass as his prize, but it was selected by one of the top three. Settled for a radio.
Chatted with Alden, Florence, and Warren aboard the Happy Days until 10:00 p.m.
[Where were Timmy and Neil all this time? A puzzling omission by the Log-keeper.]
Sunday, July 5, 1959, Onset to Cohasset
Another beautiful day. Left Onset around 11:00, arrived Cohasset 3:30. [Once Mom left Janeth and me at a day-care service at Jordan Marsh while she went shopping. She forgot to pick us up, but this is ridiculous. Where are those boys??]
Friday, July 10, 1959, Cohasset to Gloucester
Weather threatening as Ed and I left Cohasset at 6:15. Debated between Ptown and Gloucester, chose Gloucester as being nearer and more sheltered. Dropped hook in Smith’s Cove at 8:30. Had a couple of drinks, charcoaled a steak. Then I keeled over on the couch for a brief catnap, figuring on reviving the minute the self-appointed galley slave finished his chores. When I came to, Ed was in his pajamas and reading “Gents” in his bunk. I crawled into mine and resumed my catnap, not without chastising myself for being such a party-pooper.
Saturday, July 11, 1959, Gloucester
Slept until 10:00 a.m. No point in getting up earlier as the end of Hurricane Andy was lashing the harbor with wind and rain. Agreed we were glad we weren’t rolling around in Provincetown Harbor. By 11:30 the weather had brightened and the wind had abated enough for us to venture ashore in the dinghy. Ed wanted to buy a paper but was embarrassed to ask for change from a five-dollar bill. Help-meet that I am, I solved his dilemma by purchasing four dollars worth of jewelry. “Most expensive newspaper I ever bought,” the ungrateful man said.
Browsed through “arty” shops, mostly owned by artists whose paintings were displayed along with handmade jewelry, antique china, and glassware. Called Browns on spur-of-the-moment to see if they were available for dinner tonight. They were going fishing for a couple of hours late in the afternoon but expected they could join us when they got in. Jane told me they had recently harpooned a 500-pound tuna, and she and Bill have become avid fishermen.
Word of the 500-pound tuna inspired Ed. Within an hour we were cruising through the Anisquam Canal, on our way to Ipswitch Bay where Jane said the tuna had been swarming. For us they didn’t swarm, but we did see a seagull basking in the sun. Returned to Smith Cove by 5:30, had time for a nap before the Browns arrived. Ed discovered to his dismay that he had forgotten to bring a tie. Rushed ashore to see if he could buy one, came back with one that a kindly art gallery owner offered to lend him.
The Browns nestled alongside, we had a couple of shooters, and then putt-putted to the Lobster House dock. Party broke up early as Browns had plans to go tuna fishing at 6:00 a.m. Good luck to them. May they see more basking seagulls than we did.
Sunday, July 12, 1959, Gloucester to Cohasset
Slept till 9:00, Ed went ashore for Sunday papers while I got breakfast. Headed for tuna grounds at 10:30. No tuna. No seagulls.
Friday, July 17, 1959, Cohasset to Province town
Left Cohasset at 4:30 p.m. with two very thrilled young ladies, Vonnie Veronica and Margo Embargo, as they have nicknamed each other. Beautiful evening, flat sea, balmy air. But what happens when we reach the environs of Provincetown? Up comes the chop, and we pound our way into the harbor as usual.
Fed the ravenous girls clam chowder to hold them while Father stoked the charcoal and tended bar. When the steak was done to a raw-ish turn, Ed set it momentarily next to the pail of water he keeps handy to douse flame-ups from the grill. Margo ambled out into the cockpit for a breath of fresh, smoke-filled air and accidentally bumped the handle of the pail. Whoopsy-daisy, the steak heads for a bath.
“What are you doing, Mar go-o-o-o!” Ed says.
Getting the grouch aside I remind him that it was an accident and to please not go around hurting people's feelings. In the end he thanked Margo for the best steak we’d ever had.
Saturday, July 18, 1959, Provincetown
Went ashore with the girls around 10:00 a.m., hired bicycles, cycled to public beach. Returned to town mid-afternoon in order to window shop and sight-see. Most exciting sight was Ptown Harbor as seen from the top of the monument. We were charged only fifty cents apiece for the privilege of making that long, long climb.
Harbor choppier than ever, resulting in a scary trip back to the Happy Days. Ed took Vonnie and Margo out first while I bought lobster meat and steamers. The dinghy behaved like a bucking bronco in a bad mood, so it was a relief to dismount. Fed the girls, then the four of us went ashore to go our separate ways, the young ones to the movies, the old folks to dinner at the Towne House.
Sunday, July 19, 1959, Provincetown to Cohasset
Small craft warnings still up this morning, but the captain of this large craft was not intimidated. There were only three Dramamines left, so I said, “Women and children first,” meanwhile offering up a prayer that Ed wouldn’t turn green in the middle of the tide rip.
Later, as he was putting up the steady sail, Margo came below to report that "Mr. Malley is trying very hard to be good-natured, but I think it’s taking all his strength.”
After a couple of hours the wind kicked up again and it seemed wise to steer a course for Cohasset. Arrived 4:45.
Thursday, July 23, 1959, Cohasset to Onset
For the third successive year we are making a stab at reaching the Vineyard with the Barnards. Our luck is running true to form, as Connie’s staunch allegation testifies: “Y’know, I really like fog.”
When we left Cohasset at 12:45 p.m., the visibility was fair. Our captain had every intention of pushing on to the Vineyard until we reached the railroad bridge in the Cape Cod Canal. Then Connie’s favorite climate closed in and it was Onset Ho!
Dropped the hook around 5:00. The boys had a swim, the girls puttered around in the galley, breaking out artichoke hearts and other goodies. During Happy Hour Ed gave Jack a lesson in navigating, while Connie and I caught up on her New Yorkers. The only discord marring this peaceful scene occurred when I suggested it was time to start the charcoal. Ed never thinks it’s time to start the charcoal. If he had his way the coals would be in a perfect state around midnight, but what state would the four of us would be in?
Retired at 12:30. Edward didn’t kiss me goodnight. He didn’t even say, “Goodnight, you lucky witch.”
Friday, July 14, 1959, Onset to Oak Bluffs
Ed and Jack started the day with a bracing swim before breakfast; they were unsuccessful in persuading Con and me to do likewise. “It’s really wonderful after the initial shock,” said Ed, but Con said dryly that somehow she didn’t feel up to initial shocks so early in the morning.
The fog had lifted by the time we left Onset (9:30). Buzzard’s Bay was in one of its typically turbulent moods, so we had a typically rough trip across. Rivulets of water seeped through the deck-house windows, trickled over the bulkheads and onto the floor. A vent designed to carry off such unwelcome water was plugged up, and Jack volunteered to do something about it. First he worked on it from the inside, spread-eagled on the radiotelephone. Every time the boat lurched, Connie feared he might disembowel himself, or worse. She took a couple of pictures to remember him by. Then our intrepid hero edged his way to the outside opening of the vent, and crouching precariously on the side of the boat (which was doing its evil best to throw him), completed his repair job.
From Captain Pina we obtained gas, water, and advice on where to rent a car (from Captain Pina). Picked up somebody’s mooring, had a brief visit from Gert Young, Timmy’s fourth-grade teacher, and her husband Clark. They told us it was all right to moor there, the owner was away and wouldn’t mind a bit. We had beer, pickles, and do-it-yourself egg sandwiches, only the boys didn’t get the message. They had do-it-for-your-husband sandwiches.
Went ashore to make telephone calls, hire Captain Pina’s car. Barnards suddenly recalled having visited a beach in Chilmark, a beach with surf, they claimed. In a flash Ed was off to the boat to pick up suits, caps, towels, sun oil, Jack’s license. We piled into Captain Pina’s Ford, and with Jack at the wheel, headed for Chilmark. Stopped at post office to find out where Barnards’ friends, the Patches, lived.
Part Two was nowhere near as exciting; the car rolled to the bottom of the hill and stopped. Ed looked under the hood (men are so impressive when they look under hoods), then got into the car to wait for a push from some kindly motorist. The push was soon forthcoming and a few minutes later, Ed chugged back to pick up the rest of us.
“I want you to notice something, Jack,” he said. “I want you to notice the position of the key in the ignition when the motor is going.”
Moral: never try to start a Ford or any other kind of vehicle with the ignition turned off. It’s bad for the battery, bad for the nerves, and you'll be relegated to the backseat for the rest of the day.
We found the Patches’ camp but no one was home. Con and I changed into our swim suits in the bedroom, while Jack wrote an explanatory message for the owners. We drove to Squibnocket Beach and were turned away by a Gestapo-type Custodian of Peoples’ Property, in spite of our announcement that we were guests of Mrs. Patch. We couldn’t stay unless Mrs. Patch was with us, proclaimed this churlish individual, adding pointedly, “She knows that.” It was plain that he considered us a gang of conniving interlopers. We slunk back to the car. Ed said outsiders would get the same brush-off at Cohasset or Scituate, but that’s different: we’re not outsiders!
On the way back to Oak Bluffs Harbor we stopped to telephone the Ocean View. Grace Porta answered. Disguising my voice, I made a reservation for dinner at eight for Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mallard and friends.
We showered and dressed, then went ashore to surprise the Portas. They were as cordial as ever--sat with us while we dined, wouldn't let us pay the tab, tried to talk us into staying at the hotel as their guests. We had a round of drinks at the bar, then rowed back to the Happy Days for bridge. Con and I had all the face-cards again. Ed has sworn off bridge forever.
Saturday, July 25, 1959, Oak Bluffs to Menemsha
Spent most of the morning debating how to spend the day. At 11:00 headed for No Man’s Land. An unpleasant swell made it difficult to do much besides sit and hang on, which gets monotonous after the first hour or two. Connie went below for a snooze.
We charcoal broiled hamburg patties for dinner. Went ashore to telephone home. Tim seemed to be the only one around. He answered my questions politely but vaguely. Finally catching on that he was watching a TV program, I said, “Well, I’ll let you go now.” “Okaygoodbye,” he said. Click.
Wound up the evening with another bridge game. Until around midnight this tiny harbor rang with the sound of other celebrants, including a barbershop quartet. Our game was interrupted when we felt something jolt us: there, outside the window of the deck-house, was the kibitzing pulpit of a neighboring boat. As it drifted off our stern, a sailboat swung against us.
Sunday, July 26, 1959, Menemsha to Cohasset
Up at 8:00, had a swim, breakfast, and were on our way by 9:30. “This is the day we’ve been waiting for all summer,” said Con. Buzzard”s Bay was as tranquil as a frog pond, and even on the forward deck where it is usually cool, Con and I were able to sunbathe after coating each other with baby oil. [Not a good idea, we would learn in the future.]
At the east end of the canal, Ed shut off the engines and we had a swim before lunch. Mosied slowly home, keeping an eye out for fins, but our would-be victims were lying low. Arrived at home port shortly before 5:30.