Cape Cod again

Aug 6, 2016

DSC_0593Our first big trip with the family, this year, is to Cape Cod. We get off to a bad start with a flat tire, followed by crazy traffic. It’s early evening by the time we reach. We have 4 items on our list – beach + lighthouse, sunset, whale watching and Martha’s Vineyard. We are too late to catch the last whale watching boat, so that gets pushed out to tomorrow. If we can make it to the first boat, we might still be able to do Martha’s Vineyard. When we reach the Race Point Lighthouse, there is a wedding ceremony in progress. The family is highly amused. We head to the beach, where we dip our feet in the ice cold waters. Seals froliking the ocean as we stroll along the shore.

Cape Cod 2016We arrive at the Rock Harbor beach twenty minutes before sunset. Dark clouds, low on the horizon have obscured the sun. We are disappointed, but wait it out all the same. Good things come to those who wait; we were rewarded with the most unexpected spectacle. The sun slowly slid out under the clouds and slipped into the ocean.For a moment it stood perfectly suspended between the cloudline and the horizon, like a dot of kumkum. The throat of the ocean shimmered as it swallowed the orange ball of fire. We waited till the last sliver of light had been consumed. As we walked away, the water greedily lapped up the leftover pink from the sky.

Aug 7, 2016

The first boat is too early for us. We miss the second because we got stuck in a cycle rally to Provincetown. Martha’s Vineyards is now off the cards. Trivia – the first family reached Martha’s Vineyard today for a sixteen day vacation. I did try suggesting, we switch whale watching with Obama spotting, but.. siigh!!

Cape Cod 20161Whale watching is a smashing success. Very soon, there are all kinds of whales, all around us. We get to witness some feeding behavior. The ocean is calm and the dramamine is really helping. I’m having  a whale of a time.

On the way back, we again get a truckload of traffic. Where is everyone going this weekend!

As crazy as it was, the family is happy and the weekend was well spent.

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Cape Cod – Sea, Sun and All Things Fun

Sep 6, 2015DSC_1301

We had opted to stay in Hyannis for its central location. It was only on Day 2 that we realised that we may have been better off staying in Provincetown since we had no intention of covering the southern parts of the Cape.Our first task this morning is to find food. Every place we want to go to is either closed on Sundays or is yet to open for the day. Finally we opt to walk down the main street of Hyannis and walk into a whatever is open. We brunch at the strangest little place. I’m convinced the kitchen staff is waiting on our section. The man  simply disappears for the longest periods of time leaving diners unattended! When the food finally arrives, it is so-o not worth the wait. Disappointed, we head over to Box Lunch and pack their famous sandwiches for tea. 

DSC_1308At the very tip of the Cape is Herring Cove Beach. This beach is part of the National Coastguard Seashore and our sanctuary for the afternoon. The day is hot and the waters are like thick sheets of cool clear glass. As the evening breeze starts to blow, we hop over to race point beach. Here we spot what we think are seals swimming at a distance. Interestingly, the air station and that road over the sand have all disappeared like magical cottages in fairy tales.  As the sun starts to get lower and lower on the horizon, everyone on the road seems to be headed towards a “sunset beach”. We are forced to drop the much acclaimed Coast Guard Beach and make straight for Rock Harbor Beach.  We are well rewarded for a little sacrifice. The sunset is gorgeous. The sky blushed pink as the sun kissed her good night. The sea gently hugged the sun as he retired, and a cool breeze fanned his flushed face.

DSC_0053The sun was done, but not us. We still have a lighthouse to cover. We drive to the Chatam lighthouse. We are just in time to see it glowing softly as the sky changes from  pink to twilight violet. When inky blackness set in, a strong light beam sweeps across the waters alerting sailors of yore, and keeping pirates at bay.

We turn our lights towards Groton. We have promises to keep!

Cape Cod – Dune Bashing (or not)

Labor Day Weekend, 2015

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Homemade icecreams seem  to be the rage here in Cape Cod, and we end up eating some terrible icecreams before we set off for the Race Point Lighthouse

We raced towards race point lighthouse as the light started to fade. It was dark by the time we made the turn at the air station. It strikes us as a somewhat odd place to have an air station but we have a lighthouse to reach. We drive past the air station and reach a sign that instructs us to go left. “This is all sand. There is no road.” “The sign says go left, so just go. Look  tyre tracks”, I say. ” What if we get stuck?”, he counters. We turn around. When we get back to the air station, there are two cars there. We pull up beside them. The husband reluctantly approaches the closer car and asks how to get to the lighthouse. The kind old gent, gives him a long looks and responds with a question of his own,” Do you know how to let the air out of your tires?” To drive over the dunes, you need to reduce the air pressure in your tyres to 12 lbs per sq.inch, or you risk getting stuck in the sand. When you get back, you need to refill to road pressure. We look at each other and decide to find another way or another lighthouse.

Cape Cod – A Whale of a Tale

Labor Day Weekend, 2015

Summer is hurtling to an end and we are scrambling to make last minute plans for the Labor Day weekend. We throw caution to the winds and decide to drive down to Cape Cod.  Post card beaches, glorious waters and the last weekend of summer – a four to five hour drive on a regular weekend can easily turn into a nightmare on the road. The prospect of driving through New York City to get across seems daunting but we set forth valiantly on Friday evening, only to turn tail and return before we even hit the city.

DSC_1073Wine turns into sweet dreams and sweet dreams turn into coffee; we hit the road at 5 a.m. on Saturday. We beat the crazy traffic, but  by no means  are the only souls on the roads. The first thing we do as we drive into Cape Cod is donate clothing. What a blessed start! Why we have donation clothes in the back of our car is a diversion we won’t make. As soon as we check into our hotel, we book a whale watching trip. This will be my third attempt and I am determined. I want to bike the Provincetown trail, but we are simply starving so we head straight to Commercial Street. What a gay place it is! (In both the traditional and modern sense of the word).

DSC_1103Post burgers, we walk around and down to the Pilgrim Monument. Rising like a stately chess piece, this granite tower stands atop a little hillock. The Pilgrim Monument was built to commemorate the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing in the New World in Provincetown. There was a time where people thought that Africa, Europe and Asia were the whole world, so when the Americas were discovered by these worldly people, they promptly termed them as the New World.  Towards the end of 1620, a boat called Mayflower brought ashore a group of people who are now collectively known as the Pilgrims. These Pilgrims actually called themselves Saints, and were Separatists who did not want to pledge allegiance to the Church of England, which they believed was nearly as corrupt and idolatrous as the Catholic Church it had replaced. The Pilgrims are commonly accepted as the founding fathers of America, but the truth couldn’t be further. Apart from the Native Americans, several white colonies had sprouted across the continent before the Pilgrims arrived. After spending all of five weeks in Provincetown, the Pilgrims decided it was not suitable for settlement and sailed on to land at Plymouth Rock.

DSC_1098The Pilgrims certainly didn’t spend those five weeks in Cape Cod building this 252 foot monument; this was built much later (in 1892) by the Cape Cod Pilgrim Memorial Association. A short climb took us to the foot of the tower, where we were informed that the only way to the top was to climb 116 steps and 60 ramps which would take only about ten minutes at a leisurely pace. Not wanting to risk our hearts, we pondered and concluded that we did not have the ten minutes. Turns out, we really did not have the ten minutes. We make it just about in time to our whale watching boat.

Love, Your friend, the Whale

Love,
Your friend, the Whale

This time I am taking no chances. I chew on this little miracle called Dramamine and find us seats at the back of the lower deck. As the boat cuts through the ocean, water behind it furls out like the fluke of a whale. I have never enjoyed the sea so much – the rise and fall of her ample bosom; the gentle swaying from side to side. A huge fountain erupts in the middle of the ocean and has people excitedly pointing. Another fountain erupts alongside the first. Each whale  is easily almost as long as the boat. Two of them can  easily take our boat down.Thankfully, that was not what these gentle giants have in mind. The whales are playful and curious. There is one that keeps sneaking up close to the boat, sending a spray of water through its blow hole and hiding.  Later,three of them swim straight at the side of the boat and under, sending everyone scrambling to the other side. They even give the boat an impish bump on its bottom. While I am fiddling around for the husband’s phone to take a selfie, I see something from the corner of my eye. I turn around just in time to see the most spectacular sight ever – a whale breaching.It doesn’t arch like Free Willy.  It  leaps straight up and for a second holds that pose, like Mount Meru emerging from the cosmic ocean, then it does a half flip and falls back.Our captain assures us, we saw three types of whales – humpbacks, finbacks and minkies, but all I can tell you is we saw around six to eight whales including a baby.

We are treated to a postcard sunset on the way back; complete with a little lighthouse glowing in the last rays of the sun. What a perfect way to end the day; yet not yet!

Bonus – whale watching video on our Instagram

More photos to follow on our FB page