To navigate Cape Cod we elected to transit the Cape Cod Canal’s 7 mile cut connecting Buzzard and Cape Cod bays, rather than journey 135 miles around the entire “bended” arm. Both Miles Standish and George Washington are reported to have had interest in connecting the two bays. However, canal construction did not begin until 1909. Since its opening in 1914, the canal has grown from 100 feet wide and 15 feet deep to 540 feet wide and 32 feet deep. We had planned to spend the night at Onset on the canal’s southwest side and to ride the morning flood tide into Cape Cod Bay. We arrived at Onset with two hours of sunlight and an hour and half of the evening flood tide left. A rising full moon and predicted calm weather enticed us to immediately ride the tide through the canal and make a night passage further up the coast. A five knot current briskly ushered us from Buzzard Bay through the canal. Under the full moon, a thickening cluster of lobster pots winked at Elizabeth Jean on Cape Cod Bay’s calm waters as Perkins, our faithful diesel engine, hummed us up Massachusetts’ coast to New Hampshire and Maine.
The Canal’s Bourne Bridge; the Railroad bridge is in the distance. Photo credit: Army Corps of Engineers.
The albatross-eye view of the Cape Cod Canal looking from the from Cape Cod Bay at the photograph’s bottom.