4:00am came way too early. I did all of my usual engine checks: top off the fuel and check the oil and transmission fluids. I was down about a quart of oil; something that would need to be monitored. I calculated that I had run the motor for about 6 hours so far, and I'd just have to manage it.
I pulled out of the harbor guided by the many mastlights and my spotlight. Winding carefully through the sleeping boats I made my way out of the breakwater and set a course for the Cape Cod Canal about 20 miles away. This first crucial run would take about 4 hours.
The sky lightened as I headed east, the wind came up a bit, but not enough to shut the motor off. I motorsailed right up to the canal entrance, where you are required to drop all sail before entering. Now, it is of the utmost importance that you time your passage through the canal to coincide with the west flow, or the east ebb, depending on which way you are transiting- or else you could be in trouble. Especially in a single cylinder 12 horsepower auxiliary sloop! As I hit the canal entrance around 9am I found out why as my speed quickly increased to 10 knots!! To put this in perspective, Zennure usually cruises around 5 knots under motor and can hit 7 knots under sail, I was flying! About 45 minutes later I had completed the run and entered into expansive Massachusetts Bay.
Seeing that it was close to 6 hours since I had left Cuttyhunk, and I probably had another 5 or 6 to go, the oil would need to be checked. I made sure I was clear of land and any other boats, shut the motor down, cleaned out the starboard cockpit locker which is how you get access to the engine room, and climbed into the hole. Like I expected I was down and quart, so I added it back in, repacked the locker and in about 10 minutes I was on my way.
The rest of the afternoon was mostly motoring, but the wind did come up a few times and I was able to sail. I dodged fishtrap after fishtrap as I approached the entrance to Scituate harbor after 12 hours at the tiller. Zennure does not yet have an autopilot, but you just make what you have work. I hooked onto the first mooring that I found, the invertebrates spitting and hissing at me indicated that it had not been used in a long time. Anxious to get to shore, I quickly tidied up and took the dinghy over to the harbormaster's office where there was a nice hot shower waiting for me. Cleaned up, I ventured into town for some food and a cider- I felt I had earned it!
My iPhone died in Scitutate, so here is a picture of the harbor courtesy of Scituate Harbor Marina