October 31st, 2013

Fairhaven, MA

41° 38.12’ N, 70° 54.79’ W

Due to the aforementioned storm, we decided to moor in New Bedford/ Fairhaven harbor, the largest fishing harbor in North America in economic terms and supposedly the safest harbor on the East coast.  We arrived on all hallows eve at around 2:00 AM and, after unscrupulously snagging an unoccupied mooring, headed to bed for some well-deserved shut-eye.  Thus, when we woke the next morning we found that our first “port of call” was a super industrial area with, literally, hundreds of huge fishing vessels (many just sitting there unused though). Our cruising guide informs us that there is STRICTLY no dumping, and yet we watched as other vessels and industrial-looking buildings on shore poured sludgy stuff into the water that we then noticed was flowing visibly past our boat. So much for that.

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In the (later) morning, we set in search of an honest place to hunker Sedna down for the coming storm, so as not to rouse the ire of the local harbormaster.  After finding just such a place, we did what has become modus operandi for our wayward crew: anchor now, pay later.  We motored the dingy in to a dock, tied up, and went for a stroll in New Bedford.  After nearly a full day at sea it was easy for us to be overwhelmed by the cacophony of jackhammers, traffic, and the harsh dialect of the Massachusetts natives.  After a fruitless search through a local pawnshop for binoculars, (as the diminutive pair that Travis brought proved to be nearly useless,) we ducked into a lovely little Portuguese café called Izzy’s for non-nautical food.

After breakfast, we hit up a few more marine stores in search of binoculars, (another unsuccessful endeavor,) and a much needed trip to a grocery store.  Then, back to Sedna for a nap, besides Travis who determinedly continued his hunt for binoculars in Fairhaven, where he was finally blessed with overwhelming success!  His return to the boat was timed wonderfully with the harbormaster, who had finally tracked us down to demand payment for the use of the harbor’s mooring.  He was a friendly fellow who told us the history of the town and regaled us with stories about his time as Aerosmith’s professional photographer.

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On a whim, Natasha attempted to search for a Couchsurfing host in town and, against all odds, made contact with a lovely couple who had years prior undertaken a similar journey to the Caribbean.  John and Alexia invited us over to their house in Fairhaven for dinner that evening and proved to be warm, welcoming, intelligent, and incredibly fun.  Captain Clay decided to stay with Sedna that evening, wanting to be on board in case the storm proved to be dangerous to our sea goddess.  Therefore, Travis and Natasha were the ones lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful evening filled with dinner, drinks, stories, and an invitation for the following night.

~ Travis (& Natasha)

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