Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

The CHARIAD Team raced to Provincetown last Friday and sailed back to Marblehead Sunday.

The Boston YC usually sponsors an overnight race to P’town this past weekend. The club did not sponsor the race this year because of the state ban on sailboat racing with more than three crew members. Yes, stupid. But stupid is what stupid does.

The long distance sail is a great opportunity for team members to learn different positions on the boat and build team coordination. We also decided to do the sail during the day on Friday rather than sail at night.

Long distance race to Ptown on CHARIAD

Friday was a cloudy day with 12 to 18 knot wind from the SE in the morning. Usually, sailing to P’town includes a long spin run. SE wind requires beating all the way to paradise. We did a long port tack towards Hull and then tacked onto starboard heading out to sea.

The wind forecast was for the breeze to stay from the SE. As the day went on, the wind gradually moved to the right. We were lifted, lifted, lifted. The tack we started off Hull lifted us up to the Woods End mark off the SW corner of P’town. One tack from Hull to P’town.

CHARIAD Chris Hardy putting up jib

Chris Hardy is putting up the jib. The city of Boston is in the background on the right.

Three of the nine crew members came back Fri night or Saturday. Six of us explored P’town and went to the beach on Sat.

CHARIAD crew spends time at Herring Cove Beach Ptown

This is Herring Cove where Chris and I spent much of Sat afternoon.

Sunshine Lollipops Rainbows show poster in Provincetown MA

Certainly, a different experience being in P’town at this moment. Outdoor dining and bars are open. The Bradford House where we usually sing karaoke Sat night was closed. People were out in the evening but not in the usual numbers. The streets were empty during my early morning walk.

Quiet streets of Provincetown MA

When we sailed into the harbor end of the day Friday, we saw whales close to the Herring Cove beach and hundreds of seals were on the beach as you turned into the harbor. The black strip on the beach to the left is all seals. The sharks follow the seals.

Herring Cove beach and seals in Ptown

This was such a positive experience that we will look at doing another weekend destination sail. My expectation is that more informal and unofficial races will be organized by the sailors if the state restrictions stay in place.

The Boston YC just send out an announcement that the limit on crew size has been removed for its Wednesday night racing. Not clear where that change is coming from or whether it is a broader lifting of the restriction. The CHARIAD crew has spent real time on the water and is ready for whatever racing is happening. Or racing we create.

Limitations to protect us during the COVID pandemic are necessary and prudent. The question each of us faces is what life we will create for ourselves within the realities of this moment. Getting on the water while being safe is one thing we can do for ourselves and those in our community.


Until I walked to the Pilgrim’s Monument, I had not made the connection that this November will be the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim’s landing in Provincetown.

After signing the first governing compact in North America in the Provincetown Harbor, they moved to Plymouth where they established a settlement. The Plymouth settlement was the first sustained English speaking settlement in North America.

This counter culture moment will probably not celebrate the 400th anniversary of the what eventually became America or remember the 100 Pilgrims on the Mayflower half of whom died that first winter.

Here are two more images. A light fog hung over the town Sat morning when I captured these scenes.

Pilgrim Monument Provincetown photo by Rick Williams

Fog over water in Ptown

I hope you are well. I look forward to being with you in person.