Farch reconsidered

Another sunny Sunday and taxes can wait another weekend, so Daphne and I climbed into the car, plugged in the GPS, and headed to Moby Dick country — the South Coast from Rhode Island to Cape Cod. This was a backyard adventure, the kind I have been meaning to do for … oh … 48 years, and having done it wondered why I haven’t done it sooner. One answer is the GPS. (thank you Uncle Fester!) It would have been nearly impossible to poke around the shore without it.We drove down 195 past the exits with names of town we had never visited, at least not in any sort of detail, and made our start in Rhode Island at Little Compton, a seaside village on Sakonnet Point that is full of saltwater farms with expansive views down open fields lined with miles of stone walls over saltmarshes to Block Island Sound.

We poked around, then drove back east through villages like Adamsville and Westport, past Horseneck Beach and eventually into Padanarum for an awesome lunch of fish and chips and chowder at the Black Bass Grill. Onwards into New Bedford, walled off from its waterfront by a gigantic levee of orange stone, a hurricane barrier built after the storms of the 30’s and 50s trashed the home port of the Pequod. New Bedford is a sad place, a tattered town, but hope springs eternal and I said to Daphne if I were to ever start an interactive marketing company I’d take a mill with a great water view near the whaling museum and set up shop.

Then across the bridge to the more genteel Fairhaven, homeport of Captain Joshua Slocum, the first man to sail alone around the world. We poked coastward to West Island, driving over causeways dividing Buzzards Bay from the inshore marshes, snapping pictures as the skies cleared and flooded the Farch skies with a tease of spring. (One more week to daylight standard time!)

Through Mattapoissett, the port where my great-great grandfather’s whaling ship, the Massachusetts was built, making a note to return to pick the brains of the historical society in the center of the village. And after lingering for the sunset over Mattapoissett harbor, returned to Cotuit for dinner and the end of the weekend. A very cool day, enabled by a GPS, no agenda, and a lot of lazy curiosity.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

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