October 5, 2011

Cape Cod, Day 2: "Thar She Blows!"

August 3, 2010: The second day of this adventure started out on the Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruise. Sailing around the tip of Cape Cod into the Atlantic Ocean, I was awestruck watching the powerful motors of this jet boat kicking up huge tails of water in its wake. After a 45-minute voyage into deeper waters, the engines finally came to a halt and an announcement was made that we had arrived in a prime sighting area and that guests should be on the lookout for spouts. 

A chorus of oohs and ahhs erupted on the deck when a cloud of mist appeared in the distance. The boat was instantly on the move again. Within moments, we had come within range of a pod of aquatic leviathans. It is an incredible sight to see such immense animals in their wild habitat. Though, for all of their grand size, whales seem to have a docile, almost curious nature. Soon, their tales breached the water's surface and then they disappeared beneath the waves. The guests were informed that the whales were diving and that the boat would stay in position for when they resurfaced in about ten minutes. All eyes remained fixed on the ocean as everyone waited anxiously for the next glimpse. I was startled when the whale came up right next to the boat in the exact spot that I was standing. Wow! To be so close to such a giant is quite humbling, to say the least...

The whale watching adventure was a wonderful experience, though the cruise back to port had me feeling a little bit woozy as the boat was moving at top speed, bounding over the waves, and I never did get my sea legs. After I recovered on shore for several minutes, I hopped back in the car and took a leisurely drive down Route 6A. This classic stretch of road features miles of art galleries, antique shops, lobster pots, and scenic lookouts.

At the easternmost point of Route 6A, the road veers north and turns into Route 6, which leads all the way up to the tip of the cape and Provincetown. On the way, I stopped off at Nauset Beach to see what beaches are like on the ocean side of the peninsula. The Nauset Lighthouse is a grand sight, standing proud like a light knight. A trek through the bramble delivered me down to an amazing beach--cliff faces that stretch to the horizon, sand like sugar granules, intense surf, huge waves pounding the coast. I found out in an instant that Cape Cod's Atlantic beaches are drastically different from the calm beaches of the bay. It's a very dramatic contrast.

After about another hour of driving, I knew that I had reached my destination when I caught sight of the Pilgrim Monument. This famous landmark was constructed to commemorate the landing of the Mayflower in the New World and has been looming over Provincetown Harbor since 1907. The hub of Provincetown is an active area called Commercial Street. These blocks have been completely taken over by pedestrians and contain a series of shops, theaters, and restaurants that are trendy, colorful, and wild. In one army/navy store (more of a strange rummage sale than an actual store), I found the gas mask that I would later use in a poetic performance. Commercial Street is alive with street performers and crowded with visitors well into the wee hours of the morning. Really fun...

"Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong,
but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else."

~1 Thessalonians 5:15