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Truro to Wood End/Race Point Provincetown

Adam Bolonsky

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It took most of the morning for us hemming and hawing over the northwesterlies forecast this past Sunday for Mark, Karen, and I to finally head down from Karen's house in Eastham to Pond Village in Truro to take a look at the water. There were ripples and no waves, and the whitecaps that had been spilling all morning off Eastham had lain down. The air was cold and as we unpacked our gear I had to square my shoulders, put on my jacket and hat, and borrow a pair of gloves from Karen to hold off the Reynaud's.

Backstory: Friday night, in heaving chop swell and warm air, Mark and I launched into some brisk and wet soutwesterlies off Eastham. We fished all of ten minutes, sailed downwind a while in the building gusts, then headed back in to pack the boats and drive out to and surfcast from Coast Guard beach in the driving mist and shorebreak climbing off the sandbars.

The skunk was out and we came back with no catch. And ditto last weekend for me and John Huth and Linda and Diane off Monomoy, not only the flats but also the Southway.

So Mark and I had agreed Sunday morning that were we to get skunked once again here on the Cape, let it be someplace new for once. Karen didn't care. She just wanted to paddle some place new.

It's a four mile crossing from Pond Village to Long Point Light off Provincetown, and since the wind was light we made the trip in less than an hour, trolling the whole way.

About half a mile from the low beach that makes that massive recurving turn west then north then east from Long Point out to Race Point, we saw three or four flocks of birds working the shallows.

We hustled over and, in those gin-clear waters running out with the tide over the glacial till off the beach, picked up about a dozen schoolies. The humps and bumps off the Provincetown tidal race squirmed on the horizon about a mile out, in the deepwater, and so we let the outgoing tide carry us around the corner to Wood End. There, in a recirculating backeddy, the water black with depth, Karen took Mark's rod and trolled it. Whack! The tip bent down, the reel submerged, and Karen was up to her wrists with a fish on. She reeled in: a bantam ocean bluefish thrashing off her bow. We landed it and bled it.

The backeddy released us and we began to drif out with the tide towards Race Point. The fish steadily got larger the closer we got to the Race, and soon they were breakingon the surface, emitting that distintive fresh-cut watermelon smell of a feeding bluefish school.

The afternoon wore on: I picked up a bluefish too, Karen a striped bass, and so we loaded them into her back hatch for the paddle back while Mark deal with sciatica on the beach, stretching like a tired dog.

Dusk approahced; I hustled on back to Truro as Mark and Karen hung back, off P-town, and fished some more. The wind backed and died and then it backed some more into south. I landed at Pond Village in the near dark, then called Karen and Mark on the VHF to see if they had a landmark. I rolled my car down to sand's edge, turned the headlights on over the water to beacon them in.

For nearly all of the crossing from P-town to Truro you can see the steady five-one-thousand spat of Highland Light just north of the FAA radar dome on the oceanside scarp, but come in close to the Truro shore and each dips below the land and becomes invisible. Using my car lights as a beacon Mark and Karen landed; we packed and headed home.

Karen's boat has now been christened: her aft hatch sticky with fish scales and eviscera, the stern weighted down on the backcrossing. Mark caught several fish, too; but perhaps best, it was nice to have for once eschewed Monomoy, Chatham, the Nauset Inlet, Billingsgate and all that.

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Thanks to the chef, this morning's brunch; saute of onion, potatoe, MY blue fish and MY striper's tasty bits were...well, very tasty.

It was indeed thrilling to see the tidal stream of water riping from Race Point. Like a river running in a sea. Even from far off you could appreciate the change in the water's texture. Between the birds and the dropped off location, fishing there made sense.

I was ever vigilant watching to see if I was drifting too much towards the Race while laughing and balancing in my boat while my huge bluefish practically pulled me in as he dove deeper with no drag on the line to spare.

It was a really great day and lots of team work.

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