Off the south western tip of Cape Cod is a chain of islands known as the Elisabeths. Most of them are owned by the Forbes family, but the last one is a small village called Cuttyhunk. It’s 1 square mile is home to less than 50 year round residents that are welcoming to those looking to get away form the hustle and bustle of Cape Cod’s summer mayhem.
In July we loaded up for a 3 day excursion to Cuttyhunk for exploring. Day one we left Barnstable Harbor heading for the Cape Cod Canal. Dense fog and rain were our companion on the way across the bay. As we entered into the canal a small humpback whale sounded and dove down next to us. The fish were jumping like crazy and a tall ship came out of the fog like we were in a pirate movie. When we exited the canal we stopped off in Woods Hole to view the aquarium and go for a small harbor cruise. Once again under way we hid in the lea side of the Elisabeth Islands till Quick’s hole where the water got nasty as we cut through. The safe calm harbor of Cuttyhunk was a welcome place to spend a rainy night.
Day 2 we made our way up to the Fishing Club for breakfast and some pickle ball while looking out over the bluff. As the fog burned off we set out for an adventure to the neighboring island of Penikese which used to be a leper colony. The view form the top looking back at Cuttuyhunk is worth the hike through the squeaking gulls. Paddle boarding and snorkeling in the protected cove was a great way to get the kids in the water. We cruised and explored the beaches of Naushon Island and viewed seals on Gull Island before making our way back to Cuttyhunk for scallop pizza dinner and glow-stick competition.
Day 3 was hot, we got off the dock after breakfast and anchored in the harbor up to let the kids swim as we packed up for the run home. After fueling up we headed back to Penikese for one last snorkeling session in the clear rock cove on the back side of the island before the 4 hour cruise to Barnstable.
Finale thoughts on bumming around the islands for 3 days. If you want a quiet boating destination check it out, much different feel than the Vineyard or Nantucket. Almost half the island is a nature sanctuary than has trails. We were willing to let the kids take radios and wonder were they wanted. Plenty of boating destinations nearby to explore no mater what the wind is doing.
If you would like a Paddle boarding and snorkeling adventure on Cape Cod check out my Air BnB experience for Sandy Neck.