I spend six days in Provincetown. Essentially, my days consist of a leisurely breakfast followed by bouts of serious sunbathing and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and bike rides along the scenic coastline. Although thanks to my sister A., I must confess I feel slightly apprehensive every time I get in the water and see a shadow, fully expecting Jaws to make an appearance at any moment. But I am told that you should be safe from the sharks, really, just as long as you stay away from the seals and do not make any squeaky sounds. Apparently, sharks do not have such great eyesight…or hearing…! Oh yeah? Well in that case, can anybody explain to me how it is not suspicious that despite the lovely beaches and the absences of seals there is hardly ever anybody in the water?
Transport: Fast boat. Journey time: 90 minutes. Departs from: Provincetown wharf. Arrives: Long wharf, Boston. Cost: USD58 for a oneway ticket.
There are a number of options to make the journey from Provincetown to Boston. Of course, I could have left the same way I came – by plane. But somehow, I figured it would be nicer to catch one of the ferries that run between Provincetown and Boston instead.
There are two companies that make the journey between the two cities. The frequency varies depending on the season and the day of the week. More specifically, between May and September, there are two daily returns by each company from Monday through Wednesday, and three daily returns each from Thursday through Sunday. The boats normally leave within 30 minutes of each other.
I depart on a Wednesday morning on the 11h00 boat. The boat is not very full and there are only a few other passengers on the top deck with me. The boat has both outdoor and indoor seating and there is also a nicely stocked bar with snacks and drinks.
As those of you who regularly read my blog may have guessed by now, I have a bit of a thing about planes. Which is why taking the boat is another bonus. As we approach Boston, we pass right under the departure route of the airport’s active runway, so the aircraft are still fairly low. Oh happy day…!
Provincetown is an interesting mix of vintage Americana and a gay cornucopia. What may sound a bit strange on the face of it though, works surprisingly well. Provincetown is a lovely place with a laid back and tolerant atmosphere. It is a perfect place for a beach holiday if you are looking for long, uncrowded beaches.
In Provincetown I am staying at the Inn at 7 Central, which is a Bed and Breakfast. It is probably not so suited for families with children, because from what I gather, all rooms are for a maximum of two occupants only. The rooms are well kept and very clean. There is a television in the room and a bath with showers. There are no safes in the rooms though.
Breakfast is served on the patio on the ground floor, which offers enough shade and always has a bit of a breeze coming through. So it stays cool, even during the midday sun. Breakfast consists of fruit, cereals and lovely hot and cold dishes – things like a frittata or Caesar salad – which have been prepared on the premises and have that unmistakably great taste of home cooking. They even make their own buns at the Inn, which are served fresh and warm from the oven.
The Inn at 7 Central also provides complimentary beach towels and a wide selection of different types of sunblock. During the day, complimentary coffee and soft drinks are also available.
The location of the Inn is ideal, it is literally just a stone’s throw away from the main drag on Commercial Street.
I very much enjoyed staying here. Cory and Curtis, the owners, are really excellent hosts that go out of their way to make their guests feel at home. Their interaction with the guests is friendly and unobtrusive.
Date: 18. August 2016. Departure: 19h35. Arrival: 20h00. Flight time: 25 minutes. Seat: 3A, as we board we are given specific instructions to take the front seat for balance.
I spend a lovely day in Boston. In the morning I head for MIT in Cambridge to do a few laps in the pool of the Zesinger Center and then head back into town for some sightseeing and lunch. By 16h00 I am back at the Hostel and fit to drop. Time to move on.
Getting to the Airport
Transport: Sliver Line Bus, route 1. Journey time: Roughly 30 minutes depending on traffic. Departs from: South Station. Arrives: Arrival level of Terminal C. Cost: USD 2.75 per person.
The Silver Line is probably the most convenient way to get to Logan airport using public transport. Travelling by underground from downtown to the airport requires a change of trains and another transfer to a bus which then connects the rail station to the airport terminal area.
There is always the possibility to take the water taxi to the airport, which will pick you up from different locations around town. But this may be cumbersome too if you are travelling with a lot of luggage and also requires a transfer to a shuttle but to take you from the wharf to the terminal area.
Location: Terminal C. Facilities: Only airport check-in is available. Counters: There are two counters.
By the time I reach the counter, it is 17h40. My flight to Provincetown will not be leaving until 20h11. More out of curiosity than anything else I ask the check-in agent if by any chance there might be an earlier flight available. She tells me the 18h27 still has seats available and rebooks me on to that flight straight away.
The check-in experience with Cape Air is interesting. It is the first time an airline has ever wanted to know my body weight for the pilot to properly calculate the aircraft’s weight and balance.
From check-in I head for security. I better get a move on because the flight should start boarding at 18h15.
There are five passengers on the 18h27 service to Provincetown. The flight is called and all passengers are invited to stand in queue. Once everybody has appeared, passengers are invited to head downstairs and wait to be picked up by a Cape Air ramp agent. We are also given clear instructions not to open the door by ourselves, as this will trip the alarm.
After only a short wait a young lady opens the door from the outside and asks us ‘you guys all heading for P-Town’? All five of us nod and then she walks us across the apron.
You may carry your luggage all the way to the aircraft’s door. But once there, you will have to hand over everything to the ramp agent because the aircraft’s cabin simply is not big enough to hold any luggage.
Configuration: 1 + 1. Seat: The seat is comfy enough. My only complaint is that the seat back has a fairly steep recline. Legroom is good though and probably better than what you get on some carriers on an aircraft the size of an A 320 or so. Facilities: There is an air vent.
The cabin is fairly hot. It is still warm at this time of day. The pilot’s solution is simple and old fashioned: he just opens the window to let in some fresh air – although the term ‘fresh’ should probably be used liberally here: the queue for departure is huge and we are queuing behind eleven large jets. With the pilot’s window open, the jet blast is blowing straight into the cabin. Admittedly, I have a fetish for anything to do with airplanes, but I’m not so sure what the other passengers are thinking…
Eventually, we take off after waiting in line for about 45 minutes. The flight time is advised as 25 minutes. It is a nice flight across the water to Provincetown and the setting sun provides a very poetic atmosphere. I check the altimeter and see that we’re cruising at 1000 feet!
All too soon we are turning onto the approach. We land and taxi past a line of light aircraft. It really is a matter of reference. Here in Provincetown the Cessna 402C is certainly the big guy on the ramp.
And that is when I spot the terminal, which is dinky. I really have no other way to describe it – so cute! The ramper opens the door and welcomes us to Cape Cod. We then step onto the patio and wait for the luggage to be off loaded and brought over to us.
As I step outside the terminal, one of the passengers from my flight is about the depart in a taxi and there does not seem to be another one waiting. But that’s okay. The driver asks me if I want to hop on, and off we go.
The charge from the airport to the town centre is a flat charge of USD9.- per passenger.