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Provincetown, 10.8.13

While on Cape Cod, a visit to colorful, tiny Provincetown, with its larger than life reputation, is of course a must. We make the drive from Chatham, passing the famed sand dunes of the Cape on the way.

A glimpse of the famed sand dunes enroute to Provincetown
A glimpse of the famed sand dunes in Eastham,  enroute to Provincetown

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The town is literally colorful, with many friendly rainbow flags a-flutter and crazy-coloured buildings.

Rainbow flags for diversity and inclusiveness
Rainbow flags for diversity and inclusiveness
Colourful Provincetown
Colourful Provincetown

It’s also metaphorically alight, with people in drag, lots of gay people walking hand-in-hand (many more gay people than straight people, so much so, we were out of place – loved that reversal!) and just a happy, party vibe.

"Cher"
“Cher”

 

A mermaid's land transport
A mermaid’s land transport

Our main purpose – I find out –  is to hop on a boat and go in search of whales, though to be honest, I just want to go window-shopping in this quaint town with its terrific art galleries and restaurants. No luck this time.

Just your regular street-side classical musicians
Just your regular street-side musicians

 

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We get on the Dolphin VIII, and I’m already nervous, being of that unfortunate group who get really, really seasick. It is a blazing hot day, and everyone (else) is in high spirits, hoping to spot some whales.

The Dolphin VIII
The Dolphin VIII

My biggest mistake, in retrospect, is thinking I could manage a Bloody Caesar while on board.  A Bloody Caesar is basically a Bloody Mary made with Clamato, which is a blend of tomato juice and clam broth. It’s actually really yummy, but perhaps not for one with a predilection to seasickness.

After about an hour on the fast-moving boat, with no land in sight, I start to feel sick. And that sick feeling just expands and expands until I am completely and utterly miserable, and truly DYING to get off the boat.

We see dolphins and 3 whales – from a distance, a great distance – but not so far that we can’t see the blow, which is what happens when whales rise to the surface to breathe and basically expel air and snot from the tops of their heads.

See them? See them?
See them? See them?
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Look for the blow people.

It was still pretty astounding, seeing these huge creatures – or imagining their hugeness below the surface – out in their natural habitat. We saw a glimpse of their graceful majesty as they flipped their massive tails up and over, on their way down to the depths again.

Poor Juno slept through it all, after getting super excited at the previous false sightings which led to the entire boat careening to one side or the other, whale-watchers’ cameras at the ready.

The first false sighting.
The first false sighting.

Jude and Sherman went up and down between decks, blithely un-sick and enjoying themselves. Ari sat serenely, reading her book. Reading!!

Non-seasick people
Non-seasick people

But, if you ask me, I will tell you it was not worth it, not when you are green in the face in spite of stoically standing out by the railing in the hot sun with the cold, cold wind in your face, in an attempt to shake of the nausea. But that’s just my version, you totally should go if you get the chance. Also, I did get lots of great pictures.

The sea, the sea.
The sea, the sea.
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Jude, serenely cogitating

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Back on land, blessed land (in fact I discovered that the moment I SAW land from that wretched boat, my nausea subsided) and we walk around, noticing this interesting piece on the beach:

Paying homage to Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson?
Paying homage to Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson?
I can once more be charmed by that deceptive blue calm.
Perfect spot for a kite shop.
Perfect spot for a kite shop.

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We start looking for a place to eat. Almost everywhere is booked up, Provincetown is really popular.

Twisted - how my insides were feeling
Twisted – how my insides were feeling

 

No seats at The Squealing Pig
No seats at The Squealing Pig

We finally find a spot called the Karoo Kafe, 338 Commercial St, and despite the tiny interior, the need to line up to pay and the sheer number of people in there, the food, served on no-nonsense disposable plates, is surprisingly really good. The food is described as African and Middle Eastern, and includes intriguingly-named things like bobotie, pap and chakalaka. The Peri-peri chicken wings gets a big thumbs up – it was worth another line up for a second helping! And the malva pudding (a South African dessert) was so good too, it reminded me of an Indian dessert whose name escapes me now…

We meander back to our car, pausing to pop into an art gallery here, listen to a street-side singer there…sad to leave fabulous Provincetown all-too-quickly.

 

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