Activecaptain.com is well worth a read, especially the notes regarding the Canal
, Buzzards Bay, and out to MV. P'town is definitely a diversion - Salem to the CCC is about the same distance as Salem to P'town, and then you still need to go from P'town to the CCC. But P'town is a lot of fun so if you are looking for adventure, by all means go for it.
The CCC has heavy current
and pretty good size standing waves (4' or so) with steep faces. Try to time it for slack tide as best you can, but pay the most attention to where the CCC dumps into Buzzards bay. It can be hell on wheels, or hell on water
as the case may be. With an outgoing tide and wind
coming up the bay towards the CCC (typical afternoon) you will get 6-8' steep waves that will kick the living sh&*t out of you and your boat. Don't underestimate it. Lifejackets on, nobody anywhere near the bow, hold on tight, and nobody moves around the boat. Here's a trick - Check your charts
carefully, and immediately as you emerge from the CCC there is a cut off to the left (south) which connects up with a parallel channel that runs close to shore. It's way calmer over there if things are rough in the main channel. All that said, I've come out of the CCC into Buzzards bay sometimes and found it a lake, so it all depends.