BOSTON - Fresh from his hospitalization for an aggressive surgery on a cancerous brain tumor, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy announced it was "good to be home" at his family's Cape Cod compound yesterday and headed out for a sail.

Kennedy left the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., yesterday morning and arrived at his family's Hyannis Port compound just before noon. With his thick white hair visible beneath a beige, wide-brimmed hat, he told reporters he felt "good to be home, good to be here."

Within hours, he went out sailing with his wife, Vicki. It was the same homecoming routine he followed last month when he was released from a Boston hospital after receiving a diagnosis of a malignant glioma, a lethal type of brain tumor. A malignant glioma is one of the worst kinds of brain cancer, and malignant gliomas are found in about 9,000 Americans a year.

"His doctors are pleased with his progress since surgery a week ago, and he will continue to recuperate at home before starting the next phase of his treatment," Kennedy's office said in a statement. "He is thankful for the extraordinary care of the doctors and nurses at Duke, and also for the continued prayers and well wishes from the people of Massachusetts and all over the country."

Kennedy, 76, underwent the risky, 31/2-hour surgery last Monday to remove as much of the tumor as possible, a procedure aimed at improving the success of chemotherapy and radiation. His surgeon at Duke, Allan Friedman, said yesterday that Kennedy "is making an excellent recovery."