I didn’t notice yesterday but today, January 12, 2020, the ground smells like April. I found a sunny spot protected from the wind and stayed put reading outside, odd but nice. The former highest January temp on record was 62 degrees back in 1975.
A breezy 60 degrees Jan. 11, 2020 on Long Beach, Rockport, Mass. Gloucester, Mass.
Long Beach riprap cleared of sand now
Sandstorm on beach sent us to the back of the Long Beach cottages. Strong winds continue.
Tangled lobster trap clots washed ashore after this week’s nor’easter, landing on the Rockport side of Long Beach between fire break #3 and the bridge to Cape Hedge. “Looks like a shipwreck,” people remarked.
The sand was stripped away from the riprap but the seawall is fine. The high tides did not swamp the wall or reach the street.
What’s in a name? For these front row cottages it’s the charm of Long Beach all the way. What would you use?
Compare with April 2017 see 74 Long Beach front row cottages in less than a minute slowed down version “Coastal Living: Long Beach walk combines ocean view, front row cottages and beach” here
Historic maps and books from the 1800s label the landform between Cape Hedge Beach and Long Beach “Little Cape Hedge” or “Cape Hedge”, and the creek “Saratoga River”. I’ve heard the former (also “Eagle Rock”), but not the latter. So many generations of families return to Long Beach cottages. Do you remember family names for these coastal landmarks?
In 2018 Rockport widened much of the Long Beach seawall walkway beginning at the Gloucester side and stretching past the midpoint. Recently crews began extending this project straight through to the end point on the Rockport side. The work is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.
Rocky explained it’s done in segments and moving right along.
Besides this big project, the getting ready for summer bustle is in full swing. Annual staircase return? Check! Front row cottage work? Check! New patio and masonry work by the former hotel (photos 2018 vs 2019 below) where the stone patio was compromised, various yardwork and private deck repairs are visible along the promenade.
sky view behind Cape Ann Motor Inn Long Beach and to Twin Light
Construction work continues on the Long Beach seawall at 3 compromised sections: two 500′ sections (one is closer to the Gloucester edge and the second pretty much mid beach) and a third 30′ area of trouble at the corner by the creek and footbridge. Last summer’s temporary pyres have been vastly expanded with truckloads of boulders from Johnson’s Quarry. The line of boulders helps to prevent sand from being scoured away by seas and the bottom of the wall from further erosion. The rip rap will add ballast support weight.
Besides the crew at Long Beach, the second unit labors at the quarry. It’s slow and careful going impacted by weather and tides. This week was busy. Next week’s conditions are less favorable. Extra time is allotted to make certain heavy equipment beats the tides or the very real possibility of large equipment breaks or malfunction (thankfully has not happened yet). People wondered if a jetty or two was in the works but that is simply temporary staging.
Boulders are deposited at the Gloucester entrance to the beach and transferred to repair sites. Excavators work with Rockport DPW and GZA engineers for optimum selection. (GZA was contracted for Gloucester’s Stacy Boulevard work.) “Spotters” can be seen atop the Long Beach walkway. After the boulders are dumped into piles, the excavator sorts, lifts, rolls and inspects the whole lot and singles like searching for an impossibly hard to find puzzle piece. Sometimes one boulder is turned 15x before it’s the correct pitch or timing. The sorting was remarkably graceful and reminded me of rinsing and prepping berries or beans.
One day at Long Beach I spotted a swimmer with a glorious and faithful arm tattoo of Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. He was staying at Cape Ann Motor Inn. Did he know that the author and illustrator, Virginia Lee Burton, was from Gloucester? He was stunned and thrilled. She modeled the steam shovel after one she brought her son to see busy building Gloucester High School. Families with little construction fans might enjoy watching Mary Ann’s descendant shoring up the Long Beach seawall.
The timeline for permits and planning for a future sand phase have not been slated.
Snapshots during the snowstorm. Snow fell at a quick clip and was deeper than I expected. I saw two snow plows stuck and digging out. Today will be a heavy shovel that neighbors may need help with.
near Cape Ann Motor Inn Long Beach
Salt Island Road to Good Harbor Beach- snow deeper than my boots on the dry sand
Snow blue ice in the tucks and shadows, and trees coated like Kancamagus Highway
measuring snow fall by mailbox and car coating
Plenty of prior GMG posts (search “Long Beach seawall”); here are a few:
Seawall damage coverage GMG post May 25, 2018