#GLOUCESTERMA FROZEN IN A HAZE OF SEA SMOKE WINTER STORM 2019 – GOOD HARBOR BEACH, LIGHTHOUSES, CITY HALL, NILES BEACH

Snapshots from a brief tour around the back shore while out doing errands this afternoon. With temperatures hovering at 5 degrees, Cape Ann was blanketed with a thick layer of impenetrable ice, snow squalls, and sea smoke.

Happy to see the temperatures are heading towards the forties after Tuesday!

 

A crazy person surfing at GHB 🙂

Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim Festival this weekend Niles Beach SCHEDULE

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Fun spectator sport even if you’re not out there! And for this special 40th anniversary it’s a two day affair. Here’s the schedule for the  (already) registered folks for  friends and fans who’ll cheer them on.

SATURDAY AUGUST 11, 2018

8:15 – SAFETY Director will meet with Kayakers/Lifeguards.
8:45 – MANDATORY Meeting for coaches, officials, and swimmers
8:00- 8:45 WARM UP

Events 

1. 8-12 year old  boys/girls 500 meter –  Event starts: 9:00 A.M. 
The race will consist of a 500m course which will be along the beach and back around green buoys   Shallow water start and shoreline finish. 

2 .  Open Men/Women 1.2 mile – Event start: 9:30 or 10 minutes after the final swimmer finishes the 500 m event.  The course will be a rectangle, starting in shallow water. The swimmers will swim approximately 0.55 miles out from the beach to a buoy where they will make a 90 degree turn to the left, keeping the buoy on your left. The second leg will be approximately 0.1 miles, and the swimmers will make another 90 degree turn keeping the bouy on their left. The swimmers will then proceed to swim back to Niles beach and finish at the orange buoy at the shore/finish line.

NEW THIS YEAR – SUNDAY EVENT

The 10 Mile Celebrate the Clean Harbor Relay.
6:30 a.m. Registration/Check in opens
7:15 a.m. Safety Meeting. 
7:30 Start of First leg.
No one will be allowed to start a new leg after 1:20.p.m. 2:00 p.m  Course will be cleared.

NEOWSA (formerly NEMSA) Printed matter about the Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim:

The CELEBRATE THE CLEAN HARBOR OPEN WATER SWIMMING FESTIVAL will be held  August 11 and 12, 2018. This year, in celebration of 40 years of aqua activism for Goucester Harbor water quality, we are expanding to a two day open water event  sponsored by New England Open Water Swimming Association (NEOWSA), formerly New England Marathon swimming Association (NEMSA).

Starting off  the festival will be the  Clean Harbor Kids Swim on Saturday, a 500 meter swim along the shore of Niles Beach for 8-12 year olds. Held since 2015, this is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the sport of Open Water Swimming.

Also on Saturday will be the 40th Annual 1.2 Mile Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim

For 2018, we are adding a second day to the event, creating the festival. We will be holding the  10 mile Clean Harbor Relay event on Sunday, August 12th. This event will be held on a 1.0 mile course, very similar to Saturday’s event.  We suggest teams of 5, and swimming through the rotation two times..  Your team may have more or less than 5 swimmers. We believe the more the merrier. There will be a 6.5 hour limit. This will be a fun atmosphere, so bring a beach chair/blanket, snacks, some sunscreen and shade, and have a great time hanging out on the beach between your swims with your closest swimming friends.  

Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting two organizations in the local area: Maritime Gloucester and Gloucester Fisheman’s Wives Association.

The mission of Maritime Gloucester is to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences.

The Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association is a non-profit organization promoting the New England fishing industry, helping to preserve the Atlantic Ocean as a food supply for the world, and assisting active and retired fishermen and their families to live better lives.

We have reason to celebrate this incredible resource that is Gloucester Harbor, and we owe it all to  four Cape Ann residents who, in 1979,  swam across Gloucester Harbor in protest of its polluted status. This evolved into an annual Audubon Society-sponsored event to help raise funds for cleaning the harbor, hence the name “Swim for a Clean Harbor.” When, in 1993, the harbor was deemed clean by the Audubon Society, the efforts of these pioneering swim-eco-activists became a cause for celebration and “Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim” was born. Don’t miss this year’s event. We have reason to celebrate and what better way than to Jump in. Get Wet.”

Complete results will be posted to the New England Open Water Swimming Association Facebook page. A few prior GMG posts about the swim:

Niles Beach and Gate Lodge, Gloucester Massachusetts then and now

circa 1900 vs 2018

gate lodge and niles beach ca.1890

Moving ivy –

ivy clad Gate Lodge built 1888, photograph ca.1900  Vs. ivy clad stone marker and grounds today

approaching Niles Beach former Gate Lodge on right ©c ryan_20180630_072943.jpg

 

niles beach ca 1890

glacial rock boulders and coast line Niles Beach Gloucester MA ©c ryan _20180630_120331

 

 

 

MINNOW HULLABALOO

What is happening here? A hungry swim of cormorants have pushed a stream of bait fish towards the shallow shore waters. The minnows are met by equally as hungry Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets waiting on the rocks. I’ve watched many egrets eat prey and they often toss it about in the air for half a minute before swallowing whole, I think to line it up so the fish or frog goes straight down its gullet. At that very moment when the egrets are adjusting their catch, the gulls swoop in and try to snatch the minnows from the egrets. This scene was filmed at Niles Beach. My friend Nancy shares that she has observed the egret  and cormorant symbiotic feeding partnership many mornings over by where she lives on the Annisquam River.

Register by Aug 11 for 39th Annual Clean Harbor swim (kids and adults) held @Niles Beach August 19th

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REGISTER BY AUGUST 11 for 39th Annual Clean Harbor Swim- 

“New since 2015 is the Clean Harbor Kids swim, a 500 meter swim along the shore of Niles Beach for 8-12 year olds. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the sport of Open Water Swimming.”  And to talk about the history behind celebrating a clean water swim here in Gloucester harbor, the natural world ‘all about us’, stories of conservation, and work of naturalists like Sarah Fraser Robbins.

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bike happy tours then & now: 1885 Gloucester travel guide for cyclists & 2017 stylish new bike fleet at Beauport Hotel

Beauport Hotel guests can explore the city of Gloucester, MA, and Cape Ann…by bike. What a great perk for visitors!

Biking culture linked with tourism in Gloucester and Cape Ann hearkens way back…as in 1878. Scroll down to see historic tourist guides from 1881 and 1885 that catered to cyclists and visitors. The sights and recommendations are the ones we continue to celebrate.

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Lookout Hill and Stage Fort Park as seen here from the Beauport Hotel deck is just a close walk or bike ride away.

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Enjoy excerpts from an 1885 cyclist tourist guide

In and Around Cape Ann: A Handbook of Gloucester, Mass., and Its Immediate Vicinity. For the Wheelman Tourist and the Summer Visitor by John S. Webber, Jr with eleven illustrations. Gloucester, Mass: Printed at the Cape Ann Advertiser Office, 1885. Library of Congress collection

“…After months of labor–hard labor, too, for one unaccustomed to the work–I am permitted to send forth the present little manual on Gloucester and its immediate vicinity. The material here given is designed for the especial use of the touring wheelman and the summer visitor, and I have endeavored to describe–in a way perhaps peculiar–all the most important sights and places of interest to be found upon this rock-bound territory of Cape Ann

The streets about town are generally in condition for bicycle riding, though the surface of most of them is either cut up by thick patches of the coarsest gravel or a layer of loosely lying stones; the rider, however, can pick his way along without any very serious trouble. Main street is paved with square blocks of granite from Porter street to Hancock street, and from Chestnut street to Union Hill. Western avenue, or more frequently spoken of as the “Cut,” is a favorite street for bicycle riding; beyond the bridge take the deserted sidewalk on the left, and enjoy a very pleasant spin upon its easy running surface…

the first suggested itinerary- Bicycle rambles on Eastern Point

“And now let’s take our wheel for a short run along our harbor road to East Gloucester, and note the many points of interest on the way. The start is made at the Gloucester Hotel–the headquarters of all visiting wheelmen in the city–at the corner of Main and Washington streets;

Gloucester Hotel 1885 Washington and Main

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photo: cyclist on the bend passing brick building at Main and Washington now features Tonno Restaurant. Notice the chimneys and same stairs as when it was the Gloucester Hotel. “Special Rates Made to Wheelmen”

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“from thence the journey takes us over the rather uneven surface of Main street, going directly toward the east. In a few minutes we pass the Post Office on the left, and soon leave the noisy business portion of the street behind us, then, e’re we are aware of it, we reach and quickly climb the slight eminence known as Union Hill. Once over the hill the road has a downward grade, with generally a very muddy surface, but on through this we propel our machine to the curve in the road at its junction with Eastern avenue. To the right we follow the now well trodden thoroughfare and again pedal quickly up the steep incline before us. Now the machine is well taken in hand, and with a sharp look-out ahead a pleasant little coast over the gently sloping road is cautiously indulged in; down, down we spin, following the main road to the right over the well worn surface, an on, on we glide, past the dwellings of the rich and poor, directly though the business section of the settlement, until in a few minutes we reach the “Square,” so called, at the village center. Passing the pump at this place on our left, we continue the ride over the mud-covered highway, enjoying highly the magnificent stretch of harbor scenery before us. A short distance, and the first dismount is now taken at the foot of a rough incline known as “Patch’s Hill.” At this place are a number of prominent Summer cottages, among them being the Delphine House, Craig Cottage and Brazier Cottage, each affording first-class accommodations, with facilities for bathing, fishing, and boating in close proximity. Once again we bestride the slender wheel and continue on for half a dozen rods or more to the gate-way at the entrance to Niles’ Beach, which marks the terminus of the public way… 

Celebrity spotting famous authors

“…Our trip on the bicycle in this direction has finished, and so we sit awhile on the near-at-hand rocky bluff and watch the merry throng of bathers in their sportive antics in the cooling sea, and inwardly wish that we were among them in the refreshing exercise. At our back, as we sit facing the sandy shore, is the little Summer abode of the well known authoress, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps–the cottage in which she has already penned a great number of interesting works, and where she passes the greater portion of the long, warm  Summer days.

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photo caption: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps house

“Directly in front of us, at the further end of the beach, is the old mansion house of the Niles family, and still further on, at the extreme end of the rocky shore, is the tall stone column of Eastern Point Light. “The walk across the beach and over the narrow winding tree bordered path is well worth taking, and makes a pleasant 

Continue reading “bike happy tours then & now: 1885 Gloucester travel guide for cyclists & 2017 stylish new bike fleet at Beauport Hotel”

SNOWY DAY TOUR OF GLOUCESTER

Snowy April Fools Day scenes from Niles Beach, the Greasy Pole, City Hall, backshore, Bass Rocks, Good Harbor Beach, Fitz Henry Lane house, and more. 

See More Scenes Here Continue reading “SNOWY DAY TOUR OF GLOUCESTER”

SAD END FOR THE BLUE OCEAN DRAGGER

blue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-gloucester-ma-29-copyright-kim-smithEarly this morning crews from Cape Ann Marine, Under Pressure Construction, Tally’s, Harbormaster T. J. Ciarametaro, the D.P.W., police, and diver Ted Barnes arrived at Niles Beach to begin work dismantling the FV Blue Ocean dragger. Despite the rough seas and biting wind, tow lines were secured around the vessel by Cape Ann Marine and Ted Barnes. Under Pressure’s Chad Ketchopulos and crew dug a wide trench at the road that opens onto Niles Beach. It appeared the purpose of the trench was to help stabilize the tow trucks. Two Tally’s tow trucks were used to haul the Blue Ocean out of the water, the Merlin to drag the vessel across the beach and the second tow truck to brace the Merlin. By low tide, at 11:27am, the dragger was mostly out of the water, when work began to smash the boat to bits. Last check at 1:00pm and the Blue Ocean was almost entirely gone.

Mini time lapse of Blue Ocean dragger being hauled across the beach

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BREAKING: NILES CLOSED DUE TO BLUE OCEAN SHIPWRECK DEBRIS LITTERING BEACH

blue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-gloucester-ma-niles-beach-closed-copyright-kim-smithKnocked about by rough seas and high winds, the pilot house and other large parts of the Blue Ocean dragger overnight washed ashore onto Niles. Updated plans for the ship’s total demise include towing onto the beach and crushing it, which may take place Tuesday.

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UPDATE ON BLUE OCEAN DRAGGER SHIPWRECK

gloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-23-copyright-kim-smith-copyDiver Ted Barnes reports that efforts to float the shipwrecked Blue Ocean dragger will resume tomorrow, Sunday. The crews and divers will again attempt to get the float straps under the keel. The Blue Ocean is now resting on its port side. See photos from earlier today – Breaking: Shipwrecked Blue Ocean Salvage Underway

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Diver Ted Barnes

 

 

BLUE OCEAN SHIPWRECK, GLOUCESTER HARBORMASTER, AND SALTY DOG ABOARD THE CAPE ANN MARINE

Activity at the Blue Ocean shipwreck early this morning.

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gloucester-shipwreck-blue-ocean-salty-dog-copyright-kim-smithPlease write and let us know if you know the name of this little salty dog. Thank you! gloucester-shipwreck-blue-ocean-caoe-ann-marine-copyright-kim-smithgloucester-shipwreck-blue-ocean-harbormaster-copyright-kim-smith

MONARCH BUTTERFLY FOUND ON NILES BEACH

GMG reader Hannah writes, 

Hi, I wanted to get this to Kim Smith. I have seen her posts about the migration and how they were not as many this summer. I found this beautiful frozen/starved monarch butterfly on Niles Beach two days ago and I am wondering if anyone knows how I could preserve this? It still has a little sand on it–too afraid to brush it off. Thanks!

Thank you for writing Hannah. That looks like a very wind and weather worn Monarch. I wonder how far it traveled to reach our shores. The easiest way to preserve your Monarch is to store it in a shadow box, which can be purchased at Target, Ikea, and Michaels. West Elm has some very nice linen-lined ones. The main thing is to keep it out of the sun or the wing color will fade. Folks used to tuck butterfly specimens away in cupboards with little drawers and compartments, to look at on occasion, but that can bring mice. The shadow boxes are so much nicer!

Your Monarch is clearly dead however I would like to make folks aware that sometimes butterflies appear frozen or dead but they are actually quite alive. A butterflies wings don’t work very well until they are thoroughly warmed. If you see a butterfly early in the morning, either lying on the ground or attached to a plant such as Seaside Goldenrod, it is probably simply waiting for the sun to rise and is best left undisturbed.

Also, as for the sand grains, you can remove those with a few gentle pumps of a bulb syringe or a photographer’s air blaster.