Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Exploring the Massachusetts coast.

After breakfast, I headed out on a solo adventure. The first place I landed was Marblehead. "Birthplace of the American Navy." Because, why not? I just wanted to get to the ocean.
The beach is rocky and I spent some time looking around for a few rocks to bring home. I actually bought nothing on this trip other than food.
Let me just say that the waters of the Atlantic are freaking cold up this way. I'm used to the Southeast coast, with its bathwater temperatures. But that didn't stop me from kicking off my shoes and wading in. Briefly.
I spent some time watching this seagull working on a crab. When I tried to get closer, he took it in his beak and flew off. Damn, I was going to steal it for myself.
An unusual lighthouse, I thought, in Chandler Hovey Park on Marblehead Neck. It was built in 1896.
I climbed around on the rocks for a while, just enjoying being out in the salty air.
My drive up the coast took me past this harbor. At some point, my friend texted to ask where I was and when I told him I'd seen Marblehead, he mentioned that he wanted to go to Gloucester. I said I was already headed that way (and no, I did NOT text this while driving), and he answered, "Not fair!"
Nevertheless, I headed on up to Gloucester on Cape Ann, first chartered as an English settlement in 1623. Apparently conditions were tough and everyone decamped to Salem (which I also drove through) and the place was re-populated a couple decades later. I looked it up, this 1874 building in Rocky Neck is the Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory. They developed a copper paint to help prevent barnacles from adhering to the bottoms of boats.
There are channels under which smaller boats can pass into the harbors.
On the harbor waterfront downtown are two statues. The more famous is the Fisherman's Memorial, of a man at a ship's wheel, dedicated to "They that go down to the sea in ships," the 10,000 fishermen who've died at sea. But I liked the poignant Fisherman's Wives Memorial, which speaks to the losses of the families.
The next town over, in an area which used to be called Sandy Bay, was Rockport. It's a peninsula, with the Atlantic on three sides. I got out and walked along Bearskin Neck, with a harbor and old fishing and lobstering shacks that are now mostly shops.
I looked around some, but only went into the candy store to buy a few chocolate truffles to take back to the hotel to share.
I planned to wander a bit and then head out to find a place that had clam strips, but then I was brought up short by this place. I went in as if pulled by a magnet.  Inside was a sign advertising "hot boiled lobsters" for $12.95.  The man behind the counter looked like central casting had sent him - big guy with a huge bushy beard and a friendly smile. He had a pile of 1 1/4 pound lobsters and I told him I wanted one to eat there. As he sorted through, he said, "One bigger one got in here by mistake but I'll give it to you for the same price. You won't be offended by that, will you?" I said, "I think I'll get over it!"
As I carried the 2-pound lobster out to the deck by the water, another customer said, "Wow, that's a big lobster!" Yes it was, and it was calling my name.  I sat in the sun dipping the claw meat into the drawn butter and entered a state of nirvana.
Then, finally, away from the coast and back to Concord for the night. Next up, the weekend trip.

46 comments:

  1. What a wonderful day. I love walking near the ocean, although I've never seen the Atlantic.
    I love all the photos, especially the unusual lighthouse.

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    1. Having walked by many oceans around the world, I say any ocean is a good ocean.

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  2. I cannot thank you enough for sharing these beeeeautiful photos of the Massachusetts coast because even though I've never been there, anytime I see photograph of that coastline, it makes me gasp at its beauty!

    So rugged and raw!

    LOVE the one of lighthouse because I have this 'thing' about lighthouses. I love looking at them!

    OMG...those peach roses are stunning!

    And that lobster? WOW!!!!!!!!!!! What a beauty! And I bet it was scrumptious!

    Thanks for sharing, girl. Really enjoyed! Looking forward to more!

    X

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    1. It does have a very rugged look to it, as does the northwest coast. So many kinds of natural beauty in this world! And I'm partial to lighthouses myself.

      Peach roses are my favorite - there is something so wonderful about that color of flower. ANd yes, the lobster was fantastic!

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  3. sounds like a perfectly lovely day of exploring.

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  4. what a cool memorial...the family looking out for them...
    how nice to let you sleep in too...and how can you not dip a foot in when there...even if cold...i would as well...

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    1. I can't seem to be near an ocean without at least getting my feet wet. That's probably a metaphor for my life!

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  5. Brings back memories of my trip up the coast through Gloucester and Rock Port. Beautiful country.

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  6. I'm very jealous of your lobster. I haven't had lobster in a while and I love it with butter.

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    1. Lobster would definitely be on my "last meal" menu.

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  7. I so enjoyed your little adventure, great photos. I've always wanted to try lobster but honestly wouldn't know where to start with one.

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    1. Best place is at the claw, which they'd conveniently broken. Bu I always save one claw for last.

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  8. How beautiful. I've never been that far north on the Eatern seaboard. I'm picturing the 'Gorton's Fisherman' from your description of the lobster man.

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    1. Gorton's is based in Gloucester and that's almost exactly what the statue looks like.

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  9. Sounds idyllic! I like the fishernem's wives monument too.

    The rocks look similar to the ones around our coast and the water is certainly the same: freezing!

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    1. I have a strong, strong preference for warmer water!

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  10. Looks like it was a great trip. I like the Fisherman's Wives Memorial - it's good to be reminded of the dangers of fishing and the worry and sometimes loss the wives have to endure.

    I love the sea and beaches. I'm lucky enough to be just a few minutes' drive from Belfast Lough (which is actually an estuary).

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    1. The wives and the kids. I like any body of water - I love having a lake right here.

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  11. I bring greetings from India and am reciprocating your very generous gesture of visiting and commenting on my blog post. Thank you. I like what I see here and will try to visit regularly and comment where I can.

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  12. Very nice lobstah....good sized claws. Ayup.

    I've been on that section of the coast, and up as far as Booth Bay Harbor, though not for a few years. When I think back on the trips what always comes first is the food.....esp. clams, not clam strips, but whole clams, deep-fried, 'big bellies', served in a plastic basket sitting on a red checked plastic tablecloth, served by a waitress who calls me 'hon'.

    Oh, btw, it's snowing, a couple inches on the ground.

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    1. I am most happy when I'm traveling somewhere with good seafood. I wanted the clam strips just for nostalgia's sake.

      And you know, where I live ALL the wait staff (and cashiers and bank tellers and strangers on the streets) call you hon. Or honey. Or baby. Or sweetie.

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  13. Thanks for taking us with you, SAW and on a point of interest, here in Newfoundland the US is referred to as "The Boston States" and many of the fishermen in the old days hung out in Gloucester, etc. selling their catch and then heading back to Newfoundland. and vice versa I believe.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. The Boston States. I have to say I don't like that. We are so much more than one city that may be representative of the area but not in any way of the whole country.

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  14. My neck of the woods ...

    How fun to see it from your perspective

    Rugged us a good word . The areas you visited are affluent.but the sea has a way of filing what's important in the book of life

    I'm sorry you (we) missed me sushi. Turns out, sick or not, it was the lowest of low days for me--my mother and Medicaid and a nursing home this week.

    Hash I thought you were at a conference :-)

    Lovely photos. I think you got a two pounder...

    Love
    kj

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    1. Remember that it was my original neck of the woods, too.

      No conference - this was purely a pleasure trip. :-)

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  15. Love to travel, even vicariously. Beautiful pictures. Jody, The Medicare Mom

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    1. I have a serious travel bug, so this was a welcome trip for me.

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  16. I love your adventurous spirit and how you're not afraid to just do stuff on your own!

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    1. I spent a day on my own in Sydney and another in Melbourne and find that I really like being out and about on my own.

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  17. Oh that lobster looks sooo yummy. I can hardly imagine anything more pleasant than nibbling on lobster with butter by the sea. Lovely photographs of the sights. You are inspiring me to plan an Atlantic vacation...

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    1. That lobster by the water was definitely a highlight!

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  18. I love the flowers growing out through the weathered fence. I would love to smell them! Ocean beaches are wonderful places....I don't get to one often, so it is fun to imagine through your photos.

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    1. Aren't those beautiful. Got me thinking about my next garden...

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  19. I love the beach and don't get there often. Beautiful photos, and cute toes, too.

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    1. I don't get there often enough, that's for sure.

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  20. Fresh lobster - how wonderful. I would love to see that part of your country!

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  21. When I saw that gull with the crab and read that he grabbed it when you approached, it made me think of "Finding Nemo". All the gulls would say, "Mine! Mine!"

    That lobster looks like good eating!

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  22. It all looks so beautiful and charming. I've never been and would love to spend time on that coast. The lobster looks delicious. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. I love pretty much all coasts. And it was delicious.

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  23. You might enjoy this book; so much of what you're writing about is in it:

    http://www.amazon.com/Voyage-Long-Strange-Rediscovering-World/dp/B0035G01ZA/ref=pd_sim_b_4

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