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Posts Tagged ‘gloucester’

The Blynman Bridge in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is one of the busiest movable bridges in the world, averaging 10,000 openings per year. Here it is opening for a lone sailboat last week:

There’s not a lot of horizontal clearance between the leaves, but this boat breezed right through:

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Those of us who spend time on or near the water are quite familiar with the amazing variety of tugboats. Most are quite large, but sometimes you need something small to get the job done. Here are some of the smaller boats I’ve seen around.

Herbert P. Brake at the entrance to the Gowanus Canal
Bosco from Boston near Troy, NY
Harbor II at work in Erie Basin
An unidentified boat in the Delaware at Marcus Hook, PA

And a personal favorite:

Brian in Gloucester, MA

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We spent July 4th in Portland, Maine, listening to the Portland Symphony and watching fireworks from the Eastern Promenade.

But on July 3rd, we were in Gloucester, Massachusetts, for the annual Fishtown Horribles Parade. According to the repository of all true facts, parades of horribles were common Independence Day celebrations in the 19th century and continue to be so in some towns in New England. Well, that’s definitely true in Gloucester. There were not too many “horribles” (my father did capture this one), but people put together some interesting floats (often sponsored by a local business), some businesses had their own floats, and some people seemed to put something together and march simply for the joy of being in the parade. Everybody watching seemed to know everybody marching and vice-versa. Karen remarked that it had the homey (not “homie” — more on that below) feel of a small town, even though Gloucester’s not that small.

The waterfront was bedecked with flags. If you look closely you can see the Man at the Wheel in the center:

Plenty of small boats, some being towed and some self-propelled:

This girl really got into the spirit:

The Gorton’s fisherman put in an appearance:

And there was a small mermaid. Maybe next year she’ll come to Coney Island!

And finally, Homie the seagull, GoodMorningGloucester‘s mascot:

Followed by Joey, the man behind Homie (literally) and the driving force behind GoodMorningGloucester:

GMG has many more pictures from the parade.

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Back in March, the Annisquam River buoy broke its mooring during a nor’easter and ended up on Coffin’s Beach in Gloucester, MA. At the end of May, the Gloucester Times reported, “This buoy’s going nowhere.” No one, it seems, was able to remove the buoy from the beach.

In early May, my parents moved to Gloucester. Their house is just up the hill from Coffin’s Beach.

Acting on a tip that an attempt to remove the buoy would be made this morning, my father headed down to the beach, camera in hand.

Riverside & Pickering’s 55-foot, 900 horsepower tug Creole Miss arrives on the scene:

Workmen approach the buoy with a heavy tow rope:

Creole Miss waits just off shore:

The buoy is rolled toward the water:

And away it floats:

All photos by Marty Luster. For more photos of the salvage, please visit his gallery.

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Every now and then I get to combine hobbies—in this case motorcycles, movable bridges, and boats. I’m just back from a weekend bike trip to Gloucester to get my fix of New England fishing boats and towns. In Gloucester I stayed at the Crow’s Nest, the bar made famous by the book and movie The Perfect Storm. Upstairs from the bar are hotel rooms—nothing fancy, but they’re clean and relatively cheap. There is no extra charge for the stale smoke smell. That’s the Crow’s Nest in the background:

bike_crows-nest

It was pretty chilly during the ride up. Like Howard Blackburn, I thought I would let my hands freeze around the grips lest all be lost. Unlike Howard, I got to keep my fingers.

Gloucester has one two movable bridges. This is the Blynman Bridge:

blynman_bridge

It’s a double-leaf bascule bridge and was built in 1907 to honor Richard Blynman. In 1643 he dug the canal—known as the Cut—that connects the Annisquam River with Gloucester Harbor. (See the comments for an interesting note about this bridge.) This shot shows the counterweights that assist with opening the leaf:

blynman_gear

The bridge operator on duty was kind enough to let me in to the control house so I could get a picture of the control panel:

blynman_controls

GoodMorningGloucester has videos from inside the control house and photos of the bridge here. Live streaming video of the bridge can be seen on this webcam.

Nearby Essex was a center for shipbuilding. Of the estimated 6000 schooners built in Essex, seven have survived. Here’s the bow of the schooner Roseway (built in 1925), on the hard at the Gloucester Marine Railways for its annual haul-out:

roseway_bow

The Gloucester Marine Railways have been around since 1859, making them the country’s oldest continuously operating marine railways.

This is the bow of the Evelina M. Goulart (built in 1927), undergoing restoration at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum:

goulart_bow

Also at the shipbuilding museum is a sailing model of the schooner Ernestina (ex-Effie M. Morrisey, built in 1894). Ernestina currently resides in New Bedford. The model is named Effie M Morrisey Jr:

morrisey_jr_bow

Here’s my dad, to provide scale:

morrisey_jr

The model can actually be sailed by a person lying prone on the deck.

The schooner Adventure (built in 1926) is based in Gloucester:

adventure_masts

The oldest surviving Essex schooner is the Lettie G. Howard (built in 1893), currently owned by the South Street Seaport Museum in New York. In this photo by Karen, the Lettie is seen sailing wing-and-wing down the Hudson:

lettie

The Lettie was originally sailed out of Gloucester, and though this may ruffle some feathers here in New York, I think it’s time for her to be repatriated. She belongs in Gloucester.

Another type of Gloucester boat is the dory. This one was made in the dory shop at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center:

dory

It was being raffled off to raise money for the Gloucester International Dory Racing Committee, and despite the confidence I display in the following video, I did not win.

(video courtesy of GoodMorningGloucester)

Northeast of Gloucester is the town of Rockport, home to one of the most painted and photographed buildings in America, Motif #1:

motif1

The original shack was destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978; what you see now is an exact duplicate.

Finally, here are some Gloucester fishing boats:

capt_leo

jennifer_k

jennie_c

And some from Pigeon Cove:

pigeon_cove_boats

For the complete gallery of pictures from this visit to Gloucester, please click here.

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Here are more images from our one-day visit to Gloucester. This is the schooner Thomas E. Lannon sailing out of the harbor:

lannon_flag

A close-up shot of the Fishermen’s Wives Memorial:

fishermens_wives

A few fishing boats:

little_sandra

angela_rose

mystique

Four views of a Gloucester icon (and two with two icons):

paint1

2_icons

paint2

red_boat

This last Gloucester fishing boat was far from home. The picture was taken at Sea Travelers Marina in Brooklyn, where we keep Puffin. I wonder what it was doing there.

glou_in_bklyn

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Gloucester!

We are currently touring New England with the kids. It’s a car trip, but we’re sticking close to the water. Today we arrived in Gloucester, MA. After reading The Last Fish Tale and stumbling upon some Gloucester blogs (see related post), I knew I had to come to Gloucester sooner rather than later. Joey of GoodMorningGloucester was incredibly helpful with advice on visiting his hometown. (His blog is a fantastic compilation of photos, videos, and news from America’s oldest fishing port.)

Upon our arrival in town, we made the obligatory stop at the Man at the Wheel, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Memorial.

man-at-wheel

From there we proceeded straight to Captain Joe & Sons to try to find Joey. He wasn’t hard to find:

joey

When we got there, he was busy crating up lobsters and herring:

herring

We chatted a bit, and he suggested some places to visit. So we headed off to the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center, but first we had lunch:

roast_beef

There is a great pier behind the heritage center, and we sat there for a while as I took billions of pictures. Fishing boats of all varieties were headed out to sea:

heading_out_paint

boats_heading_out

Finally, heeding the call of our stomachs, we left the pier and headed for dinner, which we ate at Halibut Point, located in the building where Howard Blackburn had his inn.

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So I just finished reading Mark Kurlansky‘s The Last Fish Tale: The Fate of the Atlantic and Survival in Gloucester, America’s Oldest Fishing Port and Most Original Town. Before I go any further: I highly recommend it.

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that Sebastian Junger‘s The Perfect Storm made me want to visit Gloucester. With Kurlansky added to the mix the urge to visit is yet stronger. Adding even more to the desire to go to Gloucester was the coincidence that the prologue of The Last Fish Tale is all about the pole walkers of Gloucester—participants in a competition that takes place during the Saint Peter’s Fiesta, and the festival took place last weekend, right after I started reading the book.

This morning I was reading SOUNDBOUNDER, and I was intrigued by one of the comments, which was made by someone in Gloucester. Clicking the commenter’s profile brought me to his blog—Shooting My Universe—where I found fantastic pictures of Gloucester, including several of the pole walkers at last week’s Saint Peter’s Fiesta. I’m going to call this not-quite-so random alignment of Web and non-Web worlds a “webincidence.”

Following a link from Shooting My Universe—simply because I liked the name—brought me to Living in Brooklyn-Longing for Maine, where I found more photos of Cape Ann and Gloucester.  Another webincidence.

Go figure…

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