Posts Tagged ‘fishing’

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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


Here’s my dad, to provide scale:


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

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


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:


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:


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:


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:




And some from Pigeon Cove:


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:


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


A few fishing boats:




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





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.


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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.


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


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


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:



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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