Sunday, August 31, 2008

Simply Family Fun

We headed down to the boat to relax and enjoy the annual Gloucester 'end of summer' boat parade and fireworks. Once again, this is something quite unique to Gloucester. Not only do we celebrate the beginning of summer, as most towns and cities do with fireworks and parades, but we also send it off at the end of the season with a bang!

The marina where we keep our boat tends to be a very sleepy type of marina. Sometimes, at the peak of the summer season, you may bump into one or two others coming from or going to their boats. Yet, more often than not, boats come and go but it's not a social scene. Basically, it's a marina for people that actaully use their boats. It's nice that way.

On Saturday, though, the marina was hopping. I think I saw more folks on this one evening than I've seen all summer. Part of the reason may have been the impromptu Dock Party that the marina threw for its patrons that afternoon. Naturally, we missed it. Our son remarked later that he had seen the signs up earlier in the week but 'forgot to mention it'. Thanks!

Some were putting the final touches on their boats for the boat parade. Others were heading out into the harbor to watch the parade and fireworks. Still others were just going to sit on their boat for perhaps the last time this year.

Wow! Where did the summer go?

We moved out into the harbor and found a hole in the boat crowd to anchor. For the most part, we had a space all to ourselves, although a few other boaters attempted to set anchors very close to us. (Grumble. Grumble.) Gratefully, once they set their anchor and then saw how close they drifted towards our boat and the others around us, they quickly weighed anchor and moved along.

[Warning! Soapbox in use.]
More people should take some basic boating classes. They really aren't that hard and are offered by both the US Power Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Many (if not most) boaters are very concientious of others on the water, yet, there are some real knuckleheads out there. Knowing things like the 'rules of the road', rights when going through bridges, basic anchoring techniques, etc. go a long way to making it better (and safer) for all out on the water.
[The soapbox is relinquished.]

We sat on the boat, enjoying light snacks and conversation, and listened to the Sox on the radio. The boat parade came right past us and we all agreed that the "ambulance boat" was our favorite. Part of the fun of the boat parade is trying to guess what some of the boats are supposed to be. We now know that the boat with the "shooting water" was a "Gloucester Water Main Break". Quite original!

The camera I have does not take very good pictures at night, although I tried a little bit. In low light situations, it just oversamples too much resulting in way too many light traces. Maybe, for my birthday, I'll get the camera I "really" wanted! Hint. Hint.

Here's a picture of the ambulance boat as it passed us. I should probably turn this into a 'Don't Drink & Boat' PSAs!

After the boat parade and a short intermission, the fireworks display started. This year, there were even launching them from Ten Pound Island! It's been a few years since I remember them doing that.

All in all, it was one of those perfect summer evenings in Gloucester. A time for family and friends. A time for celebrating the end of summer. A time for Gloucester doing a thing together as a community.

For much better pictures of the Boat Parade and Fireworks, please feast your eyes on the work of a true master and visit Jay Albert's Cape Ann Images blog.

Simply A Gloucester Good Time!


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Simply Posy-ing Around

I needed to wait around the home today so decided to capture some of these flower images. In a few short months, when the snow begins to fly, perhaps these pictures will brighten someone's day.

There's not much I can add to these so I will let the flowers speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Simply a pocketful of posies.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Simply Not Looking Hard Enough

Something about the cool snap in the air the last few days set me off to thinking about all those times I was forced to write a "What I did on my summer vacation" paper. I never liked writing those papers when I was growing up, mainly because I never really did anything during the summers.

I didn't grow up on Cape Ann, and the beach was a long (in those days) 40 minute drive away. My family and I didn't travel much and most of our family vacations entailed being stuck in a cabin somewhere in New Hampshire during a rainy week in August.

For the longest time, once I started working, I refused to take vacations in August because I "knew" it would rain that week. (It didn't scar me too much, eh?) By the way, this year I forgot and took a week off in August. If you look back over the weather reports for August, you should be able to pick out the week I was off!

Enough of my whining.

A second reason why I decided to put together this list is I overheard two teens talking while I was downtown this week. As some teens are apt to do, they were complaining that there was "nothing to do around here". As my tribute to them, and since I start most of my days watching the sunrise in my rear view mirror (sounds like a title to a country song "Watching the Sunrise in My Rear View Mirror"), here's a small list of the things I found to to do this summer.

  1. Went to the beach ... Good Harbor, Wingaersheek, and even Crane's.

  2. Looked for seaglass ... along Pavilion Beach and Niles.

  3. Walked in Ravenswood Park a few times.

  4. Walked in the Tompson Street Reservation.

  5. Went to the Sidewalk Bazaar.

  6. Went to the Premier Ultimate Gloucester Block Party. (May there be many more!)

  7. Went boating (not enough... never enough).

  8. Went kayaking in the Essex River for the first time (kayaking).

  9. Stopped in at the Farmer's Market and Harbor Loop Concerts.

  10. Went to a couple of the Rockport Legion Band Concerts. Okay. Went to 6 of them and the final one is scheduled for Sunday, August 24th. (shameless plug)

  11. Watched a few baseball games at Boudreau and Wilson and parts of some softball games out at Plum Cove.

  12. Particpated in one or two bike races. I only say "particpated" since I happened to try to drive down Washington Street towards Lanesville at the wrong time and got stuck in a race. (Driving along this road on a normal day can be a challenge but add a few cyclists and then it really becomes interesting.)

  13. Went to a couple of church fairs.

  14. Ate some really good, fresh corn from local farmers.

  15. Ate one really bad lobster roll.... It was from Maine and looked very different from the one that the "Phantom" reviewed. Note to GMG. It had lettuce on it also!

  16. The list goes on and could include the customary events such as Fiesta and 4th of July....

All in all, despite the rainy weather, it wasn't that bad of a summer. Next time you hear someone from Cape Ann saying that "there's nothing to do", tell them that they are ......

Simply Not Looking Hard Enough!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Simply Reflecting

A beautiful morning on Cape Ann encouraging reflective thoughts all around.

When things aren't going your way......

maybe you just need to change direction!

If I only had an easel and some paints....

...and could actually paint!

Sometimes, you just have to look at things from a completely different perspective.

See what I mean?

Simply A Mirror

Simply For The Birds

The morning and my mood were a little foggy but a walk along the piers of Gloucester Marina cleared both up nicely. I happened upon two busy fishermen at work. The early bird gets the

Poetry by Mary Oliver

Where the path closed
down and over,
through the scumbled leaves,
fallen branches,
through the knotted catbrier,
I kept going. Finally
I could not
save my arms
from thorns; soon
the mosquitoes
smelled me, hot
and wounded, and came
wheeling and whining.
And that's how I came
to the edge of the pond:
black and empty
except for a spindle
of bleached reeds
at the far shore
which, as I looked,
wrinkled suddenly
into three egrets - - -
a shower
of white fire!
Even half-asleep they had
such faith in the world
that had made them - - -
tilting through the water,
unruffled, sure,
by the laws
of their faith not logic,
they opened their wings
softly and stepped
over every dark thing.

Poetry by Necati Cumali
Translated by Ruth Christie

Now he dives deep in thought before the windows
He recalls warm summer evenings
Ships pass with empty decks
On the wide empty sea
Over and over a hungry cormorant dives

I know loneliness chills the heart
The heart is always searching for someone to love
It remembers loves left only in glances
Lightly-sweating palms flushed cheeks
And evening strolls on the tree-lined roads

The first stars are born before the tread of dark
Your feelings float like the fragrance of flowers
On the way home your footsteps falter
You stop and listen to the wind
You exchange glances with every woman you meet

There’s a long summer still before you
All day loitering here and there
Tossing and turning in bed all night
Moonlight and hot weather fire to the blood
The slightest thought steals away sleep

Now winds blow cold in your face
Clouds pass laden with grief and rain
Mail-vans climb the slopes
Now birds and wolves live apart from each other
Water flows apart from the pebbles

Now he dives deep in thought his eyes grow big
He recalls warm summer evenings
Lightly-sweating palms flushed cheeks
On the wide empty sea
Over and over a hungry cormorant dives

Now they're telling fish stories!

Simply For The Birds

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Simply Boating

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

--John Masefield

We'll follow this Captain through the Cut....

....and then take our turn.

Could be heading in for the day.

Sometimes, the photos almost look like paintings.

Maybe these two need a bigger boat! What could the man on the dock be looking at?

Ahhh! Maybe he's thinking of a bigger boat.

Definately a great day for sail!

Or a row!

Look at him move!

No thanks! I'm doing just fine!

City Hall looks like a space robot from here. Yikes!

And the clouds look like a bad dream from the Creature Double Feature!

What a great day to be on the water.
Simply Boating!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Simply Clearing

The rain stopped, the clouds began to clear and the Lannon raised her sails.

One of the benefits of living in Gloucester is that once the clouds begin to clear, the harbor is only a short walk away!

Another hidden treasure can be found in this small park just off Lookout Street. The best views are available in the fall when the trees drop some of their leaves.

Lookout! Ten Pound Island below!

Our Lady of Good Voyage and Holy Family are off in this direction!

Simply Nice That The Rain Stopped!