Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Along the Shore

September 15 and 16, 2009
Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts

The sun wakes you up early here – there’s nothing between you and the horizon!

We drove to Gloucester today and went out to Eastern Point. The Audubon trail there was a messy disappointment, but I had fun walking out on the Dogbar Breakwater.
The breakwater was created to bury a dangerous reef and create a safer harbor. It’s a half mile long and is composed of huge granite blocks, weighing about 12 tons each.

There’s a lighthouse on the shore; and a beacon out at the end, which used to need to be turned by hand. In foul weather, the breakwater is closed, since people could get swept off by wind or waves.
But today was sunny and only moderately breezy.
Mom went out only a little way. It’s not a place for someone afraid of heights. I’m not, but it was a little scary anyway.

I went all the way to the end, stepping past seagulls who eyed me silently, in a Hitchcock sort of way.

I was jealous of how the gulls could just spread their wings and lift off into the wind.

Cormorants were fishing right alongside the wall, on the seaward side.
Toward the far end, there was no one fishing today, but there were so many gulls that one had to walk carefully due to the droppings. Great, I could see the headlines:

Woman Falls Off Breakwater After Slipping on Guano.

Now to head back!

When I returned to safety of shore, we had a tailgate lunch, and sat watching the wind and waves along the Dogbar.

Later the next afternoon, the wind continued to blow relentlessly. The sun came out after morning cloudiness, and I went alone to Halibut Point State Park. The parkland was formerly the Babson Quarry, and trails circle the quarry. That's the ocean beyond the other rim.

Some trails lead to the ocean - narrow paths through waist-high thickets of blueberry – sassasfras – and briers.

A lot of the plants here seem have glossy or waxy leaves, needed for seashore survival. Here and there are clusters of goldenrod, bayberry and asters. In two places I saw jimsonweed.

The wind was hard out of the northeast, and the surf was lively.

There was a boulder bigger than a car, being dashed by the waves of the incoming tide.
I could have sat and watched for hours.

Except for the fact that Mom and I had plans that evening to go to the Greenery Restaurant, down by Rockport’s little harbor, and have crab cakes for dinner!
Here’s the view from our table:


  1. Another group of spectacular photos that capture so beautifully a sense of place. And after all that wind and those waves, you bring us to such a calm harbor, where our eyes can rest. You must tell me the name of your inn, so I may one day visit this special place.

  2. Such a beautiful black-backed gull. :)