Author Archives: Marty Luster

Open Letter To Fred Bodin

First, please read this GMG post of April 30, 2013.

“Where Is This?”

Now, the following open Letter to Fred will make sense.

Dear Fred,

Barbara and I took a walk today to Wingaersheek Beach. As we walked past the auxilliary parking lot on the right (before the main entrance) I realized that if I could see through the trees on the far side of the parking lot, the view would approximate that seen in the photo that accompanied the one of the huge round boulder we have been searching for.

When I got home, I went to Google Earth and found what might be the escarpment described in the letter that mentions the old photos and says that the picture was taken “from in front of the boulder at the edge of the cliff.”

If that is the cliff, our mystery boulder should be in the dense trees and foliage just to the west of the red circled structure (the “cliff?”) in the screen shot of the Google Earth image and just east of the small parking lot.

One more reason for you to keep on keepin’ on so we can find Moby Rock together.


G earth



Coffins Beach Wreck: Some Details

As reported on Monday, (here) the Coffins Beach Wreck has been undergoing a painstaking examination to determine its identity and history.

At the site on Monday, Harold Burnham speculated that the vessel might be a chebacco boat, named for the parish that predated the Town Of Essex. Chebacco boats were known to fish north-easterly to Newfoundland and were first constructed at about the time of the American Revolution. Most of these small schooners were destroyed by the British during the War of 1812. A modern replica of a variant of a chebacco boat is the Lewis H Story, flagship of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.IMG_0416_edited-1 Carved in the heavy stem of the wreck are the figures VI, indicating a fully laden draft of 6 feet. Buried in the sand is a V, or 5 foot marking.

IMG_0460 Adding to the mystery is this chunk of coral found among what is believed to be the ballast rocks discovered deep in the boat’s hull. What is a tropical specimen doing in a boat that presumably fished the Northeast coast?


Coffins Beach Mystery Wreck: The Search Continues.

As previously reported on GMG here a mysterious old shipwreck has been discovered on Coffins Beach. On September 8, a team headed by Victor Mastone of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaelogical Resources returned to the site. They were aided in their efforts by Harold Burnham, 11th generation boatbuilder of Essex and builder and skipper of the pinky schooner Ardelle.

Working during this month’s astronomical low tide, the team excavated the hull remains and found a number of interesting artifacts. Ballast stones were removed from the depths of the approximately 40 foot vessel. Much to the surprise of the team, some of the ballast were coral fragments, indicating that the boat had spent some time in the tropics.

Among other team members, Harold speculated that the boat might be as old as 240 years, placing its construction during the Revolutionary War era.

The site will be left to nature over the winter and the investigation will resume in the spring.

Vic Mastone reminds us,”While there is really nothing to take, most people do not realize that the site is protected by state law. It is my hope people respect the site and completely refrain from removing any of it or otherwise disturb or damage the site when they visit.”


IMG_0402 Vic Mastone, State Archaeologist.

IMG_0364 Harold Burnham and team member.IMG_0366 IMG_0367 IMG_0373 IMG_0381 IMG_0387 IMG_0389 IMG_0393 IMG_0404   IMG_0421 IMG_0422 IMG_0472 IMG_0442 IMG_0453


Some Storm

DSCF0374That was, indeed, some storm last night. Poor Lucy, our 7 year old pup, has seen plenty of thunderstorms and usually she barely notices. But last night she grew more and more agitated as the frequency and intensity of the strikes increased. She jumped from my lap to Barbara’s and back again a few times, tried hiding under tables and stared at us as if to say, “make it stop, make it stop.”

Finally, she pulled her favorite quilt from a couch, nosed it under a table. fluffed it up and curled up on it for the duration.

Our last dog, Fletch, used to howl incessantly throughout the duration of thunderstorms. Then once, during a storm in his twelfth year, he remained quiet. That’s how we discovered he had lost his hearing.

fletcher                                                                       Fletcher

_DSC0552_edited-1 Several years ago I taught Lucy how to meditate. She became pretty good at it. However, now she often dozes off while counting her breaths. Last night when I reminded her of the calming effects of that practice she responded with something like, “meditation,schmeditation, THIS IS SCARY!!!”

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