Category Archives: Education

Back To School: Then and Now

A great friend from High School shared this with me last night and it made me laugh.  As it is so timely (and funny) I thought it was totally worth sharing with you all.  As a child of the 70s and a harried mom of two young boys…plus a Montessori Elementary Teacher….I can SOOOO relate.

Many of my back to school memories from the 70s indeed include several of the things that are mentioned (god, I loved those thermoses)…and, between you and me, I see a bit of myself in the “today” routine also. :)

http://www.scarymommy.com/back-to-school-the-70s-vs-today/

Back in the 70s and early 80s much of my back-to-school shopping was done at Hill’s in Ipswich and included a trip to Pennyworth’s across the street (was that the name?).

Some of my must-haves from waaaay back then you may ask?

Happy Back-to-School!

 

Friday is your last Chance to “Celebrate Gloucester” in the BIG TENT on the water

If you haven’t yet been to a concert at Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion, now is the time — and if you’ve been to a concert in this gorgeous waterfront venue, you know what I’m talking about.

It’s the perfect summer music experience — ask anybody who was at the packed James Montgomery show last Friday.

Henri Smith

Henri Smith

This Friday (8/29) we’re bringing in the same concert stage and state-of-the-art sound & lights for Henri Smith New Orleans Friends & Flavours to kick off Schooner Festival weekend — get tickets here.

There’s a wonderful parallel between James Montgomery and Henri Smith.  Both bandleaders are major talents, they love to surround themselves with the best players available and both are committed to furthering their musical traditions by nurturing young talent.

Henri is bringing Grammy-winning saxophonist and flautist Amadee Castenell (who appeared in the HBO hit series Treme) along with Berklee professor Herman Hampton and top New England Conservatory trombonist Eric Stilwell — 3 generations of top musicians on the same stage!

And Mile Marker One will have a full bar along with perfect summer food: Lobster Rolls, BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Sausage/Peppers/Onions and of course Clam Chowda!

Don’t let summer pass you by without dancing a second line with Henri and his stellar band at the largest waterfront tent in Gloucester!  Don’t wait until it sells out.  GET TICKETS NOW!

Amadee Castenell

Amadee Castenell

Herman Hampton

Herman Hampton

Amadee Castenell

Eric Stilwell

Eric Stilwell

Get all the Schooner Fest Scoop & Songs tomorrow morning at 9AM on North Shore 104.9 – And Joey, here’s your answer

Daisy Nell (R) and Capt. Stan

“Curtain Up” host Aurelia Nelson

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 9AM Aurelia Nelson Welcomes Schooner Festival Chair Daisy Nell and Capt. Stan on her North Shore 104.9FM Radio show “Curtain Up”.

Daisy & Stan perform 2 songs and will tell you everything you need to know about next weekend’s Schooner Festival, one of our favorite weekends.  Click here for a complete Schooner Festival Schedule.

And here’s the definitive answer to Joey’s question about the Lobster Bake (from the Schooner Fest website)

Schooner Festival Lobster Bake

Two years ago, local blogger Capt. Joey of GoodMorningGloucester came up with a great idea!  Joey suggested that, in order to get the Gloucester community involved with the Schooner Festival, a community lobster bake should be held during the Festival.

Recognizing good advice, the Festival Committee held the 1st annual Community Lobster Bake in 2013 and it was a huge success!  Check out GoodMorningGloucester to see just how successful the event was!

The Community Lobster Bake will be held again in 2014 on Saturday, August 30, 4:30pm-7:30pm at Maritime Gloucester on Harbor Loop in downtown Gloucester. Enjoy freshly steamed lobster, corn on the cob, and a Virgilio’s roll– all for $15 per person. Relax with your dinner on the slopes of the Fitz Henry Lane lawn while listening to Old Cold Tater & Friends. Also available for sale: hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, cold sodas & spring water, beer & wine. Tickets available in advance from Maritime Gloucester or at the event.

honest cole

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Cole a mate on the Water Shuttle captained by Capt Pete, found a Black Centurion America Express Credit Card, under the deck at the Studio in Rocky Neck. He did not hesitate and rushed up the gang way, and returned the card to a Studio Employee.

The credit card is is the most exclusive and rare card offered by American Express; it is available by invitation only. Reserved for high end clients, this titanium (not plastic) card guarantees extras such as private jet services, personal concierges, business, savings and much more. The cost of the privilege to use this card is $2,500 a year.

The card was returned to the rightful owner, a prominent Gloucester resident. 

Cole, I applaud you on your integrity and instilling my confidence in our young generation.

Lunch Box 101…because some of you have asked.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I LOVE my job teaching, but I’d be a straight up liar if I didn’t admit that I don’t love summer vacation a bit more.  It isn’t that I need a break from the work or from my amazing students….it is that I love the weeks of freedom to play, sleep, take long day trips, or do nothing at all with my boys.  Late mornings, late nights, sand, salt, water….  How can you not love that?

That having been said, typically, after 9 weeks off, I am ready to go back to work.  I miss my students, I miss the consistency of our schedule, I miss chatting with so many amazing coworkers/friends, and I miss using untouched summer regions of my brain.

One of the best parts about back-to-school is back-to-school shopping!  I don’t go crazy over new clothes…and even if I did, my boys would most likely refuse to wear them.    I get giddy about a couple of things though… new sneakers, new fall yucky weather playground (and fall family farm tour) boots, a few new super thin long and short sleeved shirts for layering, and then the gear!

I’ve also written before about how much I loathe packing lunches….however, being a bit obsessive compulsive, it has become kind of a sport for me.  See  here.

To pack “trash-free”, easy, and fun lunches for the boys….the right gear is essential.  So, on that note, yesterday was lunch gear shopping day!  Exciting, I know!  Actually, that’s kind of a lie, because I did most of it online the other night and they had a big bag ready and waiting for us when we got to the Container Store.  But, once there, we finished up shopping and I let the boys have some input in what else they wanted.

While I realize it is not fascinating business, believe it or not, I’ve been asked by several people what type of “stuff” I buy for lunch boxes.  Many people have also mentioned that packing trash-free lunches sounds difficult, but actually, I find it much easier…and, more importantly, cheaper!  One important factor to mention though is that my boys have access to a microwave to heat up left-overs for lunch…so that may make my lunches different from the norm.

So, without further adieu….this is what we bought this year.  (A good tip is to bring your lunch box with you to make sure things will fit inside before you get them home).  Oh my goodness, I sound crazy, don’t I?

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1.  Pottery Barn lunch box.  Has held up extremely well, super easy to hand wash….and going into its 2nd school year.  They always have sales and aren’t really much more expensive if you get them at the right time.  I’m a big off-season shopper!

2.  Land’s End water bottle.  Not only does it fit perfectly, hold the perfect amount of water, and encourage the boys to drink more water….with several ice cubes, it also helps keep the lunches cold until lunch time.  But…obviously…you can fill it with milk or juice too,  depending on what you and your child prefer.

3.  Skinny ice packs…I put one of the bottom each morning to help keep lunches cold and safe.  I heard a report last year (somewhere) that someone had gone in and tested kids lunch boxes to see if their food was staying at the right temperature during the day (hence staying safe to be edible) and they discovered that about 90% weren’t.  For whatever that is worth.  I don’t usually get hung up on things like that…but, come on, warm yogurt is also just gross!

4.  Awesome Frego glass and silicone containers for microwaving leftovers.  Glass is safer, right?  The silicone makes them easy to pull out of the microwave….and comes in fun colors to appeal to the kids.  It also cushions them incase they get dropped.  Pasta, quesadillas, mini hamburgers, “breakfast for lunch” like scrambled eggs or waffles, cheese steak, soup, fish, grilled cheese, popcorn shrimp or chicken…..  Whatever.

5.  A sandwich container for the days that I haven’t packed left overs or a “heat up” as the boys call it.  Great for more than sandwiches. My boys ask for things like sushi and ham or turkey roll-ups a lot.

6.  The little red “Cool It” pack on the left is for little snacks and dips.  Mostly veggies and salad dressing.  The second photo shows it better.  Not an every day thing, but fun to pack once in a while.

7.  A little 3 pack of small snack holders for things like pretzels, gold fish, cut up fruit, yogurt covered raisins, pepperoni and cheese, olives, apple sauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.  Pretty much, you name it, it can go in there.  These are mostly for Thatcher, my older son, because he needs several snacks throughout the day.  I actually pack him a smaller “snack time” bag and then a larger actual lunch box.  His class has a mid-morning snack and an afternoon snack.  In Finn’s class a different parent is responsible for sending in a healthy and yummy snack for the whole class to enjoy once each month.  So, Finn doesn’t need me to pack extra snacks each day. 

8.  However, even more riveting, is that Finn typically needs some extra fuel so that little “Cereal on the Go” container is for him.  My boys eat breakfast really early and get to school at 7:45 so I can get to my classroom on time.  Finn will have some cereal with milk around 8:30.  I put that little container in his classroom fridge so he can help himself when he gets hungry.  Per his teacher’s request…not because I’m super high maintenance.  :)  Which you most likely won’t believe after reading this post….assuming anyone is still reading.

9.  The clear two-sectioned container usually gets fruit on one side and something else on the other.  Again, pretty much anything goes, and I use that container every day.

10.  And then, there’s the Spork….which is actually a spoon, fork, and fairly dull knife all is one.

If you haven’t fallen asleep yet, congratulations on getting to the end.  All kidding aside, buying larger containers of things like yogurt, apple sauce, and cottage cheese and then filling these small containers each day eliminates A LOT of trash.  Eliminating things like individual cheese sticks, juice boxes, bags of chips, etc. and reusing these small containers instead goes a long way if you consider how many lunches get packed each year.

OK….I’ll hop off my soapbox.  I’m not preaching….just wanted to get more information to those who have asked….and for anyone else who may be interested. Again, our school encourages this, but I also find that I save a lot of money and feel pretty good packing things this way.

Lunch Supplies at the Container Store

House Hunting

A little known secret about me is that I am full blown obsessed with the shows House Hunters and House Hunters International on HGTV.  And then there’s Island Hunters!  Did you know there are actually people out there shopping for islands?!

I’ve been watching them both for years and they never get old…

I LOVE living here…that comes as no surprise…but, I’d be lying if I didn’t find myself watching episodes of couples picking up everything and moving to some beachfront location on some tropical island paradise.  I live vicariously through them for 30 or 60 minutes whenever possible.  Dork, I know.

So, yesterday, upon finding a vulnerable little hermit crab at Cape Hedge Beach who was “between houses,” my boys suggested we conduct our own beachfront version of House Hunters.  We found several shell options for the squishy little guy, placed him and them under a clump of seaweed as much protected from hungry seagulls and bigger crabs as possible, and let him do his thing.

We watched him for a bit, but he was shy so we left him alone to take a look around his potential new residences.  We weren’t sure what he was looking for…striped, solid, beach chic, room to grow, open floor plan, comfy cozy, etc.

When we went back later to check, he was gone.  The boys were thrilled….even though there was no commission to be gained.

House Hunters

House Hunters International

Island Hunters

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Now That’s A Carousel

I am absolutely in love with this carousel!  Boston’s Rose F. Kennedy Greenway is unbelievable in so many ways and the carousel is the cherry on top!  The 14 different critters…all hailing from the fine state of Massachusetts…are whimsical yet gorgeous all at once.  It is a true piece of art!  How wonderful would it be to have a carousel of this caliber here in Gloucester?

The boys and I took the train into the city yesterday and spent 6.5 hours exploring, laughing, and learning between North Station and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park.  We walked through the Haymarket Farmer’s Market, past the North End, and along the docks of the Boston Harbor Marina to check out some of the crazy “mega yachts”.  We saw the seals at the New England Aquarium, got some lemon slush, and rode the newish “thrill ride”, CODZILLA (and got wet). The boys played in the splash pad on the Greenway, rode the carousel, and fed the pigeons.  We took a horse-drawn carriage ride through the financial district, had a nice outdoor dinner at Ned Divine’s, and then ice cream at The Berry Twist in Faneuil Hall.

My vision for our day in the city involved going at least as far as The Public Gardens, the Frog Pond, and the Swan Boats….but somehow, in the blink of an eye, it was time to catch the 7:40 train outbound to home.  A true testament to the wonder of the Greenway and surrounding areas is that we were able to spend an entire day there and still wish that we had more time.  Next time.

Read more about the Greenway Carousel here

Read more about the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway here

 

A Wealth of Resources for Sure!

For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.  The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible.  I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer.  That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area.  Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!

This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses.  I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.

While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.

Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor.  This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!

Sea Station

We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups.  They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!

Nahant Marine Science Center

One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane.  We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip.  The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.

Cape Ann Whale Watch

We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th!  Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!

Maritime Gloucester

We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art.  Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.

Angry Ocean Project

We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools.  Stunning scenery!

Seacoast Science Center

Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider.  I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water.  I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way.  I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet.  They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.

Cape Ann Harbor Tours

And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle.  I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students.  With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students.  Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session.  I can’t thank them enough!

NOAA Gloucester

This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area.  How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources.  I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have.  There’s always next year :)

 

Win Henri Smith Concert Tickets at the Sidewalk Bazaar

HenriPoster_600Aurelia Nelson of North Shore 104.9 is doing it again … yup she’s bringing her prize wheel down to the Sidewalk Bazaar tomorrow (Thursday) and you can win 2 tickets to see Henri Smith New Orleans Friends & Flavours feat. Grammy-winner Amadee Castenell at the Celebrate Gloucester Benefit Concert to help raise money for the Cape Ann YMCA Camping & Teen Services.

This concert kicks off Schooner Festival weekend on Friday August 29 at Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion (the BIG tent).

Henri Smith has been helping the YMCA raise money for teen programs ever since the Y started sending local teens to help rebuild his hometown of New Orleans.

These YMCA programs help nurture the potential of every child and teen as they improve our community’s health and well-being.  It’s an important cause worth supporting.

Stop by the North Shore 104.9 booth (in front of Cape Ann Savings Bank) and spin the wheel.

There’s no cost, no catch.

Just spin & you could win to tickets to see Henri Smith, who almost always sells out when he performs on the North Shore!

Way to be, Jack Ass!

I guess for someone, stealing is easier than working for it.  And from kids nonetheless. Allow me to explain.

If you’ve browsed any of my previous posts here on GMG, you’ve probably come to know a few things about me.  You probably know that I’m long winded (does that actually apply to writing?) and you’ve probably gotten to “know” my two young boys….and maybe you’ve learned that they love the ocean.  More than loving it, they work hard at being budding little lobstermen, and they’re pretty passionate about it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, maybe this will help paint the picture

Young and Salty

My boys, along with their three great friends…on our friends’ boat, go lobstering typically twice per week all summer long.  With only ten traps, they certainly don’t do it to make money….they do it because they love it.  And, they do it for Lobsterfest!  Once each summer (maybe twice if we’re lucky)… we gather our families and some of our local friends, and we have a feast to end all feasts. More importantly, we have laugh after laugh, in one of the most picturesque towns I know.  It is, without a doubt, one of our favorite evenings of the entire summer.

We check the tide chart….we check our busy summer schedules…and we pick a day.  This summer…that day was Saturday.

The kids feel tremendous pride that their hard work supplies the Stars of the Show:  The Rockport Harbor Lobsters!  They feel tremendous pride that our guests….friends who have watched them grow, learn, laugh, and cry…gather to enjoy a quintessential summer evening and “oooh and ahhhh” over their bounty! They feel tremendous pride in being such a huge part of such a special tradition.

So, maybe you can imagine our shock and dismay to discover that THE lobsters had been stolen from the water on Friday night.  Holding tank and all.  Gone.  As a friend put it, “It’s like losing your uniform the night before the Big Game.”  The night before Lobsterfest.

I get that maybe the thief wasn’t aware that those lobsters had been slowly gathered by a group of dedicated children…and their two amazing dads.  Two dads who take the time to show those kids how to haul and set their gear.  Two dads who, while they love lobstering with the kids, may actually prefer to cast a few rods, set an anchor at the beach, or play a round of golf on a few more occasions, rather than continuously tend to the traps.  Or maybe they wouldn’t rather do those things, either way, that isn’t the point.

The point is, Stealing is wrong…and I’m pissed.

“The children must be crushed!” you may be thinking.  Well, actually, the children don’t know.  Luckily, those two amazing dads also had the wherewithal to not let the children know that someone had stolen their lobsters.  They would have been beyond devastated.  They would have been hurt.  They probably would have been confused.

Those two amazing dads also didn’t want our guests to know that they had to scramble and buy lobsters in the eleventh hour.  They certainly didn’t want any guests to run out and purchase lobsters themselves….not that any of those guests would have minded!  Lucky also is that Cape Ann is the type of community where friends rally for each other.  Lucky also is that, having lived here forever, those two amazing dads have people who were happy to help them and that getting enough lobsters to feed our friends was possible.

So, Lobsterfest was a giant success.  Those little “lobsterkids” are none the wiser and, while we’re still mad, it would take more than a small time thief (Jack Ass) to ruin a wonderful summer evening with such amazing friends.  Still, shame on them.

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On The Waterfront — a new TV show premieres Tuesday 7/22 on Cape Ann TV

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

On the Waterfront is a brand new, original production from Cape Ann TV. The show takes an in-depth look at the Cape Ann ecosystem, highlighting the people and businesses that rely on the ocean for survival. The premiere episode features the lifecycle of the clam. Shep Means, a clammer from Essex and Gloucester hosts the show. Join Shep as he goes digging on the clam flats and the beach, stops by Essex Shellfish to weigh them up, then visits Intershell to see them shucked and packaged, and finally to Woodman’s to fry them and eat them.

Air times on TV are:

Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, July 23 at 9:00 am and 8:00 pm

Friday., July 25 at 11:30 am and 8:30 pm

Saturday, July 26 at 9:00 pm

Sunday, July 27 at 9:30 am and 11:00 pm

Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe.

I was talking with a friend the other day about how our young children are like little sponges and we shared stories about the crazy amounts of information that they are able to learn…and I remembered this little video.

I count my blessings every day that Thatcher and Finn are in love with learning and that they appreciate all that is being introduced to them at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.

Thatcher took this video of Finn practicing a song that he learned to remember all of the countries in Africa….and then it leads into his actual performance with his Preschool class….during which, he clearly needs to pee and it appears he is breaking a sweat trying to remember the words.  He is also busting out some of his father’s mad dance moves :)   Undeniably my husband’s child.

And…along those same lines…

Here is a link about the epic failure of Americans to label a map of Europe and, likewise, of Brits to label a map of the United States.

 

Does it Get Any Better?

I can imagine that it may get old listening to me drone on about how unbelievably awesome it is to live here on Cape Ann, but forgive me, because I’m about to do it again.

Last night, onboard the Lannon, I had the pleasure of meeting some people throughout the evening that I had never met before and whom I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with.  There was the “always trust a Burnham” friend who insisted that my super moon photos are inaccurate (whom I hope to prove wrong with a photo of the moon near the Annisquam Yacht Club that I’ll attach in a minute)…the “excuse me ma’am” friend who, while he made me feel like I was 90 years old, also made me smile each time he walked by…..a possible new dentist….a really nice gentleman and FOB who used to live in the same home on Pebble Beach that my husband grew up in, etc.  I love meeting new people and each of those conversations enhanced an evening that was already pretty phenomenal because of the company of existing friends, a gorgeous evening, and an amazing venue.  Ummm….and a rum drink in a coconut.  Come on, really!  Several people asked me the same question…”What do you write about for GMG?”  I found myself at a loss for a decent answer at first, but at the end of the night, I found myself saying, “I cheerlead for how crazy cool Cape Ann is.”  Seemed like a good enough answer.

So, for kicks, allow me to recap the last seven days….as if anyone really needs me to highlight how crazy awesome this community is.

In 7 days’ time, we have gotten up close and personal with no fewer than 20 humpback whales (both on the Hurricane from Cape Ann Whale Watch and a smallish center console boat courtesy of some very good friends). We spent a super fun evening with those same friends to celebrate my husband’s birthday, took their boat around the backshore (some of the most beautiful coastline in the world if you ask me), had lots of delicious food and drinks at The Studio, stopped at the Mile Marker, and saw an incredible sunset over Thacher’s Island on the way home.  Two days later the kids joined us as we all enjoyed a day that took us out of Rockport Harbor, around the backshore again, into Gloucester Harbor, out to Stellwagen Bank, to the Cape Ann Brewery, down the Annisquam River, for a evening swim at Wingaersheek Beach, a “meet and greet” with Tyler on the Pin Wheel from Wicked Tuna (who came over because he thought we were having boat trouble when he saw the kids waving to him…How nice is that?!), around Halibut Point, and back home into Rockport.  My boys have hauled lobster traps with “Uncle Dave”. We have spent time at what the boys call “our beach” right at the end of our road.  Meeting friends at Old Garden Beach is always one of our favorite types of summer day and never gets old.  To see my boys growing up alongside the children of good friends and playing with them summer after summer…all carefree and sandy is too good for words.  We have gone on the Gloucester Harbor Water Shuttle…twice….with two different groups of friends…and the boys were thrilled to help impart a bit of their knowledge of the waterfront.  Both of those harbor tours ended with fun meals and laughs on outdoor decks.  Does it get any better?  We spent an afternoon at Capt. Carlos and another one at the Studio (which will never get old).  We had a play date at Maritime Gloucester for probably the thirtieth time… and loved it as if it was the 1st.  We’ve ordered smoothies and simply driven around town…because, for some reason, that NEVER gets old for the boys.  We’ve watched boats unload and watched fisherman mend gear.  We’ve walked through Rockport, hung out with United States Navy, had a few ice creams along the way, bought cupcakes at Rockin’ Cupcakes on Bearskin Neck for Freddy’s b-day, and sat by our new fire pit at night.  Oh, and of course, took an incredible evening sail on the Thomas Lannon.  For real…quite a week.

I write this not to bore you with a-week-in-the-life-of-the-Schraffts, but rather to demonstrate how a completely normal week can unfold with ease in one of the world’s best communities.

Go get your summer on, peeps.  Embrace this place for all it has to offer!

Maritime Glouceter

The Lannon

Rockin’ Cupcakes

The Studio Restaurant

Gloucester Water Shuttle

Mile Marker

Capt. Carlos

Cape Ann Whale Watch

 

 

 

Lights! Camera! Nature! Movies by kids ages 7-12 @ Cape Ann Community Cinema Tomorrow (SAT 7/12) NOON-2pm

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

Lights! Camera! Nature! Come to the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Sat., July 12 at Noon to 2 PM , to watch nature movies made by kids ages 7-12 in the the Kestrel Educational Adventure Program.

Here is one of the movies being screened “Telephone Island”:

Welcome to Telephone Island a magical island off the coast of Gloucester, Ma and it is filled with fascinating animals. This movie was made in the Spring-Summer of 2014 by a student in the Kestrel Foundation’s Lights, Camera, Nature program. The program is led by Jessica Kagle and made in co-operation with Cape Ann TV where the students edited their movies. Screening of this movie and the others made in the spring program will be at the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Main St. in Gloucester, Sat., July 12, 2014 at noon to 2pm along with NOVA’s “The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies”.

Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team Update

Rick Roth writes ~

Saturday July 12, 2014 9am-1pm
Summerfaire
Hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport at the Church, 4 Cleaves Street.
All kinds of critters and other stuff. We’ll be there with a bunch of snakes.

Thursday July 17, 2014 3-6pm (I think)
Cape Ann Farmer’s Market, Stage Fort Park, Gloucester
We’ll be there with a bunch of snakes and the good people from Art Haven will lead the Kid’s Activity- painting wooden snakes.

And then…
Saturday July 26, 2014 Time TBA
Snakes of New England and the World- 1 hour live animal presentation.
Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester MA

Okay, I guess you can start volunteering for these shows now.

Meanwhile… this really cool vernal pond thing is about to take place, likely in the next week or two. The emergence of newly metamorphosed wood frogs. They look just like the adults except tiny. Like 1/2 inch. We’ll be doing a daytime field trip to see these guys soon. Nick Taormina is scouting the pond to see just when they start hopping. Keep watching you CAVPT emails for final details on this exciting outing. And don’t forget to volunteer. We have nobody yet for Saturday at the UU Church in Rockport.

Thanks, Rick

we only have one earth, save it

Logos.AI

 

What the Fluke

I will swim with a humpback whale some day.

It’s at the top of my bucket list for sure.

I actually planned a vacation to Costa Rica several years ago for the opportunity to swim with the whales in Drake Bay, but sadly, no whales were in the area during my stay.

I have, however, had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, black tip reef sharks, and manatees.  Each of those experiences are kind of sacred to me.  All are moments that I will never forget.

While swimming with wild marine life may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you haven’t been on at least one amazing whale watch, you are missing out.  We are incredibly fortunate to have whales not far off our coast for a good part of the year.  I, all kidding aside, sometimes find myself laying awake at night thinking, “I wonder what the whales are doing right now?” Freak meter rating high, I realize, but true nonetheless.

So, today, knowing that the whales have been plentiful for the past several days, we went for a trip with Cape Ann Whale Watch.  How do I know they’ve been plentiful you may ask?  I follow their blog.

I had the opportunity to speak with both long time owners, Nick Danikas and Jim Douglass, in the parking lot prior to the trip.  Both are great guys who are pretty passionate about offering trips that leave guests with memories to last a lifetime.

Likewise, the crew and the naturalists are phenomenal and beyond highly educated on the matter of whales and sea life indigenous to our waters. Their enthusiasm was contagious.  Even the captain, John Karvelas, was excitedly pointing out bubble clouds as they formed on the surface of the water.  Bubble clouds are a method that whales use to trap krill and sand eels in a tight school so that they can emerge, mouths open, and swallow up a giant meal.

Today’s trip was nothing short of amazing.  To begin, we only had to head 11 miles off the Dog Bar Breakwater, which was a treat in itself.  After a short steam, we were literally surrounded by humpback whales.  I’ve been on many whale watches.  Both on local whale watching boats and on smaller private boats. Today’s trip was one for the record books.

Click Here for more information about Cape Ann Whale Watch

Hear are some of my favorite photos from today’s trip.

 

Young and Salty

We were on our good friends’ boat the other day with their 3 children, our two boys, and two additional cousins.  As we watched all of the children laugh and chill on the bow while we made our way around the back shore of Gloucester, he said, “I love that these kids are all growing up so salty.”

Well, me too.

Today the boys asked if I would do a post in which they could talk about how they haul lobster traps.  How do you say “no” to that!  So, as they hauled some gear, I took a bunch of photos and they taught me what was up along the way.

This is what they had to say….

 

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Wicked Tuna Special on Cape Ann TV TOMORROW (WED) @ 6:30 P.M.

Don’t miss the premiere of this very special Local Music Seen with Allen Estes tomorrow night at 6:30 on Cape Ann TV Channel 12.  This special was shot on location at Alchemy Bistro (at the same time as Nat Geo was shooting) and Mile Marker One.  Allen gets some of the Wicked Tuna captains to tell him what music they play aboard ship for good luck catching fish.  Then he performs his Howard Blackburn hit “Not With Ya Hands” for them.  Mix in a Wicked Tuna Seafood Throwdown and a few other surprises for a show you don’t want to miss.  Here’s a short preview of the energy you can expect from this show!

Fiesta goes on for days, but the FISK open house is only June 28 from 2-6pm. Every music lover should be there.

For any lover of music, these open houses are a treasured experience you will never forget (see posts about Fisk here).  You can literally walk INSIDE the organ while it’s being played by top organ players, who come to these open houses to test them out.  And it’s FREE.  Save the date now and don’t miss this one.

You are cordially invited to join us at our Gloucester workshop

to celebrate the creation of two new pipe organs–

Saturday, June 28
2pm – 6pm
C.B. Fisk, Inc

21 Kondelin Road
Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
978 283-1909  • www.cbfisk.com
click here for map
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