Tag Archives: Gloucester Harbor

Gloucester’s clean harbor: H2O no no’s are in the past

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Did you read about Cape Cod’s Big Water Drinking Problem in the Boston Globe magazine this past weekend, the cover story? Oy, complicated.

There’s still time to register for the annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim which will be held at Niles Beach Saturday morning. Swim or raise a toast–there is so much to celebrate.

Swim to celebrate Gloucester’s clean water

Swim to celebrate the moments people help*

Swim to celebrate a history of ongoing conservation

Swim to celebrate the guys on the DPW crews

Before it was Celebrate the Clean Harbor it was… clean it.

Thirteen year old Elinor Doty swam a mile and a half in 29 minutes, ahead of 16 other swimmers in 1979. The race was in tribute to John McPhee, head of Gloucester Sea Scouts. “We tried to get swimmers who knew John McPhee,” said race organizer Jim Doty, Elinor’s father. “I’d like to make it an annual event if I can swing it…”

“Rounding out the field of 17, was 68 year old Sara Robbins, who was surprised by an unexpected visitor during the middle of the race. “The grey harbor seal popped up beside me to show me a two-pound flounder that he had caught,” said Robbins, who has been training a half mile each day for the past two weeks. “I’m not too fast but I get there.” She said she used the side stroke during the whole course.”

Doty came in first place again in 1980 when the swim morphed into the ideal kick off event for Cape Ann’s Year of the Coast. Because of water quality, several parents wouldn’t let their children participate. “And only two are from the Cape Ann YMCA, James Doty notes, which usually supplies more contestants.

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1979

 

Water pollution was rarely mentioned if at all before the Cape Ann Year of the Coast, an undeniable avalanche tipping point. One 1980 article has a picture of Sarah Fraser Robbins, Sarah Evans and Chandler Evans. The 8 year old was ceremoniously passed from boat to boat and then dropped in so three generations could swim across the finish line. In 1981 organizers reminded people that they didn’t need to complete the swim, they could jump in and swim across the finish line in support. I wonder if that tradition was maintained?

1980 swimmers besides the Evans clan and Doty–Gloucester residents, unless otherwise stated: David Hayden (2nd place), Karen Hartley of Dorchester (3rd place), Andy O’Brien of Rockport, Barry Hallett Jr, Darrell Hallett (swam part way alongside his brother), Kay Rubin, Polly Doty of Dedham, Jack Crowley of South Weymouth, Carl Blumenthanl, Chris Lovgren of Gloucester, Stan Luniewicz, Bill Jebb representing Sea Tec, Steve Haskell Sea Tec, Sharon Kishida Sea Tec, Earl Kishida Sea Tec, Jan Childs, Chris Sanders of Rockport, Chris Vonalt of Rockport, and Sam Rugh.

Councilor Carolyn O’Connor led a brief awards ceremony. I love the quip recorded in Laura Meades 1980 sports report Hardy Swimmers Keep Heads High“As they went on, the swimmers shouted encouragement to one another and checked their progress.  “What’s ahead of us?” asked Steve Haskell of SeaTec Inc, a diving firm. “A couple of 8-year olds,” replied SeaTec’s owner, Bill Jebb, swimming beside Haskell.”

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1980

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1980

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I hope DPW feels proud that their work protected us, Gloucester’s famous harbor, our legacy.

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Before the waste water treatment facility was built in 1984, untreated waste (sanitary, storm water, industrial, you name it) was discharged directly into the inner and outer harbor. Gloucester was not alone. Rockport, Essex, Beverly- there were many North Shore stories. I wish I knew the name of every person that did the necessary retrofitting and water treatment labor. They dug up roads, laid pipe, cleaned up messes, dealt with outfalls, extended sewer lines, requested a decontamination shower and changing area (1978) so they wouldn’t have to wash up at home, engineered, mapped, and monitored what was necessary to bring us from a crisis by 1980–and lawsuit– to where we are now in 2016. DPW continues to address storm water pollution, also mandated, and will make next year’s compliance deadline. (Gloucester is not unduly impaired by industrial waste like some other communities that will feel the pinch.) Thanks to Larry Durkin, Environmental Engineer, DPW, and Senator Tarr’s office for pouncing on MBTA’s pesticide spraying.

To paraphrase the famous George M Cohan quote: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brother thanks you, andI will add that my children thank you, future generations thank you, wildlife thanks you, businesses thank you, truly all of Gloucester thanks you!

**I grabbed material for this post from GDT headlines thanks to   Sawyer Free Library. Newspapers on microfilm are available in the Reference Department. I am not alone in dreaming of the day when Gloucester archives, Gloucester Daily Times, and other essential research are digitized, but I tend to repeat this ongoing plea.

*It’s not one person, event or decade that stands out. There’s an incredible timeline of care. Who would you add? part 2

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Stacy Boulevard construction update. Gloucester DPW is impressive

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The big infrastructure work along the western side of the Boulevard is 80% complete

and on track to meet its October 1st heavy construction milestone. The finish line –opening to the public– will come soon after. Seasons of activity have continued these past 15 months with little disruption.

The eastern end of the Boulevard was refurbished after the Blizzard of 1978.  The current project encompasses the western side and chugged forward once the green light cleared in May of 2015. (The planning and quest for funding began years before, as in 1999) This is huge! It’s Gloucester harbor and one of the world’s beautiful promenades.

So what’s been happening? Mike Hale said that the seawall has been restored; the sidewalks are being reconstructed; a low stone wall removed and rebuilt; railing test pieces installed; light bases installed for new lights (there weren’t any lights before); and more. Landscape features and framing are on the plans to be built out next month. The island side of Blynman will come next. 

This project isn’t the only game in town for this department. DPW manages to keep all the balls in the air. They are impressive!

 

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THE BEAUTIFUL OLIVER HAZARD PERRY COMES TO GLOUCESTER!

Wanna guess where the Oliver Hazard Perry is Right Now? You don’t have to – click the link and you’ll see she’s here!

(Thank you Joey for adding this link!)

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Wow and double wow! What a treat to see this splendid ship up close!!!

Oliver Hazard Perry ship -1 copyright Kim Smith

Many thanks to Paul Morrison and his sister Kathy. Paul called a few days ago with the very generous offer to show me the osprey nest on the Annisquam, spotted by Kathy, about half a mile from the Marina, and best seen by boat. On the way to see the nest, we spied the Oliver Hazard Perry just beginning to make its way into Gloucester Harbor. Paul, again very generously, suggested we detour out to see the arriving tall ship. And it is a beauty! The Oliver Hazard Perry will be in Gloucester Harbor for one night only however, look for its return in September, when it will remain in Gloucester a few days. I believe, at that time, folks will be able to tour the boat!

Oliver Hazard Perry ship -5 copyright Kim Smith

The Oliver Hazard Perry is the largest civilian sailing vessel in the United States and the first of its kind to be built in over 100 years. Its mission statement is to, “provide innovative and empowering education-at-sea programs to promote personal and professional growth.”

Read lots more about the Oliver Hazard Perry on the ship’s website here.

Oliver Hazard Perry ship -8 copyright Kim Smith

About the ship, from the ships’s website: The hull for this new ship was initially begun in Canada and continued at various shipyards in Rhode Island since 2008. These included; Promet in Providence, Senesco in North Kingston,Newport Shipyard and she is now being commissioned in Portsmouth at the Hinckley Marina. Once complete she will move to Newport to the new dock at Fort Adams.

The Check out the construction of our vessel through our blog or through Narragansett Bay Shipping.

We are grateful for the support of a number of marine trade partners who have been an instrumental part of this magnificent project.

The ship is named for Newport’s War of 1812 naval hero Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. SSVOliver Hazard Perry is owned and operated by the non-profit Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island, and represents Rhode Island and our rich nautical heritage wherever she goes. Her home port will be Newport and she will sail the world as an ambassador of our proud state.

The success of SSV Oliver Hazard Perry relies on the generosity of donors and supporters, both large and small, from individuals and businesses to corporations, so please consider making a generous gift or donation today.

Objectives

  • Build and maintain Rhode Island’s own tall ship that is the largest, privately owned active Tall Ship in the US.
  • Offer sail training programs for all ages.
  • Develop and teach sea-oriented educational programs for secondary and college level students.
  • Provide pre-professional training for individuals wishing to make their careers at sea.
  • Work with Rhode Island marine trades to establish training programs and to create job opportunities.
  • Represent Rhode Island in American and foreign ports.
  • Display and interpret the ship’s history for the education and enjoyment of the general public.

Gorgeous tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry sailing into Gloucester @ohpri

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

OUR BEAUTIFUL GLOUCESTER HARBOR CITY SKYLINE SUNSET IN THE STORM’S AFTERMATH

The storm swirled in late yesterday afternoon. I was on the way home from filming at Good Harbor Beach and stopped at Pirate’s Lane to watch it sweep across the Harbor. Kayaks were hurling through the air, boats racing pell mell to shore, great gusts whistling, bells clanging, and it was over before it began! The after storm glow and cloud formations were exquisite. 

Happy Summer Storm Drama! (As long as everyone is safely on shore)

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View from Plum Street

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Storm departing inner harbor #gloucesterma

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Paint Factory Rising Sun

GLOUCESTER HARBOR SNOWY DAY

Gloucester Harbor snowy day -3 Kim Smith 2016. JPGLooking out my office window its hard to believe this is an afternoon in April, not mid-February. The following is a quote friend Jamy left on my Facebook page today, “Spring, she could not help herself, she fell back into Winter’s cold embrace.”

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Man at the Wheel Gloucester snowy day Kim Smith 2016. JPG copy

Gloucester harbor Greasy pole snowy day Kim Smith

spring snow #gloucesterma Harbor

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

ROOMFUL OF BLUES SUMMER KICK-OFF CRUISE MAY 29 – Tickets already SELLING FAST

We just put tickets on sale to the public for our Roomful of Blues Cruise on Sunday, May 29 aboard the Beauport Princess Cruise Ship and they’re already selling fast.

Last year every one of our concert cruises sold out and it looks like this one will too.  Please don’t wait … and then call asking us to break Coast Guard rules to let you on board a full ship.

GET YOUR TICKETS RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOWWe hate saying “No” to people we know on concert day!

What? You’ve never been aboard the Beauport Princesss Cruise ship?  Well you’re in for a treat: The ship has 2 fully-enclosed decks with dance floors plus an open-air top deck.

We offer theatre seating on the first deck, tables on the second deck and couches on the top deck.  Your ticket includes complementary light snacks, plus there are three full-service cash bars with beer, wine and top-shelf liquor.

Can you imagine a better way to kick off summer than partying with 5-time Grammy nominated national touring stars while cruising historic, gorgeous Gloucester Harbor!  Here’s a taste of how much fun we had last year:

NEW SHORT FILM: BUFFLEHEAD KERFUFFLE

Male female bufflehead courtship kimsmithdesigns.com 2016Bufflehead Kerfuffle

The smallest, and I think most would agree, among the cutest North American sea ducks, every autumn Buffleheads arrive on the shores of Cape Ann after having journeyed many thousands of miles from their summer breeding grounds in the Canadian boreal forests. They are seen in twos or in small groups and unlike most ducks, are monogamous. Some males begin courting very early in the season as demonstrated in the flock currently residing on Cape Ann however, the birds will not pair until spring.

When out for a walk along shore and pond, you may notice a great deal of bufflehead kerfuffling taking place. The male’s courtship displays are wonderfully exuberant, with much head pumping, chest thrusting, and aggressive flying. The male goes so far as to exaggerate the size of his head by puffing out his bushy crest. Occasionally, the males chase females, but most of the chasing is directed towards other males in territorial displays, which are accomplished by both flying and skidding across the water as well as via underwater chasing. The female encourages her suitor vocally and with a less animated head pumping motion.

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Female Bufflehead, left and male Bufflehead, right

Buffleheads are diving ducks, finding nourishment on Cape Ann on small sea creatures and pond grasses, as well as seed heads at the shoreline’s edge.

By the early twentieth century Buffleheads were nearing extinction due to over hunting. Their numbers have increased although now their greatest threat is loss of habitat stemming from deforestation in the boreal forests and aspen parklands of Canada.

The word bufflehead is a corruption of buffalo-head, called as such because of their disproportionately large and bulbous head. Buffleheads are a joy to watch and are seen all around Cape Ann throughout the fall, winter, and early spring. Their old-fashioned name, “Butterball,” aptly describes these handsome and welcome winter migrants!

Listen for the Buffleheads mating vocalizations. The Bufflehead courtship scenes were filmed on Niles Pond. The end clip is of a flock of Buffleheads in flight and was shot at Pebble Beach, Rockport.

 

 

HARBORVIEW

Couldn't resist stopping to take a snapshot of the clearing sky on my way into Cambridge this morning. Love our hood!

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

Dressing up the Kendall Hotel today for the holidays!

A photo posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

“Art, Rocks!” Sunday! Heads Up! 08/16/2015 at 5:00pm

I heard an Art Rock will be left somewhere on the Harbor Walk on the Waterfront today 08/16/2015 at 5:00pm.

A post on GMG at 4:59pm will give a hint of it’s location.

Try to find it if you dare or don’t if you don’t give a crap.🙂

GOOD LUCK TO THOSE THAT TRY!

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