Tag Archives: Gloucester Harbor


schooner-lynx-gloucester-boston-skyline-copyright-kim-smithExciting news–the Schooner Lynx will be returning to Gloucester next year for the Schooner fest! The captain of the Lynx, Donald Peacock, wrote the following, “Thank you for noticing Lynx in your harbor. Gloucester Marine Railways have been most hospitable and we look forward to returning for Lynx 2017 yard period and the 2017 Gloucester Schooner Race and Festival.”

A magnificent ship under sail, she was a joy to watch and to photograph as she moved through the Harbor, setting course for Saint Petersburg, Florida, via Portland, Maine. You can see in the last photo that by the time she was passing Brace Cove she was under full sail with her square sail hoisted too. Safe travels Schooner Lynx and crew!

schooner-lynx-gloucester-mast-crane-piling-copyright-kim-smithAt the Railways this morning with crew members Casey and Hunter

schooner-lynx-gloucester-ten-pound-island-copyright-kim-smithPassing Ten Pound Island -note how much taller the Schooner is to the Lighthouse


Along the backshore with Boston in the distanceschooner-lynx-brace-rock-copyright-kim-smith

schooner-lynx-gloucester-brace-cove-copyright-kim-smithBrace Cove


roys-boys-gloucester-harbor-copyright-kim-smithTugboat Roys Boys moving through Gloucester Harbor this morning 

An excellent website for tugboat enthusiasts: TugboatInformation.com

“Roys Boys was built in 1967, by the Morehead Marine Corporation of Morehead City, North Carolina, as the Cap’n Ed for the Norfolk Dredging Corporation of Norfolk, Virginia.

In 2016, the tug was acquired by the Tucker Roy Marine Towing and Salvage Incorporated of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Where she was renamed as the Roy Boys.

She is a twin screw tug, rated at 900 horsepower.”roys-boys-gloucester-fort-harbor-copyright-kim-smithroys-boys-gloucester-harbor-martime-gloucester-2-copyright-kim-smith

roys-boys-gloucester-harbor-maritime-gloucester-copyright-kim-smithA photo of her when she was the Cap’n Ed–don’t you think she’s so much sharper looking today? 12497


tall-ship-lynx-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-kim-smithPerhaps you’ve noticed the towering masts and proportionately large flag of the ship currently docked at Rocky Neck Marine Railways. They caught my attention this morning when at the Fish Pier taking photos as the masts are almost as tall as those of the Schooner Columbia. The flag and masts belong to the tall ship Lynx, a privateer inspired by the original tall ship that battled the British during the War of 1812. That war ship was named the Privateer Lynx.tall-ship-lynx-2-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-ki

The Lynx is a square topsail schooner. Her port of registry is Portsmouth, New Hampshire and her homeports are Nantucket during warmer months and Saint Petersburg, Florida during wintertime. She is on her way to Portland and is scheduled to depart Gloucester on Monday. The Lynx is an educational organization devoted to hands-on programs that teach the history of America’s struggle to preserve its independence during the War of 1812. You can read more about the ship on the Lynx website here.

hunter-tall-ship-lynx-copyright-kim-smithHunter, the Lynx’s cook (left) and Jonathan, from the Liberty Star. The Liberty Star is undergoing some repairs at the Railways, on her way to the Virgin Islands for the winter.schooner-liberty-star-copyright-kim-smith

tall-ship-lynx-flag-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-kiThe fifteen stars and stripes flag flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and is the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the “Star Spangled Banner.”

This was the only U.S. flag to have fifteen stripes. Two stripes and two stars were added for Vermont and Kentucky when they became states. Congress had a change of heart and in 1818, proclaimed that one star for each new state would be added on the 4th of July following the state’s admission to the union and there would be thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.

lynx12012_lynxPhotos of the Lynx under sail courtesy Google image search

tall-ship-lynx-rocky-neck-marine-railways-gloucester-harbor-copyright-kim-smithThe Harbor this morning at daybreak, with the Lynx on the far left, docked at the Marine Railwaystall-ship-lynx-rocky-neck-marine-railways-gloucester-harbor-2-copyright-kim-smithLiberty Star at the Railways

From wiki – A privateer was a private person or ship that engaged in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission, also known as a letter of marque, empowered the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners, captains and crew. A percentage share usually went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were already armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors.


Magnificent sails and scenes out and about the Harbor during the Trails and Sails event this weekend.trails-and-sails-schooner-lannon-4-copyright-kim-smith

Schooner Lannon

trails-and-sails-sailboat-dove-2-copyright-kim-smithtrails-and-sails-sailboat-dove-3-copyright-kim-smithtrails-and-sails-sailboat-dove-copyright-kim-smithSailboat Dove


Schooner Adventure Rounding Ten Pound Island

trails-and-sails-schooner-adventure-copyright-kim-smithtrails-and-sails-schooner-lannon-3-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Lannon and Ten Pound Island

trails-and-sails-schooner-lannon-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Lannon and Gloucester City Skyline


zuiderdam-cruise-ship-gloucester-harbor-massachusetts-usa-boston-skyline-copyright-kim-smithIn case you haven’t had the chance to check it out, these photos are an attempt to illustrate the size and scale of the cruise ship Zuiderdam in Gloucester Harbor. I was lucky to get the Schooner Adventure sailing past the ship during this weekend’s Trails and Sails event. I think the next largest ships in the Harbor that day were the Schooners Lannon and Adventure.


zuiderdam-cruise-ship-gloucester-harbor-massachusetts-usa-schooner-adventure-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Adventure and the Zuiderdam

zuiderdam-cruise-ship-gloucester-harbor-massachusetts-usa-ten-pound-island-copyright-kim-smithMoving past Ten Pound Island



The “never ending” was my favorite part of the Gloucester Schooner Festival/Labor Day fireworks, but it was all super spectacular. An adorable little girl, Belle, was standing next to me while filming the fireworks. At one point during the show Belle asked her Mom if the sharks and mermaids were watching the fireworks :)



Undulatus asperatus -2 copyright Kim SmithYou couldn’t help but notice yesterday morning’s dramatic cloud formations. Facebook Friends have been posting from several different times of the day and these photos were taken around 7am. I am so curious and tried looking it up although it was all a bit confusing. Its fun to say undulatus asperatus, but that’s only a guess. Do we have any cloud experts that would like to write and let us know? Gloucester City Hall Undulatus asperatus copyright Kim SmithUndulatus asperatus copyright Kim SmithUndulatus asperatus Gloucester copyright Kim Smith


During last evening’s Schooner Festival Mayor’s Reception opening festivities, a moving song of tribute to Kay Ellis was sung by Allen Estes. The Schooner Lannon wended past during the performance.

Schooner Thomas Lannon Gloucester MA copyright Kim Smith

Schooner Thomas Lannon Paint Factory Gloucester MA copyright Kim Smith

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


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.




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.”





 1979 Clean Harbor Swim003


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



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

Read more

Stacy Boulevard construction update. Gloucester DPW is impressive


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!





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!)


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.


  • 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


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)

Gloucester Harbor sunset -3 copyright Kim Smith

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

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