Tag Archives: Niles Beach


Snowy April Fools Day scenes from Niles Beach, the Greasy Pole, City Hall, backshore, Bass Rocks, Good Harbor Beach, Fitz Henry Lane house, and more. 

#snowyday #gloucesterma Niles Beach seagulls #aprilfoolsday #spring #snow #seagulls

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Greasy Pole countdown – only two months to go! #snowyday tour #gloucesterma #aprilfools #spring #snow

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Snowy day tour of Gloucester #aprilfools #spring #snowyday #gloucesterma #cityhall

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The barge has been hauled out onto Niles Beach to repair damage. Although in use for the environmental clean up underway at Gloucester Harbor, it is NOT filled with contaminated sand, but with new sand to replace the old sand. 

Environmental cleanup barge hauled ashore for repairs on Niles Beach #gloucesterma #scenesofnewengland

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Barge work underway at Niles Beach #gloucesterma

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blue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-gloucester-ma-29-copyright-kim-smithEarly this morning crews from Cape Ann Marine, Under Pressure Construction, Tally’s, Harbormaster T. J. Ciarametaro, the D.P.W., police, and diver Ted Barnes arrived at Niles Beach to begin work dismantling the FV Blue Ocean dragger. Despite the rough seas and biting wind, tow lines were secured around the vessel by Cape Ann Marine and Ted Barnes. Under Pressure’s Chad Ketchopulos and crew dug a wide trench at the road that opens onto Niles Beach. It appeared the purpose of the trench was to help stabilize the tow trucks. Two Tally’s tow trucks were used to haul the Blue Ocean out of the water, the Merlin to drag the vessel across the beach and the second tow truck to brace the Merlin. By low tide, at 11:27am, the dragger was mostly out of the water, when work began to smash the boat to bits. Last check at 1:00pm and the Blue Ocean was almost entirely gone.

Mini time lapse of Blue Ocean dragger being hauled across the beach

Blue Ocean dragger meets its end today #fishingboat #gloucesterma #scenesofnewengland

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blue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-gloucester-ma-niles-beach-closed-copyright-kim-smithKnocked about by rough seas and high winds, the pilot house and other large parts of the Blue Ocean dragger overnight washed ashore onto Niles. Updated plans for the ship’s total demise include towing onto the beach and crushing it, which may take place Tuesday.



gloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-23-copyright-kim-smith-copyDiver Ted Barnes reports that efforts to float the shipwrecked Blue Ocean dragger will resume tomorrow, Sunday. The crews and divers will again attempt to get the float straps under the keel. The Blue Ocean is now resting on its port side. See photos from earlier today – Breaking: Shipwrecked Blue Ocean Salvage Underway



Diver Ted Barnes




Work to float the dragger Blue Ocean, shipwrecked at Nile Beach, is underway.blue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-salvage-gloucester-ma-20-copyright-kim-smithblue-ocean-dragger-shipwreck-salvage-gloucester-ma-2-copyright-kim-smith




GMG reader Hannah writes, 

Hi, I wanted to get this to Kim Smith. I have seen her posts about the migration and how they were not as many this summer. I found this beautiful frozen/starved monarch butterfly on Niles Beach two days ago and I am wondering if anyone knows how I could preserve this? It still has a little sand on it–too afraid to brush it off. Thanks!

Thank you for writing Hannah. That looks like a very wind and weather worn Monarch. I wonder how far it traveled to reach our shores. The easiest way to preserve your Monarch is to store it in a shadow box, which can be purchased at Target, Ikea, and Michaels. West Elm has some very nice linen-lined ones. The main thing is to keep it out of the sun or the wing color will fade. Folks used to tuck butterfly specimens away in cupboards with little drawers and compartments, to look at on occasion, but that can bring mice. The shadow boxes are so much nicer!

Your Monarch is clearly dead however I would like to make folks aware that sometimes butterflies appear frozen or dead but they are actually quite alive. A butterflies wings don’t work very well until they are thoroughly warmed. If you see a butterfly early in the morning, either lying on the ground or attached to a plant such as Seaside Goldenrod, it is probably simply waiting for the sun to rise and is best left undisturbed.

Also, as for the sand grains, you can remove those with a few gentle pumps of a bulb syringe or a photographer’s air blaster.



We hope the old FV Blue Ocean is salvageable after breaking mooring in the gale force winds late last night. The Blue Ocean is a wooden converted Eastern rig side dragger. The ship was built in 1952 and is owned by Michael Ragusa of Gloucester. Beach clean-up is well underway and as reported in the Gloucester Times, the boat does not pose an environmental threat because there was no fuel or oil on board. Photos from this morning at high tide and then again at low tide this afternoon. gloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-1-copyright-kim-smithgloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-6-copyright-kim-smith


Shipwreck at Niles Beach

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For more photos of the Blue Ocean see Paul Frontiero’s post from 2014

Are you up for the 13-2 Gloucester beaches challenge? 13 beaches. 2 jumps. 1 city. Go!

A mid-week vacation day is the easiest. Oh, and you’ll need your resident beach sticker. We prepped our car with a picnic blanket for the seat, extra towels, and ice waters. Start early and grab a big  “lobsterjack”  breakfast because you’ll need the fuel. End late.

Let’s establish some base rules here.

First off, you need to spend at least 15 minutes at each beach. (You can tweak this a little if you want.) Next, you need to dive under. We suggest a ritual for each beach, e.g. ‘The Five and Dive’. Finally, you have to stop for ice cream and candy. Remember, you can do these beaches (or others in Gloucester) and jumps in any order. Be flexible for unexpected delays like staying at one beach for hours, or a friend asking you to drop off a sub (*cough* Joey *cough*). Most importantly, you have to do at least 13 beaches and 2 jumps in one day. Mind the tides. Be grateful we have so many choices.

The Beaches- partial list

alphabetical order

Annisquam lighthouse.  Coffin’s beach.  Good Harbor beach.  Long beach. Magnolia beach. Niles beach. Pavilion beach (by Beach Court). Pavilion beach bonus (by the cut). Plum Cove beach. Rocky Neck Oakes Cove beach. Stage Fort Park (1) – Cressy’s beach ( our alt. title ‘sea serpent’ big beach). Stage Fort Park (2) – Half Moon beach. Wheeler’s Point. Wingaersheek beach.

The Jumps- partial list

Annisquam bridge. Magnolia Pier.

*We do this challenge at least once each summer. Yesterday we started off with breakfast at Willow’s Rest and continued from there. Our timing was random especially as we spent hours at Wingaersheek. The second meal to get us through the day came from the sandwich counter at Annie’s by Wingaersheek. Yes, they have a sandwich counter.

Gloucester Beaches sandwich directory



Gloucester Motif Monday: Lessons On the Water

Scenic spots for Gloucester’s beach swim lessons, part 1.



plum cove-001.jpg

From Jeremy Nestor at the YMCA:

“Beach Swim lessons are offered at Niles Beach on Tuesdays and Plum Cove on Thursdays starting July 5th. The free to member classes give children the tools they need to be safe at the beaches this summer! If you are not a member do not worry. You can still register for the Beach Swim Lessons for $50. Ages 3-5 at 11:00 am and 6-10 at 11:45 am.”

beach swim lessons

Weekly sailing camp options for kids and adults are available from the City of Gloucester through the Cape Ann YMCA. I will add additional sailing options in a separate post.

From Jeremy Nestor:

“YMCA Sailing Camp is a great way to experience all the scenic views Gloucester has to offer from a boat. Kids will learn the essential to sailing and build skills to last them a lifetime. The Cape Ann YMCA partnered with the City of Gloucester to run this recreational sailing program. We also offer adult sailing lessons on Tuesday and Thursday evenings because you don’t have to be a kid to learn the fun of sailing!”

sailing camp 2016 flyer


Thanks to the heroic efforts of the Tally’s crew, police, and especially Brendan Hendrickson who had the most undesirable job of being in the driver’s seat, the truck (with Maine plates) was pulled to shore without what appeared too much damage to the undercarriage.

Truck Stuck over seawall copyright Kim Smith

Stuck Truck over seawall copyright Kim Smith  copy

Truck Stuck over seawall -2 copyright Kim Smith copy

Stuck Truck over seawall -3 copyright Kim Smith

Niles Beach truck stuck on the seawall

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Chasing seagulls

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Things with wings

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Niles Beach Sunset

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I only had my cell phone with and wish so much my movie camera was back from the repair center. He/she was fairly high up in the tree so it’s really not that bad for a cell phone camera. The hawk did not at all seem to mind my interest and stayed for a while before flying towards the Lighthouse.

Niles Beach hawk, seemingly not at all shy. Wished I had good camera with!

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It's been a week since tumble on the rocks. Heeling and happy to go for a walk on the beach wth Tom!!

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Beautiful @mandydavis178! Niles Beach #GloucesterMA @djsarrouf @livviiiiii

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Beautiful Mandy!

Mandy Davis reports that Cape Ann S.U.P will deliver and pick up their paddle boards to Niles Beach!Comsos 12 ©Kim Smith 2014 copy

Friend me on Facebook and follow me on TwitterInstagram, and Vine. You can also subscribe to my design website at Kim Smith Designs, and film’s websites at Beauty on the Wing ~ Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly,Gloucester’s Feast of Saint Joseph Community Film Project, and Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly.


Niles Beach Fog Saturday 05/30

Until the fog burned off the International Dory Eliminations race directions were going to be simple:  “If you see Hammond Castle, turn around…”

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