Tag Archives: Twin Lights
Update: we spotted five or six right whales at 6:30AM just off the shore between Salt Island and Thacher. They remained feeding in the area for 11+ hours. Two crossed past the Rockport side of Long Beach, and back again. They were surprisingly fast at times! Post was updated during the day with more photos and videos. I hope some photogs with professional lens will be sharing soon.
30 seconds 4 right whales out of 6 off Gloucester Ma, Long Beach, Twin Lights in backgrounds
1 min video tracking 1 of 6 right whales
How close? This close: here’s another image from an FOB whales out her window!
Is this Atlantic right whale detection app active?
Second post- close up
Third post after work– 3 whales still feeding here 11+ hours later!
The photos were taken after the storm on Tuesday morning, at dead low tide, standing almost to Salt Island and looking toward Thacher Island. I don’t recall ever seeing such enormous waves at low tide and will stay tuned in the future. Look for the surfer’s head in the waves 🙂
GREAT NEWS FOR STRAITSMOUTH ISLAND AND CONGRATULATIONS TO PAUL ST. GERMAIN AND THACHER ISLAND ASSOCIATION!!
A huge shout out to Thacher Island Association and president Paul St. Germain for winning an Essex National Heritage Area partnership grant to restore the elevated pedestrian lighthouse walkway on Straitsmouth Island.
Paul St. Germain writes, “We will restore the original C 1850, 220-foot granite and wooden timber walkway to provide safe and easy access for the public to visit the lighthouse from the keeper house. This walkway has been there since 1854 and was destroyed sometime in the 1930’s. Besides its usefulness it has also been an iconic signature of the island’s profile for over 80 years.”
Facts about Straitsmouth Island Light Station
- First lighthouse was established in 1835 to mark the entrance to Rockport Harbor.
- The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1851 and again in 1896.
- A 6th order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern in 1857.
- The current Victorian styled keeper house was built in 1878 similar to the one on Thacher Island.
- In 1932 the light was converted from white to green.
- Coast Guard moved the station to shore at Gap Head and sold the island to private parties in 1934.
- Coast Guard continues to maintain the light as an official aid to navigation today. In 1967 the island (except for the lighthouse) was donated to Massachusetts Audubon Society who maintains it as a wildlife sanctuary.
- Straitsmouth Island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
- In 2010 the lighthouse and 1.8 acres of land was given to the Town of Rockport by the coast guard.
- In 2014 the Town of Rockport signed a long term 30 year lease with Mass Audubon for the use of the keeper and oil houses.
ATLANTIC OCEAN WAVE WATCHING -EXPLODERS, BANGERS, ROLLERS, CRASHERS, AND SONIC BOOMERS – #GLOUCESTEMA #ROCKPORTMA MARCH NOR’ESTER STORM RILEY -By Kim Smith
The best wave watching Sunday afternoon was from Atlantic Road, especially when the light turned silver-gray-violet. The mist from the pounding waves filled the air, creating a beautiful diffused quality. It was mesmerizing to see the waves hurling against the rocky coastline. Often the force was so loud, it sounded like a sonic boom had exploded. Atlantic Road was closed to car traffic while pedestrians strolled the road as though a promenade. After watching the full force of the waves during high tide, I headed over to Straitsmouth Island in Rockport. Less in strength, but still spectacular to watch.
#GLOUCESTERMA RILEY STORM DAMAGE MORNING AFTER, EASTERN POINT ROAD IMPASSABLE DUE TO STROM SURGE, CLEAN-UP BEGINS, HUGE SHOUT OUT TO GLOUCESTER’S DPW AND POLICE OFFICERS, GOOD HARBOR BEACH FOOTBRIDGE IN THE EMBANKMENT
Last night’s fourth super high tide in two days again brought an incredible surge of seawater. Gloucester’s DPW Marco Numerosi was working last night at 2am and reports it was the worst of all. DPW crews and GDP Officers were on the job bright and early this Sunday morning, cleaning the roads of hurled rocks, popples, seaweed, and seagrass.
Officer Al D’Angelo and Marco Numerosi
Eastern Point Road, by Bemo Street, still littered with debris at 8am, is closed, and virtually impassable. One driver tried, and then quickly changed his mind.
This morning photographing and filming at 6:30 you would not believe it was dead low tide. There is so much water and I am afraid the next tide will bring with it another round of destruction. The waves are towering; a large ship, the Oldendorff appeared to head straight out and then steered closer to shore. Stay safe and warm friends.
#GLOUCESTERMA RILEY STORM DAMAGE ATLANTIC ROAD PASS AT OWN RISK, GOOD HARBOR BEACH FOOTBRIDGE DAMAGE, PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH DEATH WISH, CHURNING SEAS, YOU WANTED TO BUILD A HOUSE WHERE?, AND THE THIRD SUPER HIGH TIDE ON THE WAY
Popples and debris are littering Atlantic Road, the footbridge sustained damage to the last half, fences and trees are down throughout the neighborhood, and the seas are gaining in ferocity, with the third of the super high tides expected at noon. Please be safe, the wind is mighty powerful this morning and their are potential projectiles everywhere.
Extensive damage to the railings at the Ocean House Inn, our Snowy Owl Hedwig’s current favorite perch. No sign of her the past few days, but Hedwig is so resourceful, we are hoping for the best.
Hedwig was observed Saturday morning, when repeated harassment by a flock of crows sent her hiding. She reappeared Saturday afternoon, and was again seen Sunday morning in the drizzle, not too far from where she was perched Saturday evening. Later Sunday afternoon she slept and rested in the pouring rain.
Hedwig sleeping in the rain (thank you to Arly Pett for letting me know she was out in the rain!)
That she stays in a highly localized winter territory seems in keeping with known Snowy Owl behavior traits. I read that during the summer season in the Arctic, male Snowies hunt over hundreds of miles, whereas female Snowies typically hunt within a much smaller range. She has been observed eating sea ducks and rabbits and there are plenty of rat holes along the backshore rocks.
Both rats and lemmings (the Snowies super food in the Arctic) belong to the order Rodentia. From wiki, “A lemming is a small rodent usually found in or near the Arctic in tundra biomes. Lemmings are subnivean animals. They make up the subfamily Arcicolinae together with voles and muskrats which forms part of the superfamily Muroidea which also includes rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils.”
Often Hedwig has been seen flying straight out over the water towards Twin Lights. I wondered, if she is hunting there, does Thacher Island have a rat population. Thacher Island Association president Paul St. Germain answers that question for our readers,
“Hi Kim, there are lots of rats on Thacher mostly in the shore line rocks. We don’t see them often but know they are there. I discovered a bunch in the cellar of the keeper house making their nest in an old tarp. I would love to see Hedwig out there but we don’t go out in the winter. Have never seen snowy owls in the summer.”
Rat and Lemming photos courtesy wiki commons media
This brings up the topic, what to do if you have a rat problem. The absolute worst way to control rats is with rat poison, namely for the sake of beautiful predatory birds such as Snowy Owls, falcons, hawks, and eagles. Birds that ingest rats that have been poisoned with rat poison will generally become gravely ill and die. Secondly, it is a cruel, slow death for the rat. They will usually go back to their nest to die. If that nest is located behind a wall in your home, you will smell that unmistakeable horrendous smell for many months. Thirdly, rat poison is only 60 percent effective. I wonder if the rats that survive rat poison will go on to breed super rats.
The best way to avoid having to kill a rat is to make sure they cannot gain access to your home or business by regularly inspecting soffits and woodwork for holes. Old-fashioned snap traps and live trapping continue to be the most effective way to rid your home or business of rats.
Saturday I stopped to say hello to a group of birders flocked together along the backshore who had traveled all the way from western Mass. They were observing Grebes, Buffleheads, and a Common Murre. And a Puffin had been spotted! I asked if they were planning to go to any of our local restaurants for lunch, but they had packed lunches. One Mom shared that an expert from Audubon told the group that there were at least a “dozen Snowy Owls” on Bass Rocks. Bananas! I have to say that it makes me hoppin’ mad when folks spread misinformation about our local wildlife. I gently told her that no, there were not a dozen owls, but that if she and her group waited until late afternoon, they might catch sight of Hedwig.
After posting a photo of Schooner Sugar Babe, First Mate Amy of the Schooner Green Dragon asked if we could see how the Green Dragon fared, and yes, she appears to have weathered the storm. Three crazy surfers were at Good Harbor Beach (no margin for error here). The wave action along the backshore was dramatic although they didn’t seem quite as huge as after some recent nor’easters. Temperatures are predicted to drop below zero this weekend. I hope everyone has their power restored and are keeping cozy.
FIRST LOOK MORNING AFTER STORM #BOMBCYCLONE #GLOUCESTER MA GOOD HARBOR BEACH, BACKSHORE, ROCKYNECK, EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE
The water has receded and left in its wake tremendous damage to a number of homes and property. In many cases, from the exterior, it appears as though the record breaking high tide never occurred, but interiors are an entirely different story. Power is being restored around the Cape and if you were one of the lucky ones, as were we, you never lost it.
Things are looking up, with the sun poking out around 10:30, and folks doing their best to dig out, urgently so, with temperatures predicted to drop into the single digits overnight.
The roads are very driveable! Thanks to incredible efforts by Mayor Sefatia, Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante, State Senator Bruce Tarr, Gloucester’s awesome DPW, policemen, firemen, emergency medical crews, and the Coast Guard for all that they did yesterday to help our community keep safe and all that they continue to do today to recover from the Bomb Cyclone of 2018.
Evocative views looking through sea smoke along the shoreline this morning, from Ten Pound Island to Twin Lights, and at every vantage point along the way. On my very last stop photographing a buoy in the sea smoke, I spied a mystery bird far off shore. Bobbing in the water and with a bill not at all shaped liked a seagulls, it was a SNOW GOOSE! He was too far away to get a great photo, but wonderful to see nonetheless!
Danny Diamond celebration Thursday August 24th 7pm-10pm, Cape Ann Brewery, 11 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA
BEFORE | AFTER
Love when this happens to ocean spray! Saturday looks like we’re going to have some sea swells. We’re spared today’s “high surf advisory” accorded to Cape Cod and Maine from Hurricane Gert.
minutes before the sunspray
Seriously glistening summer day. Cape Ann SUP kypads are really holding up: we’re going on two years of steady use, after renting and taking lessons from Dominic. Gloucester is lucky to have several water sport shopping options. Besides Cape Ann SUP, we’ve had surf lessons, rented and purchased wetsuits (for guests, too) from Surfari on 210 Main Street. Cape Ann Divers in (Shaw’s) Cape Ann Marketplace is another place we’ve purchased various beach essentials and wetsuits.
Don’t forget- Join for the 1st ANNUAL CAPE ANN SUPahBOWL SATURDAY AUGUST 12 PAVILION BEACH GLOUCESTER MA http://www.capeannsup.com/cape-ann-paddleboard-events/
I keep meaning to ask him what he thinks about the self inflating type that went a tad viral in 2016. It’s still in development.
We observed an exciting self-defense development today. While foraging in the sand at the high tide line, Little Chick suddenly crouched down, completely flattening himself level with the sand. Seconds later, a seagull swooshed over him, flying, very, very low. It was tremendous to see this defense mode kick in and wonder whether instinctual, or learned from the parents.Piping Plover chick and Mom foraging at the high water line. Our chick is growing so quickly. Even though he is nearly as large as Mom, he still needs snuggles in the morning to thermoregulate.
Twenty-two-day-old Piping Plover