Cape Ann Whale Watch Back on the Water!

We took a whale watch tour on the Hurricane II yesterday to experience the whales (of course) as well as to experience the COVID era whale watch. Their tours are currently running at 30% capacity which means about 100 people. All must wear masks unless seated, the crew sanitize high-touch areas every half hour. Six foot distances are marked to assist with keeping your distance while aboard and most passengers seemed to be compliant and aware. Measured boarding and debarking are in place. It was my first experience with a larger sized group so I was a little wary, but I felt safe especially outside in the fresh air while under sail.  Tickets and additional info here.

We saw 5-6 whales, including a mother/calf combo. We thank Capt. Johnny, Jessie, Cole, and Kaitlyn (I am sorry I did not catch all the names) for the great trip during which we felt safe to observe Bayou (tail slapping)  and Spell, who was lunge feeding. We also saw mother humpback Twine and her 2020 calf.  The day out there was a little bit grey but we did get a few good shots.

Lefties Unite!

I received a very nice surprise recently in the form of a gift from my brother and his wife following their visit here during which I was heard to rant about how hard it can be each day for the lefties of the world. Every single design is engineered for right handed use, not surprisingly as this is the majority of the population.  Only an estimated 10% of us are lucky enough to be left handed.

And it’s OK.  I am left handed but learned to do many everyday tasks with my right hand with tools made for right handed people: scissors, measuring cups, can openers, even brooms to some extent. Even those “statement ” coffee mugs are backwards for lefties…wise words of wisdom facing the wrong way in a left hander’s grasp. Mostly it’s OK but some thing still trip me up after all these years. Measuring cups are high on that list. I know some of you are wondering “How can you do measuring cup wrong??” Try it. Put that cup in your left and and take a look at the measures. Thank you.

Anyhow, my angst was acknowledged in their gifting of a number of items from The Left Hand Store. What a treat the oven mitt, the kitchen tools and the measuring cup especially are!!! Mostly, thank you for acknowledging the issues…….. so here’s a shout out to Lori and Chris and left handers out there (FOB Paula Ryan O’Brien and neighbor Rick)! Can I get an “Amen”?

Guilty as Charged!

This guy is guilty of nectar thieving in the first degree! He even looks guilty. We have been bothered by this raccoon stealing hummingbird nectar on a regular basis. Our neighbor Jim caught him and I’m told he’s been transferred to a new home. No, not in Joey’s neighborhood. Joey needs no further excuses for his hummingbird failures.

Here’s the thief and his victims. Thank you neighbor Jim!

Back to the Azorean!

The Azorean seemed a good choice to wrap up the holiday weekend. We sat inside and took note the plexiglass has been installed between booths. They are unable to offer the bread and oil just yet, but Jim’s chicken with butternut squash ravioli was a big hit! I ordered some pizza despite the lady at a nearby table stating stridently that she was NOT having pizza for dinner… judgement because I thoroughly enjoyed mine!

Hawk Harassment

Some of you may remember we had a hawk nest in the backyard last year but they did not return to that nest this year and we have been seeing fewer hawks than usual. Lately, however, I have noticed a hawk watching me from the old Coast Guard tower nearly everyday on my walk. I like to think he waits around for me.

Anyhow, a little story developed recently as the hawk was harassed by red winged blackbirds and forced to move his perch twice to avoid them. It’s my understanding that bigger birds do not chase the smaller ones away when they are being harassed in order to save energy needed for hunting and daily life. I understand, but, c’mon Hawk…a little talon or beak action in their direction might give you a break…….

These pictures tell some of that story from Dolliver’s Neck.

Relaxing Dinner at Tonno

We had a wonderfully relaxing (and very safe and clean) dining experience with inside seating at Tonno recently. We were warmly greeted and seated inside as requested, along with 4-5 other parties at the time. The outdoor seating was tempting but honestly I wanted to see the inside again! It’s such a warm welcoming setting. All table distanced appropriately and all staff were masked. Contact tracing information is taken upon arrival in a precautionary measure.

The service was friendly, gracious and efficient even when I spilled my drink…….We ordered the garlic bread appetizer with prosciutto. Genius combo! It was a great way to prepare for the chicken parm and the lobster rigatoni special ( with Capt. Joe’s lobster). Each entree was prepared perfectly and delicious. I forgot to take the cannoli dessert picture but they were creamy and very tasty. Looking forward to summer at Tonno! See you there.


And Forever In Peace May You Wave

It’s been a year so far, hasn’t it? I am feeling patriotic but not celebratory this year. I am grateful to be here in Gloucester where I feel safe and protected by the majority of people I see in masks and socially distanced.

So, as a little distraction from COVID and to concentrate on our flag: Did you know the famous George Cohan song You’re a Grand Old Flag was the first from a musical (George Washington, Jr.) that sold over a million copies of sheet music? Don’t lie, you’re humming right now aren’t you? You’re a grand old flag, You’re a high flyin’ flag, And forever in peace may you wave.

Here are some pictures of flags from around town over the last couple of years. And, (your bonus for reading the blog) a picture of how I will be celebrating the holiday this year. Stay safe. Stay apart. Fly your flag.

Phase 3 in Reopening Plan Begins Monday July 6!

Gov. Baker announced that most of Massachusetts will move into Phase 3 of the reopening plan starting Monday July 6. Boston is excepted, but those allowed to loosen restrictions and/or restart include gyms, tour buses at half capacity, casinos, fitness centers, museums and cultural venues (all with capacity and distancing restrictions in place as well). None of this loosens our personal mask wearing and social distancing guidelines! We must stay alert.  Importantly, phase 3 will not allow bars and and nightclubs to open yet.

Boston Globe coverage can be found at this link. The Massachusetts state website also provides information here.

Here are some snapshots from yesterday’s (July 2 2020) daily update. It was disappointing to see the number of deaths shoot up a bit after the dramatic ZERO day recently so we know we need to keep our guard up even as we are stepping forward. For myself, I cannot wait to get back to my microfilm research at the library!


COVID July 2Dashboard

Light Up The Night Event This Weekend!

The luminArtz Facebook page announces the following scheduled for this weekend (July 3 and 4th)! It sounds like an awesome event, especially since we can’t have fireworks this year…….

Friday and Saturday Night starting at 9:15 luminArtz and Communications, Ink will “Light Up The Night” for a celebration of Independence Day, 4th of July celebration by projecting on the paint factory on Gloucester Harbor. This beautiful display of oceanography with images of fireworks will make this holiday very special and memorable. Ocean Alliance, our partner, has been a gracious host allowing luminArtz and Communications, Ink to transform this iconic building into a work of art for the whole community to experience. We hope you will tell all your friends to wear a mask if you’re viewing from the boulevard or the I4C2 location in Downtown Gloucester. We hope to instill pride in all who live in this great community of Cape Ann. Tune in live here on our Facebook and HAPPY 4th!

Image borrowed from luminArtz Facebook page.


Marvelous Dinner at The Studio

We had a wonderful dinner at The Studio on Rocky Neck last night. Lovely evening, half price food, seeing friends, staying masked and distant….it was a great experience. The menu has new and returning items for you to select from. My baked haddock with lobster bisque was absolutely perfect! Jim had the lobster rolls and there was none left to share. I highly recommend you check it out. I don’t know how long the half price food special will last. Call or check their Facebook page for updates.

Duckworth’s Bistrot Announcement

Duckworth’s Bistrot has recently announced on its Facebook page that the difficult decision was reached NOT to open this summer. Their intimate atmosphere (which is what many of us LOVE about Duckworth’s) makes it impossible to safely social distance for safety. Neither is there appropriate outdoor space available. We will miss Duckworth’s but are in total support of their decision.

In the meantime, perhaps you’d still consider gift certificates for future meals at the bistro.All restaurants and most small businesses are struggling through the pandemic and gift certificate purchases show support. Give it some thought.

Image borrowed from Duckworth’s Facebook page.