Annisquam River dredging 2020: closeup views from the boats and across to A. Piatt Andrew bridge #GloucesterMA

Here are some views across Annisquam River to A. Piatt Andrew bridge to show relative scale and position of the Annisquam River Dredging operation in February 2020. The Annisquam River dredging project began back in October 2019 and will continue into next year, however it’s not continuous. It’s overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The first dredging sections began in October 2019 (north of the 128 bridge, by Lobster Cove and Thurston Point), and will finish up next Friday (February 28, 2020), following two extensions. Dredging will resume sometime in the fall, likely October 2020.  They’re moving in the direction of the Cut right now. The operations run 24 hours a day with two 12 hour shifts. There are lots of local hires manning the rigs. Cessation by Friday is definite. “There won’t be a third extension because of the flounder spawning season,” says Paul Vitale, captaining one of the push boats for Patriot Marine, a Coastline Consulting sub-contractor.

The equipment you might see before they begin disappearing by the end of this week  are the following:

  • Three barge dredges operating excavators; one is a self loader designed to go in spots where there’s not enough space (There’s still a chunk to do between the train bridge and the cut bridge. The self loader will be doing that.)
  • Three dump scows (also barges) where they put the mud that they load into and cart away to very specific dump sites in Ipswich Bay (they have 5 or 6 compartments and doors that open up on the bottom like coal cars)
  • Roy Boys and Nancy Anne, two tug boats that do the dump runs primarily to Ipswich Bay, carting the scows back and forth
  • Three push boats – two manuevering with each dredge plus one (to help move or ready if there’s a breakdown)

When the project is completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will remeasure and update charts. Buoys will be in new spots. But that’s still a long way off.  Fun facts: the scooped sediment was sandier by Thurston Point and muddier at the bend where they’re situated now. There are sensors and computers linked up on barges and scows for monitoring the dump runs, and future research and tracking. The grants obtained for this massive dig were written long before the March trio of storms struck Good Harbor Beach and Long Beach.

 

Closeup views from the barges and vessels courtesy photos below:

 

Mayor Romeo Theken shared the City of Gloucester dredging announcement here November 8, 2019.

About the dredging:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District is proposing to perform maintenance dredging of the Annisquam River Federal navigation project (FNP) in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The city of Gloucester is the local sponsor and requested this dredging.

The proposed work involves maintenance dredging of portions of the 8-foot-deep Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) channel and anchorage, plus authorized overdepth dredging in the Annisquam River FNP. 

“Natural shoaling processes have reduced available depths to as little as 1.0 foot in portions of the 8-foot MLLW channel and anchorage making navigation hazardous or impossible at lower stages of the tide,” said Project Manager Erika Mark, of the Corps’ New England District, Programs/Project Management Division in Concord, Mass. “Maintenance dredging of approximately 140,000 cubic yards of sand and some gravel from approximately 20 acres of the authorized project area will restore the FNP to authorized dimensions.”

A private contractor, under contract to the government, will use a mechanical dredge and scows to remove the material and then transport it for placement at the Ipswich Bay Nearshore Disposal Site (IBNDS) and the Gloucester Historic Disposal Site (GHDS). Approximately 132,500 cubic yards of sandy material will be placed at the IBNDS and the remaining 7,500 cubic years of sand and gravel material will go to the GHDS. Construction is expected to take between 3-4 months between Oct. 1, 2019 and March 15, 2020.

Proposed work is being coordinated with: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management; Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries; Massachusetts Historical Commission; Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources; Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe; Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah); and city of Gloucester harbormaster. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared.

The public notice, with more detailed information, is available for review on the Corps website at http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation/Public-Notices/.

1959 Lyman boat for sale calls forth irresistible young adult book, Driftwood Captain, by Paul B Kenyon

1959 Lyman boat for sale_20180917_Gloucester Mass ©Catherine Ryan (4).jpg

Scroll down for more photos of the boat that’s for sale which had me remembering a great read. Excerpted quotes are from the superb young adult book, Driftwood Captain, from 1956 by Paul B Kenyon, a writer and Gloucester Daily Times columnist and editor, with illustrations by Louise Kenyon, folly cove artist. The book is dedicated to their sons.  I guarantee explorers young and old will be inspired to seek treasure and adventure all about them and persist. Kids you know will want to befriend characters so real they jump off the page and grab your heart. Sometimes authors get in the way of their own writing, especially with children’s books, trying too hard and overwriting the kid’s perspective. Not Kenyon. Boy is he a timeless ease. You can find the book at Cape Ann Museum and local book stores.

“…But Pete had the faith of a twelve-year-old in his sailing skill and in his flighty boat, a hunk of a fisherman’s dory. He had been sailing in Lobster Cove since he graduated from floating logs. He knew the breezes and currents and even the ways that certain boats swung at each other. He would put on dark glasses to shield his eyes from the angry glare of visiting yachtsmen, and sail close to the boats of his customers so that he could toss folded newspapers into cockpits and cabins. He was a seagoing paperboy…

“He’d rather have the old hull lying on shore, tied to a tree just above the bridge. He liked her rugged looks and her air of being what Gloucester men called “able.”

“The old hull reminded Pete of the famous sloop Spray, Captain Joshua Slocum rebuilt the Spray, timber by timber and sailed her around the world singlehanded, after he finished fitting out at Gloucester. The Spray was thirty six feet long, not counting her bowsprit. She had a lot of room for a boat of her length. So had the hold hull that had lain unused for years. That’s where Pete had begun the daydream that had led to the Hunkadory-Harbor-Queen argument. Pete wondered why his family did not share his fondness for the hull. Pappy Leonard talked a lot about getting a boat big enough for cruising along the coast.

Here was a boat in the rough, just the right size…” 

 

1959 Lyman boat for sale as is, dry dock @ Shaw’s shopping center, Gloucester, Mass,

 

the old hull_LOUISE KENYON_stellar linocut illustrations for Driftwood Captain by Paul B Kenyon 1956butch Petes dog_LOUISE KENYON_stellar linocut illustrations for Driftwood Captain by Paul B Kenyon 1956

MR. SWAN EXPLORING THE ANNISQUAM! -By Kim Smith

A number of friends have been texting and emailing that they are seeing a swan all along the Annisquam. I suspected that it was Mr. Swan as I have seem him on the Annisquam, near the bridge and Cape Ann Marina after he lost his second mate. It would be swan-logical that he would head over to the Annisquam in search of open, fresh water because both Henry’s and Niles ponds are still frozen.

Thanks to Craig Kimberley, who texted a swan sighting in real time, I was able to get a closeup of the swan, and YES, it is Mr. Swan that many of our readers are seeing. Mr. Swan’s bill is uniquely marked and he has beautiful blue eyes, which is unusual for most Mute Swans seen in these parts. In the closeup photo above it is difficult to tell his eyes are blue. It’s much easier to notice when his eyes reflect sunlight, but trust me, if it were a black-eyed swan, you would not be able to distinguish the iris at all.

Thanks so much to Craig, Brianne, and facebook friends for sharing your Mr. Swan sightings, so very much appreciated 🙂

Craig Kimberley iPhone photo from this morning.

 The Annisquam River stretches from Annisquam Harbor on the north to Gloucester Harbor on south.

Little houseboat in the great frozen salt marsh #Gloucester MA

A photo journal after the storm documenting and comparing a few iconic and sweeping Gloucester vistas on January 7, 2018, when all was white ice frozen, and again after the Great Thaw on January 13 2018.

Gloucester Motif- the house boat in view just before the turn off at Nichols

Little house boat in the great frozen salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 7 2018 three days after historic winter storm © c ryan_095245

 

The Little House boat in the great frozen salt marsh reminded me of a mash up of two of Virginia Lee Burton’s children’s picture books inspired by Gloucester — Little House and Katy and the Big Snow. Here’s the little floating houseboat after the thaw at low tide January 13, 2018.

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__133100

At high tide earlier in the day, January 13

Little house boat in the great salt marsh - Gloucester MA January 13 2018 after thaw from historic winter storm © c ryan__072700.jpg

Good Harbor Beach drive by three days after the storm

 

Good Harbor Beach salt marsh drive by one week after the storm and great thaw

 

Below the read more break: additional winter comparison photos (icebergs on the marsh by Lobster Land, Good Harbor Beach parking lot, Good Harbor Beach salt marsh, Stoney Cove pier at Little River & Annisquam River)

Continue reading “Little houseboat in the great frozen salt marsh #Gloucester MA”

A Trip Down the Annisquam

I absolutely love taking a slow trip down the Annisquam River.  It never gets old.  I started to wonder the other day how many people who live on “the island” have maybe never enjoyed the same scenic boat ride.  Some day soon I’ll use the GoPro and make a video, but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite homes, etc.

Trenel Cove, circa 1915

a8357_082wmTrenel Cove is where a ferry went between Gloucester Island and the mainland. Ferry Street, off of Washington Street, goes there. Today, the Route 128 A. Piatt Andrew Bridge crosses the Annisquam from the hill just behind Trenel Cove. Clammers still pull up their skiffs onto the beach at the head of the cove. This Trenel Cove photo is going to hang in…..Trenel Cove!