Signs of the times-
Main Street/downtown: Passports, Mark Adrian Shoes, ToodeLoos!, Design of Mine
Further out: Cape Ann Motor Inn
sky view behind Cape Ann Motor Inn Long Beach and to Twin Light
Snapshots during the snowstorm. Snow fell at a quick clip and was deeper than I expected. I saw two snow plows stuck and digging out. Today will be a heavy shovel that neighbors may need help with.
near Cape Ann Motor Inn Long Beach
Salt Island Road to Good Harbor Beach- snow deeper than my boots on the dry sand
Snow blue ice in the tucks and shadows, and trees coated like Kancamagus Highway
measuring snow fall by mailbox and car coating
Had a friend who stayed at Cape Ann Motor Inn over the weekend. Went to visit and the room had this view. Just beautiful.
2:15PM slush pond roads and closed by Witham and Thacher and Good Harbor Beach parking lot. Power outages this way.
GOOD HARBOR BEACH
Ocean is up on the deck outside the Good Harbor Beach Inn snack bar, though not to the street
There go the staircases
**Video coming when power-wifi back**
How close is the Cape Ann Motor Inn to Long beach? On it! So close most days they need to sweep sand out of the parking lot. They told me that they have been busier all seasons, especially since they renovated the rooms a couple of years ago.
As with Manchester Singing and other North Shore beaches, the white or “dry” sand of Long Beach sings a musical sound as you scuff ahead. Lately though it’s whistling a shorter tune because there’s an astonishing loss of the dry grains.
Over the last 10 years, so much sand has been washed away from Long Beach most every high tide hits the seawall. Boogie boarders need to truncate their wave rides else risk landing on the rip-rap. It’s become a competitive sport to lay claim to some beach chair and towel real estate if you want a dry seat. On the plus side, low tide is great for beach soccer and tennis, long walks and runs. Bocce ball has replaced can jam and spikeball as the beach games of summer 2017.
Seasoned locals recall having to ‘trudge a mile’ across dry sand before hitting wet sand and water. In my research I’ve seen historic visuals that support their claims.
Historic photos and contemporary images –from 10 years ago– show a stretch of white sand like this one looking out from the Gloucester side of Long Beach to the Rockport side.
photocard showing the pedestrian walkway prior to the concrete boardwalk. Historic prints from ©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) show the damage after storm, 1931. See his GMG post and rodeo (ca. 1950)
After the Storm, Long Beach, 1931 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) “Printed from the original 5×7 inch film negative in my darkroom. Image #88657-134 (Long Beach looking toward Rockport)”
This next vintage postcard flips the view: facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach –looking back to glacial rocks we can match out today, a tide line that shows wet and dry sands, and the monumental Edgecliffe Hotel which welcomed thousands of summer visitors thanks to a hopping casino. The white sand evident in front of the Edgecliffe bath houses (what is now Cape Ann Motor Inn) has plummeted since a 2012 February storm and vanished it seems, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not. It’s most evident where several feet of sand was cleaved off from the approach to the boardwalk.
I find the annual sand migration on Long Beach a fascinating natural mystery. It’s dramatic every year. Here are photos from this last year: fall (late Sept 2016), winter (December- sand covers rip-rap), spring (April -after winter storms with alarming loss), and summer (today)
SPRING April rip-rap uncovered, exposed. Climbing to the boardwalk is an exciting challenge for two boys I know (when the sand is filled in like the December photo it’s a short drop)
SUMMER July 14 sand is coming back though all boulders are not entirely submerged
Storms (namely February) strip the silky soft top sand away and expose the boulders strengthening the seawall. It’s easy to feel alarmed that the beach is disappearing. By summer, the sand fills back, though not always in the same spot or same quantity. Some rip-rap expanses remain exposed. Most is re-buried beneath feet of returning sand. New summer landmarks are revealed. One year it was a ribbon of nuisance pebbles the entire length of beach. The past two years we’ve loved “the August Shelf”. (Will it come again?)
This year there’s a wishbone river.
In case you missed the Gloucester Daily Times article “Rockport Looks to Fix Long Beach Sea Wall” by Mary Markos, I’ve added the link here. They hope to finish by 2025. I look forward to learning more and reading about it. If extra sand is brought back will high tide continue to hit the seawall? (In the past it could hit the wall or blast over in storms, but dry sand remained lining the wall.) Will the new wall occupy the same general footprint? Will it be higher? Thicker?
The Rotary Club of Gloucester hosts the 7th annual regional fundraiser to eradicate polio. Brave and generous dippers will park at Good Harbor, shuttle past Uncle Tony (Precision Roofing Services of New England) to Cape Ann Motor Inn and Long Beach waters. Hundreds of supporters will be on hand to watch as many fearless participants dive in for a purpose– including more than 20 Gloucester High School Interact club members and the new Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce President, Sarah Young, Director of Development for Schooner Adventure. It’s a colorful crazy sight and an inspiring cause. To donate and learn more visit the Rotary Club of Gloucester: Freezin’ for a Reason: The Rotary Club of Gloucester Hosts a Polar Plunge to Make Polio History
Donations are tripled by the Gates Foundation.
During the last days of summer, the sands at Long Beach shift to form a ledge that we affectionately call the ‘August shelf’. The slant is a challenge walking or running and a ramp or jumping platform if the tide is right. Children engage in all manner of parapet building and collapsing. The ocean remains warm and the waves can seem bigger. These marks –annual gifts from nature– gently nudge us to fall. This year, as a result of tropical storm Hermine, there is a bonus shelf of seaweed brought in by majestic tumultuous waves. Don’t miss a fantastic chance to inspect species common to Gloucester, Cape Ann and the East Coast. Seagulls and clothing pop against a uniform blanket of red. From a distance, the deep color of the seaweed seems the natural inspiration for the architectural details of Cape Ann Motor Inn.
Look closely as there are so many species intertwined and clumped together teeming with texture and color! Be inspired to create: the Cape Ann Museum includes volumes of pressed seaweeds and mosses. Learn more: Isabel Natti did the algae plant drawings for The Sea is All About Us, a pioneer book on local marine life and shores by Sara Fraser Robbins and Clarice Yentsch. Visit Maritime Gloucester to learn about life at the shore. Garden: a friend collects some seaweed for her beds. Eat: I haven’t tried making my own seaweed salad but I have eyed Irish moss pudding recipes. Pudding anyone?
Irish Moss pudding: 1 cup (dead, rinsed, cleaned, possibly soaked) moss with a quart of milk in a double boiler for 15 – 30 minutes, strain out the moss. Add sugar to taste, and optional flavoring (citrus, coffee, vanilla, green tea, whatever you like). Pour into mold and refrigerate or blend a health drink. The consistency is thicker relative to time.
Labor Day 2013 – Beach Party – Sept. 1, 2013 4-5 pm Honky Tonk Women of Gloucester open for the amazing dance band, GARFISH who will play 5-8 pm for an old fashioned beach party end-of-summer celebration on Gloucester’s own Long Beach.