Category Archives: Gloucester Harbor

GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FEST COMPLETE RACE RESULTS 2022

Congratulations to the winners and to to all the participants!

DAZZLING GLOUCESTER SCHOONER FEST PARADE OF SAIL

A picture perfect day for Gloucester’s 38th annual Schooner Festival Parade of Sail. The Harbor was dazzling with boats of every kind, including schooners, fishing boats, sailboats, pleasure boats, tour boats, kayaks, and more.

Spectators lined the shoreline from Stacey Boulevard to Eastern Point.

With thanks and deepest appreciation to Daisy Nell Collinson and the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee – Daisy and Stan Collinson’s Schooner Redbird in the foreground

 

SCHOONER FEST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS AND SCHOONER CHALLENGE!

Many, many thanks to Elizabeth Carey and Tess McColgan from Discover Gloucester for the invitation to the 38th Annual Schooner Festival press day event. It was a fantastic treat to watch the Schooner Challenge from the press boat, Blue Sky, with father son team Captain Al and first mate Ollie Fichera.

Festival Schedule
FESTIVAL PROGRAM

Thursday, Sept 1

  • SCHOONER CHALLENGE – 5:30 to 7:30pm – Gloucester Harbor

Join our local Schooner Captains as they participate in a friendly competition putting their seamanship to the test over an “obstacle” course. Passengers will be given their own set of tasks to win the coveted Rum Bottle Award. Visiting schooners already arrived will join the event. The public is invited to purchase tickets aboard participating schooners. Check various schooner websites for ticketing details.

Friday, Sept 2

  • All Day – The SCHOONERS ARRIVE – Gloucester Harbor with shoreside viewing

Historic Gloucester Harbor sets the scene for the arrival of over 2 dozen schooners throughout the day and. Spend the day viewing these wonderful vessels filling our harbor. Details of schooner arrival times will be provided as possible via social media.

  • 6:00 to 10:00pm – Gloucester Block Party – Main Street, Gloucester

  • What Time Is It, Mr. Fox? | 6:00-8:30pm | Performance at Music on Meetinghouse Green

Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and local businesses roll out the red carpet on Main Street for Gloucester Schooner Festival with a street party!  Shopping, food, entertainment, and fun are on the agenda all evening.

  • 6:00 & 7:00pm – Harbor Tour of Schooner Fleet

Join Cape Ann Harbor Tours for an evening harbor cruise of the schooner fleet. Tickets are $15 and you can click here to visit their website and register.

​Saturday, Sept 3

  • International Dory Committee Exhibition – 9:00 am – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop

  • Maritime Heritage Day – 10 am – 4 pm – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop

The heart of the Gloucester Schooner Festival’s land-based activities is Maritime Heritage Day, distributed over 3 locations in downtown Gloucester! Maritime Gloucester opens its campus for a day of maritime heritage, live demonstrations, schooner sails, family fun, and new this year our Heritage Galley food truck court! We also have schooner viewing, deck tours and community organizations at the schooner docks at 65 Rogers street and across the harbor at Ocean Alliance.  See the full Maritime Heritage Day schedule here.

  • Schooner Viewing and Deck Tours! – 10:00am to 4:00pm

               THREE Locations:

  • Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop

  • Schooner Floats – I4C2 parking lot, 65 Rogers St

  • Ocean Alliance – 32 Horton Street, Rocky Neck

  • Once Upon A Whale Song Exhibit with Artist Perri Howard | 10:00am-2:00pm| Ocean Alliance, 32 Horton Street
  • 6:00 & 7:00pm – Harbor Tour of Schooner Fleet

Join Cape Ann Harbor Tours for an evening harbor cruise of the schooner fleet. Tickets are $15 and you can click here to visit their website and register.

  • 7:00 to 9:30pm –  Boat Parade of Lights – Annisquam River and Inner Harbor

Open to all who wish to decorate their boat and enter, this is a fantastic visual display starting in the Annisquam River and ending in the Smith’s Cove area of the harbor. Click here for details

  • 9:15 – FIREWORKS!

The night sky lights up with the annual fireworks display over Stage Fort Park.  Get on a schooner charter, watch from your boat, or enjoy from nearly anywhere in the city, this spectacle is a great way to enjoy Schooner Festival.

Sunday, Sept 4

  • Parade of Sail – 10:00am to 12:00pm – Gloucester Harbor, Stacey Boulevard and Eastern Point viewing

The entire fleet of schooners joins together for a Parade of Sail not to be missed!  Whether you get aboard a schooner or watch from the shore, this is a memorable experience for all. Prime viewing areas are Stacy Boulevard, Stage Fort Park, and Eastern Point.  On the Boulevard, our Festival Chair Daisy Nell Collinson, Michael Costello, and Maritime Gloucester Historian Justin Demetri will provide live commentary. NEW THIS YEAR Good Morning Gloucester will be live streaming the Parade of Sail! Now you can tune in to the commentary if you are at Stage Fort Park or watch from your computer if you aren’t able to make it in person! Schooners proceed from the Inner Harbor, past the Fisherman’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point. Click Here for Live Stream.

  • 11:00 am to 1:30pm – Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light

Catch the CATA shuttle from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Ave) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free of charge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation Authority

  • Mayor’s Cup Race – 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Massachusetts Bay off Gloucester

The Premier Event – The Mayor’s Races!  This year’s schooners match up in small, medium, and large categories for a reach-reach competition viewing for the Esperanto Cup, The Ned Cameron Trophy, The Betty Ramsey Award, and the George Nichols & Amanda Madeira Woman at the Wheel Award.

Monday, Sept 5 – Labor Day​

Rain Date for Heritage Day or Race. Maritime Gloucester open from 10 to 4pm

For more information, please go here

 

BEAUTIFUL ICONIC BEACON MARINE BASIN – THE FIRE IS CONTAINED

Fire broke out early this morning at Gloucester’s iconic Beacon Marine Basin. Everyone escaped unharmed. Sending love and prayers to our friends David and Bob, and to all who call the building home. We’re hoping so much the Beacon Marine can be  restored and rebuilt.

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER AND PLEASE JOIN ME TOMORROW EVENING, WEDNESDAY JUNE 22nd, FOR A SPECIAL SCREENING OF BEAUTY ON THE WING

Summer solstice dawn June 21st

TO REGISTER, GO HERE

For more about the Essex National Heritage Pollinator Week programs, go here.

CAPE ANN SWAN ALERT! NOT ONE, NOT TWO… BUT EIGHT!!!

Eight swans-a-swimming!

What a lift for all who saw the beautiful bevy of Mute Swans at Niles Pond Tuesday afternoon. Many thanks to Duncan B for the text letting me know. I am so appreciative to have seen these much missed magnificent creatures.

The flock is comprised of three adults and five youngsters. You can tell by the color of their beaks and feathers. Five of the eight still have some of their soft buttery brown and tan feathers and their bills have not yet turned bright orange.

The two in the foreground are adults; the two in the background are not yet mature

Deep diving for nourishing pond vegetation

The swans departed at night fall. Where will they go next? Mute Swans don’t migrate long distances, but move around from body of water to body of water within a region. Please keep your eyes peeled and please let us know if you see this bevy of eight beauties. The following are some of the locations to be on the lookout at: Niles Pond, Henry’s Pond, Pebble Beach, Back Beach, Front Beach, Rockport Harbor, Gloucester inner harbor, Mill Pond, Mill River, Annisquam River – pretty much anywhere on Cape Ann!

 

FANTASTIC FUN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS ABOARD THE LANNON FOR THE SCHOONER CHALLENGE!

At the top of my husband Tom’s birthday wish list was a schooner ride aboard the Thomas Lannon. His birthday is still a week away so we had a pre-bday celebration last night. My kids and I treated and we met our friends Jade and Will, and their adorable kids, for the Schooner Challenge.

Although not much of challenge with super calm seas, it was a gorgeous night to be sailing around the harbor with family, friends and the wonderful Captain Heath Ellis and his topnotch crew. Former Lannon Captain Tom Ellis was aboard, making the sail even more perfect.

The night could not have been more magical and I think my husband is super pleased. What a way to start off the 37th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend and husband’s birthday week!!

 

HOVERFLIES EAT APHIDS! AND THEY ARE THE SECOND BEST POLLINATOR, AFTER BEES!

A beautiful female hoverfly (possibly Syrphus ribesii) spent the afternoon drinking nectar from the yellow florets of our Mexican Sunflowers. Also known as the Flower Fly and Syrphid Fly, hoverflies are members of the Syrphidae family of insects. As their name suggest, they hover over pollen-  and nectar-rich flowers.

Helicoptering hoverfly coming in for a landing

Hoverflies are a wonderful addition to the organic, pesticide-free garden. Hoverfly larvae are aphid eating machines and they are also the second best pollinator, after bees. Female hoverflies lay their eggs in the midst of aphid colonies. When the eggs emerge, food for the larvae is readily available. A single hoverfly larvae can eat 400 to 500 aphids during the two-week period before pupating into an adult.

When flies look like bees – Hoverflies look similar to bees, with large bulbous eyes and black and yellow striped abdomens. Their color and buzzing sound mimics many species of bees and wasps, which helps ward off predators. Hoverflies are perfectly harmless and neither sting nor bite. You can tell the difference between a male and a female hoverfly by looking at the eyes. The eyes of the male are holoptic, which means they touch, whereas the eyes of the female are separated.

We have a colony of aphids on our Whorled Milkweed. I hope she stopped by to deposit her eggs there!

To attract hoverflies to your garden, plant plenty of nectar-rich flowers. One study showed some species prefer white and yellow flowers. Although the ray flowers of the Tithonia are orange, the disc florets at the center of the flower from where she was drinking nectar are yellow. Native plants that attract hoverflies include Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Common Yarrow, and Purple Coneflower. Hoverflies also love blossoms of herbs such as oregano, dill, parsley, coriander, and fennel.

Image courtesy wikicommons media

 

Good Morning from Good Harbor and Cape Hedge Beaches!

Dear PiPl Friends,

Thank you so much for all your wonderful stories!

This week our fledglings/chicks have reached important milestones. Junior is 44 days old, the Cape Hedge chicks are about 35 days old, and our Littlest is two weeks and a day! The Cape Hedge chicks are doing the wonderfly flippy-floppy-fly-thing, and the Littlest is growing roundly, making magnificent treks up and down the beach.

Thank you everyone for your watchful eyes, diplomacy, eagerness to share with the public, and big hearts. You are all creating a wonderfully positive image for shorebirds everywhere and a super positive image for Cape Ann as well!!!

Skittles has been found! He was only about a block away from where he went missing, and sunning himself in a neighbor’s backyard. As Scott said, he was only waiting for the sun to come out 🙂

Have a great day!
xxKim

Happiness is a tail feather snuggle with Mom

FIVE IN THE FLATS – AND HAPPY THREE WEEK OLD BIRTHDAY LITTLE PEEPS!

Good morning PiPl Friends,

The GHB family of five were all in the flats this morning, foraging like nobody’s business. Both parents were very relaxed around the early morning beach walkers and joggers. The CHB three little chicklets are all doing beautifully as well. Leslie placed a double sided sign up by where this little family heads when the beach is crowded. Thank you so very much to Sally and Barbara for sharing tips and advice with Leslie!!

On Monday morning, Todd Pover, who is the senior wildlife biologist for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey visited us at Good Harbor Beach. We are so honored to have Todd come to GHB. We were hoping to have a visit earlier in the season and I was planning to have a group of us meet Todd. But as it goes, this was last minute however, Todd did get to meet Ambassadors Maggie and Kai!

Todd heads the CWFNJ beach nesting bird project and has been involved with nesting shorebirds for nearly thirty years. Todd also leads CWFNJ Bahamas PiPl wintering grounds initiative. Years ago, Todd had a dream to restore early successional habitat at New Jersey’s Barnegat Light, habitat ideal for nesting shorebirds. Please watch this video and see how Todd’s beautiful dream project came to fruition.

Todd has recently returned from a site visit to check on Chicago’s Monty and Rose PiPls and it was interesting to get his insights on our similarities/differences. As they are at Good Harbor Beach, battles between Killdeers and PiPls are a regular occurrence at Chicago’s Michigan Lake shorebird habitat. Todd loves our signs and especially our new badges (thanking Jonathan, Duncan, and Ducan, once again a million times over for the badges). We had a great meeting and I am just so sorry it was so brief. After checking at GHB, Todd was headed over to Parker River NWR and was possibly going to stop at Cape Hedge Beach. Many thanks to Todd for taking an interest in our Cape Ann Piping Plovers!

Todd, Maggie, Nancy beachgoer, and Charlotte

Here is an image of one of the birthday chicks grabbing a Mayfly for breakfast. When I googled Mayfly-Massachusetts-beach, hoping to id what species of Mayfly, the first thing that popped up is a website on how to kill them. It’s no wonder why insect species around the world are in sharp decline, and becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate.

Anglers love Mayflies, and so do Plovers!

Last day of the heat wave. Please take care everyone.
xoKim

Mayfly life cycle -from nymph to adult, a wide range of invertebrates and vertebrates consume Mayflies

HORSESHOE CRABS AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH! (AND SMITH’S COVE)

On Monday morning Good Harbor Beach daily walker, Bill, spotted a Horseshoe Crab at the shoreline. It was burrowing in the sand and heading out by the time I ran over to photograph. When I wrote about this briefly in a Piping Plover post, Tom Schaefer shared that he had recently seen a pair mating at Good Harbor Beach! And Martha Cooney wrote to say she and her brother had seen a Horseshoe Crab a Smiths Cove.

Horseshoe Crabs are seen at many of our local beaches and inlets but I think it is a fairly rare occurrence at GHB. If you have ever seen a Horseshoe Crab at Good Harbor Beach, please write and let us know. And we’d love to know also of any recent sightings around the north shore. Thank you!

Burrowing in

From Mass Audubon –

Horseshoe Crab Massachusetts Conservation Efforts

Horseshoe crabs have been crawling ashore in Massachusetts for about 350 million years, and they look the same now as they did when living side-by-side with dinosaurs.

In fact, horseshoe crabs are commonly referred to as “living fossils” because they are one of the most ancient creatures still living today.

The species that currently calls Massachusetts home is the Atlantic Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus). Unfortunately, the Commonwealth’s population of these incredible marine animals is in decline and facing increasing threats to their survival.

Species Overview


Horseshoe crabs are one of the most fascinating creatures in our oceans!

Unique Adaptations

They have excellent eyesight thanks to 5 pairs of eyes, and can see just as well at night as they can during the day. Horseshoe crabs also have a wide field of vision, which means they can see their surroundings in all directions—in front, behind, both sides, and above!

Photoreceptors on their tails are sensitive to circadian rhythms, enabling horseshoe crabs to “tell time” by tracking the hours of daylight. Large chemical receptors on their legs gather sensory input in much the same way as insect antennae.

Mating & Nesting

In spring, adult crabs make their way onto beaches during full moons to mate. Females usually only come ashore to nest for a single tide cycle each year. Males use their front clasping claws to physically attach themselves to their chosen mate, and they will stay attached for the entire tide cycle (or longer!). The female digs shallow nests about 5″-10″ deep in the sand, where she then lays 2-5 clusters that each consist of anywhere from 2,000-4,000 eggs.

Development takes 2-4 weeks, during which the eggs will molt four times before finally hatching. Once hatched, larvae remain in their clusters in the sand, not feeding, for several more weeks. They then molt into tiny, spiny juveniles and usually swim out to sea at the next moon cycle. Young crabs will spend anywhere from a few weeks to a full year near the beach where they hatched before heading out to new waters.

Conservation Status


In Massachusetts, horseshoe crabs are harvested to be used as bait for the eel and conch fisheries. Additionally, their blood is the only source of a chemical that’s used to test medical devices and injectable drugs for toxins. When harvested for medical use, the crabs are caught, bled, and then returned to the water.

Increased harvesting of these fascinating animals threatens their population. The problem has been compounded by closures of horseshoe crab fisheries in New Jersey, New York, and other neighboring states. As a result, there is increased harvest pressure on the dwindling populations of horseshoe crabs in Massachusetts waters.

It’s crucial that state managers have a robust estimate of the number of crabs in Massachusetts before they can set appropriate harvest quotas to ensure a sustainable fishery. As a first response, Massachusetts has reduced the annual quota for horseshoe crabs and prohibited harvests around full moons from late April through June.

Research & Ways to Help


Mass Audubon has been conducting long-term surveys of spawning horseshoe crabs on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard since 2001 in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island, the National Park Service, the MA Division of Marine Fisheries, and several other organizations and institutions.

At our Felix Neck and Wellfleet Bay wildlife sanctuaries, conservation staff work with trained community science volunteers in the spring and early summer to count adult horseshoe crabs spawning at several sites on and around the new and full moons at high tide.

The data collected during these surveys is submitted to the MA Division of Marine Fisheries, which uses the information to determine the best conservation and management practices for Massachusetts horseshoe crabs and the horseshoe crab fishery.

We invite you to join our efforts to help preserve these very special marine animals! Volunteers are needed every year during April, May, and June to count horseshoe crabs as they come onto beaches to spawn at high tide during the new and full moons.

Heading out to sea

 

PHOTOS FROM THE GLOUCESTER LOBSTER BOAT PROTEST PARADE

Cape Ann lobstermen and fishermen held a protest boat parade Wednesday afternoon. The parade was organized to show support for local lobstermen in light of the recent temporary closure of lobstering grounds and new requirements to purchase special gear. The grounds are closed until May 1st, possibly until May 15th, to prevent gear entanglements during the endangered Right Whale migration through Massachusetts waters.

Under overcast skies, the lobster boats gathered at Ten Pound Island and headed in the direction of the State Fish Pier. The parade circled the inner harbor several times to the cheering and honking of supporters lining the shore. After a good showing of lobster boats, fishing boats, and supporters, the parade ended under clearing skies.

Beautiful Fleet