Six schooners sailed about Gloucester Harbor Sunday morning. Oh how we all missed this year’s Schooner Festival! But it was glorious to see these sailing beauties out in the harbor together at the same time. I was at Niles Beach Sunday morning and raced home to get my camera. The parade was coming to an end by the time I returned, but how lucky to catch a glimpse of Cape Ann Schooners Redbird, Thomas E. Lannon, and Ardelle lined up.
These beautiful baskets are donated by the Schooner Festival Committee and include not only fresh fruit, but freshly baked bread from Virgilios and handmade chocolates from Turtle Alley. The Ramsey’s deliver each basket, via boat, to every participating schooner on Friday afternoon. It’s no wonder schooners from around the globe love to come to Gloucester.
Brett Ramsey readying to deliver schooner welcome baskets (Ellen Ramsey adds this is a 1967 Chevy truck, in case any one was wondering).
While at Gloucester Maritime during the Schooner Festival Maritime Heritage Day I learned that Massachusetts has a state sea shell! We have a state bird, the Black-capped Chickadee; a state flower, the Mayflower (Epigaea repens); a state tree, the American Elm (Ulmus americana); we’ll soon be voting on a state butterfly, and how exciting to learn from a member of the Boston Malacological Club that our state flower is the New England Neptune (Neptunea lyrata domcemcostata).
The shell is found from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland to North Carolina. According to the BMC, the shell is rarely found on beaches but is commonly taken in lobster traps. Next time when beach combing I’ll be on the lookout and am wondering if any of our Cape Ann lobstermen find them in their traps. Please write if you do. And if you have any spare shells to share, that would be wonderful 🙂
Neptunea lyrata has many common names including wrinkled whelk, ribbed Neptune, inflated whelk, and lyre whelk. The New England Neptune is a marine gastropod mollusk, a type of large sea snail.
The BMC is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer group, whose charter is to promote the study of land, freshwater, and marine mollusks, related creatures and their environments. The BMC participates in basic research (through local field trips), welcomes guests to its monthly meetings, and sponsors educational programs such as shell shows. In 2005, the Club donated $10,000 to malacological research through the grants program of the Conchologists of America.
Photos from the Schooner Festival Mayor’s Reception held Friday night on the grounds of the Coast Guard station. After the reception guests headed over to the Maritime Gloucester gala, An Evening Under the Spars, this year held at the Beauport Hotel. The gala sold out early and was a grand success. Proceeds from this event directly support Maritime Gloucester’s Ocean Explorers program and educational marine science outreach to all Cape Ann public schools.