Saturday, June 19, 2010


The weather was a real brow roaster, so we decided to stay along the shoreline, just look around and stay cool. Our first stop was Chatham lighthouse, Beach and Harbor. It was still early and the plien air painters were out in numbers, kind of fun to watch them.
This lighthouse is the sixth one on this point. The first and second ones were smashed in storms. The third and fourth ones were made of brick and the sand eroded around them until they were allowed to fall into the ocean. The fifth was a stationary light and replaced by this "cookie cutter" steel affair. It sits far enough back on the point to be safe. The double white light flashes every two seconds.
 The beach here stretched for miles in both directions. Shark and rip tide warnings kept the bathers to a minimum. A monument to several major disasters that took the lives of sailors stands here as does the propeller of the Coast Guard Lifeboat Chatham 36500 that rescued 32 men in 60 foot waves during a ferocious nor'easter in 1952. The tanker Pendleton broke in half. The little rescue boat was too small to make it. No one expected them to rescue anyone, or make it back if they did. All were wrong about the 36 foot lifeboat and its courageous crew, who did it without a compass and most of their rescue gear washed overboard. The crew received the gold medal for valor and the little boat is on the Historic Register. (Picture below.)
  The Chatham Harbor, further up the road, colorful and beautiful, also had its share of plien air painters.
If I painted I'd choose the cluster of boats below.
We moved on and explored a number of little inlets. We just followed roads like Old Wharf Rd, Cow Pasture Lane, Landing Road. Actually it was hard to find a right turn that didn't eventually lead to water.It was fun and we just poked around. Stopped at a couple of Thrift Stores and Antique places. Visited a cultural center and viewed some fantastic pastels, a juried show of real quality. Two that I liked: Sand Dune Light by Susan Hollis.
The following painting tickled me because I used to own one of those penguin ice buckets. Artist Karen Cotler.
We moved on to Nauset Beach where you pay a toll to swim. The sunbathers were out in numbers, few in the water, though.
The walkway up protects the dunes.
We tripped on to Rock Harbor.
Rock Harbor was a fascinating place. Its home to mostly deep sea fishing boats, with lanes that keep swimmers separate from boats, and incoming and out going boats apart. The lanes are planted trees with radar plates on them to assist navigation in the fog.
We talked to a guy who had a beautiful 1930 refurbished Ford. A friendly guy, he offered to take our picture in it, but I was slathered with sun screen and declined. He explained what bad shape it was in before he had it done. He looked at the Bronco when Jim offered to trade, and he said, "Maybe..."  for the right price was implied.  The Bronco is a 1986.
Our parting shot was this buoy covered building.
Then we went to eat at Cookes in Orleans, voted by islanders as the best fried clams and lobster roll on Cape Cod. We ended up eating the seafood platter with fried clams, shrimp, scallops and cod. Delicious? You bet! This fried food is gonna kill me, though.

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