Cape May, NJ

Cape May is a seaside resort at the southern tip of New Jersey.  It is known for its grand Victorian houses, many of which now appear to have been converted to inns or B&Bs.  The style and intricate paint details are beautiful.

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Of course, they also have beautiful beaches and a lighthouse!!!  A real full-size lighthouse not the short stubbys of New England.  I loved the beauty of the New England lights, just not what we are used to.

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At Sunset Beach there is a shipwreck just off shore.  It is the SS Atlantus, not a spectacular shipwreck, but I mention because it was a concrete ship???  Sounds counterproductive to build a ship out of concrete, but 12 were built by the Liberty Ship Building Company in Brunswick Georgia during and after WWI.  It was retired after just two years in service and in 1926 it was towed here to be used as a ferry dock.  That same year a storm hit and the ship broke free and ran aground 150 ft off shore.  Unsuccessful attempts were made to free it, but here it still sits.

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West Cape May is also home of the Lima Bean Festival a one-day event held to celebrate the local lima bean harvest.  Limas are no longer the big bumper crop in the area, but they are truly celebrated on this day.  Amazing what you can make out of limas, but unfortunately, they did not have any fresh beans for sale, we did score a couple pounds of frozen beans.

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Just a couple of miles up the coast from beautiful and quaint Cape May is Wildwood.  Wildwood has your typical Jersey Shore boardwalk with lots of rides and arcades.  I can only imagine the summer fun, but this time of year it is more like a ghost town!!

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We left Cape May on the ferry to Lewes, DE.  The Wanderlodge’s first ferry ride with us.  Bet you couldn’t see thru the middle as easily on our voyage.  Put us right down the middle straddling both lanes!!!

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Peace and Love from New Jersey!!!

Nantucket, MA

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Nantucket is a small island about 30 miles off the southern shore of Cape Cod.  It has a year around population of a little over 10,000.  We visited via ferry from Hyannis, MA, in the Hyannis harbor we saw this Carolina Skiff.  There are everywhere remember the one in Sorrento Italy in the Bay of Naples.

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Nantucket is a summer tourist destination, with a long history including whaling.  Although Herman Melville’s Moby Dick mentions Nantucket and his main characters Ahab and Starbuck were both from Nantucket, he only visited after completion of the book.  Many famous people lived or visited Nantucket over the years including Rowland Hussey Macy the founder of Macy’s department stores.  His first store was on the island.

We took a van tour that was very interesting.  If the tour guide is believed and I have no reason not to believe her, in the 1970s you could have purchased a house on Nantucket for around $25,000 now the average selling price is $2.5 million, of course some are larger and nicer than others, but that would be quite a return on investment.

The main downtown area is full of restaurants and high-end boutiques but also has a very well thought of whaling museum.  The original cobblestone streets are still in place, and are very uncomfortable to ride on.

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There is one store that was pointed out with “bullseye” glass panes.  These were from before they used machine made glass for windows.  When the glass was made it was blown into a hallow globe and flattened by reheating it and spinning it out into a flat disk, then cut to size.

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Siasconset area of Nantucket is well known for its rose covered cottages.  They have trellises’ up the walls and on to the roofs.  Would have loved to be there while the roses were in bloom.  We have seen wild roses everywhere this summer most with large rose hips.  Many of the rose bushes in Siasconest had already been cut back for the winter, but you can see the trellises where they grew.

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This house known as “Auld Lang Syne” is believed to date from the 1670.  The house is original, but has been moved several times from the original location.  This is also in Siasconset area.

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Other pictures, what a beautiful island.

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Peace and love

Cape Cod – Lighthouses

Cape Cod has its share of lighthouses and like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in NC many of Cape Cod’s have been moved due to severe erosion.  Many places on the shore are eroding at an average of 3 feet per year and have high bluffs/cliffs on the shore line making access difficult.  Since Hailey and Michael were not available to repel down the cliffs, I did not get pictures of the cliffs on the shore.  But this picture is an example of the high bluffs and the reason for moving some lighthouses.

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Sankaty Head Lighthouse is on Nantucket Island, and was moved from where the benches in the foreground are to its current location.  The approximate 400 ft move was in 2007.   To me it still appears close to the bluff, seems that with the expense and effort to move it they would have moved it further??

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Brant Point Light is also on Nantucket and guards the main bay where the ferries and most other visitors land.

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The Highland light, which was a short walk from our campground was also moved just 450 ft and we were fortunately enough to visit the light with the surveyor who assisted with the move.  This light was built in 1857, replacing two former towers that had been built in 1797 and 1831.  Guess they decided it was easier to move than rebuild??  It is currently the oldest and tallest lighthouse on Cape Cod.

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Nauset Light, aka as the Cape Cod Potato Chip lighthouse – see the package.  This light also replaced several others that were either moved or destroyed due to erosion.  Originally there were three towers with lights at this point, they were replaced by three wooden towers known as the three sisters which have since been moved up the street.

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The Nauset light originally flashed three white lights every 10.5 seconds, representative of the original three light structures.  Currently it flashes red and white.

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The Nauset light is also the place where in November of 1879 the last thread of the 3,000 mile transatlantic telegraph cable was delivered from France.  This made it possible for communication from Europe to the US within minutes not weeks.

We also visited the Chatham light.

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And the Race Point Light.

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Race Point is on the very tip of Cape Cod near Province town.  We took a nice walk on this point and although there were more rocks than shells, we did notice lots of cinderella slipper shells alive and attached to each other, rocks and other objects.  Also this live jingle shell.  Love the beach.

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Peace and Love


Harbor Seals, Cape Cod

I think seals are cute and really wanted to see some.  To the Cape Codders seals are a nuisance, they attract sharks, rob fishermen of their catch and are basically considered trouble makers.  You may have heard about the first (in many years) fatal shark attack on Cape Cod this summer.  That attach occurred near Nauset Beach where we saw our first seals playing in the surf.  We enjoyed watching the kite surfers and seals, but seal pictures did not turnout so great.

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Guaranteed seal viewing was at Fish Pier in Chatham.  Here fishing boats unload their catch and from what we saw some actually feed scraps to the seals???  These seals were begging for scraps from the fishermen.  In my opinion this is not good if you don’t want to attract more seals, but on the other hand the fishermen gave us 8 large beautiful Fluke fillets – Flounder.  All fluke are flounders, but not all flounders are fluke, either way they have been delicious!!!

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Peace and Love

Cape Cod – Cranberry Bog

We also got a tour of a cranberry bog.  They did not flood the bog, but described the processes involved in raising organic cranberries.  The most interesting thing we learned is that bogs must be sanded annually.  Putting a layer of sand over the peat and other organic matter for the berry vines to grow in.  So, if weather works correctly for them, they flood the bogs in January/February so that they freeze solid.  That way they are able to drive over the frozen bogs with equipment spreading a thin layer of sand.  If not cold enough to freeze, the sand has to be distributed manually.

Another interesting thing is that they harvest the berries twice.  The first harvest is a dry harvest where they basically rake the vines and collect the berries with specialized equipment.  A couple of weeks later they flood the bogs to gather the remaining berries.  The remaining berries float and are corralled before being sucked up with hoses.  Only dry harvested berries are sold fresh, once the berries are wet they are only eligible for processing.

All in all, we learned that it is very hard work – NOT our next careers.  These are some animals from the cranberry farm.

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Peace and Love

Cape Cod, Mass

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Cape Cod is the hooked shaped peninsula off the southern coast of Massachusetts.  It is where the Pilgrims initially landed before sailing on to Plymouth.  They stayed on Cape Cod for around 5 weeks but the lack of fresh water convinced them to move on.

Cape Cod has some similarities to other capes on the east coast including a large and dangerous shoal bank off the point and continuous erosion they say three feet a year on average.  The shoals have proven to be very dangerous to shipping and recreational users for centuries.  As a protection method they created the Cape Cod Canal which connects Cape Cod Bay to the north and Buzzards Bay to the south basically making Cape Cod an island.

The Cape is a summer destination with miles of sandy shores on the oceanside as well as on the bay side.  It is known for quaint small villages, seafood, lighthouses, ponds/bays and the National Seashore.  We visited with a group of Bluebirders for a rally, there were 20 coaches in our group and we enjoyed the fellowship as well as some nice excursions.

A large portion of Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS) near Provincetown is made up of large sand dunes.  There is a trail thru the dunes that is open to the public and of course the shore is open but hard to access.  The trail is about 1.5 miles each way thru deep beach sand.  There are about 2,000 acres of these dunes and only the park rangers and one company are allowed to drive there.  We took a dune ride which was very informative and interesting.  There are also several “dune shacks” which were privately owned and occupied until recently.  Now if you want and if you win a lottery you can stay in one of the shacks for a week or more…

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Peace and Love