I love to go to Wellfleet Harbor and just sit there and relax on one of the many benches on the beach. It is so pretty as you look across the harbor, past the rock jetty, at Jeremy Point way in the distance. At really low tide you might even be able to see Billingsgate Island, off of Jeremy Point.
“Billingsgate Island was originally settled as a fishing and whaling community. Local historians sometimes call it the Atlantis of Cape Cod. At its height in the early 19th century there were over thirty homes on Billingsgate Island; later it even had its own baseball team. The first lighthouse was built in 1822. After an 1855 storm divided the island in half, a second lighthouse was built on higher ground in 1858. The new structure was made of brick with a granite foundation; the foundation stones and a scattering of bricks can still be found on the shoal.
The island continued to erode away with heavy flooding of the tower itself in 1873, 1875, and 1882. The lighthouse keeper died in the flooding of 1875. More than 1000 feet of sea wall was built in 1888 to protect the lighthouse, but erosion continued at a fast pace. Early in the 20th century the last families moved off Billingsgate, leaving only the lighthouse keeper and a man who guarded the shellfish beds. Many of the houses on the island were floated across the harbor to Wellfleet on rafts to prevent their loss. (Some are still standing and are known locally as Billingsgate cottages.) The 1858 lighthouse was abandoned in 1915 and destroyed by a storm in December of the same year. The last light tower was torn down in 1922.”
Phil and I kayaked out there a few years ago. What an experience… to think that so many families used to live on this island that now only can be seen at low tide.
Rock Harbor has two launch areas where you can put your boats in, one on the Orleans side and one on the Eastham side. This photograph is looking across the harbor from Orleans to the Harbor Master’s house and launch ramp in Eastham. Pretty soon the place will be busy!
So pretty, don’t you think?
It has been so windy here on Cape Cod that I thought it would be interesting to write a blog about the Beaufort Wind Scale. “The Beaufort Scale is a scale for measuring wind speeds. It is based on observation rather than accurate measurement. It is the most widely used system to measure wind speed today. The scale was developed in 1805 by Francis Beaufort, an officer of the Royal Navy and first officially used by HMS Beagle.” (There are additional photos at the end of the blog.)
We always look at the wind conditions before we launch our kayaks or go out on the water. You don’t want to be surprised by increasing winds and higher waves where you may have a hard time getting back in. It is also relevant in case of storms or if you live in the woods as we do and there might be the possibility of trees being knocked down.
You can see by this photograph of the flag waving in the wind that the wind is about 20-24 mph. Seeing the flag frayed a bit means that the winds were probably closer to 39-46 mph, which is what we’ve had in the past few days.
I thought this next chart said it all in pictures.
Very informative, don’t you think? Have you ever used the Beaufort Scale?
It was a perfect fall day to go kayaking at Nauset Marsh, part of the National Seashore. I loved the coloring with the sun on the tandem kayak and the deep blue water of the saltmarsh. You can see Nauset Spit in the background.
Pretty, don’t you think?
It was another picture-perfect day for kayaking the Nauset Marsh out to Nauset Spit. We launched from Goose Hummock, so it was a nice long paddle. And yes, we did see a few seals along the way.
We remembered our folding seats that fit in the hatch, so that was a big treat at lunchtime. Just sit down, relax and enjoy those last days of summer.
It doesn’t get much prettier!
Yesterday was the perfect day to kayak Nauset Marsh…or any place… on Cape Cod. The weather was perfect… sunny and warm and hardly a ripple on the water.
We launched from Hemenway Landing on Nauset Marsh and were able to paddle out to Nauset Spit the “back way” by Coast Guard Station because it was high tide. At low tide, you cannot get through with all of the sandbars. The water is way too low, even for a kayak.
It was beautiful and we saw lots of different shore birds from Egrets and Great Blue Herons and Cormorants and Sanderlings and Yellowlegs and more. As we neared Nauset Spit we could see some heads bobbing in the water and then a quick splash and a dive under. Yes, the seals were swimming in Nauset Marsh near Nauset Spit. Hopefully the Great Whites won’t follow them in…
An awesome time to get lost in the beauty of Nauset Marsh and everything it has to offer!