Friday, 19 July 2013

Profit For A Hillbilly's Soul

"If wishes were horses,
Beggars would ride."

And I~ I would live by the seaside. I would not wish for white sand beaches, aquamarine seas, or endless sunny days. Instead in this wonder world of dreams Gloucester would miraculously become apart of my beloved New Hampshire and here we would dwell, for it is this sea town that has captured my heart. The first day I met her all those years ago, it was love at first sight.
A working town since the 1620's she does not put on a show or any pretense of grand illusion. And I love her for it. It is here that my senses are filled with life, history, and the working of a harbor.

The cry of gulls.
The creak and groan of boats that tug and pull at their moorings, impatient for the sea.
Small and cramped roads leading to wharfs and fish markets.
The mossy, decaying wooden pilings.
Men who spend their working hours in chest waders and rubber boots.
Old building,
precariously cling to life and shore,
just a little bit longer ~ 
they wish to see the tide turn and the next generation of fishermen go out to sea.
And all this delights me.
Heart and Soul.


The "Arethusa" hauling in her lobster pots, her buoys red and white, mark the hope of her livelihood.

The gulls stand sentry duty on the sea-side,
of the half mile long breakwater.


In this wonderland the boat traffic has
equal preference to the motor vehicles. The drawbridge is allowing the "Jaylee" to pass through from the harbor into the canal that connects the Annisquam River to the Atlantic.

I wonder to what enchanted land this gate opens to and I envision along with Austin Dobson that ~

"Here in this sequestered close

Bloom the hyacinth and the rose;
Here beside the modest stock
Flaunts the flaring hollyhock;
Here, as everywhere, one sees,
Ranks, conditions, and degrees.
All the seasons run their race

In this quiet resting place." 

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters: These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Psalm107. 23-24

He keeps an eternal vigil at his harbor, a memory of those who gave it all for the love of the sea. Their 5,368 names engraved stand before him. Almost 400 years of memories he faithfully protects.

The Stellwagen Bank

Where you really gain an interest and profit for your soul
The curvature of the earth gives the illusion that we could sail ever on ward in this blue, black sea until we finally met the heavens. All around us there is only waves that incessantly move toward shore, they lift the "Miss Cape Ann" as they pass under her bow then continue their journey that never ends. We stand as far forward as we can, letting the wind, salt, and sun cover us completely.

We travel 25 miles out from the Gloucester Harbor until we are on the south end of Stellwagen Bank. It is 842 square miles of rich and fertile feeding grounds that form a plateau, at about only 100' deep it brings life in abundance as the colder, deeper waters that surround it bring up to its surface nourishment for all those that spend time there.
Thar She Blows


There are 2500 Humpback cataloged by name in the Gulf of Maine. They are identified as individuals by the white markings on their tails, each one is unique as our finger prints. Nile also has a very distinctive hook on her dorsal fin giving her additional identification. Her mother was named Mars. Nile has given birth to 4 calves and as her life expectancy is 70 -80 years there is great hope she will have a few more. The whales really do eat a ton of food per day and usually live in a pod ( I don't know why she was alone). I am amazed that there is that much life for them all. God' good earth, as old and tired as it is, is still so full of wonder and charm. The humpbacks go back and forth between the north and the tropics every year. They do not eat the whole time they are gone from the rich and fertile North Atlantic. The tropics is their nursery but does not have enough food to sustain them. 

I apologize that the photo is not so good, but this is Nile's identification.Whales