It was a lazy morning with no rush to get anywhere. The day started out with gray skies and 61 degrees. The ground drained well and dried out after the rains yesterday. We left the campground at 10:30 for Gloucester. Our plan was to take the secondary roads east to the coast along the Essex Coastal Scenic Highway.
We drove through the small towns of Amesbury, Salisbury, and Newburyport after crossing the Essex River.
Farther down the road, we passed through Newbury, Rowley, Ipswich, and Essex. The majority of houses in these little towns are of the “colonial style”, two story, saltbox homes. We are amazed at how beautiful and well-taken care of they are. Many have the historical plaque on the front of the home telling when the house was built. The majority are from the 1800’s. There is a lot of history in these little towns.
Finally, we arrived in Gloucester–America’s oldest seaport.
Gloucester was on Bob’s list of places to see. He also wanted to stop in Ipswich which is known for its clams. We both love these old seaport towns. In Gloucester, the roads are narrow and winding on streets that are more like alleyways. We headed down to the water and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Here we saw the sign for the Wicked Tuna store. Wicked Tuna is a TV show that showcases boats that go out and fish for 500 lb. bluefin tuna from Gloucester.
We continued to drive around the waterfront and check out the wharves and the boats moored there.
These people were searching the beach for sea treasures. Low tide was coming up at 1:40 today and high tide was at 8 PM tonight. The tide was definitely out!
I love these colorful lobster trap buoys. They make such a pretty picture.
The day continued to have gray skies and at times it misted light rain. We could see the fog bank further out in the Atlantic Ocean and at times it would drift in closer to the shore.
We followed Atlantic Road that took us north along the coastline of Cape Ann which was settled in 1630. From the road, we could see huge mansions built at the water’s edge and high on the rocky cliffs.
The coastline was rugged and rocky–unforgiving–from a boater’s standpoint.
From that spot, I could see at least 4 lighthouses placed in strategic locations to help with navigation. The Twin Lighthouses of Thatcher Island are 162 and 166 ft. tall, about 300 yards apart, and were built in 1771. They were the first to mark a ledge or dangerous spot rather than a harbor entrance. They were erected on a perfect north/south axis, which enabled fishermen to line up the lights to determine true north. They earned the nickname “Ann’s Eyes”. They were the last lighthouses built under British rule in the colonies.
This Dog Bar Breakwater Lighthouse marks the Dog Bar Reef. It was established in 1832 and built on a breakwater that extends 2,250 ft. from the shore across the entrance to the harbor. At the end of the breakwater, a small wood-framed house and small tower were built atop a skeletal structure which houses the fog bell. The lighthouse stands beside it.
This is the Eastern Point Lighthouse–a 36 ft. cylindrical brick tower that was built in 1832 and serves as a guide to ships entering the Gloucester harbor.
This is the Ten Pound Island Light located on Ten Pound Island, near the eastern end of the harbor. It was built in 1881 and is 30 ft. tall. It is a conical cast iron structure built to replace a stone tower built on the site in 1821.
We drove along the Gloucester Harbor Walk in Western Harbor where the Fisherman’s Memorial stands.
These houses sat across the street from the Harbor Walk in Western Harbor.
From the Western Harbor we could see this huge mansion on the cliff in the distance.
We stopped at the Gloucester Visitor’s Center at Stage Fort Park to check out this huge boulder sitting on the land. There was a huge copper plaque on it saying that the Massachusett’s Bay Colony was founded in 1623 on this site.
These decorative lighthouses in Stage Fort Park frame the city of Gloucester in the background.
There was a sandy beach below the cliffs of the park that was surrounded by boulders. I was standing right above the beach to take this picture.
We enjoyed our visit to Gloucester, but it was time to head back. I had wanted to go whale watching while in Gloucester, but it wasn’t meant to be. With the fog in the morning and today’s wind/wave forecast, the conditions were not the best. It’s not like I haven’t seen whales before, but any opportunity I get to see whales I want to take it. I was disappointed, but hope to do it again at some point in time.
We drove back to Ipswich to enjoy some clams at the Clam Box around 1:30. Ipswich is a coastal town that is famous for its clams. It was settled in 1633 and founded by one of the original founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
We ordered clam strips at this cute little place. It had rave reviews and the clam strips were delicious.
On the way back from Ipswich, we stopped at the Waterfront Park in Newburyport. They had a beautiful waterfront and lots of boats in the harbor there.
We could see many boats that were moored in the Merrimack River in Newburyport.
We got back to the campground around 3:00. Auggie was glad to see us. The temperature never rose above 62 degrees all day, so I changed my clothes and took him for a walk. We weren’t really hungry for dinner, so we ate the leftover sloppy joes from yesterday. We are moving on tomorrow to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, another coastal seaport town. It is also on our list of “must see” places.