Category Archives: beach

Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival (Revere Beach, Revere, MA)

Dates Of Event: July 26-28, 2019 (the event is usually held annually during the last weekend of July)

Location: Revere Beach, Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, MA (about 20 minutes northeast of Boston, MA, or 1 hour and 15 minutes southeast of Concord, NH)

Cost: Free

Parking: Since they close the streets for the event parking is limited. Parking is available at the Wonderland train stop. You may also find street parking on a side street.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: sand sculptures

Website: Revere Beach Sand Sculpture Festival

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The early bird gets the unobstructed sand sculpture photos. Or, at least so I thought.

The last Sunday of July, I decided to wake up early and photograph the sand sculptures from the annual Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach. There was one slight problem. Everyone else north of Boston had the same idea. The streets and sidewalks at the beach were already slightly clogged with revelers, sun seekers and photogs by the time I arrived “early” at 6 a.m. But, with some effort, I was still able to get a few shots without people, workers or other objects in the background of most of my shots.

The annual sand sculpting event included 15 sand sculptors from all over the world. Awards were given to the top five sculptures that were judged by a panel of experts. There were also a “People’s Choice” award the visitors were able to vote for and a “Sculptor’s Choice” award the sculptors all voted for.

Then, there were 8 additional sand sculptures which did not win a prize but are no less impressive.

So, instead of a big, dramatic countdown, let’s start from the top of the list!

First place went to Canadian artist Melineige Beauregard for her sculpture, “The Nest.” Melineige also works with snow and ice to make sculptures during the colder seasons.

The first runner up in the contest was “Shell(ter)” by Jonathan (JOBI) Bouchard from Canada.

Third place went to Ilya Filimontsev from Russia for his sculpture “Guardian Angels.”

Fourth place went to Abe Waterman of Canada for his sculpture “I Just Can’t Bring Myself To Care, Doctor: An Ode To Apathy.”

Dan Belcher from Missouri came in fifth place with his sculpture “Trance.” Dan has been creating sand sculptures around the world since 1990.

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The Sculptor’s Choice Award which was voted on by all of the sand sculptors was awarded to David Mac from Belgium for his work “La Renaissance De Notre Dame.”

The People’s Choice Award was awarded to Sudarsan Pattnaik from India for his sculpture “Save Our Ocean Stop Plastic Pollution.

Although only five of the sculptures won a prize, they were worthy of our praise. One of my favorites from the festival was “Eye Of The Tiger” by Sue McGrew of Washington state. She has been sculpting sand for over a decade.

“Attempting Union” by Morgan Rudluff from Santa Cruz, California was another popular sculpture at the event.

Fergus Mulvany of Dublin, Ireland, created another fan favorite called “Deep Sleep Diving.”

“Dream About Flight” by Aleksei Rybak from Russia is another sculpture that failed to qualify for one of the top spots in the competition.

“Mama Look !! I Found My Teddy!” by Deb Barrett Cutulle was popular sculpture despite not placing in the top of the competition.

“Horsepower” by Maxim Gazendam was another sculpture that failed to place in the top five.

“The Birth Of A New Universe” by Pavel Mylnikov from Russia was another sculpture that failed to make the cut.

Last, but certainly not least, is “Lady Moon” by Benoit Dutherage From France.

The theme of this year’s sand sculpture festival was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. And many of the sculptures from the To commemorate this monumental achievement, the main sand sculpture included sculptures of the astronauts involved in the voyage. Each of the sculptors contributed to these sculptures.

You have to be careful photographing the sunset, especially when you’re photographing it with other objects. For instance, I chose to use a lower aperture (5.6 for most of the photos) which left the sculptures often a bit dark. I also noticed that when I did edit the photos, I had to be careful to not use too much brightness or contrast or other buttons to control the darkness of the sculptures, especially the faces of the sculptures, because it can blow out the colors of the sunset. So, I chose to keep the sculptures a little dark and close up on the key features like faces to capture them without worrying about the background.

You can also try photographing from different angles where the shadows won’t be as bad. I was trying to avoid taking photos with people or other objects in the background. So it was hard to get photos of the sculptures from certain angles without getting people in the background and it also limited the angles I could shoot from. There were a lot of people there despite the early time of the shoot!

Since it’s unlikely the sand sculptures are going to move (and if the do leave immediately!), you can use AV (or Aperture Priority) mode so you can concentrate solely on the aperture settings. I have been using manual mode exclusively with my photos. But it took me a long time to get there. So, I do suggest using aperture priority mode if you’re not comfortable using full manual mode unless you’re photographing things that have action or some other element that requires a fast or variable shutter speed.


Independence Park (Beverly, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 14, 2018

Location: 33 Lothrop St, Beverly, MA (about 30 minutes northeast of Boston, MA)

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Parking: On street parking is available but limited. I did not see a parking lot at or near the beach.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, certain areas are handicapped accessible. The beach is accessible through a paved walkway to the right of the beach.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic, boating and other water activities, historical memorials, fishing, wildlife

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History, beauty and recreation await you at Independence Park.

The picturesque park offers scenic views and benches to sit.

Although the bench and path at the park are pretty and provide beautiful views, they do not lead to the beach.

 

I don’t usually take artistic license with the photos I take. But as I was editing this photo, I noticed how the red really stood out in the boat at the front of the group of boats.

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Although it may be possible to get to the beach from the path by the benches, a fence and rocky area prevent easy access to the beach.

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There are entrances to beach are a short jaunt to the right and left of the monuments at the park. And, to the right of the park is a paved walkway to the beach.

The beach offers beautiful views, a clean beach area and a jetty to fish off. Rumor has it striped bass (“stripers”) are abundant in the area.

 

There are a lot of birds and other wildlife at the beach.

 

The beach is a popular spot for paddle boarders, surfers and boaters.

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If you’re in the area and you want to try paddle boarding, kayaking or even winter paddling or snow shoeing during the winter, try Coast To Coast Paddle. Aaron, seen in the photo below, was getting ready to take a few paddlers out while I was taking photographs.

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As the name would suggest, Independence Park is more than just a haven for sun seekers and paddle boarders. It also has a rich history.

One of the plaques at the park states that in 1775 the first authorized armed ship, The Hanna, set sail in those waters to capture British vessels. Just standing in an area that played such a pivotal role in our history is pretty freegin cool when you think about it.

There are also cannons, monuments and flags on the grounds of the park.

 

The park is dog friendly and there were quite a few dogs at the beach while I was there.

Below are just a few of the cute dogs I saw during my visit.

Koa (on the left) is a 3 month old mixed breed dog. Frank (on the right) is a Golden Retriever.

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Polly is a 13 year old mixed breed dog.

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Willow is a 4 month old Englisg Cream Golden Retriever.

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(Oliver) Twist is a 5 year old Schnauzer Cairn Terrier mix (aka Carnauzer).

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Poppy is a Greyhound.

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Jade is an 8 year old mixed breed dog.

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Great Island Common (New Castle, NH)

Date Of Visit: September 23, 2017

Location: 301 Wentworth Rd. (Route 1B), New Castle, NH,  (1 hour northeast of Boston, MA, 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Cost:

New Castle Residents:
– No admission charge if vehicle has current resident sticker.
– Residents may invite up to 25 guests at no charge – Over 25 guests, admission fees apply.
– Resident must be present for all guests.
Non-Residents:
– Admission charged from May to the end of September.
General Admission Fees
– Individuals:
0-5 yrs old free
6 to 65 years old $4.00
65 and older $2.00
Handicapped $1.00

Parking: There are about 50 or more parking spots available in the parking area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes, seasonally (pets are not allowed in the park or on the beach from May 15 to September 15)

Website: Great Island Common

Highlights: lighthouses, beach, places to grill, pavilions

Tips:

  • When you enter the park, you must turn right.  The parking area is at the end of the circular paved road
  • If you want to use a pavilion, you may have to call ahead and reserve the area

 

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No other name than Great Common Island may be more apt for this park.  Except it’s not really an island.  But, it is great.

The park, with attached beach, sits on the shore of New Castle ( a small town of 968 according to their 2010 census) just outside of Portsmouth, NH).  The park and beach area are only 32 acres.  But what it lacks in area it makes up for in beauty and charm.

The park offers some great views of the water.  It is a good place to watch the waves crash against the rocks, although the waves weren’t too strong during my visit.

Great Island Common is popular with fishing enthusiasts, boaters and the occasional bird.

You can view two lighthouses from Great Island Common.

Whaleback Lighthouse was established in 1830.  The granite lighthouse that stands there now was built in 1872 and it was automated in 1963.

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Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, just down the road from the park, is also visible from Great Island Common.  During the summer, there are open houses at the lighthouse on Sundays from mid May to late October from 1-5.  Since I was visiting on a Saturday I was not able to attend the open house.  Next to the lighthouse (to the left of the lighthouse in the photo above) is Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and Fort Constitution.  In the distance, past the lighthouse, you can see the foliage has just started to begin.

Wood Island Life Saving Station in Kittery, Maine, is also visible from the park. In 1827, Wood Island was given to the federal government so the U.S. Navy could build barracks.  However, it would eventually be used to quarantine Spanish-American War prisoners who had Yellow Fever.  It is presently not in use.

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One of the biggest attractions at the park is a sculpture of a painter by an easel working on the scenic skyline.

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Pretty good painting of me.  It looks so life-like.

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Great Island Common is not just a park.  A beach is also attached to the park.

The park is spacious for kids to play in with lots of big trees for shade.

Erected in 1984, the memorial honors all of the people of New Castle who have served the country in all wars and conflicts.  Two benches sit next to the memorial, one on each side of it.

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Great Island Common is dog friendly except from May 15 to September 15.  Luckily, I was able to visit the week after ban ended.  It was a picture perfect day with a calm breeze.  So, it was a great day to bring your dog out!

Miley is a 8 year old Yorkie Poodle.

Tuck is a 6 month Cocka Poo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle mix)

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Remy (on the left) is a 10 year old Puggle and Phoebe (On the right) is a 1 and a half year old Puggle.

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Jaelo (pronounced “J Lo”)is a 10 year old Puggle.

Below is a video by the shore of Great Island Common.

Posted below is a drone video of the Great Island Common area on Paul Moore’s YouTube page

 


Marginal Way (Oguinquit, ME)

 

Date Of Visit: August 26, 2017

Location: Shore Rd, Ogunquit, ME  (2 hours and 45 minutes south of Bangor, ME and 1 hour and 15 minutes northeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking lots in the area and limited street parking is also available.  I parked at a lot on School St which is directly across from the entrance to Marginal Way.  The lots usually charge by the hour.  Below is a link to the municipal parking lots in the area:

Parking Lots Near Marginal Way

Distance/Difficulty: 1.25 miles (2.5 miles round trip)/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, although some areas are narrow, it is handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes, but only during certain times of the year.  Dogs are permitted on the Marginal Way from October 1st to March 31st

Fitbit Stats: 2,5 miles, 4,768 steps, 752 calories

Highlights: scenic views, easy path, steps on the trail that lead to the beach

Website: Marginal Way Preservation Fund

Trail Maps: Marginal Way Trail Maps

Tips:

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Located Marginal Walk is anything but.  With its scenic views along the rocky coastline, access to Ogunquit Beach and pretty flowers and trees, Marginal Way is  a must see for anyone residing in or visiting Maine.

From the beginning of the walk, Marginal Way serves up some pretty views and a wide spectrum of colorful flowers.  The flowers from Sparhawk, the hotel located next to the entrance.

There are some stunning views along the way.

The path along the walk is generally wide with some narrow areas.  Most of the path is paved and I did see people with strollers.  There is also a bridge that is wide enough for two traffic and also seems to be handicapped accessible.

One of the unique things about this cliff walk is that you can walk down to the beach.  I noticed a few surfers ( I wish I learned how to surf in my younger days – maybe next year!)and sun seekers enjoying this part of the beach.  The rocks on the beach gave the beach a more natural feel.  There are also a few sandbars which allow you to walk out pretty far in the water.

Perhaps the best part of the walk, or at least the most rewarding part, is Perkins Cove at the end of the walk.  There  are a few eateries, several shops and a bridge.  The arts and crafts shops, coffee shop and candy store (which I highly recommend) give the area a quaint feel.

Sadly, dogs were not allowed on Marginal Way during my visit since they are only allowed on the walk during the fall and winter seasons.  But, I did see lots of dogs on the way to my car and at the end of the walk.

Gus, a 5 year old English Bulldog, was dressed to the nines for his photo shoot.

Landon, a 7 year old mixed hound retriever, showed me his pearly whites.

Below are some videos from my walk.  Just listening to the surf is so soothing.

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Babbs Beach (West Suffield, CT)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2017

Location: 435 Babbs Rd, West Suffield, CT

Cost: Free (but it may soon cost $20 for non residents – see below)

Hours: open daily from sunrise to sunset

Parking:  There is designated handicapped parking closer to the beach

Dog Friendly: No

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: beach, volleyball net, scenic, boating, concerts

Website: Babb’s Beach

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The former site of a small amusement park (Babb’s Beach Amusement Park), Babb’s Beach is a small, hidden beach located along the Congamond Lakes in Suffield, CT.

What Babb’s Beach lacks in size it makes up for in charm.

Parking was available on the grass in front of the beach when I went to visit.  But, only a week later, a sign was posted indicating it would cost non-Suffield residents $20 for the first vehicle and $5 for each additional vehicle  in each party to visit.  One of the reasons for this is the mess that was left behind by 4th of July visitors (present company excluded).  There are also about half a dozen handicapped parking spaces right along the entrance to the beach with handicapped accessible comfort stations.

There is a short, scenic walk from the main parking area to the beach head.

The beach is just as popular for the boating and other water activities as it is for the sunbathing and beach games (there is a volleyball net at the beach).

The beach is not very big (7 acres) and I could see how it may get overpopulated on busy summer days.  But, due to its somewhat hidden location and, surely, because of the additional fee they have just implemented, it will most likely remain the hidden treasure it was during my visit.

Today’s featured link is the Babb’s Rink Restoration Project.  Years ago, the Babb’s Roller Rink, located about a mile from the beach, was shut down.  They are now trying to raise money and awareness about the project to renovate and re-open the rink.

 

 

 

 

 


17th Annual Hampton Beach Master Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton Beach, NH)

Dates of Event: June 15 – June 17, 2017 (sculptures on display until June 28)

Location: 180 Ocean Blvd, Hampton Beach, NH

Cost: Free

Parking:

Effective May 1st – $2 per hour public parking. Pay at Pay Station and Must display receipt visibly on dashboard.

Handicap Parking – Handicap parking is available in any legal metered parking spot providing you have a Handicap Plate or a Hanging Handicap Tag hanging, or visible, in your front window.

There are also several parking lots (ranging from $5 to $20 a day) throughout the Hampton Beach area.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Sand sculptures by master sand sculptures

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Rain and chilly temperatures did not prevent master sand sculptors from playing in the sand last weekend at Hampton Beach.

The 17th annual sand sculpting competition attracted master sand sculptors from all over  the globe.  In case you missed the sculpting event, you can still view the sculptures until June 28 and they light the area at night so you can view them day or night.

Although all of the sculptures were worthy, only one could be crowned the champion.

First place went to Melineige Beauregard from Montreal Canada.  Beauregard’s sculpture is called “Dance of the Undefined.”  Melineige said her sculpture represents how we are constantly changing and yet some aspects of us stay the same.

Second place went to Abe Waterman from Prince Edward Island for his sculpture, “Get Out Of The Box.”  He also won the “Sculptor’s Choice Award” as well as my vote!  It had rained heavily the night before the sculptures were scheduled to be completed and, even though the sand is capable of withstanding some degree of inclement weather, his sculpture almost collapsed.  You can see a “crack” or line in his sculpture which was caused by the heavy rains.

Karen Fralich, of Toronto, Canada, took third place with “Tiny Warrior.”

David Andrews of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, nabbed fourth place with “Hands Of Fate.”

Fifth place was awarded to Carl D. Jara of  for “I Can’t Get This Out Of My Mind.”

The People’s Choice Award was won by Michel LePire of Quebec for “Seduction.” This was Michel’s last sand sculpting competition as he is retiring.  he certainly went out with a bang!

Although they did not place, the rest of the sculptures were very creative and stunning.  It must have been very hard for the judges to decide on the winners.

Justin Gordon, of Groveland, MA, created his sculpture, “Gazing Life Beyond”, as a tribute to his mother in the afterlife.  Even though some of the other sand sculptures may have been more pleasing visually, I think Justin’s sentiment best.

Marc Lepire, of Quebec, dedicated his sculpture, “Grand Slam”,  to his children and all fans of baseball.  Can you tell by the number and team of the player who the person in the sculpture is?

Joris Kivits of the Netherlands sculpted Horizontalism.

New Hampshire resident Greg Hardy created he sculpture, “What A Lovely Way To Say You Love Me.”

 

There were also the sand sculptures of the sponsors of the event and a special sculpture dedicated to the New England sports fans!

As usual, there were lots of dogs at Hampton Beach to view this dog friendly event.

Vito (on the left) is a 10 year old Akita.  Vivian (on the right) is a 9 month old Akita.  Their fur was so soft!

Apollo, a 3 year old German Shepherd, is a gentle giant.

Zuzu, an 11 year old Beagle who was named after “Zuzu” from “it’s A Wonderful Life”, had her own wagon ride!

Bella, a 1 and a half year old Chihuahua, was all dressed up for her visit to the beach.

Roxy, an 8 year old English Pointer, is a sweetie.

Micky, a 7 month Apso Shih Tzu (also known as a Shih Apso), posed so well for me.

Tinkerbell, a 9 year old Yorkie, cooled off by a puddle.

Until next year, Hampton Beach!  Okay, maybe sooner than that.


Kites Against Cancer (Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH)

Date Of Event: May 21, 2017

Location: Hampton Beach, 115 Ocean Blvd.
Hampton Beach, NH

Cost: Free

Parking:

April 1 through April 30 – Pay and Display parking is in effect. $1.00 per hour between 8AM – Midnight. Midnight – 8AM Parking is free. Effective 2013 – Pay and Display. You must now return to your vehicle and display the receipt from the pay station in your dashboard. If you do not have a receipt displayed you will be fined.

Effective May 1st – $2 per hour public parking. Pay at Pay Station and Must display receipt visibly on dashboard.

Effective Nov. 4th, 2012 – Free parking begins. (Subject to change).

Winter Parking Ban – Nov. 15th, 2013 – April 1st, 2013 No On Street Parking between 12AM – 7AM. Be aware.

Handicap Parking – Handicap parking is available in any legal metered parking spot providing you have a Handicap Plate or a Hanging Handicap Tag hanging, or visible, in your front window.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: kites, fund raiser for cancer awareness, face painting, family friendly and dog friendly

Website: Kites Against Cancer

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If you were in the Hampton, New Hampshire area last weekend, those weren’t space ships or dragons you thought you saw in the sky. No, it was the 9th annual Kites Against Cancer charity event at Hampton Beach, NH.  People from all over New England stopped by the beach to fly their kites and help a good cause.

Kites were provided or you could bring your own kite.  There were also kite decorating stations for you to personalize your own kite.  One of the participants, Miss Hampton Beach 2016 (Brooke Riley of Lowell, MA), decorated her kite with the names of relatives who had cancer at one point of their lives.

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Carrie Shaw, advancement officer at Exeter Hospital and the organizer of the event, said they expected 1,000 visitors for the event. Based on the crowds I saw there I am sure there were more than that throughout the course of the day.

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Carrie was inspired by her sister, Anne-Marie Viviano, who passed away from cancer.  In 2002, Anne-Marie had created a charity called Beyond The Rainbow which was designed to help patients pay their bills and meet other financial obligations.  After her sister passed, Carried dedicated herself to continuing this charitable endeavor.  The Kites Against Cancer event is one of the events that helps raise funds for the Beyond The Rainbow charity.

As I watched the sun seekers flying their kites, it was heart warming to see people of all backgrounds and walks of life enjoying themselves.

But some people seemed more interested in the sand and water.

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The types of kites being flown were just as diverse as the people flying them.

There were also vendors at the event such as DeNutte’s Delights.  DeNutte’s Delights produces $1,000 of goods to sell with all of the proceeds going to the Kites Against Cancer charity.  Whatever goods they do not sell at the event are donated to the charity.  Try the “Monkey Farts.”  Yes, that is an actual scent name of a product they sell.

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Carrie has made Kites Against Cancer an annual event that has grown bigger and bigger each year.  This year’s event included face painting, a balloon shaping artist, a card which people could sign in memory of those who have been lost to or survived cancer as well as music and speeches by special guests.  There were also an estimated 50 to 60 volunteers helping to make sure the event off smoothly, according to Carrie.

Kites Against Cancer is also a dog friendly event.

Scout is a 3 year old Yellow Lab.

Tryton is a 14 month old mini Schnauzer.

Noah is an 11 year old Pomeranian.  He was wearing his special sweater for the event.

Rosie is a 15 week old English Bulldog

If you missed this year’s event, you can attend next year but you want to support this cause or if you want learn more about the Beyond The Rainbow Fund, click on the link below:

Beyond The Rainbow

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