Category Archives: waves

Nubble Lighthouse (York, ME)

Date Visited: October 1, 2016

Location: 11 Sohier Park Rd, York, ME

Hours: Open everyday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a designated parking area with about 30 to 40 parking spots.  There are also additional parking spots on the other side of the main parking area on the side of the road as you exit the main parking area

Highlights: lighthouse, scenic, views of the ocean, bird life

Lowlights: Parking can be difficult since it is such a popular spot (there was a line of cars waiting to park when I left and that was on a rainy day)

Web Site: Nubble Light

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Also known as Nubble Light, Cape Neddick Lighthouse is an 41 foot (88 feet above sea level) cylindrical lighthouse on the edge of Cape Neddick, a community in York, Maine.

The lighthouse is actually on Nubble Island, hence the name Nubble Light.  People like to call it Nubble and it sounds like a cuter name.  So, yeah, I’ll go with that.

Originally constructed in 1879 for $15,000 (roughly $342,000.00 in today’s money), Nubble Light is located about 100 yards off Cape Neddick Point.  The light was automated in 1986.

Nubble Light is one of the easiest lighthouses to photograph.  From Cape Neddick, you have wonderful views of the lighthouse.

There is also a rocky area you can climb down to get closer to the water and get some sweet views of the lighthouse.  Uhm, yes.

As you can see in some of the photos, it was a very windy day and the waves were crashing pretty hard against the rocks.  Between the rain and the water from the surf it was almost impossible to keep a dry lens, although I tried.

Since people feed them, birds seem to flock by the area.

The weather conditions didn’t deter this hardy Maine fisherman.  He did catch and release.

As you leave the parking area on the other side of the lighthouse, there are some pretty views.

Cape Neddick is a dog friendly area.  Logan, a 2 year old Red Hound and Coon Hound mix, likes to look out at the lighthouse also.

Video of Nubble Lighthouse:

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:

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Watch Hill Lighthouse (Westerly, RI)

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Nobska Lighthouse (Woods Hole, MA)


Cliff Walk (Newport, RI)

Dates Visited: June 25 & June 26, 2016

Location: 117 Memorial Blvd, Newport, RI (by Easton’s Beach)

Hours: open everyday dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: 3 hour metered parking is available at Easton Bank (but limited).  You can also park at other entry/exit points along the trail off Bellevue Ave (such as The Breakers mansion at 44 Ochre Point Ave which is free for a limited parking time and Narrangasett Ave.)

Distance: 3.5 miles each way

Time To Allot For Walk: The website suggests 2.5 hours.  I would allot 3-4 hours if you’re walking the entire trail (and back)

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic, free, always open, good for people of all ages, popular with joggers

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The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is not only a historically important attraction, it is also a great way to burn some extra calories or stroll along the shore, depending on your energy level.

Construction of the Cliff Walk began in 1880.  Since then, the trail has been extended and designed over a series of redevelopment projects.

The Cliff Walk, which begins at Memorial Blvd or Bellevue Ave (depending on where you start) takes you on a series of breath taking views and, at times, challenging trails.  Most people begin the trail at Memorial Blvd next to Easton’s beach (also known as First Beach).  This trail ends at Bailey Beach.  There is one “comfort station” on the walk at Narragansett Rd.

Rather than backtracking on the trail to get back, which you can do, it is easier to take the first right at Bailey Beach which leads onto Bellevue Ave.  You can follow Bellevue Ave all the way back to Memorial Blvd or one of the many access points along  the trail since it runs parallel to the cliff.  It is easier because it is a straight and more direct route.  I used this path to get back and it cut my walking time in half.

The views of Rhode Island Sound and First Beach from the Cliff Walk are astounding.

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The first two thirds of the 3.5 mile trek (starting from Memorial Blvd) is easy and well defined.  However, the terrain gets rocky, challenging and more scenic after the first 2 and a quarter miles.  The steps and paths go from being well defined and wide.

to rugged, rocky and narrow

Other than the challenging terrain, the Cliff Walk is an easy, fun trail  (it’s best to stop and turn around at the Breakers mansion or Webster Street if you’re starting from Memorial Blvd to avoid the more rocky terrain).

The Cliff Walk is also a good place for birding.  There were lots of birds flying here and there, calling out to each other and even a few relaxing on the rocks.  They look like they’re conspiring.

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Perhaps the most well known part of the trail is the 40 Steps.  In addition to providing you with an up close look of the shoreline, the 40 Steps also provides a little bit of history to the trail.  The 40 steps is where the servants and workers of the mansions used to congregate during the Gilded Age.

One of my favorite parts of the walk was watching the people on the various water crafts and other flotation devices.

Another great thing about the Cliff Walk are the unusual features of the trail.  Tunnels, makeshift trails, colorful flowers, even a memorial attached to a rock and other decorative items are scattered throughout the Cliff Walk.  The memorial on the rock is dedicated to former surfer pro Ryan Patrick Roberts, nicknamed “Gazoo”. Roberts, a Newport native, passed away February 5, 2000.  One wonders how they got the plaque on there and made it stay there.

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The Cliff Walk also offers many great views of the mansions and other buildings built along the shore.

Some of the visitors at the Cliff Walk weren’t contend to stay on the trail.

There were a lot of dogs on the trail during my visits.  It is a great place to take your pup for a walk.  But, you may want to avoid the rockier terrain when you take your dog to the Cliff Walk.

Remy is a 10 month German Short Hair Pointer and a loyal Red Sox fan I presume.

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Winston, a 4 year old Maltese from Seattle, WA, took the easy way around the Cliff Walk

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Fion is an 8 year old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.  Her breed is named after the area of France where that breed originated from (Vendeen).

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Believe it or not, Penny, a Great Pyrenees,  is only one year old.

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Watch Hill Lighthouse (Westerly, RI)

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Date Visited: April 30, 2016

Location: Lighthouse Rd, Westerly, RI

Cost: Free

Parking: Vehicles are not allowed on Lighthouse Rd, unless you area senior citizen or if you have a physical impairment which may prevent you from walking or biking or running down.

The jewel of Westerly, Rhode island, Watch Hill Lighthouse is a stone’s throw away from Napatree Conservation Point.  The walk down Lighthouse Rd is about half a mile and the views are worth the walk.  Watch Hill is a swanky village in the town of Westerly that offers views of the southern most coast of the state (besides Block Island).

To get a sense of just how beautiful the area is, this is the view from someone’s driveway.  Not a bad view to wake up to every morning.

There are more stunning views as you walk down the road.

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There is also a “cliff walk” along the road which is basically a walkway along the sidewalk which allows you to walk on a “cliff” type access way next to the road.  Besides being a fun way to travel, the cliff walk also offers some beautiful views.

Since it is somewhat isolated and not too active this time of the year, birds tend to congregate at Watch Hill.  I found a few Double Crested Cormorants.

Watch Hill Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse in Rhode Island (Beavertail Light is the oldest lighthouse in RI).  Originally built in 1808, Watch Hill Lighthouse has been destroyed or damaged by various storms over the years.  The current lighthouse that stands there was built in 1856.  It was automated in 1986 and it is still active today.

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The best part of my trip to Watch Hill was watching the waves from the rocks.  It is considered one of the more beautiful and romantic of Rhode Island (sans Newport).  In fact, just before I arrived there I had missed a man proposing to a woman at the location.  When I got there they were drinking champagne and cuddling as they watched the waves.

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Cute little Louis (pronounced Louie) is a 3 year old toy poodle.  I love how the wind blew his fur and ears back but he still wanted to see the lighthouse!

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Below are two videos of the waves at Watch Hill to give a better sense of the power of the waves there (and this was just on a regular day)

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Hartley Mason Reservation & York Harbor Beach (York, ME)

Date Visited: April 23, 2016

Location: 480 York Street, York, Maine

Hours: Always Open

Parking: 2 hour off street parking is available, but limited.  There are also a few parking areas near the beach.

 

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A common destination for weddings, dog walkers and beach goers, the Hartley Mason Reservation is a small park with benches, memorials and other works of art.  Perhaps the most popular attraction to this site is the rock with the tiny figures, titled, “Pleasure Ground”.  The sculpture was made by Sumner Winebaum, a York resident, in 2011.  He titled it “Pleasure Ground” because Mason had described the reserve as a “pleasure ground”.  The sculpture is built on a rock nearly 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and weighs three tons,.  The bronze figures range in height from 10 to 12 inches tall. Winebaum said his goal was to show people enjoying the park such as the two boys wrestling, the person reading and the two women debating (which he has described as his favorite part of the sculpture).

Tiny people doing all the things regular people do.  I wonder what book that tiny figure on the edge of the rock is reading.  Perhaps, “Little Women”.

An easy, clearly marked path leads down to the beach.

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Along the trail, there are also benches dedicated to people who have passed.

 

There is also a memorial dedicated to those lost at sea.  The York Fisherman’s Memorial is

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The inscription on the front reads: O HEAR US WHEN WE CRY TO THEE FOR THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA.  

On the back of the monument, there is an inscription that states: Dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea & for those who work and love the ocean… 

The memorial is dedicated to Captain Daniel A. Donnell who died at sea hauling traps.  He was 78 at the time of his death.

The trail is also a great place to take photos of the beach from afar.

From the moment I pulled up to the parking in front of the Hartley Mason Reservation, the view of the water struck me, especially with the weather conditions as they were.  A misty cloud covering filled the afternoon sky reaching all the way to the water making it hard to discern where the water ended and the sky began.  For most people, this is hardly ideal beach weather.  But, I, and my sensitive Irish screen, have always preferred this weather to the scorching unabated sunlight.

The trail eventually leads to the beach (there are also side trails, or if you’re feeling spry you can just walk down the rocky or grassy areas off the trail).  Due to time constraints, we just stopped at the beach head and took photos from there.  There were some modest waves and some pretty views. The beach does have a lot of rocky areas that wouldn’t be very comfortable to walk around in on sandals.  Wear comfortable footwear.

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Although the beach area is much larger and may have more accommodations (I will visit again later to capture the beach in its entirety), the section I visited had very little room for lying out.  There really was just rock and a concrete slab to stand, sit or lie on.  The parking is also pretty sparse at this section of the beach.  There are only a few parking spots and some are designated for certain people.  There is also an outdoor pool near the beach.

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The beach was very busy with not only human visitors but cute furry ones as well (I suppose some of the human visitors were furry as well but that is neither here nor there).

Kipper is a 9 year old German Shepherd.  He got to play in the water and he loves to play catch.  And his mom’s boots were pretty cool.

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Gracie is a 7 and a half year old Boxer with a very broad smile.

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Below is a video of the waves at York Beach Saturday.

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New England Nomad


Arms Park (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: February 27, 2016

Location: 10 Arms St, Manchester, New Hampshire

Cost: Free but you may have to pay for parking

Parking: Parking was ample when I went during a winter weekend day.

Hours: Open everyday sunrise to sunset

Arms Park

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Arms Park is a unique kind of park.  In fact it’s not really a park at all.  A stream, fed by the Amoskeag Fishways, runs parallel to the park.  It is the perfect place for people who love the sound of water and watching waves (and based on my previous posts I know you’re out there).  There’s not much to Arms Park.  A parking lot takes up most of the area (which has led some to call it “Arms Parking”) and a few office buildings dot the landscape.  It’s certainly not one of the most picturesque landscapes but the stream and walkway does have a certain charm.  It is often used for observing important important days such as the annual Pearl Harbor Day observance event and the Fourth of July fireworks display.

The river is usually pretty rough and could consequently be dangerous if anyone got caught up it in.

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It was still fairly cold when I went to visit, so the water which did splash on the railing quickly turned to ice.

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A variety of birds like to seek refuge at Arms Park.  I saw a bunch of gulls there during my visit.

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Arms Park has a short walkway along the river with benches along the way.

The video below gives a better representation of the choppy water at Arms Park.

 


Winter Wildlife Cruise (Boston Harbor, MA)

Date visited: January 23, 20016

Price: $20 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-11) and seniors (over 65)

This was a special cruise and is not something they do regularly in the winter.  During the spring, summer and fall they have cruises scheduled regularly.

Twenty degree weather and an impending winter storm; what better conditions for a harbor cruise.  Ironically, that statement could not be more accurate.

We were greeted by gulls and rough seas when we arrived at the wharf.

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As we made our way on to the boat for and they announced the cruise would be a three hour tour (in retrospect, that Gilligan’s Island reference should have been a bad omen), I was surprised by how roomy, comfortable and modern it was.  The three story boat had booths on the sides of the cabin area and ample seating.

Even before we left the wharf I took some shots of the bay.  You can see Logan Airport in the distance in some of the photos.

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As the boat left the bay, I took some obligatory photos of the skyline.

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I had to bundle up (and hold on tight to the railing) for the shoot.  I was surprised at how well I handled the overly active ocean.  I’ve never been particularly fond of roller coasters, wavy oceans or anything that moves to and fro quickly.  But, I did fine.  The only time I felt a tinge of sickness was when a fellow traveler described his own feelings of sea sickness (gee, thanks random stranger).  But, that quickly passed.

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There was a variety of sea life, although the choppy waters made it difficult to photograph all of them.  DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation) officials were on the boat with binoculars on the lookout for wildlife and other points of interest and announcements were made whenever a bird or other animal was sighted.

I did photograph this Eider as he swam with friends.

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and a few other elusive birds.

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Even though it was a cruise for wildlife viewing some of the best views were of the harbor and the islands.

This is Spectacle Island.  Spectacle Island was made entirely from the dirt from the huge construction project known as the “Big Dig”.   it is much prettier during the summer.

These are some photos of Boston Light.  Boston Light is the first Lighthouse in America.  It is still working today.

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The Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant began operations in 1995.  It is clearly the jewel of Boston Harbor.  Prior to the construction of the sewage plant, sewage from Boston’s treatment facilities had contaminated shellfish after the sewage had been released.  Lunch, anyone?

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These structures are what is left of the bridge to Long Island (not the one in NY – we didn’t go out that far).  It was dismantled recently.  Personally, I think they should keep them.  They make for a good background for photography.

Below is a slideshow of some of the other shots from my cruise.  It was very windy and the sea was pretty choppy.  I tried to capture this in the photos.

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Finally, I found a cute furry animal named Bailey to photograph when I disembarked from the boat.

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See below for videos of the cruise to get a better idea of just how windy it was.

Winter Wildlife Cruise – Long Wharf

Winter Wildlife Cruise

Winter Wildlife Cruise II

 

 

 


Easton’s Beach (Newport, RI)

When most people think of Newport, Rhode Island, they undoubtedly think of the ornate  historic mansions.  But, there is another gem in Newport – Easton’s Beach.

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I was greeted by these Canadian Geese upon my arrival.

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A short drive from the mansions, Easton’s Beach is less than a mile long.  But, what it may lack in size it makes up in charm and beauty.

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The gulls, who were in abundance at the beach, are not shy.

Easton’s Beach is also a popular destination for sea loving dogs.  I met Jack during my visit.

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Parking was ample during my visit.  But I suspect it fills up quickly during the warmer seasons.  You do not  need to feed the meters in the off season.  After May 1st and until Oct. 31st parking fees are in effect (parking at an on-street metered space is limited to a maximum of three hours and the rate is $1.25 per hour and the meters located on Memorial Blvd. near Easton’s Beach are $2 per hour).   It’s definitely worth the 2 clams if you’re in the area.