Tag Archives: lighthouse

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

 


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)


Fort Taber/Fort Rodman Park (New Bedford, MA)

Date Visited: June 11, 2016

Location: 1000 Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA

Parking: There are about 70-100 spots or so in the park itself but plenty of off street parking as well.

Cost: Free

Hours: Dawn until dusk
Dog Friendly: It sure is!

Highlights: forts, lighthouse, jetty, beach, war memorials, walking trails, playground with slides and swings for children (or adults if you’re so inclined), military museum, war reenactments, pretty views

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The highlight of the park for most visitors has to be the jetty.  Fishing off the jetty, or anywhere else at the park is allowed.  But, they have a strict “catch and release” policy because most of the fish are contaminated with PCB (poly-chlorinated bipenyls).  So, they would not be safe to eat.  PCB’s are known cancer causing toxins.  The New Bedford Harbor is lined with these cancer-causing toxins that were released into the harbor between 1938 and 1973 by factories such as the electrical component manufacturer Aerovox.  The harbor is in the process of being cleaned.  But, it could take many more years before the job is complete.

Seashells and seaweed were scattered along the bridge, evidence of some recent stormy seas.

There are so many beautiful views and interesting things at Fort Taber Park.  The lighthouse in the photos is the

Since New Bedford has been known for its whaling and seafaring history, the park (and all of New Bedford) is also known for its lighthouses.  In the background of  the fort in the photo below you can see Clarks Point Lighthouse, first originally built in 1797 (it was replaced with a stone tower in 1804).

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The lighthouse below is the Butler Flats Lighthouse, originally built in 1898.

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There are several war memorials dedicated to the men and women of Fall River who have served their country, with a specific emphasis on those who were killed in action.

The memorial below is a Vietnam War Memorial that really stood out to me.  If you look closely at the board in the final photo, you can see photos of the service people from New Bedford who were killed in the war.   Everything about this memorial has meaning.  The 43 stars on the memorial represent all of the 43 people from New Bedford who died in Vietnam.  The outline of Vietnam is in orange as a reference to Agent Orange who died from Agent Orange.  Even the service ribbons on the memorial have meaning.  The blue ribbon represents the National Defense Ribbon which is representative of everyone who served in Vietnam.  The other two ribbons represent in country veterans.  The two plants at the memorial signify life.

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There are also several memorials to all of the 20th century wars America has been in, although I did not notice any memorials for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  I am assuming this may be because those actions are still not officially over even if we have pulled out most of our military presence in those places.

A tribute does stand for Army Staff Sargent Joseph Camara of New Bedford, MA, who was killed in action on September 1, 2003 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom  when the humvee he was traveling in hit a land mine.  He was serving with the 115th Military Police Company as a member of the Rhode Island National Guard in the Iraq War.  He was 40 years old when he died.  He was also a member of the New Bedford Police Department.  His memorial is located at the bottom of the gallery below.

There is also a replica of a Sherman tank stands as a tribute to the LST amphibious force T-4 who lost their lives in training for the invasion on D-Day.  During the training exercises, sadly, many men lost their lives training for the invasion.

While I was visiting it was 17th century drill day.  Reenactors from the Dartmouth militia, in full 17th century garb, showed how weapons were used, described the different types of warfare of the day and answered any questions the public had.

The staff also allowed visitors inside Fort Taber.  The guide explained they stopped using this Civil War fort once the ballistics that were used became too effective against the barricades of the fort.

Grass and rust had overtaken what was once a formidable fortification.

One of the best parts of my visit – on the way to my car, I saw this man and woman playing their instruments.

 

One of the great things I noticed about the New Bedford area as I walked around taking photos and from the crowd at Fort Taber is the diversity of the cultures and people of the area.  The photographs above illustrate this.  The music sounded like it had an up tempo flamenco influence.  It sounded beautiful.  And I love their attire.

Fort Taber/Fort Rodman is a dog friendly park.  The park is a great place for dogs.  There are miles of trails for your dog to wander.

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Sadie is a miniature poodle.  She will be 5 in August!  Early happy birthday wishes, Sadie!

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I also met Yoda, a 10 year old Yorkie.

Below is a video of the inside of one of the forts at Fort Taber.   It’s kind of spooky!

This video is a video of the military reenactors firing their weapons.

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New England Nomad

 


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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New England Nomad

 


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

 

 

 


Nobska Lighthouse (Woods Hole, MA)

Located across from Nobska Beach, the Nobska Lighthouse is a popular stop for tourists.

DSC_0807 DSC_0812  The present tower was built in 1876.  It stands 40 feet and has a focal plane view of 87 feet.

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The keeper’s house next to the light house serves as the home for the commander of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England.

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A busy paved roadway separates the two places.  You will often cyclists and even runners on the road.  So, it can be a tricky road to navigate.  But, across the road are some good views of the water.  The islands (Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard) can be seen in the distance.

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There are also some pretty views of the grounds of the light house and the beach

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The Nobska lighthouse was  a nice break from the crowded beach, although the lighthouse also gets its fair share of visitors.  But, before long, it was time for the next and final leg of our Farewell to Summer Cape Cod trip…


Witch City (Salem, MA)

When people think of Salem (MA), they often conjure thoughts of the witch hysteria, ghosts or a litany of other things that may go bump in the night.  But, this isn’t fair nor accurate. No, Salem is more than “haunted houses” and stores that sell kitschy souvenirs. Nor is it only fun to visit during the Halloween season. Still, it did feel a little odd wandering around Salem without a Fall chill in the air or leaves crunching beneath my feet.  But, it wasn’t any less fun.

Salem, being an important port for trade in early colonial days, is rich with tradition and history.  One of the main ports of trade is at Pickering Wharf in Salem Harbor.

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Anchored in the wharf is The Friendship.  The Friendship is a reconstruction of a 1700’s trading ship.  Tours are available, except today as they were renovating the ship.

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Stately, rustic buildings dot the coast line. The ornate building with the dome atop it is the Custom House.  It is sandwiched in between the Salem Maritime National Historic Site (to the left) and the Simon Forrester House.

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There is also a lighthouse located at the end of the pier.

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Ducks and other birds frequent the harbor.

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Pickering Wharf has a variety of restaurants where you can enjoy fish, lobster and, well, fish.  It is also a hub for tour groups (whose favorite past time seems to be getting into my photos) and the occasional dog walker.  I found this dog who is all black, except for her front left paw.  DSC_0467

I could spend all day at Pickering Wharf.  But, in the interest of time, I began my journey to some of the other attractions in Salem.  The best part of visiting Salem is noticing the attractions and sites while you’re walking to each destination.

There was this house that caught my eye.

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There was this display outside the Salem Witch Museum.

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Irzyk Park, named after Brigadier General Albin F. Irzyk, has this retired Army tank in the park.

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Saint Nicholas Church stands out against some of the more drab buildings.DSC_0600

I also bumped into Aida

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As well as Simba and Jasmin

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Eventually, I found my way to Winter Island.

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Winter Island is a hidden jewel within the outskirts of Salem.  A mile from the downtown Salem area, it is used as a RV/trailer park as well as a place to launch boats and hold functions.  I walked the mile to Winter Island from downtown Salem. It is pretty much a straight walk or drive from tge downtown area.  But, if you choose to drive. there is ample parking outside of Winter Island.  There are an array of flowers and a pond (more like a reservoir) with a power plant adjacent which gives a nice touch.  Geese and ducks are abundant there.

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There is also a beach and an area for bird watching on Winter Island (it’s not really an “island” (it is more like a peninsula) but I will let it slide.  It was the beach, Waikiki Beach, that was most impressive.  Rocks are scattered along the beach and make shift trails on the hills behind the beach offer private views of the beach.  Since it was low tide, I was able to walk along the rocks for better views of the harbor.  A lighthouse gives a nice touch and birds and flowers are abundant.

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A closeup of one of the many flowers on Waikiki Beach.

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A bee pollinating.

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The rocks at Waikiki Beach give the beach a unique landscape and offer a chance to get better views.  It also attracts a variety of bird life.

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There is also an area for bird watching at Winter Island.  Although they are easily scared away, I did capture these images of a Robin and a Red Winged Black Bird.

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There is also an old ammunition bunker in the bird watching area at Fort Pickering on Winter Island.

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It’s a shame that Salem is only remembered for the more commercial aspects and urban legends.  It isn’t all about being scared in Salem.  In fact, this is the scariest thing I saw all day.

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Of course, no visit to Salem would be complete without a photo of Roger Conant, the founder of Salem, and a visit to the World War II Memorial at Salem Commons.

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You can keep yourself quite busy just visiting the parks, beaches and assortment of other attractions in Salem all year round, not just during Halloween.  But, of course, I’ll be back in October anyways.