New England Trip 2012 – Chatham, Cape Cod MA
After visiting Newport RI the day before, we had driven into Hyannis, Cape Cod MA in the dark. Nothing more exciting that driving around a place like Hyannis when you have never been there before. Lots of traffic on the streets and intersections all seemed to be at angles and roads all seemed to be curved :-).
We decided in the morning that we would prefer to stay in Chatham hoping to find a bit more of the quaint charm that we had been told that Cape Cod was famous for. On the map it didn’t look to be too far but getting there was not quick. Many miles of two lane highway, with no passing allowed, was what greeted us and there was enough traffic and construction to keep traffic moving along at well below the 50mph speed limit.
The main highway follows along the center of the cape and therefore no sight lines to the water. With forest on both side of most of the highway, the driving could be quite boring if it were not for the many oak trees that were beginning to show the brown and gold colors of Autumn.
We eventually got to Chatham and checked into the Queen Anne Inn where we would be staying for a couple of days. The original inn was constructed in 1840 and has had various wings and extensions added. There was a bit of added excitement during our stay at the inn. The cook was getting married on the weekend and everything was being prepared for the wedding and the party that would follow.
After we had checked in a unpacked our bags, one of us (no me :-)) walked into the retail area of town to check out the stores and restaurants. I, on the other hand, checked that I had enough battery power and sufficient CF capacity and headed for a walk over to the Chatham commercial fishing pier hoping to spot a seal or two. A longer walk than I thought it would be but lots of things to photograph along the way.
I always enjoy looking at real estate that if for sale. I especially enjoy seeing descriptions such as “Ocean view” and wondering how much “view” there actually is. Do you need to be tall and standing on the roof to see the water :-). Or as one fellow told be in Fort Lauderdale. “the view was great until they built the condos across the street but look, you can still see water between the buildings so it’s technically correct – ocean view”. In the case of the house below, the “ocean view” was a bit blocked by trees but still pretty nice.
An interesting bit of foliage and berries that I hadn’t encountered before lined the sidewalk and certainly caught my attention (as did the Chatham fire hydrant :-)).
To get to the Chatham fishing pier, I had to head uphill and leave the town center behind and cross the peninsula walking past homes and gardens that reflected a variety of architecture and ages, watch a nice tee-off drive and watch out for lawn mowers!.
The golf course and lawn tractor more or less marked the highest point of my short climb and from there it was back downhill to the Chatham docks.
When I arrived at the docks, I was informed that although there might be a few seals around when the boats came back, most of them would be resting farther out on the sand bars since it was low tide and they tended to lay around and rest when the sand bars were visible. I could see a row of black off in the distance. The image below is taken with a 300mm lens.
A few seals and seagulls did come around once the crab boats and fishing boats arrived but not in any kind of overwhelming numbers.
Herring Gull – Adult non-breeding
Herring Gull – 2nd year winter
Herring Gull – 1st year winter
It was a cool, overcast day and standing on the pier for an hour waiting for some boats to come in made me happy that I had dressed a bit warmer but it was still far from pleasant conditions compared to the previous few days of sunshine and warmer temperatures.
Taking pictures of seals should be easy but not when there are only a couple of them and they just come to the surface for a few moments and then dive under again :-). Seagulls were a bit more cooperative!
Once the fishing boats were back in the harbour the seals spent a bit more time near to the surface but even then they didn’t stay near the surface for very long and they certainly could cover a lot of distance in seemingly effortless fashion.
A couple of crab boats came in while I waited and one fishing boat. It was getting a bit dark by then due in part tot he heavily overcast skies so it wasn’t long before I pulled up my anchor and headed back to the inn.
The walk back to the inn was rather uneventful except that I decided to take a different road back, which appeared on the map that I had to be a similar distance. Probably, more like twice as far! Fun to visit the pier despite the cool, overcast conditions.
It was US election time and Obama was expected to win in this area of the country. The following is a few more photos from my walk back to the inn.