The 40 foot Never Enough was towed to shore by the Coast Guard and Harbormasters from Chatham and Harwich.
Our friends at the Cape Cod Times online produced this video of a tough day on the job for Kaminski.
A Chatham fisherman with more than 30 years of experience ran aground on a sand bar off the coast of Lighthouse Beach this morning. Captain Bruce Kaminski cited mechanical trouble for the failing to navigate the shoal at low tide. He was uninjured.
The 40 foot Never Enough was towed to shore by the Coast Guard and Harbormasters from Chatham and Harwich.
Our friends at the Cape Cod Times online produced this video of a tough day on the job for Kaminski.
Here is an excellent perspective of the U.S. Coast Guard boats docked and ready for patrol and rescues.
The second-story observation deck yields an hour-- at least, of entertainment. It's better than TV. While you wait for the next fishing boat to come in and unload, you can view the harbor, the open ocean beyond, shore birds, magnificent coastal homes, and....
....blubbery gray seals who feast on the leftovers thrown overboard, before becoming lunch for the great white sharks lurking on the other side of the sand bars.
As one who feels a whole year lasts about three months, it's hard to believe summer is over on Cape Cod. The proof lie in slightly diminished traffic for the first time since June. The sun sinks lower in the sky and casts different shadows in the house and yard. Pink roses which gave way to blue hydrangea last month, yield to the yellows of the black-eyed Susans now.
With the hectic pace of a popular tourist destination slowing down, I can catch my breath and observe things that passed me by just a couple of weeks ago, namely:
1. On Cape Cod, courtesy rightly takes the place of traffic lights. For two months of the year we have the volume to warrant the additon of thousands more traffic lights, but for the other ten months traffic flows freely. The best way to keep traffic lights at bay is to gradually slow to a stop so that someone turning left from the opposite lane can turn and release the traffic backed up behind it.
2. Sometimes all you need is 500 Million dollars. I saw that embroidered on a dish towel while shooting video at Popponesset Marketplace for my youtube channel. Every time I think of that, it makes me smile.
3. We have unique employment needs on the Cape. I saw a job posting on craigslist seeking help at a Barnstable oyster farm. "Should be able to lift approximately 50 lbs repeatedly. Understand that most work is in a marine environment, hours vary with tide. Will need waders. Part time days."
4. Bicycling on sidewalks may be against the law in Massachusetts and elsewhere, but it shouldn't be and I am pleased whenever I see bicyclists using the sidewalks to stay clear of traffic. It would not be fun to be a pedestrian hit by a bike, but far less so to be a bicyclist hit by a car. The U.S. in general and Cape Cod in particular must plan for the increasing use of bicycles in the coming years, and that includes amending the sidewalk ban at the very least-- or better still, creating dedicated bike paths separating us from vehicular traffic.
5. You can't have too many weekly farmer's markets, and this year the granddaddy of Cape Cod farmer's markets will expand through the winter months.
6. The most desired Cape Cod real estate profile I encountered all summer was for a "walk to village" location. Everyone is so sick of the traffic getting here that they want to park the car and not get in again until it's time to go home. The villages of Falmouth, Harwich Port, Chatham, Wellfleet, Barnstable and to a lesser extent, emerging Dennisport and a more spread out Yarmouthport, are top destinations for this. Of those, Harwich Port is closest to the beaches too. It's no coincidence there is an attachment between Harwich Port and Naples, Florida. In both towns you can see the ocean at the end of a side road in the village.
7. Sharks are replacing dinosaurs as the next big thing. The Discovery Channel's Shark Week programming was a ratings winner. Great Whites, several of which are tagged and named off Cape Cod, are celebrities. Did you know Katherine has spent the month of August hanging in the waters off Beaufort, North Carolina and Little River, South Carolina? You didn't? Then you're not sucked into the Ocearch shark tracker like the rest of us.
8. Cape Cod needs more sushi places. There, I said it.
9. Opponents of a third bridge over the Cape Cod Canal oppose it because "we don't need a third bridge bringing more people to Cape Cod". They don't realize it would take people off the Cape too. Bring it on.
10. I hope the traditional spectacle of locals waving from the overpasses in a sarcastic send-off to the summer people is done for good. That's just plain rude.
There goes summer. Bring on autumn.
Families, retirees, school officials and dignitaries gathered under a late summer sky to cut the ribbon on the new $49.4 million Monomoy Regional High School today.
Under construction for 18 months, and with boxes still stacked from ceiling to floor in some classrooms, the guidance office and media center, school administrators say the gleaming facility will be ready when students arrive for the new school year Thursday, September 4. 700 boys and girls from Harwich and Chatham in grades 8 through 12 will attend Monomoy. Students from outside the two towns can apply under Massachusett's School of Choice option.
I shot some video during the community open house which followed the ceremony. You'll see the front of the school grounds still very much a construction zone as the old Harwich High is demolished and the landscaping takes shape. Enjoy.
The house was vacant except for the stubborn items that are usually the last to go before a sale. Rusted paint cans on dusty basement shelves, an unplugged refigerator old enough to feature thick, rounded corners in the garage, and something in the attic that came with the move in 1986 and which was likely untouched until now-- a box labeled "Bud: King of Beers" filled with stacks of old vinyl records. The contents were deemed valuable enough by the seller to give her pause before bringing them to the car for disposal.
Because music leaves such a permanent stamp on the brain, Julie, the heir and seller, sensed these records would trigger old memories of growing up as a family on Cape Cod in the 1970s. They did that, and more. In that old cardboard box, softened to velvet by years of humidity and heat in the attic, Julie found the sounds of her childhood and her parent's too.
We found "Circus Magic Songs and Fun", with a clown on the cover some would consider creepy today.
With no google or youtube back then, people turned to records to learn how to do something. There's an LP-- which means "long-playing", titled "Curt Gowdy Tells You How to watch Pro Football." That was technologically advanced back then.
There was also an unusually thick and heavy cranberry red record called 'Little Black Sambo", somewhat controversial today for what some think are racist overtones, but at one time a popular children's story. I don't even think that record was vinyl. My parents had some old records like that which were likely manufactured out of shellac.
As Julie went deeper into the box, we went even farther back in time. She found from the 1940s what looked like a large photo album, with a dozen paper sleeves featuring the music of Glenn Miller.
Long before there were television informercials of Time-Life CD collections, there were "books" of records like this one. I was transformed to my parent's own collection of 1940s music in the built-in colonial style cabinets in the livng room of our home near Tatnuck Square in Worcester.
The "Reader's Digest" record label. A precursor to "books on tape".
My favorite find was a piece of paper Julie found folded between the records. She recognized her mother's handwriting. It was instructions on how to dance the "French Hully Gully" and the "Cha-Cha".
What a poignant reminder that the Greatest Generation wouldn't think of stepping onto a dance floor without knowing the steps. At weddings, I watch with envy the older couples who are the only ones who know what they're doing on a dance floor.
While Julie is the seller of the home, I am the real estate agent who represents the buyer. Technically we are on opposite sides of the deal. But over the course of an afternoon, as my client worked with a home inspector to check on the mechanics of the house, Julie and I connected over an old cardboard box of record albums; relics of our youth with sweet memories of two sets of parents now gone to the heavens.
Here's a tip that Cape Codders like to keep to themselves. Jackknife Cove on scenic Pleasant Bay in East Harwich has clean, gentle water, beautiful views and lots of activity to watch. And it's absolutely free, even in the high-season months of July and August. You heard that right. Access and parking are free.
Everything has a price of course, and the "cost of admission" to Jacknife Cove is a steep, pitted little road at a treacherous angle off fast moving Rt. 28 with limited visibility in all directions. Finding your opening in the traffic to make the turn might force you onto the little road so fast that you bottom out the car. Crunch, grind, ouch.
Even after you finesse the entrance, the bouncing doesn't end because the parking lot is not so much a lot, but hard-packed sandy-gravel with deep, water-filled potholes. SUVs have no problem with this lunar landscape but sedans get more grinding and scraping of the bottom.
Sounds appealing, doesn't it? Well, it's worth it. Once you are in place you are within feet of a blissful little stretch of sand, between the little sailboats of the Chatham Yacht Club and the kayaks and canoes turned upside down on the other side of the sandy stretch.
In front of you lie Pleasant Bay, filled with sailboats and small power boats, jet skiis and small craft powered by strong arms. Beyond lie the ever-improving Wequassett Resort and Cape Cod homes both large and small. You never run out of things to look at from your perch on the sand. In spite of this harbor location, water is crystal clean so little children can swim comfortably and safely.
Do you have a kayak or paddleboard of your own? Bring it over and launch from here. Some friends of mine take their stand-up paddleboards and cruise all the way to the open water at the opening of the bay.
If you go to Jackknife Cove, there are no conveniences. Bring some food and an empty bladder. It's also unmarked. From Rt. 28 look for the small opening opposite and south of Bay Rd. And to get you in the mood, I shot a brief video. Enjoy your "trip" to Jackknife Cove.
View my listing located just one mile from Jackkife Cove, 58 Williamsburg Ave., E. Harwich 02645
Responding to erosion at some beaches on Cape Cod Bay, and growth in others, Brewster town officials propose a new beach access road and bike path extension in a neglected state park between Linnell Landing and Crosby Roads.
An article in the Cape Cod Times reveals the town is negotiating with the state to create the new public recreation area in state-owned land bordered by the roads and scenic route 6A.
Chris Miller, director of Natural Resources in Brewster, states beach frontage between the two beach roads is growing at a rate of 6 to 12 inches per year, yet access to the sand between them is limited to the few who can find parking at the end of the roads and who hike toward the center point north of Weathervane Way.
As the photos show, the proposed new road and bike path begin at rt. 6A at the Cape Repertory Theatre, wind through 275 new parking spaces in three lots and end near the Crosby Mansion. In addition, the existing lot at Linnell Landing would be reconfigured to allow a drop-off area for beachgoers and gear. The bike spur would extend from the existing Cape Cod Rail Trail that runs just south of Rt. 6A.
Town officials say they are responding to complaints from homeowners on Crosby Rd. and Linnell Landing Rd. who say daily beach traffic is unreasonable. At the same time, the homeowners oppose the addition of 275 parking spaces in their town.
Town Selectmen say they will seek public input on the proposal before putting it to a vote. No time frame has been revealled for the process.
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Closing costs are rising faster than inflation, according to a new survey from Bankrate.com. The cost of obtaining a mortgage is up 20 percent since 2010, with Texas leading the way. Closings cost an average $3,046 in the Lone Star State, followed by Alaska ($2,897), New York ($2,892), Hawaii ($2,808) and Wisconsin ($2,706).
The least expensive states for obtaining a mortgage are the District of Columbia ($2,402), Ohio ( $2,392), Missouri, ($2,387), Tennessee ($2,366) and Nevada ($2,265).
Massachusetts places in the middle of the pack with the 17th highest closing cost in the country. The national average is $2,539.
Lenders' origination fees account for the greatest portion of the total. Title searches and appraisals make up the remainder. Bankrate.com's Holden Lewis blames tight new government regulations for the spike in closing costs.
WARNING: Extremely relaxing images. Do not view while operating machinery or equipment.
One sunny afternoon in July I dedicated an hour to recording video of roses on Cape Cod. The four week season was slipping away and I did not want to pay for my procrastination with another year of waiting for the first blush.
Roses are very happy here. Abundant sunshine, gusty ocean breezes and sandy soil combine to make the Cape a most hospitable environment. Roses bloom all summer long but it is that initial wave of growth at the end of June that stops traffic. You've got to stop and smell the... well, you know.
Roses are everywhere on Cape Cod. Hot pink rosa rugosa with it's spicy old rose fragrance lines beach parking lots. Climbers rest atop arbors and split-rail fences. Some roses refuse to be contained behind the pickets that incarcerate them. They find the light between the slats and reach out to wave hello to all who pass by.,
I hope you enjoy the roses I discovered throughout our Cape Cod neighborhoods. If only there was an app for scent.
Sales of single-family homes on Cape Cod dipped the first six months of the year compared to one year ago, but prices increased by 2.6 percent, according to the Cape and Islands Association of Realtors. The number of homes sold decreased 6.6 percent year-to-date, with 1,685 homes sold in 2014 versus 1,804 in 2013.
Attractive mortgage rates and low inventory resulted in higher sales price and fewer days on the market. The median price of a Cape Cod home is up $10,000 to $355,000 from $345,000 one year ago. In addition, the number of days on the market fell by 2 percent. The typical home is on the market for 185 days this year, shaving four days from last year's figure of 189.
Cape Cod is a diverse collection of towns and villages, each with it's unique style and flavor. The map below shows how prices vary from town to town as well. Where are the pricier homes? Brewster or Harwich? Truro or Wellfleet? The map spells it out.
Note that the dollar amount shown is an average figure and not a median. Averages are skewed by a few prices at the very top and are not as good an indicator of the market as a median price, however this was the data that was available to me. Please excuse the letter litter at the left side of the image. I couldn't cut it out without losing part of beautiful Falmouth and Sandwich.
If you are a Cape Cod homeowner, congratulations, prices continue to rise after bottoming out in 2012. If you wish to buy a home here, jump in while mortgage rates are in the 4s and values are still low relative to the height of the real surge in 2007.
Much of the traffic on the roads right now is happy vacationers tempted with the thought of having their own spot on the Cape. Homes that hit the market after Labor Day will have new ownership, new furniture and the beginning of new memories this time next year.
As your Cape Cod real estate agent, I would be honored to help position your home for success in the marketplace. Let's connect.
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Turns out the President of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy is quite a writer. Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon is also the co-chair of the Cape Cod Canal Centennial Committee and in that role, he penned an essay about his memories of the Canal and his little boy.
The following essay first appeared in the Cape Cod Centennial special supplement of the Cape Cod Times and with full credit to them, I reprint it here today. If you've never stopped to explore the canal, preferring instead to speed over it on the bridges that whisk you home, take in the lovely prose of Rear Admiral Gurnon.
"Big Boat! Big Boat!"
By: Richard Gurnon
"Big boat! Big boat!"
Those words were the first sentence uttered by our toddler. We had moved to Buzzard's Bay in early spring of 1978, and our young son was instantly enamored with the ships that plied the Cape Cod Canal--just 200 yards from our home.
The throbbing, slow-speed diesels of the oil tankers with their red "bravo" flag flapping in the wind, reminding those in the know that they carried petroleum products; the higher-pitched whine of the tugs laboring to pull their barges to Boston; the giant car carriers, huge floating shoe boxes stuffed to the gunnels with Toyotas and Subarus; each ship had a distinctive frequency but their powerful marine engines rattled the drafty windows in our old Cape and alerted the boy that they were coming.
With his shouts of "Big boat!" we were off and running down the street to the banks of the canal, where he would wave frantically to the mate in the wheelhouse or on the bridge, hoping for a toot of the ship's whistle in reply. A lonely crewmember, lounging on the fantail talking in the scenery of Cape Cod from this unusually close vantage point, would wave back. I would read the homeports off the stern -- Panama City, Baton Rouge, Liberia-- names beyond both his comprehension and his horizon, as I explained that the sailors he saw were tens of thousands of miles from their home. "They probably have a boy just like you at home, and they must miss him very much."
Even when it was cold outside, the boy would want to wait, tucked snugly inside my warm parka, until the ship turned a bend in the canal and disappeared from his sight.
The countdown to a big birthday party is on. Beginning July 25th and ending on the 29th, Cape Codders and visitors alike will celebrate the engineering marvel that is the Cape Cod Canal.
The first version was built with private funds and spanned a width of 100 feet with a depth of 25 feet. However swift currents caused many ships to run aground. The federal government purchased the toll canal, and from 1935 until 1940, expanded it to 480 feet wide and 32 feet deep, which 6 million visitors traverse each year over the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges.
The canal was a game changer for the commercial shipping industry which suffered dozens of wrecks navigating the treacherous and uncharted shoals off the Chatham elbow of the Cape. Today it is a destination in itself with scenic overlooks on the banks of the canal and paved paths hosting bicyclists, baby carriages, joggers and couples walking hand in hand.
As we look forward to the centennial celebration this weekend, enjoy this video produced by the Centennial Committee.
To learn more about the festivities, click here.
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It would seem a natural fit You take the beauty of Cape Cod as seen from the water and combine it with terrific Cape cuisine for a winning combo. But there is a surprising lack of dinner cruises available on Cape Cod.
Sure, our seas can be rough, and food is not what you turn to when the horizon is a moving target. That's what the gentle waters of Buzzards, Cape Cod and Lewis Bays are for. What's everybody waiting for?
Hats off to the Cape Cod Lobster Roll Cruise out of Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis, on Cape Cod Bay. Boats depart each day for lunch and dinner, and the menu is Cape Cod classic: Lobster dinner, prime rib or chicken ceasar salad. For private parties, a lengthy list of appetizers includes steamed clams, Barnstable little necks, tuna sashimi and more. Kids have pint-sized menu options too.
Sunset dinner cruises cost $42. per person for the food only. There is a cash bar. Or just enjoy the sunset without food for a reduced rate.
There are other cruise options throughout the Cape. They serve drinks and basic bar snacks, and one-- the Cape Cod Canal Cruise, provides live jazz music too.
This is too bad. Cape Cod, boating and food go hand in hand. I'd love to see more choices in the future.
Cape Cod Cruises
Chalker says the hydrangeas will pull through, but this year's bloom will be paltry. If you still see sticks growing from your bushy green leaves, simply cut the sticks off at the base. Barring another ferocious winter, all that thick growth filling in will host wonderful gigantic blue flowers next year at this time.
Who doesn't like butterflies? They have beautiful markings and they float so slowly through the air, they rarely startle us. Best yet, they don't bite or sting. Some people believe butterflies symbolize departed loved ones hovering around and sending us a sign they are near us.
There is a place just over the bridges where you can see native southeastern Massachusetts butterlies in all stages of development. It's the Butterfly House of Bournedale. Bring some money because you can purchase gifts there too.
Check out this video, thanks to our friends at Capecast at the Cape Cod Times.
So you've booked a week of summer vacation on Cape Cod with your BFFs but the only Cape you know is the one you saw as a child with your family.
Now that you're grown-up it's time to try something new, or to bring a new attitude to the familiar. With some great photos by Instagrammers, here is my List of Best Cape Cod Activities for 20-somethings.
Shining Sea Bike Trail, Falmouth, MA
Like the Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike Path further out on the Cape, the Shining Sea Trail covers a railroad line long abandoned. The New York, New Haven and Hartford Rail Line once delivered passengers from New York to Wood's Hole. Today, the 10.7 mile paved bike path takes you past a cranberry bog, shoreline vistas of beautiful Buzzard's Bay, marshes, an ocean beach with crazy head winds, and two villages where you can stop and get something to eat or buy a T-shirt.
There are several trail access points and bike rental shops along the path extending from North Falmouth to the Steamship Port Authority parking lot at Woods Hole. In fact, if you don't stop at the end of the Shining Sea Trail, you'll end up boarding the belly of a ferry that will take you to Martha's Vineyard-- a fun option for a day trip.
Pack a lunch or get off the trail and enjoy sidewalk dining in Falmouth, all without the inconvenience of finding a place for the car. Easy on, easy off. Don't forget to bring your camera.
The Beachcomber, Wellfleet, MA
The Beachcomber restaurant and nightclub on Cahoon's Hollow Beach in Wellfleet has been hosting dudes for longer than people have been called dudes.
Nestled in the dunes on the eastern shore of the Cape, The Beachcomber has food for both landlubbers and seafood lovers. Buffalo Wings, nachos and quesadillas may make you forget you're on the Cape so go for the Nauset Steamers, Eastham mussels or fish tacos for some coastal flavor. Cahoon's Hollow is a top destination for surfers. Bring binoculars and watch the fun.
Night time is club time at the Beachcomber and there's a busy season of performers. Check out the calendar. Important: Know your limit or your designated driver. Wellfleet Police are waiting for you on all points leaving The Beachcomber.
Whale Watch, Provincetown, MA
Cape Cod is as attractive to whales as it is to people, with hundreds of endangered right whales observed by scientists frollicking in Cape Cod Bay this winter alone.
Some whale watch companies guarantee a whale sighting on your paid trip, and why wouldn't they? In addition to the Rights, there are Finbacks, Minkes and Pilot whales hanging around. The boat captains know many of the whales by name to make the experience particularly personal. This is not the thing to do if you partied a little too hard the night before. Do your fellow passengers a favor and skip it if there's a chance of a bad ending. If you're OK with motion, bring some bonine and check it out. Most of the world never gets to see a whale. You can be one of the lucky ones.
The watches depart from MacMillan Pier in the heart of Provincetown. Shop around to get the boat and price you want.
Edward Gorey Museum
Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000) was an American illustrator whose pen and ink drawings appeared in books and newspapers, and whose fanciful themes inspired sets and costumes on Broadway and beyond.
Gorey loved Cape Cod and in 1979 he purchased a former sea captain's home at 8 Strawberry Lane on the village green in historic Yarmouthport. That home was turned into a museum when Gorey died in 2000. The artist's original sketches and collections are housed in the museum which offers a unique opportunity into the mind and studio of this whimsical genius with a hint of the dark side.
This year the museum focuses on the 28 Books of Edward Gorey's Fantods Press with an exhibit entitled "F is for Fantods".
Believe it or not, drive-in movie theaters were commonplace when your parents grew up in the 1960s. Cape Cod's only drive-in is 57 years old this year and still going strong with the introduction of dolby sound.
The playground and snack bar are a trip back in time and they're popular with families waiting for darkness to descend so you can actually see the screen. Tickets are per person, not per car and if you arrive in a large vehicle like an SUV, pickup or mini-van, you'll be directed toward the back of the lot.
Bring bug spray because if it's a hot night you'll need to open your car windows and it can be brutal. You're not allowed to run the engine to have AC.
Skydiving in Chatham
Test your nerves with the ultimate thrill, skydiving over Cape Cod. Skydive Cape Cod in Chatham has been launching people from planes since 2007, much to the frustration of the neighbors who hear every word people yell on the way down. Every. Word.
Planes take off from the quaint Chatham Municipal Airport on George Ryder Road. You freefall, tandem with an instructor for 45 seconds, before the parachute is deployed and you drift for five to seven minutes more enjoying the awesome view. They'll sell you photos of yourself in mid-air too so you can bring proof to the office when you go back.
Provincetown After Dark
The U.S. Census Bureau calls Provincetown "The Gayest City in America", a mantle it wears proudly. By day it shares bustling Commercial Street with families with young children, European visitors, artists, fisherman and straights. At night, Provincetown has the most diverse nightlife outside of Hyannis.
There are terrific restaurants with sophistication that surprises you once you get past the shabby building in need of paint. Live theatre, cabaret, and tea dances round out the edgy options. Choose from leather-and-chains meetups underground to parties on the sand by the harbor. Provincetown is like no other place on earth. It's that wonderful.
Get there as the sun is going down and hit the beach for "golden hour" portraits and selfies. It's the most flattering light for the face and makes even a cellphone camera look professional.
Kayak Rentals on Swan Pond and River
Cape Cod has a ton of fresh-water and the lakes, ponds and rivers are perfect for boating. In Dennisport you can rent a one or two person kayak and paddle south on the Swan River to the ocean before turning around and heading north to Swan Pond.
Cape Cod Waterways is open from 8 am till 7:30 pm. The owner tells me an hour and a half is the perfect length of time to do the entire stretch. .
One word of caution; do not be tempted to kayak in the open ocean no matter how strong and skilled you are. Two college students thought they could stay close to shore in Harwich Port one afternoon a few years ago. A three-day search discovered one body floating three miles offshore. The second student was never found. The ocean is no place for a kayak. Stick to the ponds.
There are two wineries on Cape Cod that offer tours and tastings: Truro Vineyards on the outer Cape, and Cape Cod Winery in Falmouth. There is a third winery with tastings by appointment only, but First Crush in Harwich is for serious wine lovers and not for people looking for something different to do in an afternoon.
Cape Cod Winery is currently undergoing renovations at their new tasting venue on 4 Ox Bow Rd. in Falmouth Check their website for updates on the progress. They hope to reopen this summer.
Truro Vineyards is open 7 days a week at their beautiful site just east of Rt. 6. The 1830s farmhouse is pure New England-- no chance you landed in Napa or the Finger Lakes here. The owners have spent a small fortune on improving the facility and thus, the wines. It's definitely worth a stop and a tasting.
Deep Sea Fishing
Seafood is Cape Cod's most famous fare because it's all swimming just offshore. It doesn't get any fresher than this. Why not go out and meet it?
There are fishing charter companies from Buzzards Bay to Provincetown and all points in between -- too many to link to here.
How to choose? Price and quality of vessel of course, and ask if they guarantee you'll catch something. Many companies do. Rock Harbor in Orleans is mapped for you, but honestly, you can grab a charter from nearly every town on the Cape.
Shark, bluefin tuna, bluefish and the trophy striped bass are just some of the fishies awaiting you.
You'll probably pay for this stuff with a credit card. I found a site with good tips for young people when paying with plastic. It's creditcardinsider.com. I received no compensation for this article. I just thought these would be fun to do.
I have long predicted that fresh drinking water with be the valuable commodity in this century that petroleum was in the last. The supply is dwindling all over the world.
The problem in the southwest and western U.S. is much worse than in the northeast, however, this infographic by the California Association of Realtors can help us all see where our water goes.
Check out water use in a typical three-bedroom single family home. In California, that home uses 174,000 gallons per year, the majority going to a surprising purpose.
Small changes in habit can bring big rewards down the road. Here is a list of residential water conservation tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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As oceanfront living becomes accessible only to the wealthy, a funky little neighborhood in Harwich remains attractive to the masses.
The "Campgrounds", formally carved out at the turn of the last century as the Ocean Grove Campgrounds, brought people to the shores of Nantucket Sound for a series of summertime religious revival meetings in the early 20th century. In the early years, believers camped out in tents however rainy weather no doubt prompted the construction of wooden platforms for the tents. These eventually sprouted dozens of tiny stick-style cottages of 200 to 500 square feet which remain today.
100 years later, the original architectural lines are still visible within second stories and small additions, but Campgrounds cottages attract people who don't mind crowding in with those they love. Conversations can be heard across three or four houses, so what happens at the Campgrounds, stays at the Campgrounds, as the familiar sales pitch goes.
The Memorial Day holiday weekend recently brought returning families together for an annual pot-luck picnic. A very young child, perhaps no older than 7, circled the block on his pint-sized motorized car with another very young friend who pushed himself along on a scooter. As the children disappeared from one set of eyes on a porch, they were picked up by another next door, and so on and so on.
Retirees strolled to the homes of other retirees and they caught up on news about grandchildren while planting flowers and laying fragrant cedar mulch . Teenagers walked the streets home from the beach in nothing more than a bathing suit. No shoes, no shirts-- no problem at the Campgrounds!
That is the Harwich Ocean Grove Campgrounds, a special place so close to the sea. There are currently three homes for sale in the neighborhood, one of them can be seen here.
And for a "commute" to the beach from that home, enjoy the walk below.
It's been four years in the making but google's self-driving car-- with no accelerator, brake, ignition or steering wheel is getting closer to America's open roads than ever before.
Google is building a fleet of 100 of the vehicles, which resemble a Mercedes-Benz' Smart more than any other vehicle. It's fully electric, travels 100 miles on a single charge, and is controlled by a cellphone app.
The company faces many years of regulatory controls long after it works out the bugs by using the cars at it's Seattle-based campus. The company reports there hasn't been a single accident on test runs in California, which is one of only three states, -- Florida and Nevada are the others, to allow experimental vehicles like this on their roads.
Google cars travel no faster than 25 miles per hour and are designed for urban and suburban use, not super-highways. Florida retirement communities will likely buy fleets for their quiet communities next.
Designers envision a fleet of the driverless cars in Manhattan, where gasoline powered taxi cabs operate for $4. per mile. Google says a driverless taxi can get the job done for 50 cents per mile and with virtually no wait time, no pollution and no swearing. Can you imagine never having to raise your arm to hail a cab in Manhattan again?
I would love to see these little cuties all over Cape Cod. Visitors unfamiliar with our roads could leave the driving to google while fully enjoying the beautiful scenery outside the window. Lost visitors wouldn't clog traffic behind them. No more mistaking the accelerator for the brake and ending up inside a house or convenience store. You could nestle two or three of these cars in one SUV spot in our limited space in the villages or beaches. How about 40 of these in the same parking lot that currently accommodates 25 or 30 conventional vehicles?
In the future, we might see these awaiting passengers at the Transportation Center in Hyannis. Visitors who take the Cape Flyer Train service from South Station in Boston must explore Cape Cod on their feet, their bicycles or our anemic public transportation. They could summon a quiet little google car, dictate Cape Cod National Seashore into their smart phone and away they go.
Sure there will be computer glitches which have the potential to cause a crash, but at 25 miles per hour and a front-end comprised mostly of foam, damage to anything including pedestrians and bicyclists will be minimal. It's about time.
Acknowledging the governmental red tape and 100 years of habits among the motoring public, Google co-founder Sergey Brin told the New York Times self-driving cars will get here. “Self-driving cars have the potential to drive in trains much closer together and, in theory, in the future at much higher speeds.
“There is nothing to say that once you demonstrate the safety, why can’t you go 100 miles per hour?” Bring it on.
Want to take a "spin" in a google car? Enjoy the ride below.
As hope grows for a third bridge to ease traffic congestion coming and going from Cape Cod, Linear Air has begun an executive shuttle service between Boston and Chatham.
According to the Cape Cod Chronicle, the company makes 50-minute runs from Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass. to the Chatham air strip Fridays at 4:45 pm with return flights Sundays at 2:00 pm from Chatham. The speedy service cuts the commute from two hours with no traffic, and four hours or more during peak traffic times. Convenience comes with a steep price however, tickets cost $1,115 for a round-trip fare.
Neighbors needn't worry about the Chatham airport becoming as busy as Provincetown, or the Hamptons in New York. The runways in Chatham handle planes that accommodate up to eight passengers only and officials doubt there will be a huge demand for the pricey transportation option.
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If you're coming to the Cape this summer and your rental cottage has no internet connection, here are the free hot-spots in Harwich, Chatham and Orleans.
Happy surfing on Cape Cod, in all ways.
Harwich Hot Spots
Chatham Hot Spots
Orleans Hot Spots
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Many travelers say the vacation begins with the planning from home. I recall the joy of selecting a Cape Cod rental for my own family each year. The scent of the sea practically filled my kitchen where I sat at my little desk browsing cottages by computer late at night.
Planning a budget for housing and activities is fun. Adding a line for gasoline, not so much.
A website by the Petroleum Institute makes the topic of gasoline a little more interesting, if not enjoyable. Did you know for example, that the average amount of state taxes and fees added to the cost of a gallon of gas in the U.S. is 31.49 Cents?
Of the six New England States, three states charge higher than the national average in taxes and fees, and three charge less. They are, per gallon:
Below National Average
For some perspective, gasoline taxes and fees levied in New Hampshire aren't even close to the average; 19.63 cents per gallon versus the average 31.49 cents. And southern states, with the exception of Texas, charge far below the average too.
Click this interactive map to tour the whole country via state and local gas taxes. You never knew gasoline could be so, well, interesting. Or maybe not.
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Passenger Rail Service Returns to Cape Cod
I walked the dogs at Chapin Beach today, having traded my high heels for a pair of flip flops in the parking lot after showing a super sweet condo at nearby Bay Green in Dennis.
In true fashion, a portion of the road leading to this remote beach on Cape Cod Bay had been washed away by the winter storms, but rebuilt again. The beach is too much of a treasure to let annual storms stand in the way of enjoying it for the rest of the year.
Between this beach and neighboring Sesuit Harbor to the west, scientists and observers sighted more than 100 rare right whales over the past several months. With only 500 known to exist in all the world, it's astonishing that more than 100 rights were regularly seen swimming in the Bay where zooplankton near the surface provided a whale's version of McDonalds.
According to the blog Cape Cod Bay Watch, the endangered right whale has suffered decades of decline due to environmental factors, but the biggest threat to these gentle giants now is propeller strikes and net entanglements. It's illegal to come within 500 feet of a whale, but somebody needs to tell the whales. They continue to float up under vessels and get hit. An injured whale was spotted in Cape Cod Bay last month.
Cape Cod was ground zero for rare whales this spring. An even rarer bowhead whale was sighted frollicking with the herd of right whales in April. Bowheads are usually spotted in Alaska so this one was way off course.
Anyone who sees a right whale is asked to report it to authorities. A screen grab of a government map shows 2014 was rush hour for right whales. For the full interactive version, click here.
And keep your eyes out for the whales offshore all around Cape Cod. Peak season has passed but a few stragglers may wish to enjoy the summer season with the rest of us.
Property taxes on Cape Cod currently range from a high of $14.57 per thousand dollars of assessed value in Sandwich, to a low of $5.08 in Chatham. The rate in Chatham is among the lowest in Massachusetts. Only Chilmark, Hancock, Edgartown, Nantucket, Alford, and Aquinnah have a lower rate.
The median tax rate on Cape Cod is $8.18 -- the Brewster rate.
It is easy to calculate a property tax bill if you know the assessed value of a home, which can be found online in the various town websites.
Divide the assessed value by 1000. For example, a home assessed at $389,000 would be 389. Then multiply by the tax rate. For Brewster, that would be 389 x 8.17 = 3,182.02. The annual tax bill for that property in Brewster is $3,182.02.
To illustrate how much a tax rate can matter, take the same property in high-tax Sandwich and the tax bill on a $389,000 home is $5,667.73 . In Chatham, it's $1,976.12. Big difference which adds up over time. In ten years with hypothetically no increase in the rate, the Sandwich homeowner pays out $56,677,30 while the Chatham homeowner pays $19,761.20. The difference is enough to buy a car.
To be sure, property tax does not tell the entire story about home costs. In Chatham the median price of a home is now $525,000, according to the Massachusetts Property Information Network. In Sandwich the median price is $289,500. Therefore, the median tax bill in Chatham is $2,667.00 and the median tax bill in Sandwich is $4,218.01.
With the cost of schools, fire and police protection and road repair etc. costing essentially the same from town to town, a municipality with lower property values must offset the difference with a higher tax rate, thus the wide discrepancy.
Lastly, while the cost of your home does not change, the cost of your property tax almost always rises each year. As you shop for a home, ask your realtor about the property tax rate. Unlike the mortgage payment, the tax bill will increase over the course of homeownership.