Thursday, February 14, 2008

Provincetown People Parade

A trip to Provincetown, in season, usually raises a few eyebrows, especially for the more straight-laced visitors who don't know what to expect when they arrive.
P-town has many festivals and celebrations throughout the year, with street parades and flamboyant displays of "dress-up." Women's week, bear week, Carnival, etc. are times when one should expect over the top attire.

You can, however, see "head turning" sights at other times. Commercial Street is the place to see people "strutting their stuff." In fact, it has been said that "people watching" is the second most popular activity in Provincetown during the summer months....second only to Whale Watching. One should always be ready for a surprise.

Individuals traveling to Provincetown for a Whale Watch tour and maybe a meal while shopping for some souveniers can come away with a number of stories.

Walking down Commercial Street one day, I could see a most attractive and glamorous woman standing in an evening gown up ahead . She had that classic hourglass figure, long flowing blonde hair and flawless make-up; she was a definite "head-turner." As we passed her, she said to our group in a voice that reminded me of Brad Garrett (the older brother on Everybody Loves Raymond) "Show starts in 5 minutes, boys."

While a sunny summer day is one of the best times to experience this small town, if your trip to P-Town happens to coincide with inclement weather, there are still rainy-day activities available to you there.

Provincetown is usually a fun and somewhat exciting place here at this artist's colony at the very tip of Cape Cod.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Restaurant in Wellfleet

People familiar with Wellfleet will remember a restaurant called "Eric's Seafood" that was located on Route 6 next to Oliver's clay tennis courts. This restaurant has been sold and next season will be renamed "Monkey See, Monkey Do."

The new restaurant will try to appeal to families, offering seafood, steak, chicken and pork dishes as well as pizza and ice cream.

In the many years that I have lived in Wellfleet, I have never seen a restaurant do well in this location and I wish the new owners all the luck. Once they open, I will definitely stop by and give it a "test eat" and report my findings here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Beach Guards

Back in the 1990's when Al Gore was Vice-President of the U.S. he took a Cape Cod vacation...staying in a private home in the National Seashore. The house was up on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with the beach below. For security purposes, the secret service closed access to the road leading to the house and they also patrolled the beach below the house wearing their black suits.

Since the press were not allowed to approach the Vice-President or his family at the house, one local newspaper reporter approached the secret service agents on the beach to ask a few questions. The stretch of beach, in Truro, was known for sunbathers who seek that "all over tan."

The reporter asked the secret service agent if it was difficult for them to be standing in the sun wearing their black suits. The agent replied that, actually, their job was pretty easy at this venue since they can be sure no one on the beach had concealed weapons!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

An easy swamp walk that I recommend

Wellfleet has a wonderful, short (approx. 1 mile long) hiking trail located at the Marconi Station Site off if Route 6. The trail begins off of the parking lot, near the rest rooms. It is a sandy path that leads to the cedar swamp. The cedar swamp itself has a boardwalk through it to keep your feet dry. The return trip to the parking lot is again on a sandy path. The actual "swamp" part of the trail is truly amazing and other worldly. The trees are unlike any of the others you see on the Outer Cape (which are mostly scrub oak and pitch pine). It is an easy walk and fine for the entire family. Keep in mind that it is a swamp and particularly on hot, humid days, you would be well advised to bring and use insect repellant unless slapping yourself is one of your favorite pasttimes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shipwreck washes ashore

On Newcomb Hollow Beach in January, the remains of a 19th century ship washed ashore after a winter storm. There's really not much left, just the skeleton of the hull sitting on the beach sand but it is an unusual sight and it is drawing quite a crowd to the beach on a winter's day. New England Cable News did a story on it and posted their video on-line .

The treasures given up by the sea on Wellfleet's beaches is usually an old bottle, shell or unrecognizable piece of metal. For the die-hard beachcomber who scours the shore as part of his or her daily constitution in search for whatever the sea will surrender, finding the remains of a ship must have been quite a surprise.
If the timbers are still there this summer, I just hope some party-goer doesn't get inspired to use it as fuel for a beach fire. You never know.

Dolphin Strandings

Here it is the first week in February, 2008 and we've already had dolphins, in Cape Cod bay, getting stranded on the beaches at low tide. Two at First Encounter Beach in Easthem on Feb. 1 and two more off of Mayo Beach in Wellfleet a few days after that. The two in Wellfleet were successfully re-directed back into deeper water and saved. The channel in Wellfleet harbor is so narrow at low tide it's easy for boaters to run aground so it's no surprise that confused aquatic mammals get stuck sometimes too.
Many theories abound about why dolphin and whales beach themselves. One plausible explanation is that the animals enter the hook of Cape Cod above Provincetown heading west, and then swim south a bit, possibly chasing fish into Cape Cod Bay. Later, when they want to swim back east and to the open ocean, they hit the Eastham, Wellfleet and Truro beaches because they didn't swim north enough to escape the hooked land mass.
This makes sense to me. This theory is supported by the fact that in the past, when some whales were pushed back into the deeper waters of Cape Cod Bay and re-floated, they then swam in an easterly direction and back onto the beach!
This could be an example of Natural Selection with nature weeding out the aquatic mammals who have faulty internal compasses or who cannot remember to swim back the way they came... up north before heading east.