Sunday, September 25, 2011

History Through an Artist's Brush

We finally have a little sunshine and warm weather to enjoy the art, history, and waterfront of Gloucester.  Saturday afternoon I went to the Cape Ann Art Museum and benefited from the Sails and Trails program, which the city is hosting over 2 or 3 weekends.  They were having a free lecture/walk through the waterfront area, highlighting the history and paintings of Henry Fitz Lane, a well-known artist from the early 1800's, known for his seascapes of Gloucester.  In fact, the park near our boat, has his home, and bronze sculpture of Henry, who from the age of 18 months was crippled(see picture below).  He is looking out over the sea and sketching, with his crutches by his side.  Born into a fishing family, he wasn't able to go to sea, but became a painter and lithographer, known for his detail of the ships and waterfront.  After the walk, I was able to tour the museum, which has a bountiful collection of his paintings, as well as several other local artists.

Sunday morning as we dinghied ashore we were able to photograph several dories from the dock.  There is a dory club in Gloucester, whose members have use of several dories for enjoyment and the occasional race.  The dories are beautifully maintained and a delight to watch.  A couple of mascots got to ride along "for ballast", I was told. 

In the afternoon, we toured the Maritime Center, which highlights the fishing/ sailing industry and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located between Cape Cod and Cape Ann at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay. 

Tomorrow we leave for Newburyport, MA, transiting through the Blynman Annisquam Canal.  We are planning to enter the canal at about half tide as there are two areas of concern.  There is shoaling at several points so we need enough water, so we don't run aground, and secondly there is a 65 foot bridge, with a repair work scaffold at the top of the bridge, which will shorten the vertical span by about 4 feet.  Our mast is about 61 feet high.  If we were to transit at high tide, we could have a problem getting under the bridge, but at half tide we will have four extra feet to play with, and shouldn't have a problem- a little nerve racking though!


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