2016 Summer Retreat - Evading the heat? travel blog

The beach house

'50's era Mercedes convertible

Godfrey's Grist Mill

The labyrinth at the mill

Bob in contemplation on the labyrinth

The miller's tiller for turning the cap of the windmill

French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, landed at Chatham in 1609

Chatham Lighthouse and Coast Guard Station

Lighthouse Beach - no one is in the water

Rose hips on the dunes at Lighthouse Beach

1970's era Mini, a far cry from the current BMW version

Memorial to CG36500

A gull waiting for scraps at the Chatham Fish Pier

The fishing Fleet was in for the annual "Hookers Ball" - it's...

You can get an aerial view of Chatham and the coast from...

The view from the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center

It was a good day for sailing

Some of the flowers in front of the Chatham Bars Inn

Bob and Paul taking in the ocean sights

View from the porch of the Chatham Bars Inn

Time for a group picture

We spent the weekend hanging with some old friends in Chatham, MA. Paul and Chris own an old Cape Cod cottage in Chatham,MA on the elbow of Cape Cod, one of 3 that form a little family compound off the beaten track. Bob and Roberta from Delaware joined us for the weekend. It was great to get together with these folks and enjoy the Cape, sea food (stripped bass, lobster, bluefish, clams, clam chowder, and Delaware crab cakes), and just good times sitting around or visiting some of the sights in Chatham.

The first place we went was the Godfrey Grist Mill built in 1797 that operated grinding corn until 1898. It was moved from it's original location on a hill overlooking Mill Pond in 1956 and restored to working order in 2007. It's a wind powered grist mill that has a rotating cap so that the miller could turn it using the long tail pole to allow the sails to pick up the wind. The tail pole has a wagon wheel on one end to make it easier to reposition the top. This grist mill saved the farmers from making the trip all the way to Plymouth to get their corn ground. Wind conditions permitting, the mill's arms still spin and the millstones turn to make cornmeal for sale. Behind the wind mill is a labyrinth that was built to resemble the floor of the Cathedral in Chartes, France. Bob walked the labyrinth to the center and back while we watched. I'm sure he was contemplating his coming retirement from Noramco after more than 30 years.

We drove over to the beach across from Chatham Lighthouse to see if we could see any sharks. Great whites have been sighted of the beach at Chatham in the last couple of weeks. There's a smart phone app that locates great whites along the coast that have been tagged by marine biologists. The ocean beach on the other side of the barrier island that protects Chatham Harbor was closed because sharks were feeding on a whale carcass. Needless to say we didn't do any ocean swimming.

The lighthouse is also an active Coast Guard Station. It was the location that the rescue of the crew of the SS Pendleton was launched in a terrible storm in 1952. The crew of Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG 36500 made one of the most daring rescues in Coast Guard history when they ventured into the storm and rescued 32 of the 33 crew member that had been trapped on the stern section of the tanker. The story is told in a recent movie, The Finest Hours, and in a 2009 book by the same name. It's playing in the Chatham movies so we should go see it before we leave.

We ended the weekend with a few drinks on the front porch of the Chatham Bars Inn overlooking Chatham Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Paul and Chris headed back to Boston and Bob and Roberta traveled south to Delaware. Sue and I will be on the Cape at least until Thursday. We'll be looking to see what else the Cape has to offer. Stay tuned.

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