Out of Town-day 3

Greetings from Yarmouth Mass:

Yesterday afternoon was time incredibly well-spent.

My step-son, Marc had to go to Provincetown to get a beach use permit for vehicular accesss to Race Point Beach National Seashore. He and his two sons Nick and Tim (my step-grand-children) go there frequently in the summer.

Marc invited Joanie & me to go along–and spend some time in Provincetwon–the easternmost town on Cape Cod.

We were at the seashore for a little more than an hour during which time I got some (posssibly) good dune and dune-fence studies. I had not been to an area like this in many years–rolling dunes, exquisitely weathered, twisted and broken dune fences  rising in and out of the blowing sand, scruffy, bristlely maritime forest–many of the scraggly pines were shaped like Bonsai. I had forgotten what an otherwordly experience it is–like stepping into another dimension.

Then into Provincetown–which is by the way–the first place the Pilgrims landed in 1620. They stayed about a month before moving on to Plymouth. A magnificant monument to the pilgrims, towering over the town, was competed in 1910. It was designed by Willard T. Sears after the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy–when I first saw it I thought the archietectural style looked oddly familiar. I later realized it brought to mind pictures from my old Art History textbook from decades ago.

We spent about an hour wandering around Fisherman’s Wharf.  Roughly a dozen fishing trawlers (locally known as “draggers”), ferries to Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts, several different sportfishing boats, boat rentals, and other commercial boats also use the harbor today. East Coast whalewatching on Stellwagen Bank originated as a joint effort of the Dolphin Fleet and the Center for Coastal Studies leaving from MacMillan Pier in 1975. (Wikipedia)

The magnicent old trawlers–working monuments to the uncompromising demands of making a living by “Going down to the sea in ships,” –were mind-blowing subjects to photograph. They were incredibly beaten and ravaged by the savage rigors of commercial fishing in the unforgiving north Atlantic.

Typing this the next day I can still see them in my mind’s eyeas as great mechanical hulks made up of tangles of rope and net and cable and cast-iron, uncompromisingly,  no-nonsense industrial machinery–countless layers of paint and rust , weather-stained and faded painted letters and numbers on the tireless hulls, scattered and piled junk under towering riggings of radar dishes, winches and cranes and enigmatic metal and fabric net works.

Looking around, great stacks of lobster traps and small bouys occupy the busy docks,  gulls screech and soar overhead. Lying  solemn and primevil in it’s dark vastness the ocean draws the eye to the east–one finds himself scanning the horizon  for those tiny, primitive little ships searching for a new world here on this sandy cape.

Here’s a link if you want to know more: http://wikipedia.org/wki/Provincetown_Harbor

Then we went into Provincetown. The main part of town is a delightful and intriguing warren of narrow, pedestrian-only streets crowded, stacked and jammed with shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants, souvenier venders.  The closest thing to it I can think of would be the exotic bazaars and market-places of the near east. 

This (the spring) is a great time of year to come here. While busy this time of year, it’s nothing like what it will be when the “season” hits. Tourists will jam the streets creating a wall-to-all mob scene amongst the crazy-quilt jumble of store-fronts, merchandise displays, fences, porches, alleys–a hundred differnent colors and architectural styles assaulting  all the senses– music blasting, a  constant barrage of scents–food cooking, beer, incense–and over all the flowing, churning  murmur and chatter of human speech and movement.

Between the dunes, the harbor and the town I must have fired off a thousand frames in the 4 or so hours we were in this magical place.

Thanks for coming–see you tomorrow.

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