Welcome to our blog!

Here you'll find all sorts of news, information, photos and stories behind many of the photos that we've taken over the years. You'll also find announcements of upcoming promotions that we'll be offering for purchasing prints and gifts from our photos. We'd encourage you to subscribe to our blog so that you'll be the first to know and see what's going on along our Carolina and New England shores.

As always, please feel free to contact us via our Contact Page with any questions, concerns or suggestions!

Happy Browsing - Gerry & Pat

 

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Sailing the Vineyard

August 26, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

On my recent trip to Marthas Vineyard to visit family, I had the wonderful opportunity to sail nearly half way around the island  from Vineyard Haven to Menemsha aboard the sailing vessel Mia. It brought a whole new perspective to some of the spots on the island that I had seen before but not from this vantage point. It also brought into focus just what it takes to captain one of these beautiful vessels and maneuver it through changing waters dotted with multiple other boats large and small enjoying their day out in the Vineyard waters. I certainly would never be up for the task!

I'll take you out into the waters via the photos I was lucky enough to get along our way. With winds blowing and boats rocking, it was a challenge holding steady for photos but thanks to great Ricoh technology, I managed to have a reasonable amount of success. Even on such a clear & bright sunny summer day, in many cases I had to push ISO to >1600 in order to shoot fast enough to minimize blur.

I'll start of with 3 photos of the boat herself so you'll get a good idea of how spectacular our little voyage was. 

For each and all of the photos, please click on the thumbnail and you will be redirected to the gallery where you view the image full size as well as purchase the image (or any other on my website) in a wide variety of formats from reprints, calendars, coffee mugs, canvas prints and so much more!

 

 

 

The BIA

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The Route

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We started our day at the Vineyard Haven Marina, where the MIA is moored when she is not out on the water. The harbor was just abuzz with activity as one would expect for a lovely summer afternoon!

 

Sights in the harbor in Vineyard Haven

 

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While boarding and preparing to get underway, we were graced by the beauty of some of the finest boats around, which included the Schooners Alabama and Shenandoah, both part of the Black Dog Tall Ship group. Both of the beauties are available and certified for coastal cruising not more than 20 miles from a harbor of refuge. Please check out their website for more details.

A few years back, we were so very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to spot the Alabama up in Provincetown where she was preparing to depart on her voyage back to the Vineyard. How beautiful she was after raising her sails and setting her course!

 

The Schooner Alabama - One of the Black Dog Tall Ships

 

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We made our way slowly out of the harbor bearing in mind all the heavy traffic and the shout outs by the harbormaster to the misguided boaters ignoring the no-wake markers in the harbor. Be in on the road or thew water, there will always be those who feel safety rules do not apply to them, but that's a story for another day!

We followed the route under sail out into the sound that mirrored that of the Steamship Authority into Woods Hole. Two of my favorite lighthouses were along our path and finally within distance to get a couple good shots. The first (on the left) is West Chop Lighthouse which protects the west entrance to Vineyard Haven and on the right is Nobska Light with sits atop the bluff in Falmouth, overlooking the sound.

 

Lighthouses in the Sound

 

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We continued on a heading seemingly to Woods Hole but of course we were headed that way merely to keep the sails up and the wind on our back! To make our way to Menemsha, we turned our course more south, southwest, into the wind and on diesel power. As we turned, we crossed path with one of the most beautiful boats on the planet: a Grand Banks Yacht!

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We sailed south/southwest along the northwest facing edge of the island, an area I had never seen before and an area which is dramatically different from the rest of the island: heavily wooded and steep facing hills and sand leading down to narrow and rocky beachfronts. You can see from the photos below the terrain you're dealing with along the shore, the stairway from nowhere, the rocky beach and the homes cliffside.

 

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Continuing along the route provided us with some spectacular views of the sheer cliffs and the multi-million dollar homes perched along the dunes and hidden in the vegetation. To drop a couple names, the homes of John Kerry & Martha Stewart are along this stretch of waterfront.

 

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One of the more memorable and historically significant sights along the way is this tall, iconic spire rising 45 ft towards the sky. 

"On the craggy northwestern coast of Martha’s Vineyard, a roughly 45-foot chimney rises above the shoreline like an oversized maroon candle on a rubbly birthday cake. For mariners, that chimney in the sleepy town of Chilmark has long been a marker for plotting courses across Vineyard Sound. For decades, it was the most visible aspect of 18 overgrown, seldom-visited acres." Courtesy thetrustees.org

The Brickyard was one of the earliest brick-making operations with much of their production going to help build the city of Boston. Please take a few minutes to read about the significance of the Brickyard here and here. Thanks to the Trustees for keeping the history alive and allowing the public to witness it as well!

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What Gilligan would be foolish enough not to provide snacks for the 3 hour tour, the 3 hour tour!

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If you don't know where you came from, how will you know where you're going?

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Coming up on our destination: Menemsha Harbor.

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Coming up to Menemsha, the beach, the harbor and waters around were abuzz with summertime activity. There are few places quite so captivating and idyllic as Menemsha, It has maintained its historic fishing roots, albeit, significantly diminished. It is the 'go to' place for sunsets across the beach where, on any given early evening, you'll be parked at one of the last remaining drive-in theaters, showing repeats of the same nature movie night after night....but not one of them ever being the same.

 

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Once into the harbor, it is a feast for the eyes; sensory overload! The beauty of this harbor and the postage stamp town cannot be described or understated. 

 

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Once we disembarked, it was time to hit the market and prepare for dinner and wander around 'town' before hitting the pavement back to Oak Bluffs. If you've ever spent any time in Menemsha, you'll know that your first and usually only stop for fish and seafood is, of course, Menemsha Fish Market. Great fish, great prices and service that will astonish you! The $20 lobster roll ain't too bad either! Our menu, for the second night in a row, was of course lobster! (among other delicacies)

 

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A short walk around town and across the harbor reveals a plethora of hidden treasures and photographic opportunities galore!

 

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I hope you've enjoyed our little sail around the horn  and if you haven't visited this neck of the woods, I hope that this photo tour will provide you with the incentive to get out to the island.

Gerry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


Trumpet Flowers -- Flowers with a Buzz

August 17, 2023  •  Leave a Comment


The Mills of Pawtucket, RI

May 25, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

 

The Mills of Pawtucket and the Power of the Blackstone River

 

Living in New England for most of my life, I was witness to or had good knowledge of how our area contributed to the great American Industrial Movement. The region was blessed with mighty rivers that contributed more than just the power to the mills and factories that were the backbone of New England.

I grew up along the Connecticut River valley where paper and textile mills dotted the 200 mile stretch of the river. One of the areas prominent brewers, Hampden/Piels Beer was located right on the river in Holyoke, MA, just a short drive from my home. The Merrimack River in Eastern Mass which flowed through Lawrence and Lowell was home to some of the finest shoe factories. The Blackstone River split Mass in half, flowed through Rhode Island and down to the Long Island Sound. It was home to the first cotton mill which was only a few miles from where we lived, but never bothered to explore its history until we moved South and made a visit back North. I was amazed and delighted to see what I saw and was able to capture. The architecture is simply stunning and the restoration of many of the buildings helps keep the history alive!

Here's a little background on the mills and a slide show of many of my photos. I hope you enjoy. You can view all the photos in their gallery here.

 

                                

                         

 

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Westport, MA ~~ Fishing & Farming for Centuries

May 09, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Tucked away on the Southern Mass coastline and adjacent to the Rhode Island shore sits an idyllic little town called Westport, MA. Westford Point sits, sheltered on the East Branch of the Westport River creating a safe harbor for what began as a whaling port and still continues as a viable fishing village.

On a recent trip up North to visit family, I decided on a half day trip down to Horseneck Beach which I hadn't visited in decades! As I got closer to the beach, I noticed a small harbor filled with boats and made myself a mental note to try to find a way down along the river to get a closer look. When I finished my walks and photographs down at the beach, I started to make my way back home and lucky for me, I had no trouble finding my way down the dead end road and arrived at the Westport Shellfish Department. I was astonished at the beauty that I saw all along the quiet road down to the water. With camera in hand, I strolled up and down Main Rd in awe of the beautiful 18th century ship captain's homes and their back yards along the river. 

Here's a slide show of the homes along Main Rd. I'll follow up with photos of the fishing fleets that called Westport home.

 


The Gingerbread Houses of Oak Bluffs

January 13, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

In all the years that I've been going to the Vineyard and driving right through Oak Bluffs, the only time I've taken the time to notice any of the gingerbreads is when I've been driving along Beach Rd or photographing Christmas lights at Ocean Park. I knew there was an entire community nestled back in town but just never took the time. This trip I vowed I would wander around with the intent of not just seeing the houses but photographing them at Christmastime. 

A little background on the 'Hansel & Gretel' houses and the community: it was a group of Methodists who held religious retreats and meetings on the Islands back in the 1800's and at the time, they camped out mainly just in tents. As the attendance grew, so did the need for better and more permanent accommodations as well. 

The original cluster of 500 cottages was initially known as “Cottage City,” until the name was changed to Oak Bluffs in 1880. The storybook design is actually an architectural style called Carpenter’s Gothic which was very popular at the time. As time went on,  these individually decorated cottages, painted with bright and vivid colors with candy-like pillars and ornaments, became known as the “gingerbread houses.” 

There are currently about 300 of these houses in the "campground," the cottage museum at the entrance, and the Tabernacle at the center of the complex where meetings and religious activities take place and where it is rumored that Larry David will occasionally surface. The big event of the year is Grand Illumination Night which began in 1869. The campground and the cottages are decorated with paper lanterns transforming the area into a magical fantasyland!


Just below you'll see a sampling of the utter cuteness of the gingerbread homes taken a few days after Christmas. Click on each one to view full size in the gallery. If you are interested, any of the photos can be purchased in many formats and you can purchase a digital download for just $2 which affords you unlimited, non-commercial use.

The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community. The Gingerbread Houses of Oak BluffsStep back into another time at the Campground in Oak Bluffs where 19th century homes sitting just a few feet from each other still line the streets of this little Hansel & Gretel community.

 


Huntington Beach State Park Bike Route

November 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment