12 August 2010

A tiny village

The normal sounds of the tiny fishing village are muffled by thick fog obscuring the views of the harbor, bluffs, and beach's along the coastline of Massachusetts this late August morning. Even with the thick fog, the bell buoy's and foghorn buoy's can be heard warning mariners away from the rocky shoals below where Bluff Light stands silently flashing it's message into the gloom.

The old light has recently been awareded historical significance and been refurbished with new 'state of the art' electronic technology, given a coat of paint and stands as majestically as it has for more than a century. The tiny outbuildings serve the light keeper well. They were sturdily built and have weathered storms as long as the light has. Every few years a new light keeper takes up residence to maintian the light as it warns sailors away from the rocky shoals below.

The freshening easterly breeze slaps rigging on sailboat masts moored across the bay in the inlet at the Yacht Club. Soon the boats will be gone. local fishing boats will be pulled from thewater into dry docks for winter storage and repairs. Pleasure boats will also be pulled into storage or sailed south by their experienced captian's and crews to the warmer climes of the Carolina's, Georgia, or Florida.

Along this coastal area only a few weeks of idyllic weather remains. Tourists will still come after Labor Day, but not in the droves as they have since mid-May. They will trickle through until the middle of October. By late September, most of the tourists will turn their attentions to the fall foliage and make their day trips to the western part of Massachusetts, into Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont for the brilliant annual fall colors. the constant hum of traffic across theBourne Bridge willslow and become barely discernable to the natives who stay the winter months. The bridge links the mainland.

The gloom brightened and the fog thinned as dawn came. I can imagine, though I cannot see yet, fishermen tossing old bait over the sides of their stout little boats as they chug toward open water and another day of hard work. The gulls fly in from every known direction. Who knows where they roost at night. They circle the boats screaming and fighting for every morsel thrown over the side as they follow the boats to sea.

As the season ends, the hardy locals will bank their seasonal fortunes and begin the rigorous job of boarding up businesses, the summer homes of the affluent, and battening down for the long winter months. Fishermen will spend the long winter days, though daylight shortened, repairing traps, building new ones to replace those lost at sea during the season, and repairing nets and trawl lines. Their boats will be repaired, refurbished and painted. Safety equipment will be repaired, new installed and tested. The Coast Guard will inspect every vessel certifying it safe to work the waters the next season.

With the new season, there will be an event. The event is festive. There is an air of hope, promise, and goodwill. The flotilla will gather across the bay in and around the inlet near the Yacht Club for "The Blessing of the Fleet". The village will attract large numbers of people for the one day event. It's a sight to see so many people, hundreds of boats and the hardiness of the village as it starts another season. The cycle repeats and begins again in this tiny village along the south coast of Massachusetts.

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