Cape Cod - July 2008

In early July we took a trip to see Kristina's family on the Cape. This was the first time in a while we got to visit there during the summer. On the way out we got stuck in a heavy rain/hail/thunderstorm on the Mass Pike, and once that was over we got stuck in night construction all along 495. We did make it eventually.

The next day we were up early, and went to Mass Audubon Long Pasture for a Butterfly talk. After watching some slides we went in search of butterflies, and saw a few.

Here's a skipper of some sort sitting on some clover (I really need a macro lens):

And here's some sort of butterfly with eye spots (yes, we're being exact and scientific here):

The next day we went on a grand tour of the outer cape, because I hadn't really been there before. We first stopped at Fort Hill and went for a hike:
Fort Hill

Then we went to Marconi Beach, where 100 years ago Marconi set up a wireless transmitter to communicate across the Atlantic. The transmitter is long since gone (and the actual site is mostly washed away) but they had a nice model:
Marconi Model

Here's a picture of the nearby beach, you can't tell but it's at least 30-40 feet down to the level of the ocean:
Marconi Cliff

We then stopped by Newcomb Hollow beach to take a look at the wreck of an old Schooner that washed ashore this past winter. It's starting to get covered up again, but is still there:
Newcomb Hollow Schooner

We then went to Provincetown, for our final destination which was a whale watch. Here's a picture of the Pilgrim Monument (which previously I had only seen from above from an airplane on its way to Sweden):
Provincetown Pilgrim Monument

We eventually found our whale-watch boat, and before long we were out to sea. This is I think the Race Point Light (there were at least three light houses we went past):
Race Point Light

It was a bit windy out, and the water was a little choppy. I managed not to get wet; others on the boat weren't as lucky. We first encountered some Finback Whales, first from a distance:
Finback Whales

And then a bit more close up:
More Finback Whales

We spent a lot of time following them around, and Kristina was getting impatient, wanting to see some others. So we zoomed out a bit, and found some Humpback Whales. It was a mother and a baby, and they put on a show, with repeated breaches (where they jump fully out of the water). Of course I wasn't able to capture pictures of this, by the time my slow camera managed to take the picture all that was left was the big splash of their re-entry:
After a Breach

They also flipped their tails as they were diving, but I wasn't able to fully capture that either. So I'm fired as a whale photographer.
Whale Tail

Here you can see the mother and baby whale swimming off:
Mother and Baby Whale

It was getting dark, so we returned back to port. Here's a GPS map of our trip (only for the way out, I was inside on the way back and didn't get signal from inside):
Whale Watch GPS

The next day was the Fourth of July. In the evening we went to some of the local celebrations, one of which was to have an illuminated boat competition on a nearby pond. Of course the picture didn't come out very well:
Pond Fire

We then went to watch the locals sit around bonfires and shoot off Illegal Fireworks at a nearby beach:

The next day Kristina's friend Cynthia from Rhode Island came to visit, and we spent the afternoon with her.

The following day we went for a hike along the Cape Code Canal:
Cape Cod Canal

Afterward we went for a swim in Hoxie pond. It was nearly time to go, so we had to pack everything into our car, and we left early the next morning. It's always sad to leave!
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