Mississauga Life Early Spring 2015 : Page 6
FACES & PLACES | TRAVEL Ocean Cape Cod evokes the magic of chilhood memories. Words and photography by Gay Peppin Call of the 06 Mississauga Life Early Spring 2015
Call Of The Ocean
<br /> Cape Cod evokes the magic of chilhood memories.<br /> <br /> I remember the taste of salt and the feel of sea spray as the small sailboat skipped over the waves of Cape Cod Bay. When I was a child, I visited this enchanted place of sand dunes, craft shops and quaint cottages, and these memories drew me back on Victoria Day weekend last year, before the big crowds arrived for Memorial Day.<br /> <br /> Cape Cod, Massachusetts, is a sandy peninsula of forests, marshes, beaches and dunes that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean like a flexed arm. In the 1600s, settlers began farming the land, fishing, whaling and establishing villages and towns. Today, tourism is the primary influence on the economy of this ocean getaway.<br /> <br /> I stayed at a charming bed and breakfast in Harwich Port, a short walk to a beach on Nantucket Sound where the roiling waves of the Atlantic mesmerized me.<br /> <br /> The oldest town on the Cape is Sandwich, established in 1637 and incorporated in 1639. The Boston and Sandwich Glass Factory, founded in 1825, was a major part of the town’s economy for many years. The Sandwich Historical Society established the Sandwich Glass Museum, which presents glass-blowing demonstrations, an extensive exhibit of rare and coloured glass pieces, newly created works and a gift shop.<br /> <br /> Near the canal and beside the Coast Guard station you’ll find Seafood Sam’s, a homey restaurant and favourite of locals and tourists for its extensive menu. After you place your order at the counter, you are handed a plastic lobster that lights up and dances atop the table when your food is ready for pick up. The lobster roll and bisque were delicious.<br /> <br /> At the tip of the Cape is Provincetown. The Pilgrim Fathers first landed in this harbour in 1620 but decided the Cape area was too sandy to support their settlement, and instead chose Plymouth. Others came and stayed and over many years, it evolved from a small fishing village to a heritage and resort town, which attracted artists, actors and writers. Now it’s home to a theatre and art galleries, and is a popular spot for festivals. During the summer season, ferries shuttle vacationers from Plymouth and Boston to the town.<br /> <br /> What I really wanted to see were the whales, as my previous whale-watching expeditions elsewhere had been disappointing. The cashier assured me that the captain of the Dolphin was known as the “Whale Whisperer,” and had a knack for finding these gentle giants. Though skeptical, my faith was restored when we reached the federally protected Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, located between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. Here, humpback, fin, minke and North Atlantic right whales can all be seen. We were delighted and entertained for over an hour watching pods of whales diving and surfacing while feeding, surrounded by screeching gulls attempting to steal some of their catch. We also enjoyed watching the sea turtles, seals and dolphins.<br /> <br /> Today, like many popular ocean-side destinations, the Cape area faces challenges from increased development, population, pollution and shore erosion. Fortunately, the Centre for Coastal Studies, in Provincetown, conducts scientific research on marine mammals, habitats and resources, and through education promotes stewardship and the responsible use and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems, helping to ensure this area remains viable for generations to come.<br /> <br /> I am still enchanted with this charming area and am looking forward to my next visit!<br /> <br /> Gay Peppin is a freelance writer and photographer who loves to travel the world.
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