Everyone knows about Cape Cod--Kennedy's, cranberries, beaches. Cape Ann is Cod's northern counterpart. Lesser known, but no less beautiful and interesting.
To be truthful I didn't know much about Cape Ann until I went. I had bought a whale watching coupon for $20 on groupon. Then I got excited after I saw this article in the New York Times on the North Cape.
Labor Day weekend traffic got us off to bit late of a start--no where near as bad as traffic going to Cape Cod though! We had lobster rolls at Morning Glory Cafe over looking the bay and the Man of the Sea statue. (side note: The Man of the Sea overwhelmengly was voted by residents to be the image put on the back on the quarter for Massachusetts, yet was passed over because it was not a National site. It's owned by the city. And beloved by everyone.)
Whale watching is a simple business. You take a boat out and point to whales for your customers. Cape Ann Whale Watch does this fairly well. We saw a lot of beautiful whales. The trip is run by whale scientists who are not great showmen, but have a lot of knowledge. . . And they sell really cheap boxed wine.
Continuing on the booze trail we went next to the Cape Ann Brewing Company. Now this is something I'd love to have in my neighborhood: a homey bar with a brewery in the back. Your choice of seats--rocking chairs, bar stools or long benches. We did the full tasting, which might have impared my first time playing Yahtzee since grandma was alive.
Colleen's Yahtzee was just fine.
Now I'm reading The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky to learn more about this fascinating blue-collar beach town, which is still home to enclaves of immigrant communities from the Portuguese Islands Azorea to the western part of Scillily. It also is one of the last true local fishing ports left in America, which is now being threatened by overfishing. I hope for the sake of the fish, the whales, the folk of Gloucester that we figure it out.