All Blog Entries by Mark Washburn

There are currently 256 blog entries published by Mark Washburn.


chatham seals

Photo: Allison Richards

Cape Cod is known for its stunning scenery and abundant marine life, but it seems some of the Cape’s seals are getting a bit feisty as of late. There have been two recent reports of seals coming in contact with children along the Cape this summer, including a girl who was bitten on her hands in mid-August at Ryder’s Cove. Just one day later a young boy was also bitten.

Apparently in the first incident the teenager was preparing to board a boat at the town landing when it happened. The floats are at water level here, whereas most of the rest of the pier is elevated. It’s likely the seals are approaching people here in search of handouts.

That’s a problem, as feeding or interacting with the seals causes them to become too

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With good waves for boogie boarding and for surfing, Ballston Beach presents a quiet, less crowded option for beachgoers on Cape Cod. This Truro beach also allows for some outstanding views, not just of the ocean but also of the nearby hills.

Nature isn’t just responsible for the scenery, though, it’s also gradually changing the beach itself. For years now the beach has been at the mercy of Mother Nature, with hurricane force winds just a few years ago heavily damaging the dune and flooding the nearby parking lot.

That was followed up by yet another winter storm and another overwash, creating an even wider opening in the dune. It’s a theme that’s repeated itself over and over again. That’s led area leaders and residents to question the future of the

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nauset beach - orleans ma

Efforts to protect Nauset Beach from future erosion likely include a proposal to construct a new dune at the beach. It’s a temporary solution Orleans town selectmen are pondering as the winter season quickly approaches.

Recently town selectmen looked at a number of different backup plans in anticipation of another rough winter season ahead. Last winter the beach took a real beating, and it’s hoped that the beach administration building will at least make it through one more summer.

Several months ago a popular snack shack had to be relocated to higher ground, and a beach office, parking lot and restrooms could be next. Constructing a new dune, alone, could total at least $1 million, still a much lower cost than moving everything that currently sits in the

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maritime landing - dennis ma

Dennis Village could be in line for a new development of more than two-dozen homes. Plans for the proposed Maritime Landing development call for 28 new residences to go in just off Route 6A. Some of the residences would be duplexes while others would be stand-alone residences.

The nearly six-acre property sits on the south side of the roadway, behind some commercial properties. The site also sits conveniently within a short walk of village center.

Surrounding a large green space, it’s said that the homes will all feature two- to three-bedrooms, with around 1,400 to 1,800 square feet of living space. The homes would also include either side or front porches, a back patio, a full basement and a garage.

There have been some concerns raised by nearby property

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cape cod offroading

If you crave the adventure of off-roading on Cape Cod, you’ll find two options in Dennis. Both Crowes Pasture Beach and Chapin Memorial Beach allow for off-road, four-wheel drive vehicles, as long as you have a permit.

Chapin Beach provides a quiet location with miles upon miles of sandy beachfront. Along with its off-roading trails the location is also known for its shallow tidal pools.

Meanwhile, the other location is the remote Crowes Pasture Beach. One of the Cape’s most secluded spots for swimming, the beach is known for its smooth sand and natural beauty. While you can currently drive right out on the sand at Crowe’s Pasture, the site is also a great place to jump on one of the trails and walking paths that weave throughout the conservation area.

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sol spa - chatham ma

Cape Cod isn’t just a place to go relax out on the sand and the water. It’s also a place to enjoy true relaxation from one of the many spas that dot the area. Particularly in Chatham you’ll find plenty of options for indulging in pure relaxation.

Chatham Bars Inn

The Chatham Bars Inn takes the entire experience up a notch with its inspirational spa suites. The resort personalizes the spa treatment to each guest, from music to aromatherapy and products. The rejuvenating experience takes advantage of using natural ingredients and products tied to local farms.

Oasis Salon and Day Spa

Meanwhile, Oasis Salon and Day Spa is located just on the outskirts of town with a relaxing setting and a number of different treatment and massage options to choose from. Along

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chatham bars inn cabanas

Photo: Leslie_atFlickr

A true Cape institution, Chatham Bars Inn serves up more than a century of charm and history on Cape Cod. This luxury resort is the epitome of elegance, a world-renowned destination that continues to draw in guests to rave reviews.

Originally designed as a hunting lodge for wealthy vacationers from the Boston area, the site transformed itself into a real destination. In fact, some of the prominent names in American history have once stayed here, from William Rockefeller to Henry Ford. The inn even once registered the likes of European royalty.

It remains to this day a popular location for vacationers, with many returning again and again, year after year to experience another Cape summer like only the inn can provide. Recently

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Allen Harbor - Harwich MA

Sometimes referred to simply as “The Port” by locals, Harwich Port is actually three harbors worth of fun. Home to the Saquatucket, Allen and Wychmere harbors, it’s easy to get out on the water here, with various boating tours available for those of all ages.

A popular spot for vacationers, Harwichport is home to both the private Allen Harbor Yacht Club and home to the Wychmere Beach Club. You’ll find tennis, docks and moorings at Allen Harbor, although the harbor’s primarily reserved for yachting. This location is said to be best for small craft due to its narrow entrance.

Wychmere Harbor, meanwhile, offers moorings for powerboats and sailboats. It also boasts a pier and a park for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.

The most diverse harbor in Harwich

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nauset beach aerial view

Nauset Beach, viewed from 200 feet above the dunes.  Photo Courtesy Altametry

It may sound kind of low-tech, but a somewhat simple idea could be the solution to making a high-tech shark tracker off the coast of Cape Cod actually work. Researchers are looking at expanding a pilot program that used balloons to help spot sharks off the coast of Chatham last summer.

The idea comes from a company called Altametry SmartBalloon out of Miami. Their specialized balloon uses high-def cameras, specialized lens filters and video streaming to look into the ocean and notify officials when sharks are close to the shoreline.

Crews tested out the equipment off Cape Cod with a trial project in early August 2017. While the program seemed to work as planned, there

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paines creek beach - brewster ma

Ideal for cooling off in the water, soaking up some sun on the sand or searching for shells, a visit to Brewster isn’t complete without visiting some of its beautiful beaches. One of the biggest reasons to visit is perhaps to see the famous Brewster tidal flats, some of the largest in all of North America. However, there’s much more to see and experience in the Brewster area.

Good choices for visitors include Breakwater Beach, known for its soft sand and calm water. You’ll find a number of tidal flats and pools to explore during low tide at this popular beach.

There’s also the option of Crosby Beach, one of the largest beaches in Brewster and recommended for families. This beach also features warm, calm water and soft sand, best experienced during the

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