Tuesday Night Tsunami

Heavy thunderstorms hit the New England last Tuesday. While it was not a strong storm or hurricane, there was a sharp drop in barometric pressure.

Amazingly, this produced a tsunami.

No, it was not a Big Kahuna style tsunami that you see on Hawaii Five-O trailers, nor was it an Indonesian-killing wall of water that reached 10 miles inland. To my knowledge, this tsunami, if it even reached the shore, had no discernible effects.

This was a meteotsunami, and I sure hope that I spelled that right. Unlike normal tsunamis, which are born from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or even asteroid strikes, a meteotsunami arises from atmospheric conditions.

They happen more than we think they happen. The Great Lakes get 100 of them a year, I am told. Most of them are very small, although there have been damaging ones in the past. Meteotsunamis have killed several people in Chicago within the last 100 years, and one struck Massachusetts in the last 5 years… heck, one may have struck us in the last 2 days.

Tuesday’s meteotsunami registered on as NOAA buoy off of Conneticut, and the wave ended up hitting the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The wave was 10 inches tall, not even Gary Coleman could surf it. However, it was officially a tsunami.

Did it hit New England? Not that I am aware of. New England has been hit by tsunamis before. A strong thunderstorm offshore in 2013 produced a meteotsunami, which hit both Massachusetts and New Jersey. Again, it was small, but not small enough to escape notice.

Massachusetts may also have been hit with a real tsunami of seismic origin during the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake, which put a 20 foot tsunami into parts of Canada and snapped all of the transatlantic ocean cables around here. The arrival of the tsunami in Massachusetts was unnoticeable, due to a strong Nor’easter hitting the region at the time.

They may have had a tsunami wash ashore Tuesday, I am not sure as we are going to press.

So, while it was minor, a tsunami did form in the region Tuesday night. More will come in the future.

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Voting In Bourne Today

Bourne is holding their Town elections today, and we strongly urge you to go downtoen to exercise your right to vote.

You can vote for Selectman (or woman), Board of Health people, Recreation committee people and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Polls opened at 7 AM, and will stay open until 8 PM. I voted, and the staff were very helpful when I didn’t turn up on the voter rolls due to me blowing off those census forms.

This column personally is representin’ hard for Precinct 1.

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Cape Cod Road Trip

31404109_10156225277767510_2286550140674113536_oSome days you have ideas for a story, some days you just ride around and see what comes up.

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Bass River Bridge, above and below…

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31416727_10156225316447510_2931035182012039168_oWe also got our bad selves out to Smuggler’s Beach…in Yarmouth, home of Mattacheese.

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Docks, both great and small…

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31433659_10156225240862510_1228575064308318208_oAbove, a personal-use lighthouse at the Bass River Bridge.

31437512_10156225277717510_5390269563768143872_oLifeguard stands always look cool in the offseason.

We got in some Parker River Beach,  below…

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‘merica!31472640_10156225266957510_2169058660297211904_o31486871_10156225266942510_3882592526539948032_oStash these for Memorial Day…

31495284_10156225315362510_6640780353202028544_oI do a lot of shore photography and I have always had a weakness for curved jetties. Plymouth has a nice one, but this is Yarmouth.

31503415_10156225240902510_8518996579972022272_oBass River dock…

31505960_10156225334657510_7287034401374863360_oCottages in Yahhhmuth.

 

31518964_10156225240842510_4944410365980049408_oGood spot for the Dab Pen!

 

31398321_10156225312192510_5262918633775955968_oI am nothing if not a romantic, and will risk the creepy shot of people who don’t know I am shooting at them to bring you, the reader, a cute picture.

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Indoor pool, at the beach. There’s an indoor sand box on the hotel’s backside.

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I never tire of lighthouses, a good trait in a Cape Cod photographer.

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It is my intention to go through all of my photographs and compile enough for a book on Cape Cod wind vanes.

31403472_10156225352282510_6933487408126099456_oHad to stop at the Beach House.

31403779_10156225333512510_4135603101417603072_oSmall seawall here, strange, I need to chat up a local…

31403921_10156225334472510_8581313841017651200_oThe good part about the offseason Cape is that you can get some pretty nice beaches to yourself.

 

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Hey, that duck is from a Rehoboth article, what’s he doing here?

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Above and below, Plymouth… because we just emptying the photo gallery on the camera at this point.

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Let’s get back to the Cape…

20180429_115254“C-o-m-p-t-o-n and the city they call Long Beach…”

 

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A couple of beached boats…

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20180429_111457This looks like Captain Bob got married, had a bunch of kids and had to vastly upgrade the sea shanty.

20180429_104827How you ‘dune?

20180428_155311S’up?

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You know you hate yourself when you take behind-the-wheel pictures on suicide alley. “Suicide Allie” or some similar spelling thereof would be a great stripper name at a dive bar.

20180428_171229Rip Skull!

20180429_104546Thanks for checking us out!

Defending Donald

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Hurry down to Cumbys on Main Street in Buzzards Bay today before the deep state stormtroopers move along the LaRouche people.

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You may remember them from a few years ago in the same spot, where they had a Barack Obama with a Hitler mustache poster.

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The guy seemed nice enough, although he got told to f*ck off by a few passing cars. I don’t think anyone beat him up last time, so things should be A-OK down in Bee Bay.

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Donald can’t do it alone, which is why God made Russia. It may have been the third Fatima Secret. Stacey is our only hardcore Catholic on the staff, so I took the liberty of leaving her contact information instead of mine. “I know a guy named Courtney,” said one of the guys sympathetically, as he checked my info and deduced that he was looking at a 6’5″ Stacey.

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I don’t know what eastern Australia did to run afoul of the Larouche paradigm, but it must suck when Yemen gets invited to a party and you don’t.

My man breaks it down for you, below…

 

 

Rehoboth Beast Hunting

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We heard reports of a bear in the Ash Street area of Rehoboth, so we scrambled the crew and headed out to see what was what. The first thing we found was a man’s man barbecue.

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We didn’t catch the bear (we were only going to shoot him with the camera), which was probably a good thing for all parties. We did catch a duck posse.

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Rehoboth, which is the Hebrew word meaning “broad places,” was founded in 1643. It originally stretched to Providence. The Native Americans took a few cracks at Rehoboth during King Philip’s War, burning houses and saw mills and generally scaring the bejesus out of the colonists. The white boys paid them back by killing Anawan (a Wampanoag sachem who took over after King Phillip perished) there, ending King Philip’s War in this part of the state. Duxbury”s Benjamin Church, America’s first ranger, led that mission.

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All of this matters very little to the ducks, who just want to be left alone to hang around on Ash Road. I found out later that they are free range Muscovy ducks, and sort of serve as the neighborhood’s conscience regarding speeding down that road

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I had to shoo them along, as cars were coming. I didn’t want them to get run over, because they were there both days that I searched Rehoboth and I had grown attached to them.

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One of them even sat down in the road like she thought she was an Occupy Rehoboth protestor.

 

 

Provincetown Shipwreck

WRECK OF THE ARTEMIS

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If you know a guy who misplaced his F/V Artemis, they may have it out in P-Town.

 

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The Artemis broke free from her mooring last month, washed across the harbor and came to rest on this breakwater.

 

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The town contacted the owner, who has yet to comply with their demands that he remove the vessel from the the breakwater.

 

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She’s a bit of a fixer upper, as they say down in the scrap yard. She is no pollution threat, and has been stripped of everything except her engine and her winch.

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My people told me that he was planning on fixing it up, but hadn’t gotten around to it yet.  It may also be safe to assume that he hadn’t gotten around to securing the mooring.

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Race Point Light couldn’t do anything for the Artemis before she crashed, and right now isn’t looking too good, either.

 

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Few articles are lessened by the sudden, needless introduction of a purple/pink boulder.

 

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There’s another ship up on a different jetty somewhere else in town, but checking out two shipwrecks on one road trip is sort of like what World War One guys felt regarding lighting three cigarettes off of one match… a sensible man just doesn’t do it.

NMLC Benefit

NMLC Benefit In Bourne Thursday…

Cranberry County Magazine

The Trowbridge Tavern is hosting celebrity bartender night on Thursday to benefit the National Marine Life Center.

All tips from the event will benefit the center.

The NMLC is a Buzzards Bay entity best known for rehabbing and releasing injured seals back into the ocean. They also help turtles, whales… even repotters, in some cases.

I think that almost every human being desires to help animals who are in trouble. There are few more viable callings.

It can be tough to do, because not everyone is a veterinarian or Steve Irwin type who can jump into a situation and have a positive effect

But you can do your part tonight just by having a little bit of the liquid courage and leave it a nice tip for your bartender… who do to the very nature of the celebrity Bartender game will be very much informed about seals.

I don’t drink…

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NMLC Benefit

The Trowbridge Tavern is hosting celebrity bartender night on Thursday to benefit the National Marine Life Center.

All tips from the event will benefit the center.

The NMLC is a Buzzards Bay entity best known for rehabbing and releasing injured seals back into the ocean. They also help turtles, whales… even reporters, in some cases.

I think that almost every human being desires to help animals who are in trouble. There are few more viable callings.

It can be tough to do, because not everyone is a veterinarian or Steve Irwin type who can jump into a situation and have a positive effect

But you can do your part tonight just by having a little bit of the liquid courage and leave it a nice tip for your bartender… who do to the very nature of the celebrity Bartender game will be very much informed about seals.

I don’t drink much… but when I do there is usually some nefarious underlying purpose. ” I’m going to drink this beer and then I’m going to smash it off that guy’s head” or ” she’s about 3 vodka drinks away from finding me attractive.” You know, tonsil polish blues, firewater funk.

Not tonight, however… no, tonight, I will lift the mug help some animals who otherwise might not get help.

The Trowbridge Tavern does Celebrity bartender night every Thursday and they’ve raised over $40,000 for local charities since January. The Trow doesn’t set the bar, they are the bar.

No, like literally…

The event starts at 6:30, at 100 Trowbridge Road, Bourne. It’s that TAVERN sign that you see when you cross the bridge… Cape Cod”s CITGO sign.

Are Duxbury Seawall Repairs Worth It?

Seawall repairs after a nor’easter…

Cranberry County Magazine

Duxbury Beach suffered through a series of gales last March, and the strain was too much for her protective seawall. Sections of it collapsed, and emergency repairs had to be made in advance of a follow-up storm.

These repairs are of the temporary sort, and the seawall as it stands now won’t stand long. A new wall will eventually have to be put in.

The repairs will be expensive, and the replacement will be more expensive. If they don’t occur, houses will fall into the sea and the coastline will erode away to a memory.

Who pays for the wall, how much they pay and who is responsible for repairs… that remains to be seen. It will most likely involve some court-type activity.

Hanging over the whole issue are the questions of whether people should live so close to the sea, whether 15,000 people should have to build a wall…

View original post 1,796 more words

Are Duxbury Seawall Repairs Worth It?

Duxbury Beach suffered through a series of gales last March, and the strain was too much for her protective seawall. Sections of it collapsed, and emergency repairs had to be made in advance of a follow-up storm.

These repairs are of the temporary sort, and the seawall as it stands now won’t stand long. A new wall will eventually have to be put in.

The repairs will be expensive, and the replacement will be more expensive. If they don’t occur, houses will fall into the sea and the coastline will erode away to a memory.

Who pays for the wall, how much they pay and who is responsible for repairs… that remains to be seen. It will most likely involve some court-type activity.

Hanging over the whole issue are the questions of whether people should live so close to the sea, whether 15,000 people should have to build a wall to protect 190 houses, whether rising sea levels make a wall useless and whether delaying seawall repairs until the wall collapses frees the town from their mandated repair work.

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Duxbury Beach, partially pictured above, is a residential area of 191 houses. I grew up there, still have family there, just so you know.

Many people from Duxbury Proper mistakenly think it is a part of Marshfield. Nope. From where the seawall in question begins, Duxbury runs about a half-mile to the Marshfield line.

It is lagely populated by seasonal folk, although many of the former cottages are gentrifying away from their Irish Riviera roots. It is by far Duxbury’s emptiest neighborhood from Labor Day until July (and most likely all year), and to my knowledge is Duxbury’s only seasonal neighborhood.

While the houses are not King Caesar-style mansions, the Atlantic frontage drives up the property values. The neighborhood kicks almost 2 million smackers back to Duxbury in property taxes.

Residents consume town services mostly for 2 months a year, and there is barely a need to send a school bus there. For the most part, they are invisible cash cows… but when they get attention, it tends to be Destruction Porn coverage from the local news of a bad nor’easter.

Habitation there would not be possible without the seawall. Memories of people and property being swept into the sea by the 1938 Great New England Hurricane were fresh on the mind as the sea walls of Massachusetts were being built in the 1940s and 1950s.

Duxbury finished their wall in 1954, and it runs from the south end of Ocean Road South to a small gap (the gap is from people who declined the $500 buy-in back in 1954) before the sea wall in Green Harbor. Before the US Army Corps of Engineers concrete seawall went in (busy work for WWII vets, an old schooler tells me), there was a wooden seawall made of telephone poles. Aside from that, Duxbury Beach relies on dunes.

The seawall held up well enough for 64 years, doing her repel-the-waves/stop-the-erosion thing… but the same thing that took down the walls of Constantinople took down the wall at Duxbury.

Attrition.

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The Turks didn’t use one big shot from a cannon to take down the walls of Constantinople, they instead used repeated, focused shots.

Likewise, the walls in Duxbury didn’t collapse under the pressure of a single Hawaii Five-O type wave, they were knocked down over 64 years of inexorable 3 to 8 foot surf.

Much like when you pile straw upon a camel or when you nag at a soon-to-be ex-spouse long enough, the end usually comes via what would otherwise seem to be an innocuous incident.

That piece of straw shouldn’t have broken the camel’s back, but it did. Similarly, the seawall in Duxbury has stood up to far worse surf than it saw in the storms of 2018, but when last March turned stormy… sha-doobie, Shattered.

Neither the Turks nor Duxbury thought to put rebar in their walls, but that’s something we can circle back to in a little while.

Rebar was first used in the 1500s, so the Byzantines have an excuse for the walls of Constantinople (which was Turkish by 1453). Duxbury, almost exactly 500 years later, just threw up a shoddy wall.

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Duxbury will pay 5 million and change to repair 750 feet of damaged seawall, and eventually around $6000 a foot for about a half mile of replacement seawall.

It should be high-end stuff. If a crumbly seawall lasts 64 years, a good one-even with rising sea levels and more frequent storms figured in- should last longer.

While it is never fun to ante up for a costly piece of infrastructure, the wall they put in next should still be standing when Ivanka Trump’s great-great-grandchildren are thinking about entering politics, if it is built properly.

That the town may still be paying off the wall while these future Trumps are running around is the basis of the anti-wall arguments. If that argument is accepted, the question becomes “Are those payments going to be worth it?”

“Worth it” is a broad area that ranges from “Will the wall hold up?” to “How will the wall benefit the town?” to ” No one should be living there anyway?” to “Neighbors should help neighbors” to whether Duxbury could or should disincorporate the troublesome beach neighborhood.

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I will leave questions of the wall’s durability to people more skilled in engineering than myself. I spent most of my high school physics class looking at legs, and it was all downhill after that.

“No one should be living there” is cancelled out by “Too late. Someone is living there,” while the helpful neighbor idea can easily be viewed as “Here’s some help, neighbor… Move somewhere else.”

Disincorporation is the concept of Duxbury washing their hands of the beach neighborhood. They no longer accept taxes and no longer offer town services. It would be similar to what the Chinese did with the Walled City of Kowloon.

It would be a complicated legal matter, as not one inch of Massachusetts territory is unincorporated. Everything here is bound to some sort of Municipal Corporation.

One of my people tells me that a town or even a village could be disincorporated only in Vermont, but it would have to involve either:

A) some sort of Roanoke/Salem’s Lot-style disaster that suddenly depopulates the area, or

B) a Centralia/Silent Hill town-toxifying chemical situation, or

C) a Quabbin Reservoir situation where people will die of thirst if the towns are not taken by the state and flooded.

I should add that the man who told me this is in prison, but his logic is sound.

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Washing their hands of a soggy beach neighborhood would establish Duxbury’s northern beach border at the gates of Duxbury Beach Park. Everything between that and Marshfield would be no man’s land… unless Duxbury Beach could go free agent and perhaps sign with Marshfield.

Otherwise, Duxbury Beach would quickly devolve into a Road Warrior sort of lawless chaos until the houses fell into the sea.

“Houses falling into the sea” is why Duxbury can’t disincorporate. Imagine, as the barrier beach decays, telling millionaires on Powder Point and Washington Street that construction debris will be washing into their yards for the next 700 years… should go well, yeah.

Avoiding that means disincorporating the people instead of the land. That means buying out 191 prime oceanfront properties.

This isn’t 1950, when you could buy 50 of the shanties for $25,000. Those visions of a Summer of ’42 cottage neighborhood are no longer valid. It’s why the ability of a single entity to buy and sell entire towns is limited to the bank in Monopoly.

Buying out the residents would cripple the town for a generation, and that would only be after 191 costly legal battles and before 191 costly demolitions.

You’d also be saying au revoir to two million a year in taxes, but it gets worse.

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Duxbury Beach is a barrier beach. Her job is not just to support the houses of her residents, but to protect the houses of the residents of Duxbury Proper.

If the residents are forced out and their homes are demolished due to a desire to avoid building a seawall, you now have a flat beach- below sea level in some places- with 100 yards of eroding hill and no dunes.

Dunes are fine protection from storm waves, to a point. They work, with ever-ongoing maintenance and restoration, at the central and southern parts of Duxbury Beach. Even then, they get washed over and the beach is breached during bad enough storms.

Keep in mind, Duxbury Beach is divided by a line that only true storm geeks recognize. If you look across Cape Cod Bay from Duxbury on a clear day, you can see the tip of Provincetown. It almost looks like a mirage, but it’s real enough.

From the Duxbury vantage point, storm waves coming in from the Atlantic either come from the right or the left of Provincetown. From the right, any wave began after Cape Cod, which is Duxbury Beach’s barrier beach. From the left, they are coming in from the open ocean, unobstructed, and they hit the beach with the force, like Obi. We’re talking monster truck force, perhaps double what is hitting at the other end of the beach.

Guess where the cutoff point is? Right around where the seawall starts on Duxbury Beach. Northern Duxbury Beach gets far worse surf than southern Duxbury Beach, which is odd because they are the same beach. A good nor’easter would make quick work of any dune laid down on the northern end of Duxbury Beach.

The part of Duxbury Beach that has an armored seawall is the part of Duxbury Beach that needs an armored seawall.

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The anti-wall people quickly find themselves in a Catch 22 situation.

They seek to avoid paying for a wall, so they bankrupt the town to buy out and demolish the houses on the beach.

Dunes don’t protect the town well enough. Dune depletion kicks in, as sand that would normally be washed down southward into the dunes after hitting the seawall is instead pushed ashore onto Ocean Road North, Ocean Road South and Gurnet Road.

The annual dune reparations would have to be preceded by annual repairs on the road leading out to the dune. Meanwhile, the barrier beach erodes.

Houses of more influential town residents in Duxbury Proper begin to get direct ocean effects as the barrier beach erodes away. The multi-million dollar high school complex is imperiled.

Duxbury is then left with one choice, the one they passed on before they got into this mess… build a wall. Only this time, they are doing it without $2 million a year in tax money.

If the disincorporation people are listened to and the town Pontius Pilates their hands of the beach village, they may not even have a viable beach to build the wall on once the disincorporated beach starts eroding… meaning that they spend a decade securing easements and operating heavy equipment in the wealthy people’s yards on Powder Point Road/King Casear Road and off Washington Street.

I don’t see that going well.

 

 

Simply put, Duxbury needs to build this wall. It sucks, but every other option they have sucks harder.

Disincorporating the beach neighborhood would be a penny-wise, pound-foolish act of financial masochism. It would be the equivalent of punching the gift horse in the mouth.

There is no way that Duxbury avoids building a new seawall. The only other options leave them bankrupt… or bailing out Washington Street every full moon high tide.

They should not only build a wall, they should build a really nice one. They should even look into an artificial reef offshore, but one thing at a time.

The whole seawall cost quandary is very much like that old joke about why divorce costs so much…

Because it’s worth it.

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