A Cape Cod Photo Excursion

Jason Gendron and I went to Cape Cod, Massachusetts yesterday to photograph lighthouses. It was an awesome day!

I met Jason at five o’clock for breakfast at Station House Grill in Hollis, Maine, where he works weekend mornings. He cooked our breakfast, which was delicious.

After breakfast we drove to East Boston Piers Park where we photographed the early morning Boston skyline. The temperatures were frigid and wind brisk. We wasted no time getting our shots so we could return to the warm car. Next we drove to the north side of the Charles River to photograph the city. Unfortunately the sun was too high and directly in front of us. Not wanting to miss any daylight photography opportunities we immediately headed south to Cape Cod.

Boston skyline from East Boston Piers Park
Boston skyline from East Boston Piers Park

Our first lighthouse was Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset. The lighthouse is now a private residence in a gated community. January is very off-season so we were able to drive in and ignore the “Private Drive” signs. It’s always disappointing when public access to these old lights is limited, which happened to us at least twice.

Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset, Massachusetts
Wings Neck Lighthouse in Pocasset, Massachusetts

On the way to Woods Hole to visit Nobska Point Light, Jason noticed the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s Quissett Campus. I have been familiar with the institute since taking oceanography in college and have wanted to visit since.

We had to pee (too much coffee) so we parked the car in front of Clark Laboratory and went in. We didn’t think we were allowed to be there so we acted as if we were supposed to be. We walked down the stairs and found a small restroom across from the “Plasma Lab”. The place (not the restroom) was awesome. There were charts and maps and equipment lining the walls and in display cases. We were able to look into the lab windows and see the experiments and equipment. We didn’t stay long because we didn’t want to be noticed, but it was very exciting. I’d love to go back with Kirsten and the girls.

Woods Hold Oceanographic Institute, Quissett Campus
Woods Hold Oceanographic Institute, Quissett Campus

After WHOI we found Nobska Point Light. It’s design is very similar to Cape Neddick Light in Maine. Visitors are allowed to walk right up to the tower. They even have a tour schedule for summer visits. It quickly became one of my favorite lighthouses, as it is beautifully situated on a small hill and is well maintained and accessible.

Nobska Point Light, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Nobska Point Light, Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Jason and me at Nobska Point Light in Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Jason and me at Nobska Point Light in Woods Hole, Massachusetts

From Woods Hole we made our way to Mid-Cape to photograph lighthouses near Hyannis. We didn’t have much luck there because we hadn’t planned well (we hadn’t planned to go at all) and discovered the only tower was beyond a gated road with a posted security guard. We did stop briefly at a small beach on Squaw Island and took a few pictures.

Squaw Island, Massachusetts
Squaw Island, Massachusetts

We were familiar with Chatham Light so we drove to the Lower Cape. The lighting was poor and there was a huge ugly wreath hanging on the front. We didn’t stay long or take many pictures.

Chatham Light, Chatham, Massachusetts
Chatham Light, Chatham, Massachusetts
Photo: Jason Gendron
Photo: Jason Gendron

We still had plenty of daylight so we headed to the Cape Cod National Seashore on the Outer Cape. We were both thrilled to discover Nauset Light in Eastham. It’s a beautiful tall tower with a while lower half and a red upper half. It is on a hill next to a nice little keeper’s house. We photographed it from near and far in the setting sun. The beach erosion near the lighthouse has left some very tall cliffs.

Nauset Light in Eastham, Massachusetts
Nauset Light in Eastham, Massachusetts
Nauset Light in Eastham, Massachusetts
Nauset Light in Eastham, Massachusetts

After leaving Nauset Light we headed further up the Outer Cape to find a location from which to photograph what promised to be a dramatic sunset. We discovered Mayo Beach just outside of Wellfleet. The sunset, as expected, was magnificent!

Nearby structures were mostly vacant for the winter so I took the opportunity to shoot a couple rounds from my Glock 26. It’s been a long time since I’d shot my gun. Earmuffs provide very little noise protection.

Photo: Jason Gendron
Photo: Jason Gendron
Sunset, Mayo Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Sunset, Mayo Beach, Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

We had dinner at Hooters in Saugus, just north of Boston. Jason hadn’t been before. We sat at the bar, talked, ate boneless wings and watched sports. It was a great way to end a full and incredible day.

The bar was down a Hooters Girl so Tatum was VERY busy
The bar was down a Hooters Girl so Tatum was VERY busy

8 Comment

  1. Jason Gendron says: Reply

    Great blog, Brent. It was a great day.

  2. Another beautifully illustrated story. I like the Boston Skyline and Nauset Light pictures the best.

    What did you shoot at? Are you allowed to discharge your firearm anywhere you like?

  3. @Jason – I had a great time.

    @Steven – Thank you. I shot at the beach in front of me. Two shots. (Jason, did you get a picture?) Every jurisdiction is different. In Maine, I think, you can shoot anywhere that is not within 350 feet of a structure. The area where I shot yesterday was mostly uninhabited. The summer homes were boarded up for the winter and vacant. We left immediately in case somebody heard and called the police.

  4. Jason Gendron says: Reply

    By the way, it is WINTER. The green grass at Nobska was obviously added in Photoshop. :)

    Also: I was with you in Boston. You aren’t going to get away with putting clouds in the photo that weren’t there, as real as it may look…
    :)

  5. @Jason – Shhhhh. Do the Boston clouds look similar to the Cape Cod sunset clouds?

  6. Jason Gendron says: Reply

    @Brent- They do NOW that you said so…
    :)

  7. Jason Pooler says: Reply

    Looks like a great time. Great Photos!

  8. Photoshopped clouds? Brent, you CHEATER!! Great photo story. I especially love the Boston skyline picture, real clouds or not. ;-)

    I knew you were going to shoot photographs, I didn’t expect you to be shooting your Glock. You naughty boy. I am soooo jealous about the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute! I have been wanting to go there so bad!

Leave a Reply