Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lovells Island (4 of 34)

We set out on our island adventure from the Quincy Ferry terminal which is adjacent to the USS Salem (which is open to the public).

the medium-sized ferry (2 levels) heads out under the Fore River Bridge- a temporary lift bridge. they are in the process of designing a permanent one now.

we passed by beaches in north weymouth and pleasure boats.

we passed by the end of Hull and its turbine.

we got on a different ferry at george's island,

...and crossed The Narrows channel to Lovells, named after Captain William Lovell of Dorcester. The distance between Georges and Lovells is only about a quarter mile and the shallow shoals of the Narrows were the location for many shipwrecks- treasure hunters still seek gold coins lost in some of the wrecks. None of the shipwrecks are visible now-

There are still a couple of old roads on the island, crowded by thick vegetation on either side. The roads are a remnant from when the island was yet another military site in the early 1900s.

Hard to see, but right smack in the middle of this photo is a hummingbird sitting on a tiny branch. We also saw an American Woodcock, Cedar Waxwings and many Least Terns.

The island was fortified before and during World War I. The ruins of Fort Standish, named in honor of pilgrim Miles Standish, and other military structures are still visible.

the view of the outer harbor islands and the Atlantic ocean from the east shore of lovells-

on the far right is Boston Light.

Battery Burbeck-Morris. the ranger we took an island tour from told us about a time in the 70s when the hell's angels got dropped off on the island, partied down in the abandoned military buildings, didn't have a ride home and henceforth shot at passing boats to get them to stop until the staties picked them up. apparently soon after, they filled in the entrances to these battery buildings.

this photo the ranger showed us is a good shot of all the military buildings that were on the island. the dock is in the same location as it was.

The view from on top of the battery- a framed shot of Great Brewster Island.

from inside the battery-

what looked like an urban plaza was where the cannons were shot from.

The battery was built into the existing drumlin on the island and is now covered in staghorn sumac.

there are many native and non-native plants on the islands- queen anne's lace.

an unidentified thistle

the ranger said they believe the white cracks in the walls of the battery might be caused by the fact that saltwater was used to form the concrete.

other people walking around the island-

possibly the most famous story of lovells island is of a shipwreck where a packet ship from maine ran aground during a blizzard in december. everyone made it to shore but all of the survivors died in the harsh weather. the following morning, a couple engaged to be married was found frozen to death in each others arms behind this rock, dubbed 'lovers' rock'. (it has since been moved several times.)

The most famous shipwreck on Lovells was the wreck of the 74-gun French warship Magnifique in 1782. David Darling, a Boston pilot, ran the boat aground. To appease our ally of the American Revolution, the French were compensated with our best new warship, the USS America, even though it had been promised to John Paul Jones (father of the american navy) who supervised her construction. John then left America and eventually served under Catherine the Great in the Russian Navy.

From this northern spot on the island you can see Boston on the horizon as well as Deer Island on the right.

possibly an old antenna base-

Gallops island from the same vantage point.

zoom in on Deer Island and Logan airport to the left

another picture of the military buildings-

this was the base of an anti-aircraft gun

as noted earlier, george's island is quite close to lovells- but it's hard to tell it's george's since fort warren is totally camouflaged. in the foreground is a sign warning against disturbing Least Tern nests hidden in the stones on the beach. we didn't see any tern babies with our binoculars here, but we did see the chicks of a black backed gull, who is nesting in the same area and will eat baby terns-

a sailboat race in the channel between lovells and gallops island.

the north side of the island has wonderful views back to boston and is also covered with old and rusty pieces of buildings and infrastructure-

A radio room that was on the edge of this eroding cliff fell down to the beach in recent years.

Erosion! check out the pipe hole a couple of feet from the top-

the radio room remnants

there are a couple beach campsites as you can see to the left here.

the next morning...we went back to the beach and the lookout.

the water was quite cold still

we saw Least Tern chicks on the beach here- which are nearly impossible to see since they camouflage so well with the rocks.

we caught the inter-island ferry back to george's island to switch boats.

george's island visitor center and museum

long island in the foreground- you can see the boys and girls club right on the dip in front of boston.

with an hour to spare we headed into fort warren on george's

Populus alba - White Poplar

inside the fort- where the civil war prisoners apparently sang songs and played games.

inside the fort walls

up the stairs to the top of the fort...

more salty(?) walls

the view down into the interior of the fort

looking out from the top- on the left is the end of Lovells

the Hull turbine- the islands are quite close to each other in this area.

anchored out by georges-

on the ferry, heading back to quincy,

we passed the end of hull,

the, now open, dock on peddock's island,

hough's neck neighborhood in quincy,

weymouth beaches,

and went inland towards the fore river.

We went under the fore river bridge,

and sidled up next to the USS Salem again.