Walking on this beach is unusual because of all the activity mere meters from shore in New London Bay. The beach stands at the entrance to the bay and a channel is marked for boats. My husband and I took my brother, Frank and my sister-in-law, Michele there when they visited last week.
We walked the beach within sight of the lighthouse
as the lobster
or mussel fishing boats
powered alongside us in the bay, headed home after a morning of work. We waved to the crews who waved back or blew horns in response.
For Frank and I, the shoreline with the boats in the background, brought to mind our grandfather O'Brien and his fishing career. When he first began fishing in Newfoundland as a young lad with his father, Edward, they rowed to the fishing grounds, fished all day and rowed home. We wondered what he would say about these boats and the seafood fishery.
Some crews threw offal overboard as they motored into the bay,
causing a feeding frenzy for the gulls.
The flutter created great photo opportunities.
The beach showed the effects of winter but little garbage. The only garbage we saw was a deflated helium balloon from some occasion which is but a memory now. We were reminded of the hazards such balloons present to wildlife. This one was mired in the sand.
The old lighthouse stands watch as it has since the 1870s. Its tapered construction makes it look small from a distance. Behind the sand dunes, it is protected from the sea as it operates on solar power these days. The lonely hours tending the light are part of history now.
Much has changed with the fishery too, a modern industry today, which developed over the one hundred years since our grandfather rowed to the fishing grounds for cod. Today, this area of New London Bay is a great location for watching these modern boats as they head home from work.
What work did your grandfathers do?