Ship’s Log–August 31st

Thing 2 holds in his hand a horseshoe crab smaller than a quarter while his sister looks on.

Thing 2 holds in his hand a horseshoe crab smaller than a quarter while his sister looks on.

Let me just say up front that today was not a good food day. Our schedule was so nuts that, until dinner, we were just grabbing what we could when we could. But this sacrifice was for a good cause…The Hub, the Things, and myself took a guided trip out to one of the Cape’s very special wildlife places: Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.

Our trip was through the Massachusetts Audubon Society, which is, according to our guide, the only entity allowed to bring group tours out to North Monomoy Island. We took a small ferry from Chatham out to the island, where we had to jump overboard and wade through knee-high surf to the beach. The island was an absolute seabird paradise, hosting a breeding gull colony as well as snowy egrets, great egrets, great blue herons, glossy ibis, black bellied and semi-palmated plovers, sanderlings, dunlins, and a few other lone shorebirds mixed in. There was also a larger herd of seals lounging in the water just off the shore, and we spent some time watching them as they watched us.

North Monomoy has a few other lesser know claims to fame, including being one of a few known communities of  Northeastern beach tiger beetles and a spot where a certain Senator from a very famous Cape Cod political family would beach his sailboat when he had had a few too many pints in him. Walking around on the island’s mudflats, which is pretty much the only place people are allowed to set foot to protect the birds nesting inland, was an amazing experience, even with the occasional rain and the dark, ominous clouds overhead.

Our return trip from the island was itself and adventure. The sand bars around the island are constantly shifting, making it near impossible for the Coast Guard to accurately mark the deeper channels…so our ferry got stuck. The crew jumped into the water and tried to push the boat off the sand and into deeper water, but in the end we pretty much had to wait for the tide to lift us when it was good and ready.

On the way back to the house, my kids said a wonderful thing. They discussed how, despite not going to summer camp and spending half the summer stuck in the house with one or the other sick, they did some amazing things this summer that none of their friends had done: they helped a researcher band baby purple martins, they stood on the Ledge and hovered over Chicago, and they visited North Monomoy, where they held the smallest live horseshoe crabs they had ever seen…and that was pretty cool in their eyes.

Breakfast @ JoMama’s:

  • Multi-grain bagel with egg, soy cheese, soy sausage, and ketchup
  • Coffee with sugar

Lunch @ the Hot Chocolate Sparrow:

  • Whole grain banana blueberry muffin
  • Coffee with sugar and soy milk

Afternoon Snack:

  • 1/2 of some sort of Cliff Bar
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Cape Cod Potato Chips


  • WAAAAAAYYYYY too much wine. Two glasses of red and one of white. I’ll pay for it during tomorrow’s run.
  • Pumpkin ravioli with cinnamon Pinot Noir tomato sauce
  • Bread with roasted garlic
  • Olives
  • Salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and Green Goddess dressing

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