We are planning a wedding.
In September, our son, Dan, will marry a Cape Cod girl, Erika, in West Barnstable Parish Church. The reception will be in a meadow that looks out towards Sandy Neck Beach.
Erika was born on Cape Cod—she is a sea sprite of a girl with hair the color of beach grass and blue eyes like the ocean on a bright September day. She grew up loving the water and life by the beach. She is the kind of person you would be lucky to have in a small sailboat during a sudden storm on Vineyard Sound.
Dan was not born on Cape Cod, but he has been here for some part of every summer from the first time when he happily dug his eight-month-old toes in the warm sand at Craigville Beach. After the wedding, they will live in West Barnstable where Dan runs an organic land care business. Erika hopes to teach art in a Cape school.
We are excited that our two families are joining together, strands knotting tight like a good bowline knot. On her Mom’s side, Erika is descended from the Hopkins family who has been on the Cape since the 1600s. Through my dad’s side, Dan is descended from the Higgins family, who were part of a pioneering group—which, incidentally, also included the Hopkins family—who settled the Orleans area.
In this, our special wedding edition, we share some happy memories from recent Cape weddings. Read about Kathleen and Dan Hodge whose wedding at Ocean Edge Resort last summer was classically romantic with special seaside flair. Find out why Cape wedding planners often choose Sperry Tents for their clients in a stunning photographic spread and story on page 60. And revel in the fantasia of seaside wedding floral designs by Mashpee Commons Verde Floral Design on page 54. Lastly, read Brian Shortsleeve’s Gunk’holing on page 96. We share the column Brian wrote in 1990 as he was preparing to marry his wife, Judy, in an island ceremony to remember.
It is May. The hydrangea are in full bud. The osprey have come back to reunite with their mates, wild calls waking us to sea and sun and plans for seaside days.
Love is in the air. Come celebrate the start of our splendid season!
Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher
& Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
While out on the Titanic expedition in 2010, we had the cable to the robot wrapped around the wreckage, and we had a hurricane bearing down on us. It’s a mathematics problem for an SAT test: We had a hurricane coming at us at 30 miles per hour, and it was 1,000 miles away. We had a two-day run to get into port because we were going 10 miles an hour at best, it takes two and a half hours to get the robot from the bottom back onto the ship, and we had three hours before the captain said we absolutely had to leave the site. The question was, if we couldn’t get the robot unwrapped, do we stay there and join the Titanic because the hurricane sends us to the bottom? Do we pull on the cable and pull up a big chunk of the wreck itself and forever have to live that down? Or do we cut the cable and leave a $5 million system sitting on the bottom of the ocean? Read more…
Mariposa Serveware & Gifts
The Mariposa aesthetic thrives on unique, original design and superior craftsmanship that ages flawlessly. Our purpose at the Armchair Cottage is to help you enjoy the splendors of the table and of your home through our extensive collection of home furnishings and gifts. Read more…
In all seasons, a garden is one of the most life-affirming places on earth—so of course you want to get married there! Some choose a home landscape for their wedding site for this reason alone—others because it’s more personal or sentimental. Other brides decide on a garden wedding because of financial considerations. Those on Cape Cod often select a garden ceremony or rehearsal dinner because the outdoors are special here. Getting married where you can feel the sea breezes just seems appropriate for a Cape event. Read more…
Coastal Dream Houses
Shore Décor: Design at the Water’s Edge ($50) offers readers a glimpse into why living by the water is a truly unique privilege. From the classic to the contemporary this gorgeous collection features nearly 350 beautiful photographs of homes making it obvious why seaside living is so desirable. In this book, you just might find the inspiration to turn your seaside dream house into a reality. More information is available at schifferbooks.com
No home on Cape Cod or the Islands is complete without at least one piece of wicker furniture. Antique Wicker ($19.95) presents 925 examples from former worldwide wicker giant, the Heywood-Wakefield Company of Gardner, Massachusetts. Photos and illustrations of chairs, tables, sofas, beds, and wardrobes are featured in a reproduction of the original catalog, which was illustrated with Art Deco flair. An authentic price guide allows any homeowner, collector, or dealer to see the original price of wicker items nearly a century ago, giving a sense of the enduring value of this quintessential coastal style. For more information, log on to schifferbooks.com.
The Classic Cape
In The Cape Cod House ($25) Stanley Schuler documents the history of this iconic style of home, from the first structures built by the Pilgrims to the modern styles being constructed today. The text is accompanied by drawn plans and 143 pictures of Cape Cod houses as well as explanations behind the designs and materials used to make these classic American homes, now built across the country. For more information, log on to schifferbooks.com.
Do you know the name of this island?
Lying 14 miles off of the mainland and measuring roughly two and a half miles long and three-quarters of a mile wide, this island is the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands. This island’s location at the entrance to the Vineyard Sound, just 10 miles from the coast of Cape Cod, makes it a favorite destination for sailors from around the world. The harbor here has a 10-foot draft at mean low tide and is protected on two sides by stone breakwaters. The shape of the island is like that of a lobster with one claw broken off. Read more…
- Posted in People
Brilliant afternoon sunlight pours into Robin Pierson’s studio, illuminating the antique windows, sea glass, seashells, and pieces of wood and glass that line every wall and cover every surface of the room. With a stove warming the garage-turned-artist’s space in Gray Gables, the organized chaos of Pierson’s studio feels like home. Hammer in hand, Pierson methodically flattens a collection of shells that are too bulky for use in her art. Read more…
It seems like every summer we face a barrage of new advice on protecting our skin, protocol for how much time to spend in the sun, and guidelines for SPF, UVA, UVB, and a bunch of other acronyms. But what about the wear and tear on our skin during the winter? Freezing temperatures, lack of moisture, and decreased sunlight ravage our complexions for months, leaving our skin parched and in as much need of a good dusting and polish as your great grandmother’s antique silver. It’s time to shake ourselves out of the winter doldrums and squint our way towards the bright glory of spring. But how do we shed that sallow skin that Jack Frost left behind and return it to its natural radiance? It turns out you don’t need anything more than a well-informed, stepped-up home skincare regiment to get back to glowing in no time. Read more…
Dave Gallo wasn’t ordained to become a scientist. And yet youthful explorations of Lake Owasco led to a lifelong interest in the oceans, eventually bringing him face-to-face with the most storied maritime wreckage in modern history. With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster occurring this month, Cape Cod Life spoke with Gallo about the virtues of a career spent looking beneath the surface.
Right out of high school, I sold shoes for seven years because my guidance counselors and teachers said I didn’t have the aptitude to be a scientist. And they were right (laughs). Science is a very rigorous, no-fooling-around world at the top level—you have to be really focused. I was born with ADD. Looking back at some of my report cards, I had these check marks: doesn’t work to ability, talks out of turn, disturbs others (laughs). I was a very poor student in elementary and high school, but I always had this curiosity about science, even though I wasn’t quite sure what a scientist did.
In the August 1976 issue of National Geographic, there was an article by Bob Ballard called “Window on the Earth’s Interior.” That was the first place I had ever heard the words Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Something about this article flipped a switch in me and got me curious again. Jeff Fox was a researcher at the State University of New York, which was pretty much across the parking lot from where I was selling shoes, and I took this article over to him. I would ask him something and he would say, “That’s a great question. We don’t know the answer.” That was awesome. I thought the world had been explored completely and that the last real explorers had died in the 1800s. What I was about to find is that most of the world remains unexplored.
In 1987, just as I was finishing my PhD, I got a letter from Bob Ballard asking if I would come to Woods Hole. Bob had found hydrothermal vents in the mid- to late-1970s. He had found Titanic in ’85, explored it in ’86, and he became larger than life. In 1987, I had just accepted a job at the University of Hawaii, which would have been great—my whole young scientific life would have been taken care of. But Bob said, “I don’t know if I can pay you tomorrow. I don’t know what we’ll be doing next month, next year, or the year after. But I can promise that whatever we do, it will be the first time anyone’s ever done it.”
I came here as Assistant Director of the Center for Marine Exploration. Bob Ballard was in the Deep Submergence Laboratory and had something called the Center for Marine Exploration. At the time, we were building robots—the first one was called JASON . . . We did the JASON project in 1989 and the idea was that we could put a robot at the bottom of the ocean and not only have a team on board the surface ship exploring, but through a satellite link, we could tie it into the whole world. That first year, I think we had half a million students following our expeditions in the Mediterranean as we explored ancient shipwrecks.
After I got here, Titanic was always in the background. I began using images from the Titanic in my presentations to the public—it’s easier to explain than eddy viscosity or worms that we find in hydrothermal vents. In 2001, I went out on an expedition with the Russians and the Mir submarines—they were taking tourists out to Titanic, and my job was just to give some lectures. The tradeoff was they allowed us to put cameras on board the subs to collect information about Titanic. I was at the site, but I didn’t dive. Then in 2010, I was asked if I would stand in as expedition leader. We were using brand-new tools—robots, new cameras—and I said sure I’d love to do it. That’s when it really got its hooks in me.
We took the REMUS robots out there along with (research specialist) Bill Lange’s newest cameras, and we were going to make a map. It was new technology, which meant the kinds of information brought back would never have been done before. We made a detailed map of a three-by-five-mile area, we honed into a one-by-one-and-a-half-mile area, then we honed in ever further onto a football-field-sized area.
The sonar picks it up before you get there. Then you see something that’s 50 yards away, then 30, then 20 as you slowly come up to it. The lights are peering out maybe 15 feet or so in front of the robot. Then suddenly, boom, there it is. The hull is this wall in front of you. I get goose bumps now just thinking about it.
The power of Titanic is that 1,500 people died that night, and you start to think of the individual stories—they’re out there for people to read. You look at the boat deck and that’s where people said their goodbyes to their loved ones and friends. It’s a powerful place. There were times inside that command center on board the ship when everyone would suddenly go quiet, and you knew that there was something emotional on the screen. It could be a personal belonging like a doll and you would wonder who that belonged to, who held it last. It could be the boat deck with a lifeboat just hanging there in the darkness of the deep.
The world’s oceans comprise 70 percent of the surface of the planet. When I first came here, we had explored four percent of the world’s oceans. Now we’re up to six or seven percent. And every time we go, we find something surprising. Very often, we find something startling. And on occasion, we find something revolutionary.
We’ve found the world’s greatest mountain range, the Mid-Ocean Ridge, which wraps around the earth like the seams on a baseball for 50,000 miles. Crisscrossing it, we’ve found thousands of valleys that are many, many times wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon. We’ve found the world’s tallest mountain peaks at the bottom of the ocean. We’ve found underwater lakes, underwater rivers, underwater waterfalls. In places where we’ve said there should be no life at all, we’ve found more life than a tropical rainforest. All of these things revolutionized the way we thought about what was going on in the world’s oceans, and that’s in the six or seven percent that we’ve explored. So you have to ask, what’s in the other 93 percent?
- Posted in People
Tonkin of Nantucket brims with beautiful antique furniture, collectibles, and art, and most of the items have a story that is as captivating as the pieces themselves. Take the hefty marine paintings burnished with the deep patina of British history. Owner Robert Tonkin explains that in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Royal Navy had an artist on all its major ships. “The paintings were done on wood panels,” Tonkin says, “so if the ship sank hopefully the painting floated and they would know what happened.” Read more…