Thacher Island gets its name from one of the earliest and still more poignant shipwrecks on the Massachusetts coast.
The most famous voyage into Salem harbor is that of Nathaniel Bowditch, commanding a three-master homeward bound from Sumatra. Crossing the rock-strewn waters of Salem Sound, even in clear weather, should inspire appreciation for the navigators of Bowditch’s era.
Rockport seems to exist just this side of magic realism. A narrow cut between rocky headlands provides the setting; a man-made breakwater forms the harbor.
The Misery Islands supposedly got their name after a local shipbuilder, harvesting timber, spent three days stranded by a December storm in the 1620s. We’ve never visited the islands in December, but from May through October, we’ve found them unanimously pleasant.
From its beginning as a fishing outpost, through its years as America’s premier yachting harbor, to what is now the North Shore’s least accessible commuter town, Marblehead has evolved with its face to the sea and its back to the land,
Inside the slim well-protected harbor may be the prettiest shoreline attached to a full-sized town in all New England. The yacht club, private boat houses, boat yards, town docks and thickly placed moorings make an unambiguous impression.
The dramatic shorelines near Magnolia are only a short diversion from the routes along Cape Ann.
Gloucester has a vibrant shoreside community whose cultural origins span the maritime world. It’s a particular favorite of ours when the weather turns dismal.
With its location halfway between Annisquam and Rockport, Folly Cove is a convenient stop on most Cape Ann itineraries.
The cove offers adequate protection for most summer conditions, good swimming, and a view of the Atlantic over Brace Rock that can be striking.