It certainly has been a strange week on the waterfront. First, we are getting some weird sunsets over the water, as the atmosphere is filled with smoke from the Western wildfires. On top of reducing visibility offshore, it has altered the Sun’s appearance as it approaches the horizon. It has been dropping into the ocean as an orange ball with no corona and no refracted light in the sky. Let’s hope this smoke will clear soon and we can get back to our explosively colorful Cape Cod sunsets.
Second, we are seeing the effects of the recent Covid outbreak on our waterfront businesses. The ferries appear to have fewer passengers than usual for this time of summer. The whale watch business has undoubtedly been lighter, and the charter boats are reporting canceled trips and reduced phone activity.
We have felt the effects on the Cee-Jay, as our phones have been quiet and our passenger counts are down significantly from what they were in prior weeks. There is much anxiety on the wharf. No one knows if this is going to be a short-term bump in the road or a protracted event with potentially devastating results. One thing is for sure: it is a short season and we all need to get back in sync with how we were doing prior to the Covid uptick as quickly as possible.
The fin whales have finally shown up in their usual spots from Herring Cove to the Race Point Station. Even the fin whale with the big white scar on its back from a ship strike has returned, and the whales have been close enough to see them from the beach. Look for the tall column of mist from their powerful spouts. Fin whales display some of the tallest spouts of all the whales.
Lots of humpbacks on Stellwagen Bank lately, too, so the whale watching has clearly gotten better.
Fishing has been up and down this past week. The good days are very good, and the bad days are pretty challenging. Striped bass are doing what they do in late July, which is become scarce and finicky, and bluefish are making more appearances, but they still aren’t solidly in the bay. The hot areas for bluefish have been the ocean backside from the Race Station to the Peaked Hill Bar and beyond in very shallow water. They have also been in and out of the Race Rips. Stripers have been most consistent at Race Point in and around the rips. Mackerel remain MIA in our harbor and in the bay, so catching them for bait is difficult. As a result, there is more vertical jigging, plugging, and trolling going on right now.
Anyone know where all the great white sharks are? It’s been a quiet summer so far for sightings and beach closings, despite more seals than ever before in some areas of the Outer Cape.