Monday, December 27, 2010

More high seas in the wake of Blizzard 2010

The much ballyhooed Blizzard of 2010 wasn't what it was cracked up to be here on the New Hampshire Seacoast -- we got maybe 8-10" of snow instead of the 18-24" that was predicted. (I'm not complaining!) It was worse down on Boston's South Shore, with upwards of 16" of snow and much coastal flooding.

Arthur Richmond, author of the book Cape Cod Lighthouses and Lightships, sent me the spectacular photos below. Thanks to Art for the nifty images!

Minot's Ledge Lighthouse, off Scituate and Cohasset, Massachusetts
Photo by Arthur Richmond, used with permission

Scituate Lighthouse, Massachusetts
Photo by Arthur Richmond, used with permission 

Stormy surf at Whaleback Ledge

Whaleback Lighthouse, in the mouth of the Pistacaqua River a short distance from the shores of Kittery, Maine, is a classic granite wave-swept tower, built in 1872. I drove to Great Island Common in New Castle, New Hampshire, earlier today, hoping to catch some mammoth waves hitting Whaleback near high tide in the wake of the blizzard that just passed to the north. It was a little disappointing -- I've seen much higher waves in past storms. Still, the seas were seriously churned up, as you can see here.

Another successful year for the Flying Santa

Edward Rowe Snow
The Flying Santa to New England's Coast Guard stations and lighthouses has successfully completed the 2010 flights -- the latest in a tradition that dates back to 1929. Maine pilot Bill Wincapaw started the flights as a way to say "thank you" to lighthouse keepers and their families, and the popular historian Edward Rowe Snow became involved in the mid-1930s and kept the tradition going through 1980.

Today, the nonprofit organization Friends of Flying Santa runs the program with visits to more than 30 Coast Guard and civilian locations in the Northeast. The tradition continues primarily as a way to say thanks to the Coast Guard families who do so much all year.

Santa at Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor, NH
Much of the expense of the flights is donated, but it still costs a good amount to keep the tradition going every year. Your donation of any size to Friends of Flying Santa is greatly appreciated by those who run the program and those who benefit from it.