Tag Archives: surf

Senhora Da Luz

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The Lady of Light (“Farol da Senhora da Luz,” in Portuguese,) was the first lighthouse on the coast of Portugal, constructed in 1758. It is a two story hexagonal building, on the grounds of the Chapel of the Lady of Light.

Built on a granite outcrop on the “Mount of Light,” where its green lantern was protected from storms and waves, the Lady of Light guided ships to port for hundreds of years. In 1945, the lighthouse was retired, replaced by the modernized Felgueiras Lighthouse.

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Foz Do Douro

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The Felgueiras Lighthouse is situated where the Douro River finds the Atlantic. Although no longer in operation, the mariners’ beacon continues to command respect more than 200 years after its construction.

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Giant ocean waves are known to slam the lighthouse’s jetty, making it a (careful!) must-see for photographers.

foz do douro fortaleza felgueiras lighthouse praia do ourigo granite lady of light porto portugal 3rdarm

The lighthouse’s historic neighborhood, Foz do Douro, one of Portugal’s most affluent enclaves, is well worth exploring: wave-washed granite at Ourigo Beach and the weathered walls of the Fort São João de Foz contextualize the lighthouse’s genesis.

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Praia de Matosinhos

When I stepped outside the first cafe we’d snacked at, I took a deep breath. My nose was tingled by the salty sea. As one who grew up close to the ocean, I was compelled to go see the Atlantic from the other side. We headed to the Matosinhos Beach (known as Praia de Matosinhos in Portuguese.)

Praia de Matosinhos beach porto portugal surf 3rdarm widows fishermen statue

Matosinhos has historic ties to the ocean: through the ages, countless expeditions for cod have launched from town. My friend showed me a statue that commemorates the wives of fishermen who lost their lives at sea. The widows’ eyes endlessly scan the horizon, pleading with fate and churning waters to bring back their husbands.

Praia de Matosinhos beach porto portugal surf 3rdarm widows fishermen statue

The men’s bravery was not lost on me, as I stood spellbound (never scared…) watching the truly giant waves crashing off shore. The expanse of soft white sand was impressive and even in January I could easily imagine the mob scene of summer. It made me happy to see people were out enjoying the warmth of the sun.

Praia de Matosinhos beach porto portugal surf 3rdarm widows fishermen statue

There were folks relaxing with a glass of wine at the small cafes strung along the pedestrian pathway, dog walkers walking up, yoga-enthusiasts in downward dog… in the water were those brave souls in wetsuits who are a kind of modern corollary to the risk-facing fishermen of days past.

Praia de Matosinhos beach porto portugal surf 3rdarm widows fishermen statue

They do not just stand still as a statue, staring dead-eyed with awe at the pounding surf: they swim out and they ride it.

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Branford Trolley Trail

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Roxie had sprained her leg, probably when she aggressively explodes out the sliding door on her leash to bark at phantoms in the backyard.

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To help aid in her rehabilitation, I took Roxie on a a .8 mile walking trail converted from old trolley tracks.

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We parked right near the historic village of Stony Creek in the parking lot on West Point Rd.

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It is an awesome walk for a human and a dog to take together.

brandford trolley trail sunset low tide cocker spaniel arthur mullen shoreline greenway path 3rdarm guilford arthur mullen roxie

It was low tide near sunset and we got to really see the beauty of the Connecticut Shore.

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My aunt’s cocker spaniel cautiously spied crabs scuttling about in the muddy estuaries.

brandford trolley trail sunset low tide cocker spaniel arthur mullen shoreline greenway path 3rdarm guilford arthur mullen roxie

A sandpiper was not so cautious: we were talking about his dinner!

brandford trolley trail sunset low tide cocker spaniel arthur mullen shoreline greenway path 3rdarm guilford arthur mullen roxie

The best part… in the future the Branford Trolley Trail will be one part of a 25 mile continuous walking path called the Shoreline Greenway Trail!

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Lobster in the Rough

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

Aunt Judy and I had not been to Abbott’s in roughly (see what I did there?!) 20 years. We drove up the CT shore from Guilford for dinner one summer night. Noank is a trip, literally, and well worth the 45 minute drive for one of the world’s best Connecticut-style (read: hot butterered) lobster rolls. Instead of a traditional hotdog bun, Abbott’s serves their legendary version on a toasted sesame seed bun.

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Aunty and I agreed the lobster rolls were absolutely delicious, and the local sweet corn was a perfect side for this summer treat. The people watching (tourists who don’t understand the counter-style ordering system common at New England clam shacks) was just as good as the natural beauty of Long Island Sound and Fischer’s Island.

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

We joked that if I worked at Abbott’s, it would be in the separate Dessert Hut (this is actually not a joke, in a different life I am known as Jabba the Dessert Hut.) The only thing I would change, if I ruled the world (or at least had some influence on a Connecticut foodie institution like Abbott’s) would be the elimination of styrofoam cups and plates.

noank connecticut abbotts lobster in the rough lobster roll connecticut style 3rdarm arthur mullen

I understand the need to keep costs low… and more and more businesses are starting to understand that we have to keep environmental costs low to preserve nature’s beauty. It would be awesome if Abbott’s got on board! In any event, it was a real treat for my aunt and me. We will be back!

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Guilford Town Marina

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Not only is the Guilford Town Marina home port to many boats and yachts for fishing and pleasure, it is also one of the best places in town to watch the sunrise and sunset.

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Personally I recommend getting lunch at the Guilford Lobster Pound, located here (of course you have to get a warm CT-style lobster roll!)

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Another pro move is to stop at Ashley’s to bring a hot fudge sundae down to the Guilford Town Marina for a sweet treat whilst watching the sunset. Bring your camera for glimpses of nature’s beauty in all weather and all seasons!

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Stony Creek

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Stony Creek is one of the storied seaside villages of the Connecticut shore. It is accessible only by Thimble Island Road which passes under the Shore Line East railroad tracks to the heart of this densely populated harbor community.

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Victorian homes, art galleries, the historic Puppet House theater, the Stony Creek museum, small restaurants and the last but certainly not least Thimble Island Cruise are all reasons to visit. In all seasons Stony Creek makes for a lovely stroll or sightsee from the car.

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Directly offshore, the Thimble Islands are an archipelago of glacial remnants. The Thimble Island cruise weaves stories of how these rocks were made habitable, Long Island pirates, local writers such as Jack London and Ayn Rand, with the sights of the island-bound homes and the natural beauty of Long Island Sound.

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Stony Creek is an essential stop on the Connecticut shore!

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Grass Island Sunset

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Our last day in Connecticut, Etta and I tackled a list of chores for Yaunter. We moved rugs, cleaned windows (I made her promise not to climb any ladders!) and repaired technology.

judy blasko arthur mullen grass island guilford love 3rdarm

I love her so much, and am so lucky to have her love in my life. Aunt Judy is my East rock.

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East Rock, Part 2

east rock new haven arthur mullen 3rdarm august

Etta and I car-climbed to the top of East Rock, for views of downtown New Haven and the harbor.

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I read how Long Island Sound was a freshwater lake, with waters rising up to East Rock, during the ice age.

east rock monument 3rdarm arthur mullen

The monument is dedicated to sailors and soldiers who lost their lives at seas and in battles.

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Guilford Lobster Pound

guilford lobster pound 3rdarm connecticut style lobster roll judy blasko judith blasko

Aunt Judy (who lives in Guilford) and I have been going to Lobster Landing in Clinton for many years. This past summer I made the journey to Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough. On my latest visit from Chicago (helping my aunt set up her first Mac) she proposed we eat at Guilford Lobster Pound. My response was, “What?”

guilford lobster pound 3rdarm connecticut style lobster roll

I was surprised to discover this place existed! I have been going for jogs from Long Hill to the Guilford harbor for ten years, and I somehow never knew the Lobster Pound was right there. It was as if were hidden in another dimension, sharing harbor real estate with The Stone House and Mooring but unseeable.

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We pulled behind the Mooring parking lot and there it was, docked boats on one side, salty marsh on the other, a lobster shack right on the water. The tide was coming in. Seating is picnic tables on the dock, under umbrellas. My aunt and I ordered 2 lobster rolls and a chili cheese dog, along with chips, slaw and drinks.

guilford lobster pound 3rdarm connecticut style lobster roll

The lobster is abundant, buttered and yet sweet and delicate, served warm on a toasted bun. The slaw had a punchy (horseradish?) sharpness that balanced the rich lobster. I love these casual lobster roll places. It made my day to discover a gem under my nose.

guilford lobster pound 3rdarm connecticut style lobster roll

Lobster Pound is right up there with Lobster Landing and Abbott’s in terms of delicious Connecticut-style lobster rolls and Long Island Sound beauty.

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