Island Wharf (Center); Long Wharf and Beverly Yacht Club (Right)
Last evening about an hour before sunset, the Turtle Journal team strolled to the Marion town docks at Island Wharf in Sippican Harbor. Located just north of the Beverly Yacht Club, the docks lie close to Ram Island and the outlet to Buzzards Bay. So many yachts are moored in the protected inner harbor that one might literally hopscotch from deck to deck across the broad waterway. This busy location translates into fewer sightings of shy estuarine critters seeking safety from predators and dangerous encounters with humankind.
Inner Harbor and Island Wharf Left of Ram Island; Buzzards Bay Right
So, rather than ”on assignment,” we were merely enjoying a pre-sunset, postprandial walk from Turtle Journal Central along the south bank of Sippican Harbor. As we climbed down the ramp, we were surpised to see a group of menhaden circling within feet of the empty floating dock. This late on an October evening, the sun had dipped so low in the southwestern sky that it bathed the harbor in long waves of light and transformed the scene into a blurry impressionist reflection of reality as the rays ricocheted in the thick, plankton rich top layer of harbor water . Ghostly fish cruised through the water with silver scales casting off flashes of reds, blues, violets and eerie grays.
Monet School of Menhaden
The effect was stunning; an impressionist’s canvas painted in light and life. As we walked back with the image echoing in our memory, we thought had Monet kept fish in his Giverny water garden, he would surely have imported menhaden for such an autumnal moment.