A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Fall Flight to the Beach

November 11, 2018
Emilie Phillips

Back in November when we were installing the new propeller on my RV-4, Mike invited us to take a break and fly to Chatham MA for lunch with his friends. The unknown friends didn’t tempt me much, but Chatham looked interesting.

Marshes on the cape

The town of Chatham is at the southeastern bend in Cape Cod. It has a bunch of beaches, and seven conservation areas with hiking trails. From the airport, it’s a two mile walk to Harding’s Beach. With our folding bikes, we could pedal 5 miles to Morris Island to see the Chatham Light and some hiking trails in Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. We found recommendations online to hike South Beach from Chatham Light, but in the satellite imagery, it looks like the connecting sand bar between it and Chatham light has washed away. Come summer time, another thing to try is the sailboat rentals 2 miles south of the airport.

Cranberry bogs

It’s the cranberry harvest this time of year. I didn’t see many cranberry bogs on the cape, but we flew over lots in south-eastern Massachusetts. During the harvest, they flood the bogs. From the air, it looks like bright red oil based paint spilled on the water. Flying over the Cape proper, the view switched to sand dunes, gentle waves, and meandering tidal streams that Isaac wants to explore by kayak.

Tyson flying the kite

After lunch, we didn’t have time for a long exploration in Chatham. We settled for walking to Harding’s beach and flying my kite. We arrived right at high tide when the beach was skinny. The parking lot was mostly empty, but plenty of local folks were out for a walk. Tyson and I flew my kite for a bit, then Isaac and I walked the beach. We found a small horse shoe crab upside down at the edge of the waves. Isaac thought he saw it move one of it’s legs. I didn’t. But I humored him and tossed the sand covered crab into the water. When the first wave covered it, the crab bent double at it’s main body hinge. It made no further movements.

We also found piles of a thumb sized mollusk that clumped on top of each other. They looked like one spiral organism. The bottommost member was always attached to the roots of a seaweed plant.

All Photos

Route to Harding’s Beach

Flight GPS Track