Home » 1999 Road Trip to Boston Suburbs

Gloucester, MA

Saturday, November 27, 1999 - 2:00pm by Lolo
17 miles and 0.5 hours from our last stop


Omi and family at Fishermen's MemorialOmi and family at Fishermen's MemorialAfter leaving Salem, we drove up the coast to the fishing port of Gloucester, the setting for the movie The Perfect Storm. Losing men at sea is far too much a reality for this town. Not many people realize that commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, if not "the" most dangerous.

One of the most famous and poignant tributes to the men who have lost their lives at sea is the Fishermen's Memorial on Stacey Boulevard, on the western end of town. The statue is of a lone fishermen bent over his wheel looking intently out to the sea before him. The inscription reads, "They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships 1623-1923." During this 300 year time period, 10,000 fishermen from Gloucester alone have lost their lives at sea. That's an awful lot of men.

I happened to glance over at Herb (my own personal fisherman) while he was standing next to the Memorial. Bent over from the sciatica pain that he was suffering from this trip, he bore an uncanny resemblance to the fisherman bent over his wheel.

As we drove back south towards Normandy Farms, the clouds parted and we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the water.


Gloucester sunsetGloucester sunsetGloucester is located along the coast about 33 miles northeast of Boston. It has always been and still is primarily a fishing town. In fact, it was the home port of the unfortunate Andrea Gail in the movie The Perfect Storm. During its first 300 years as a fishing port, more than 10,000 fishermen lost their lives at sea. On Stacey Boulevard west of town is Leonard Craske's famous bronze statue honoring these men. The Gloucester Fisherman Memorial, known as "The Man at the Wheel," bears an inscription that reads, "They That Go Down to the Sea in Ships 1623-1923."

Fishing is still Gloucester's leading industry and every year the Italian-American community in Gloucester holds the 5-day St. Peter's festival to honor the patron saint of fishermen. It is held on the weekend closest to June 29th, the feast day of St. Peter. There are parades, games, music, food, and sporting events, and on Sunday afternoon, the blessing of the fleet.

The depletion of New England's fishing grounds has led to the rise of another important seagoing industry in Gloucester: whale watching. The Tellwagen Bank, which runs from Gloucester to Provincetown, is a rich feeding ground for humpback, minke, and finback whales. Several local marinas offer morning and afternoon cruises as well as deep-sea fishing charters.

Gloucester location map

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