At 7:30 a.m. last week, Kris McGinn Straub and this editor met up with Susannah Winder and Christopher Stepler of the Essex Shipbuilding Museum’s boat launch and boarded an old-style oyster tonging boat as the pair took a dry run to the museum’s upcoming Great Rowing Adventure, an overnight trip it has planned with Lowell’s Shop. Ted Watkinson of the museum grabbed us at the Greenheads Gone party in Essex several weeks ago and told us of this planned museum overnight, hatched by Winder and some colleagues at Lowell’s Boat Shop. The morning was a stunner.

When the artist Winslow Homer came to paint on Cape Ann in 1869, he arrived a busy commercial illustrator for popular magazines of the time.  Over the next elven years, spending significant time in coastal areas across the northeast, including Gloucester and Manchester, Homer left a fine artist whose paintings captured evocative moments of coastal life, particularly in Gloucester and in Manchester. This was a theme in last weekend’s truly thought-provoking lecture by Elizabeth L. Block, PhD, senior editor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, “Winslow Homer and Women’s Bathing Practices,” which was jointly presented by the Cape Ann Museum and Historic New England at Coolidge Point: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial.