July 2, 2015
NEBO TV Report from the Field: Chatham, MA
Spectacular. That describes our recent shoot for New England Boating TV in the Cape Cod town of Chatham. It all started on Monday, when co-host Parker Kelley, Producer/Director Gene Allen and cameramen Tommy and Tyler arrived with the Pursuit C260 at Ryder’s Cove Boat Yard and launched at the adjacent ramp on Pleasant Bay. (Note: things were originally supposed to get underway at 6:00 a.m., but after checking the weather and talking with a few locals who said the pea-soup fog was likely to hang around for a while, the crew pushed its arrival to 11:30.)
After securing a mooring for the boat, Parker and the crew headed to the Atwood Museum to film a segment on the Coast Guard’s courageous rescue of 32 crewmen from the stricken tanker Pendleton in 1952. While at the museum, Director Gene Allen tested the show’s brand-new drone camera. The initial flights were a great success, and the drone will provide some amazing footage for the 2015 season!
Next, Parker and the crew met Nantucket Fish Company and Chatham Fish Pier Market owner Andy Baler. Baler greeted Parker with a fresh striper he had just picked up at the dock for the Bluefin Sushi & Sake bar on Main Street, and he showed Parker how to filet the fish. As Parker and the crew discovered, Baler is a hands-on guy with a deep love of the ocean. Not only does he make his living from the sea, he serves as an advisor to the National Fishery Council. Between takes and tours, he was conducting business as usual on the phone. The high-energy businessman remains involved in every aspect of his operations.
On Tuesday, just after dawn, Tom Richardson joined the NEBO crew on Lighthouse Beach, where he and Parker filmed the show’s open. Afterwards, Parker joined a group from Chatham Lighthouse Beach Yoga for some early-morning stretching (alas, Tom declined to participate, claiming an acute case of “yogaphobia”).
Next, it was off to the Cape Cod Beach Chair Company to pick up a couple of custom-made, monogrammed chairs for Tom and Parker. Owner and Cape native Justin Labdon greeted us with the chairs and a smile, and even took time out to help us maximize a few photo ops involving the “Big Chair”.
With a pair of Bass Pro Shops Foxboro kayaks loaded in the bed of the GMC Sierra Denali, the team headed to Stage Harbor and the Oyster River, where Tom and Parker launched their Ascend fishing ‘yaks at the Chatham Kayak Company headquarters, next to the Oyster River Town Landing. As the pair paddled and fished along the river, CKC owner John McGrath provided valuable info on boating and paddling in and around Stage Harbor, which affords relatively quick access to the Monomoy Island National Wildlife Refuge. By the way, CKC rents kayaks, paddle boards and custom-built skiffs for exploring the local waters.
At noon, the now-famished crew drove to the famous Red Nun Bar & Grill, where our friends from Shipyard Brewing Company were holding a promotional event. Parker and Tom interviewed manager Jon Moore before devouring some of the restaurant’s signature fish tacos and burgers (and fries that scored a rare “7.5” on the NEBO rating system).
After lunch, we paid a visit to Coast Guard Station Chatham and were given a navigational tour of Chatham Inlet with Bosun’s Mate First Class Brian Duffy and his crew aboard a 42’ jet-driven nearshore response vessel. Along the way, Duffy explained why Chatham Inlet is one of the most hazardous on the coast, and noted some of the things recreational boaters should be aware of. It’s a must-watch segment if you plan to navigate the inlet to Chatham Harbor. Oh, and that boat is pretty cool too!
With our Coast Guard tour concluded, we returned to Ryder’s Cove to meet up with the folks at Beachcomber Boat Tours for seal-watch excursion. Along the way, owner Paula St. Pierre and the comically surly “Captain Jim” taught us plenty about the grey, harbor and spotted seals that inhabit the local waters. Seeing—and hearing—the massive herds of pinnipeds up-close was astounding. If you come to Chatham, you are sure to see plenty of them for yourself, and a tour with these knowledgeable folks is definitely worth it.
When we had had enough of seals, we decided to do a little “hauling out” for ourselves by beaching the Pursuit on North Beach. This beautiful barrier beach (an island, actually) is an amazing spot to bring your boat for the day, and offers miles of white sand on which to play and relax—which we did in our new Cape Cod Beach Chair Company chairs. They say they are the world’s best, and we won’t argue. They are well built and extremely comfortable.
With the beach segment concluded and daylight fading fast, we returned the Pursuit to Ryder’s Cove then drove to Jack-Knife Cove for our last segment of the day—an evening stand-up paddleboarding trip with Adventure Chatham. And yes, it was an adventure! Parker and Tom paddled across the bay under a full moon to the Wequassett Inn aboard LED-equipped SUPs. Seeing the sea bottom illuminated by the underwater lights was very cool indeed, and we’re happy to report that there were no, ahem, “shark incidents”.
By 9:30 p.m., the sky was dark and our energy was about tapped, so we bid adieu to the gang at Adventure Chatham and headed to the celebrated Squire Pub on Main Street for a well-earned beverage and dinner. With our 15-hour day at an end, we turned in early at our rooms at the Wequasset Resort and Golf Club. What a day.
NEBO TV Chatham—you don’t want to miss this one. Chatham is spectacular!
New episodes of New England Boating TV will begin airing this fall on Mondays and Sundays on NESN. Check local listings or stay tuned to NewEnglandBoating.com for details. To watch Seasons One and Two of NEBO TV, scroll under the “TV Show” bar on the website homepage.