The orange harbormaster stickers are out at Ropes Beach. The remaining kayaks, skiffs, shells and even paddleboats are all festooned with one of these. As of tomorrow they’re at risk of being collected and hauled away to places unknown. (I hid mine on the yacht club property as I intend to keep motorboating for another month.)
This is a good thing the harbormaster started a couple years ago. Getting the boats off the beach gives the beach grass a chance to grow back and winnows out the hulks and derelict pieces of Fiberglas that have littered the place for years. Some of these boats — like the weird yellow paddle boat below — seem to arrive and then never, ever go any where.
The town needs to address the public beach. Phragmites are invading, the cement sea wall is spalling, and the place is getting rattier every year, a far cry from the pristine little beach I knew as a kid, complete with lifeguards, water fountain and bath house. Swimming ended twenty years because of some strange skin mite caused by bird droppings interacting with periwinkles. Little kids would get covered with itchy bites. Now it’s a dog park and a sand box of sorts where people sunbathe on nice days amongst the dinghys and sunfishes.