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Posts Tagged ‘IFAW’

Gorey Museum is right up our street, in Cape Cod’s Yarmouth Port

July 14th, 2013 by Mike Cassels

The Gorey Museum

The Gorey Museum

The Gorey Museum is right up our street in more ways than one. It is another compelling reason – as if we needed one- to visit, indeed stay in Yarmouth Port. Edward Gorey fans from across the globe, converge upon this picturesque New England village each year. We are thrilled to be so close to this quirky attraction, and many of our guests who are unfamiliar with Edward Gorey when they arrive, depart firm fans. The Gorey museum is yet another hidden jewel of this understated, charming village.

The Gorey Museum is in the former house of Edward Gorey, and the exhibits of his works have been beautifully and creatively put together. It is located in one corner of the village green and many of the tourists who drive along Route 6A just a matter of yards away, are blissfully unaware of its existence.

The Ed Gorey Museum has much on show from the life’s work of this celebrated author, illustrator, playwright, set creator and cartoonist. There is a rich diversity, something for everyone, to especially entertain those of us looking for originality and strikingly unique art, that shocks and amuses often at the same time. So this is quite simply a must for visitors coming to Cape Cod.

We cannot speak more highly of this entertaining experience. Oh and prepare to be wowed by the gift shop which has so many clever and innovative gifts that make excellent presents for friends and family.

Finally, a word or two about Gorey’s passion and concern for animals and their welfare during his life. The Gorey Museum continues to honor this worthy cause and supports a variety of animal welfare non profit organizations. In fact one weekend in September – yet to be announced this year on the Gorey Museum’s website – a special event is held around Yarmouth Port’s Village Green. The centre piece is the Adopt an Animal event.

Yarmouth Port Adopt A Pet Day

Please adopt me – I’ll be no trouble

Yarmouth Port has long been a global focal point for animal welfare, thanks to our illustrious neighbors in Summer Street, The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which has its international headquarters, just a walk from our inn. Their building, Cape Cod’s largest totally Green development, is incredible. This non profit organization has masterminded or lent its support to, a multitude of campaigns aimed at protecting endangered species, preventing the suffering of animals, both domestic and in the wild, and has been largely responsible for many breakthroughs and innovations in the field of science related to animal welfare. Nothing could be more poignant in this part of the world in terms of achievement than two great recent innovations that are already saving whales. IFAW took the lead in both cases and must take a large part of the credit. The change to the design of fishing nets here in New England was followed by the recent introduction of an iphone app designed to alert ships bridges that whales may be close by. Thus, significant inroads have been made into tackling the two main causes of slow lingering death and suffering that a lot of whales go through. But the daily battle goes on – well done though to the dedicated, resourceful staff of IFAW – we should undoubtedly think of them whenever we are lucky enough to see marine mammals in their natural habitat.

However, I am almost forgetting IFAW’S Rescue Team, largely made up of some 300 or so wonderful people here on Cape Cod. IFAW is the global leader in the science of marine mammal stranding, and every year dolphins and whales inexplicably beach themselves, especially at Wellfleet. At first, several years ago, when there was a lot less known about how to successfully rescue these stranded creatures, the survival rate was less than 20%. The winter of 2011/12 saw one of the highest totals of dolphin strandings, exceeded 200. IFAW’s volunteers were working around the clock, day after day in a state of physical exhaustion. They frequently found themselves chest deep in the near freezing water temperatures, endeavoring to send dolphins back to open water, but not before they had medical check-ups, not before useful data and samples had been taken and finally not before they had been meticulously documented and tagged. What dedication and endurance! Not without its rewards, because although not every attempt was successful, and this must have been so upsetting, by the time the campaign was over, the percentage survival rate had climbed into the seventies. At long last there was a little media coverage, which will increase awareness. But IFAW’s continued success will always depend on us lending our support. We can do so much to help. Thank you.

Gorey Museum

IFAW and marine mammals need us


So Many Whales To See, Thanks To The Unsung Heroes Of Cape Cod

March 18th, 2012 by Mike Cassels

Whales have returned to Cape Cod waters much earlier this year and have many marine scientists scratching their heads to come up with an explanation for this. It may very well be a combination of several different factors, including the higher than usual water temperature – it is some 3 to 4 degrees warmer than the average temperature measured over the last fifteen years. A more abundant food supply may also have had some impact.

To Cape Cod residents and visitors alike, there is the opportunity to see a large number of these magnificent creatures without so much as getting your big toe wet! Although catching a glimpse of the odd whale or two from the shore is always a possibility from April through October, early spring is probably one of the best times – there are currently around 40 to 50 Right Whales just off Provincetown. The Right Whale is an endangered species, and there are thought to be only three to four hundred remaining in the world. The best vantage points are likely to be Herring Cove and Race Point, where the views could be spectacular ( if you’re lucky).We are heading up there this week with some friends, and will try to pick a suitable day weather-wise and as calm conditions as we can to ensure the best possible visibility. Watch this space to see how we get on!

As well as the Right Whale, the other species of whales most commonly seen in Cape Cod waters include the Humpback and Minke. There are Sperm Whales in much deeper water further out in the ocean, and very occasionally indeed, a Blue Whale is sighted.

Finally, we should spare a thought for the dedicated people of IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and their volunteers, who work tirelessly around the world on our behalf to preserve and save animals, often from extinction. Their International HQ is here in our street in Yarmouth Port, and it is fitting that they are on Cape Cod, as they work daily to rescue stranded and injured whales, dolphins, seals and indeed any other animal you can think of. IFAW leads the world in the science of marine mammal stranding, but their efforts are multifaceted. For example, IFAW has worked successfully with the New England fishing industry to redesign the fishing nets in an effort to significantly reduce the number of fatal whale entanglements. Work such as this and IFAW’s many other campaigns need support from the public. If this is all new to you, and you care about animals and the environment on Cape Cod and beyond, please take a look at what this wonderful organisation is doing – we can all help a little so their efforts achieve an even greater impact.

We are once again offering a great whale adventure package this year and for every package sold, we shall donate $25 to IFAW. However, if this does not appeal to you, just come and see the whales for yourself from the National Seashore. Thank you.

Whales Return To Cape Cod Waters

May 4th, 2011 by cassels

The Magnificent Right Whale

The Magnificent Right Whale in Cape Cod Bay

It’s so heartening to learn that the whale population is back in Cape Cod waters – it heralds the start of another wonderful summer season. Since the word got out last week of sightings all along the northen and eastern coasts of the Cape, our guests have taken the opportunity to drive along to see what it was all about  – and none came back disappointed! Even the rare Right Whales are back, in greater numbers than last year. That will be a huge relief for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), whose dedicated local staff and volunteers work tirelessly to protect and rescue these, and many other, marine creatures. But you don’t need to take the chance of not seeing the whales, just get yourself on an organised whale-watching excursion. Our local one, Hyannis Whale Watcher is just 10 minutes from the inn and they will start running on May 16, 2011. But if you can’t wait till then, why not take the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown,

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Cape Cod’s IFAW comes to the rescue again

February 26th, 2011 by cassels

We are so privileged to live and operate our inn on the same street as probably the world’s leading animal welfare organisation, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). So it is with great interest that we read last week of another wonderful rescue, here on Cape Cod. A harbor porpoise became stranded in Wellfleet, in fact it was the third such stranding in just a week. IFAW staff were alerted to the stranding of a female juvenile harbor porpoise at 8.30 am Thursday last week. They, along with dedicated volunteers, took the creature to IFAW’s mobile clinic (a truck!) where she underwent a careful and thorough examination including blood work to establish her health levels. Thankfully, she was in very good shape was therefore a great candidate to be returned to her natural environment.

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Discover the Cape Cod “whale trail” from our Inn

March 3rd, 2010 by cassels

Your adventures during your Cape Cod vacation this season may to some extent be influenced by the advice your innkeeper can give you.  Guests will quite often have preplanned their itinerary with or without this complimentary service, but may need just a gentle nudge in oneDSC_0006 direction or another to decide whether to go whale-watching, spend a day on the beach or perhaps visit Provincetown.  That help in deciding how best to spend the day may, as far as the whale-watching option is concerned, come from listening to the animated accounts from fellow guests who went whale-watching the previous day. This takes place over a leisurely breakfast, served on our terrace overlooking the Inn’s gardens.

Cape Cod is, after all, ranked in the top 10 whale encounter locations in the world. You may even catch sight of one or two from a suitable vantage point on the National Seashore. The Hyannis Whale Watch boat will take you out in comfort to Stellwagen Bank and provide an extremely knowledgeable commentary – yes you do need to take your camera! There is less need, though, for binoculars as some whale sightings will be close to the boat. You may even catch a rare glimpse of a right whale, which is currently one of the most endangered species. You are more likely to see humpback, minke and finback .

The twice-daily 4 hour excursions are ten minutes from our inn, and in our opinion they are the best. Particularly fitting is their sponsorship of IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, which does so much to preserve the whale population in New England amongst all its other commendable work across the globe. We hope you’ll find an hour to spare for IFAW’s visitor’s centre at the end of Summer Street in their new “green” international headquarters.

So the voyage of discovery continues with a day trip to the tiny island of Nantucket. Maddaket Harbor, Nantucket You will want to go there to see more than the Whaling Museum, but no there can be no more poignant a start to your visit than a look at this fascinating and clever illustration of whaling, which was after all, largely responsible for establishing the thriving settlement of Nantucket in the 17th and 18th centuries. The voyage of the Essex from Nantucket inspired Herman Melville’s story of Moby Dick, and there is often a guided tour of the museum during which you can hear the story of this ill-fated voyage.

If you are now casting your mind back to your whale watching trip, you will doubtless be grateful that whaling is something from the past – at least in this part of the world.

So, if all this appeals to you and you’re planning to spend a few days on the Cape this year, be sure to allow plenty of time to follow the “whale trail”. Why not make your Cape Cod visit even more memorable by staying with us, at our historic Bed and Breakfast Inn? Hope to see you soon!