Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Several people commented on yesterday's post, remarking on the beautiful view we enjoy of Mount Hope Bay from the Tillercottage. "You are truly blessed to sail on those waters," said one.
We are blessed.
And the camera does not lie.
Or does it?
Our view of Mount Hope Bay is indeed scenic and beautiful. We see the northernmost tip of Portsmouth and the eastern slopes of Bristol and Warren, all picturesque Rhode Island towns.
But if you sail on Mount Hope Bay, you will see something that is not quite so picturesque dominating the northern end of the bay.
A couple of weekends ago, three of the Tiller Extensions (my grandchildren) were staying with us. One misty morning the two eldest ones, Emily and Aidan, wanted to walk with me down to the beach in front of our house.
We walked down a steep private road. Along a grassy track that is sometimes overgrown. Over some rocks. We walked a short way along a disused railway track. The rails and sleepers are still there. "Why don't the trains run here any more, Granddad?" Then we had to clamber down some more steep rocks to the beach. (Some kindly old Laser sailor fixed some ropes there a few years ago to help with the climb, down and up.)
I looked up towards the north end of Mount Hope Bay and snapped the photo above.
As you can see, the beach is rocky. Many of those rocks in the picture are covered at high tide. Even if I could get my Laser down to the beach (which I can't), even if I kept my Laser on the beach (which I don't), this would not be a great place to launch a Laser.
The kids went searching for sea-shells and tiny crabs.
What's that monstrosity you can see through the mists in the picture?
That is Brayton Point Power Station. Wherever you sail on Mount Hope Bay it dominates the view. Thankfully it is almost totally hidden by trees from where the Tillercottage is situated.
It's frigging huge. Just to give you a sense of scale, the power station is almost 4 miles from where I took the photo. Those cooling towers are 500 feet tall. They are 70 feet taller than Providence’s tallest skyscraper.
Brayton Point Power Station produces more carbon dioxide than any other source in New England and New York — almost 5.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2010 and 2011, almost entirely carbon dioxide, with smaller amounts of nitrous oxide and methane. The power station burns coal, natural gas and oil - but mainly coal.
Mount Hope Bay does have beautiful views.
If you don't look to the north.
We residents of Rhode Island have a name for that ugly area at the northern end of our bay.
We call it "Massachusetts."