• Stephanie Birchenough

The Blynman Bridge

If you live in Gloucester, visited Gloucester or know anything about Gloucester and boating you have heard of the Blynman Bridge. This is a small draw bridge located at the Northwest end of Gloucester Harbor, adjacent to Stage Fort Park. The thing about this bridge is it has no schedule to conform to, it goes upland down whenever a calls the bridge operator and the boater needs it go up.


How the bridge works is it is on a will call open basis. When you arrive at the bridge and you need an opening, you call them on channel 13 and ask and the bridge operator to open the bridge.


Now what's the big deal about this bridge? The Blynman Bridge is the southern entrance to the Annisquam River, which is a canal or estuary that not only cuts right through Gloucester but it also saves the captain 10-15nm. I will save the Annisquam River for another day. Blynman Canal gives the boater the opportunity to travel from Mass Bay to Ipswich Bay without making the long journey around Thatcher Point, Rockport and Halibut Point. As a result all the commercial fisherman, sailors, and boaters use this Bridge to save time and money in fuel.



One of Anejo's trips through the Blynman Bridge


As you can see from the video the bridge is a very old bridge and somedays we all feel like it might just not go up, or it might not come back down. But even after all these years it still seems to go up and down to allow all the vessels through.



The Dedication Plate to the Blynman Bridge


We cannot talk about the Blynman Bridge without talking about how dangerous this canal can be. Since the river is tidal and goes up and down with the tide the water changes direction with the tides, and it is very important if you are in a trawler or sailboat to pay attention to the tides. The current at the bridge can run 5nm, and if your engine cannot handle that you might want to think about the best time to travel through the canal. As a result of all those who do not know what they are doing, a local Gloucester guy has made an Instagram page called @cutbridgecrazziness and it is worth a look and a laugh, but I should say, the owner of this page swears like a sailor.


The next time you visit Gloucester on a sunny weekend day, take a walk or a drive to the Blynman Bridge, bring a beach chair and cooler, and watch all the vessels go through the bridge. It is very entertaining.


See you at the bridge.

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