how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Chatham Pier and Fish Market Cape Cod

This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the book from Amazon
titled Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day for just $2.99
See East Coast Road Trip for more pictures, itinerary, maps and trip overview.

Chatham is the launching point for a scenic one hundred sixty mile round trip path we plan on taking through Cape Cod. We drive there over terribly bumpy, traffic light filled, highway twenty-eight. I don’t recommend it, especially if you have back problems or arthritis. For a tourist in bad weather during the June to August warm season, Chatham is nothing but a couple of long streets filled with shops and eateries. But today she is beautiful.


We park at the Chatham Fish Market and Municipal Pier for free access to the water, beaches and bathrooms. Fishing boats come in one by one and the fishermen unload their catch, then pull away, and anchor out a few hundred yards. Within minutes the crews row their dinghies ashore, walk up the piers, pass through the bait shop and climb up into oversized pickup trucks to join girlfriends and wives waiting in the parking lot.

chatham pier fishing boats picture

Above: Picture of boats docked at the Chatham Pier and Fish Market. Inside the market there are no tables but displays of fish and a kitchen. Walk in, order, and then take your food outside to eat. Nothing fancy but good food and great views.

chatham tern island picture

Above: Picture of houses on Tern Island seen from Chatham Pier and Fish Market.

picture of seal at chatham fishing pier

Above: Gray seals with their dark and sometimes spotty faces, raise their smooth heads from the salty water and make direct eye contact with us one by one. People cannot resist their large ink black heavily lidded eyes and big long Hollywood style eyelashes. Most folks give in and toss them anything edible they have on them. We don’t feed them, but they graciously give us the same attention as those that do. This seal swims around waiting for fish scraps from incoming fishing vessels. There is a raised viewing area you can walk up which makes watching the boats and wildlife a real treat.

fog rolling in at chatham pier picture

Above: Picture of fog rolling through Aunt Lydia's Cove at the Chatham Pier and Fish Market. The gray misty air thickens, turns into fog, and slowly advances from the horizon towards us. As the minutes tick past, the boats, buoys, and islands furthest away disappear, one by one, until there is only gray. The rain starts anew.

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