Access to Hull Cove is fine the way it is
Having been a lifelong resident of Jamestown and a local surfer, I am unequivocally opposed to the proposed idea of building a raised boardwalk to the existing Hull Cove access path.
I started surfing at Hull Cove when I was 13 years old, back in a day when there was no parking lot, no fence, and the path itself was a road that one could drive down. In the 30 years that I have been lugging my surfboard down the path on sunny, rainy, stormy and snowy days, I can tell you that Hull Cove is one of the last remaining pristine and untouched areas in Jamestown.
After following the recent debate in the Press concerning the proposal, I have to ask the obvious question: Why after all these years is there an urgent push to provide a raised boardwalk at Hull Cove? Has there been a huge outcry of handicapped people demanding access? Or is it simply a handful of rich transplants to the island who cringe at the thought of getting mud on their shoes when walking down the path?
Let’s be honest here: Beyond the obvious parking issues at Hull Cove, the beach itself is not exactly desirable. The beach, if you want to call it that, is largely composed of rocks and huge seaweed beds that are covered in flies and sand fleas. It’s not exactly optimal for your average beachgoer.
Having spent some of the best days of my life surfing at Hull Cove, I am concerned the proposed boardwalk would only serve to encourage more trash and provide nothing but headaches for the residents who live near the cove. Not to mention the fact the Jamestown police would literally need an officer stationed there daily during the summer months to handout parking tickets considering the parking lot can only accommodate five cars maximum.
Why not take the grant money that is slotted to be used for the potential project on more viable beach venues like the park dock on the North End? It already has adequate parking and a more accessible beach area. Why isn’t there a handicapped-accessible ramp there, or for that matter, at Mackerel Cove?
Hull Cove is one of the last remaining hidden gems on the island that is largely frequented only by local surfers, fishermen and the occasional adventurous tourist who is willing to brave the existing path to discover where it leads. It needs to remain this way. The proposed boardwalk is unnecessary, unwanted and a waste of money.
I would encourage every local surfer on the island who has spent as many days surfing Hull Cove as I have to stand up and make your voices heard regarding the issue. Send the Town Council, Conservation Commission and people opposed to getting mud on their shoes a resounding “no” when it comes to altering any aspect of Hull Cove.