Friday, June 30, 2017

Tourists in Boston

It's easy to be a tourist in Boston because there are free maps everywhere, and the Freedom Trail leads you to most of the tourist attractions. To make following the Freedom Trail even easier, it is marked with red bricks in the middle of the sidewalks.
In some places it's not real bricks, but still obviously, it's the Freedom Trail.

The Freedom Trail led us to the USS Constitution this morning. It's been in dry dock for two years, but still open to tourists. Old Ironsides is the navy's oldest ship still in service. It will be re-launched July 23 and put back into its normal berth.

We also walked over to Bunker Hill in Charlestown, and up to the top - all 294 steps!
The view was good, but it was rather hazy so we couldn't see that far. Here is the view towards the harbor where we are moored.

After all that walking and all those stairs, our legs felt like rubbere and we wanted to Uber back, but my phone was dead, so we had to walk back. We finally found our marina, putted back to our boat, and fell onto the settees exhausted.
But tomorrow, we're heading out again!

Location Map June 30, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Provincetown, Massachusetts

On November 11, 1620 the Mayflower anchored near Provincetown in Cape Cod Bay after 66 days at sea. The Pilgrims spent about five weeks here before sailing to the mainland and setting up the colony at Plymouth, but while they were here they crafted the Mayflower Compact, which established a cohesive guide for their self-government.

In 1910 Providence erected this 252' tower as a tribute to the Pilgrims. It is the tallest all granite structure in the United States and was fashioned after the Torre de Mangia in Sienna, Italy.
We toured the museum and walked to the top of the tower today. The weather was perfect for it; so clear and bright. We could see our boat in the harbor, the tower at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal, and Boston, forty miles north.

Provincetown has a wonderful collection of original shingled cottages. Some of them weren't actually built in town, but out on Long Point where a fishing village existed between 1810 and 1850. When the fishing declined, many of the homes were put on barges and floated to town. These homes are identified with little blue placards showing a home on a barge with waves under it and the lighthouse in the background.

These charming cottages are surrounded by roses and colorful perennials and edged by white picket fences.
Provincetown is a delightful place to visit. It has a lively art and music scene, a tolerant attitude, beautiful homes, good restaurants, and wonderful sailing. I've barely scratched the surface of its fascinating history and hope you've enjoyed it. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cape Cod Canal

In our continuing mission to broaden our readers' knowledge of geography, we bring you the Cape Cod Canal.

Opened in 1914, it runs between Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay, and cuts off 65 sea miles from New York to Boston. You probably don't know about it because another canal that opened in 1914 got all the glory that year.
We carefully checked the current to make sure we could ride it eastward all the way through the canal. Our start time of 7:30am worked out well for us and we picked up the current as we entered the breakwaters at 9:00am.

The yellow line on the map above shows our track from Mattapoisett, through the 7 mile long canal, and across Cape Cod Bay towards Provincetown.

There are three bridges across the canal. This beautiful railroad bridge was the longest lift bridge in America when it was first built, but now there's a longer one near New York.
The bridges all have little blue signs on them with a posted speed limit of 10 miles per hour, or 8.7 kts. Hmmmmm..
At two locations on the canal there are these towers with CCTV cameras, radar, and microwave antennas. I'm thinking someone was watching us as we passed by, and I'm wondering if they can calculate our speed, because we were definitely speeding!
Our speed over the ground here at the railroad bridge was 11 kts, and it got up to 11.7 kts for a bit. I guess we timed the current just right, because we were flying. I wonder if they'll send us a ticket.

Mattapoisett, Massachusetts

As it has been since 1740, the harbor is the heart and soul of Mattapoisett. Between 1740 and 1878 over 350 ships were built here. Many of them were whalers that roamed far and wide across the world's oceans bringing back wealth and tales of the sea.

In 1840 one such whaler, "Acushnet", carried as crew a man named Herman Melville, who later wrote Typee, Mardi, Redburn and Moby Dick, inspired by his time in the Marquesas and aboard ship.

The harbor is still where the residents gather for holiday concerts, ice cream cones, and local gossip.
The harbor is where boats are outfitted for the season, gear is ferried back and forth, and the Harbormaster welcomes visitors.

In town the peaceful streets are shaded by old maple trees and filled with beautiful little Cape Cod cottages. The houses are surrounded by white picket fences, hydrangeas, and honeysuckle. Garden furniture is placed just so to catch the breeze and the view down to the harbor.

The town was charming and we enjoyed seeing it, but we soon made our way back to the harbor because that's where all the action was. We had an ice cream cone and enjoyed the show, because really, the focus of Mattapoisett is on the harbor, just as it has been for over 250 years.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Location Map April 13 to June 24, 2017

St. Augustine, Florida to Bristol, Rhode Island and on our way to Maine.

Blithewold Mansion and Garden

Yesterday morning it poured rain, but by noon it was breaking up, and after lunch we decided to walk to Blithewold to visit the mansion and gardens. We had a pleasant stroll down High Street with views like this and many cheery "Hellos" from the locals. The town is getting ready for the Fourth of July, which is a BIG deal here, and flags and bunting are everywhere.

The English manor style of this 45-room mansion certainly appealed to us and we found some of the same details we had used in our little English cottage.

This is the back of the house. The view down across the lawn and out to the river is gorgeous, and the cool breezes coming into the house are magical. We sat on the back porch a while just enjoyed the cool air after our walk through the gardens. Thirty three acres is a lot of ground to cover.
That dogwood tree on the left was absolutely covered with flowers. What a sight!

A view toward the well.
The sunken garden near the living room.

On the way to the vegetable garden.
This 90' tall Giant Sequoia is only 106 years old.

I wash my blog had smellovision so I could share the scent of this gardenia with you. It was heavenly.
The vegetable garden had a few blueberry plants,
lots of lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and herbs.

The water garden had not only water lilies, but lots of frogs to serenade us.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Herreshoff Marine Museum

Our primary goal in stopping at Bristol, Rhode Island was to visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Within an hour and a half of taking a mooring we had eaten lunch, showered, and called for the launch. Even in these blustery conditions Mike, the launch pilot, did a great job coming alongside and whisking us safely to shore.

The museum celebrates the genius of the Herreshoff family's yacht building history, and the quest for the Americas Cup.

There are plenty of actual old Herreshoff yachts on display; some you can even board.

The traditional paneled cabins are gorgeous, but the galleys were a bit sparse. And they were positioned up forward where the motion had to be rough!

Being an old sign painter, I had to admire the perfect execution of this gold leaf name on Thania. But what else would you expect in Bristol?