Wednesday, 29 August 2012

No 29 Boston, Massachusetts

Hi from Clare,                                          Tuesday 28th Augut 2012-08-29
Throughout the week we made our way to Boston stopping off at a number of anchorages along the way. I will mention two as they were the most interesting.

Squirrel Island

The first one is Squirrel Island, interesting because it is privately owned and self managed by the residents. Our American friend Bert (Exuberance) said it is old money and the fifty or so properties never appear on the market; they are handed down through the generations. There are no cars and we circumnavigated the island by way of wooden boardwalks or made footpaths. We enjoyed the peace and tranquillity, the aroma of the pine forests and the chirping of many pretty birds. The few locals we meet were very welcoming and friendly and hoped that we would enjoy their island.

Jewel Island
Our second favourite anchorage was at Jewel Island. The bay was flat calm and surrounded by pine clad hills. We (Andrew and I, Bert and Prue) explored the walking tracks on this island for about two and half hours and climbed the WWII look out towers giving us a great view of the surrounding area; see photo.

After many emails to sail makers in the past weeks, we stopped at Salem (20 miles from Boston) and ordered a new Main Sail and a new Genoa from Doyle Sails. After eight years and good service our old sails are showing signs of imminent failure. So far (we haven't got the sails yet) it has been a pleasure doing business with Doyle's.

So we motored to Boston Massachusetts and arrived in thick fog. We couldn't see the shoreline when motoring up the channel. The passenger ferry to Provincetown had run aground with 150 passengers on board. No one was injured but there was a full scale evacuation being conducted. We followed the chatter on the VHF radio and when the fog cleared momentarily we could see numerous rescue vessels with flashing light heading out of the harbour. We heard later that it was operator error as the ferry was off course.

So we took a mooring ball for two nights. We were within a stone's throw of the Old City. The best way to experience the history of Boston is by following The Freedom Trail; a red line running through the city. This takes in 16 historical sites making up the backbone of the American Revolutionary Story.

Faneuil Hall & The State House

That afternoon we saw Faneuil Hall (1741) which served as an open forum meeting hall and market place for over 250 years. The gold domed State House (1713) where still today the Massachusetts senators, state representatives and the governor conduct daily business.

Granary Burying Ground & the Old State House
The Granary Burying Grounds (1660) where some of America's most notable citizens and revolutionaries rest. The Old State House (1713) which was the seat of British rule. Then finally the Old South Meeting House (1729) which is where the signal was given to throw 342 crates of tea into Boston Harbour. After that we retreated to a waterfront bar for a well earned refreshing drink and some people watching.

Old South Meeting House & Charles River to Harvard
Boston is very much a university town, there are lots of students everywhere and they come from all over the globe to gain a higher education. Both Harvard and MIT, amongst others, are located here. So the following morning we took our dinghies for a five mile trip up the Charles River to Harvard University. 

Harvard Residential Colleges & Gymnasium
Harvard Chapel & Library
What a beautiful establishment nestled under magnificent leafy foliage. Bert and Prue said that tuition for a degrees cost around $250,000 and that doesn't include boarding in at one of the many halls. It is the beginning of the University year and so there were many eager students (I hope) there receiving introductions.

In the afternoon we continue on the Freedom Trail taking in the Paul Revere House (1676) which is the oldest frame house in Boston. Then to the Old North Church (1715) with its 217ft steeple making it the first landmark travellers saw when approaching Boston. We continued on through the lively Italian restaurant district where the food smelt delicious, the restaurants were full and people spilled out into the streets to celebrate St Anthony's day with cheering crowds and live bands.

Paul Revere House & Old North Church
Last but not least we then crossed the bridge to the Charlestown naval shipyards to see the USS Constitution which is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It became known as "Old Ironsides" during the War of 1812 as cannonballs merely bounced off her hull, which was made not of iron but a three-layer sandwich of oak.

USS Constition & her Gun Deck
The following morning we left Boston but not before I poured some tea into the harbour as my little act of rebellion.

View from our mooring ball & the Rebel

We are now in Provincetown and heading for Newport tomorrow to restock supplies before heading out to Martha's Vineyard.

Love Candy xx.

At 12:32 AM28/08/2012 (utc) our position was 42°02.60'N 070°10.86'W

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: