Posts Tagged With: mystic seaport

MYSTIC SEAPORT-THE TOWN

 

Mystic Seaport has a mysterious name. It conjures up the movie, Mystic Pizza, a romantic comedy filmed partly in Mystic Seaport and nearby Groton, Connecticut. There is an element of mystery as the pizza continues to become well known. Ah, so much for the movies. It did put Mystic Seaport on the map for those of us who didn’t know about its other qualities, such as a whaling and fishing history.  Jim and I  spent quite a bit of time there since Jim’s daughter-in-law lived most of her life in Mystic Seaport. Jim and Wendy Jaillet were married there as well. On our first visit we simply walked the town and looked around. Following is some of those photos. 

Rolling into town from Newport, R.I.

A beautiful lighthouse-still in use.

Swans are not U.S. natives. They were put here to eat up troublesome algae. Notice the darker, young swan. The Ugly Duckling story.

New England has many, many bridges. This draw bridge is tough to photograph, the heavy concrete counterweights lift that bridge.

The boats pass through, and down they come.

This picture of a picture gives a better perspective of the bridge. Walking under those huge counterweights takes an element of faith. I guess its always that way when crossing a bridge with huge trucks rumbling next to you, as well.

In many communities public benches are chained to prevent theft. In Mystic, they simply make them heavier.

I enjoyed unique and different art work. Different, that is, in topics. Much ado about whaling, boats, sailing and fishing, obviously. The wood cut below is an antique we saw in a museum.

Conclusion: Mystic is the perfect place for a fish-loving, bridge building, romantic, movie-loving artist. And we tourists, too.

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RV Trip Favorite Photos #332-343

Jim says:

While Mary and I are taking care of business here at her home…there is little “new stuff” to Blog about daily. So I’ve decided to share with you some of my favorite photos from our recent 298 day, 16,000+ mile RV trip around the United States.

Since scenery and people snapshot-type photos require little special photography skills…and being limited by the abilities of my digital camera…I none the less took some photos that I really liked. They are presented in no special order of favoritism. If you desire to see more associated photos and information about this area, you will need to find this date in the archive files of this Blog.

Today’s photos were taken at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut on August 12, 2010……

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In other news…
66 degrees, mostly sunny. More cleaning of the motorhome.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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AMAZING MYSTIC SEAPORT

Mystic Seaport is a working museum, or so its been described to me. More than that, it is a section of a town, preserved original buildings display or work the businesses they were, some before, some after the turn of the century.
How do you preserve about 50 boats? By “parking” them along the waterfront. How do you repair historic boats? By building a shipbuilding yard and training people to do it. They employ 22 ship builders in this shop and take in outside work to help keep the cost of visiting this unique place down.

This building displays the hull of an old ship and explains in detail how it was built, what made it strong, how it was put together piece by piece. I’m guessing the building is about 120 feet long.

The boat works has some awesome tools and you can wander about, watch the restoration workers and view films on the process.
There were so many buildings and crafts, I couldn’t post and explain them all. Every element of the fishing industry in the area, from oysters to lobsters is covered here. The town had a cigar shop and had to put out fires; pubs and churches and schools were part of the community. In fact one church has a taped sermon from a former preacher in which he regales the “rum” establishments in fiery oratory. Its a hoot. Welding shops, chain makers, iron mongers, carpenters… After five hours of walking and gawking, we became weary. We could have returned after a respite but gave in and went home. The place is a must visit for everyone including great interactive areas for children.

The last whaling ship left intact, the Charles Morgan, out of 2700 that plyed this area, is in for another restoration as the bugs that eat wood, the stresses of sailing and weather take their toll. It was built in 1841. For me, this was the most fascinating exhibit on the waterfront. While she undergoes her scraping and cleaning, and milling of replacement boards etc. we were allowed to walk around inside and ask questions of a docent.

He demonstrated the various harpoons. Unknown to me, the first strike is like a hook to bring the “fish” in, not to kill the whale. The film here is amazing. You are on the small boat as the whale takes you for a “Nantucket slayride.” You see the red foam when the whale is finally bested. You are on the blubber floor as the beast is loaded aboard the ship in slabs. The danger, the muscle it takes, the weariness, the thrill of the siting, the chase. You can almost smell the pungent ambergris as it is removed bucket by bucketful from the great head.

Bringing light below into dark quarters with glass crystals built into the upper deck. Lanterns were used sparingly as the oil soaked decks were so flammable.

The second most fascinating place, was the rope making building. The 250 foot section we were in was once part of a much longer building. When you consider the whaling boats played out 1800 feet of rope as the whale tried to shake its tormentors. How do you make a rope 1800 feet long in one straight, uncut piece? Again, an amazing film shows an old time “rope walker” with fibers tied around his waist walking the rope backward when the task was done nearly by hand with very rudimentary tools to help. This building holds the old mechanical rope making equipment that the film also demonstrates. Here the machine “walks” the rope.

Rope making has changed little from the old days except for more modern equipment. Its still a matter of joining fibers, twisting them into a small strand, then winding the strands together for great, huge ropes. One building holds a model of the town on a huge platform. In the model, the rope building is the longest building in town which this building is a small section of. The original burned to the ground.

On one of their sailing vessels, the Durant, the crew was exchanging signals with another boat. The crewman yelled, “…is their a doctor aboard?” Then, “Man overboard.”  Where upon the crew (in training) lowered the lifeboats and went and rescued a fake body out of the drink.

Also aboard this vessel was a canvas funnel that catches the wind at the top and brings it below deck to cool the crew on a hot day.

In the cooperage building, a female cooper explained to us the bucket and cask and barrel making procedures. It took me by surprise to learn that barrels were routinely taken apart when empty to store them then reassembled when needed. Especially when loaded aboard ship. Each stave was numbered so it
could be returned to its original tight form. Ships had their own cooper to perform this task.

At one time,l obster traps were made of wood instead of the plastic coated steel we see today.

One building held figureheads rescued from old boats.

One building had tools and stories and pictures of tugboats. I hadn’t stopped to think how these little but mighty boats connected to a great ship. The film shows how this great hook, which weighs about 250 pounds is utilized.

The hook is in the water. The tug makes several passes until it can connect to this hook, then it hauls away. Great film here, too.

Horse and buggy rides are available, as well as boat rides and a water taxi to shuttle you around the port, for an extra fee. If you go, plan to spend the whole day.

The Amistad was parked here after having just returned from Cuba. It hadn’t been completely cleaned yet since its recent voyage. It was only open for a short two hours. It has none of the chain and hooks from its horrifying days of running slaves. It has but few artifacts of slave trading, since men of the times tried to hide their nefarious purpose. It serves as an educational tool and memorial of the awfulness of slavery. Like the Holocaust Museum,  NEVER AGAIN.
I took a slug of pictures if you want to thread through them:
http://picasaweb.google.com/1579penn/81310MysticSeaport#

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Mystic Seaport, Connecticut

Jim says:

Yesterday Mary and I spent our last full day in New England at a most appropriate place. Mystic Seaport may be New England’s largest tourist attraction. It all began back in 1851. Mystic Seaport, founded in 1929, actively pursues the collection, preservation and exhibition of artifacts and skills related to maritime history and its influence on American life. It is a privately operated, non-profit institution.

It functions as a living history museum consisting of a village, ships and 19 acres of exhibits depicting coastal life in New England in the 19th century. We spent five hours here and did not come close to seeing all the exhibits. It’s a most interesting place.

Here are 11 photos I took while there…

First is a picture of me with my new hat. I lost my trademark white floppy hat in Salem, Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago. I really like my new hat because it’s lightweight, keeps my head cool and the wide brim shields the sun from my eyes. Now all I have to do is lose 30 pounds, grow a scraggly beard, put a stogy cigar in my mouth and I’ll look just like Clint Eastwood! 🙂

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To see the other 86 photos I took, click this link…
http://picasaweb.google.com/jimjrver/MysticSeaport081310#

Here’s the official Mystic Seaport link…
http://www.mysticseaport.org/

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystic_Seaport

Today we depart New England after being here for 48 days. Our destination for tonight is planned to be New Windsor, New York>

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
My three books may be purchased at http://www.lulu.com
Just enter Jim Jaillet in the search box.

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