Posts Tagged With: sailors


We have a whole working town as a museum in the Mother Lode, its Columbia, a gold mining town. Mystic Seaport has a whole bay and harbor as a working museum, called Mystic Seaport. Like Columbia, it has the old buildings, still plying the trades they did in days of yore. Printing, barrel making, clock works and so on. The star of the port, when we visited in August,  was the restoration of a whaling ship, The Charles W.Morgan. Other rescue efforts go on at the same time.

Its possible to see the workers of today, like the sailor below…

and their equivalent occupation from yesteryear.

Of course, these guys were officers of the vessel, not a swabbie like the woman above.

To me, the most fascinating business on the wharf was the rope making building, because the building had to be as long as the finished rope, which meant about 250 feet, if my memory is correct.

Its a marvel to watch how the strands were twisted to make huge, heavy duty ropes, much needed by the shipping industry.

Ropes were made of the hemp plant which makes it illegal in the U.S. Too bad! We could use that industry here instead of importing from Canada or Germany or China. Our early colonists knew a good thing. Hemp makes cheaper paper rather than cutting down trees, as well.

Another good occupation might be the carving of figure heads. They are definitely obsolete, but look what beauties. And, collectors love them. This particular vessel was engaged in rescue training for their sailors the day we were there. Young sailors learn real skills in how to operate these vessels and it made for a fascinating day at Mystic Seaport.

The hardest part of this rescue was learning how to lower the small boat.

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Moving South about a hundred miles to hook up with Bob and Donna Parker, Jim’s (Jaillet) cousins where we’ll stay for the next week. The weather changed to rain but didn’t cool much. It was 75* when we got up at 5:30. Even the gulls were absent from the parking lot. One lone fellow kept trying to dig something out of a pickup truck, maybe an ice chest tempted him. Previous mornings flocks of them were raucously sounding in what could be considered the equivalent of a rooster crowing the coming morn.

We stopped in Berkeley, MA to have the Motor Home refrigerator serviced at USRV, where Jim’s (Bacon) cousin, Mike De Paola, works. We stocked up on some bacteria additive for the black water holding tank and a new set of blades for the wipers, etc. The company also has a dump station and a place to take on water, all needed chores required for smooth wheeling on the road. We’ll meet with Mike and his wife Saturday afternoon for cocktails. We arrived at Donna and Bob’s where personality and hospitality reign supreme. Donna baked a French Meat Pie for Jim, her first time effort.  I told Donna she was a spoiler and its absolutely true. She would make everyone’s dream come true if it were in her power. The meat pie was excellent, so much better than anything you can purchase. KUDOS! The plan is to attend the festivities at the Portuguese Festival in New Bedford,  something we’ve been looking forward to for a month. I especially enjoyed the Fado, when I was in Portugal, a sort of seaman’s lament about being away from home, the loneliness, contemplating missing comrades, missing his sweetheart, wife,  children and all things dear. Its an emotional, pleading kind of performance and they perform the Fado here at the Festa. New Bedford became an adopted home for Portuguese sailors who emigrated here in the late 1700’s and brought their traditions with them to stay.

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