Tag Archives: boats

Independence Park (Beverly, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 14, 2018

Location: 33 Lothrop St, Beverly, MA (about 30 minutes northeast of Boston, MA)

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Parking: On street parking is available but limited. I did not see a parking lot at or near the beach.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, certain areas are handicapped accessible. The beach is accessible through a paved walkway to the right of the beach.

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: scenic, boating and other water activities, historical memorials, fishing, wildlife

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History, beauty and recreation await you at Independence Park.

The picturesque park offers scenic views and benches to sit.

Although the bench and path at the park are pretty and provide beautiful views, they do not lead to the beach.

 

I don’t usually take artistic license with the photos I take. But as I was editing this photo, I noticed how the red really stood out in the boat at the front of the group of boats.

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Although it may be possible to get to the beach from the path by the benches, a fence and rocky area prevent easy access to the beach.

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There are entrances to beach are a short jaunt to the right and left of the monuments at the park. And, to the right of the park is a paved walkway to the beach.

The beach offers beautiful views, a clean beach area and a jetty to fish off. Rumor has it striped bass (“stripers”) are abundant in the area.

 

There are a lot of birds and other wildlife at the beach.

 

The beach is a popular spot for paddle boarders, surfers and boaters.

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If you’re in the area and you want to try paddle boarding, kayaking or even winter paddling or snow shoeing during the winter, try Coast To Coast Paddle. Aaron, seen in the photo below, was getting ready to take a few paddlers out while I was taking photographs.

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As the name would suggest, Independence Park is more than just a haven for sun seekers and paddle boarders. It also has a rich history.

One of the plaques at the park states that in 1775 the first authorized armed ship, The Hanna, set sail in those waters to capture British vessels. Just standing in an area that played such a pivotal role in our history is pretty freegin cool when you think about it.

There are also cannons, monuments and flags on the grounds of the park.

 

The park is dog friendly and there were quite a few dogs at the beach while I was there.

Below are just a few of the cute dogs I saw during my visit.

Koa (on the left) is a 3 month old mixed breed dog. Frank (on the right) is a Golden Retriever.

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Polly is a 13 year old mixed breed dog.

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Willow is a 4 month old Englisg Cream Golden Retriever.

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(Oliver) Twist is a 5 year old Schnauzer Cairn Terrier mix (aka Carnauzer).

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Poppy is a Greyhound.

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Jade is an 8 year old mixed breed dog.

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Great Island Common (New Castle, NH)

Date Of Visit: September 23, 2017

Location: 301 Wentworth Rd. (Route 1B), New Castle, NH,  (1 hour northeast of Boston, MA, 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: Open daily 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

Cost:

New Castle Residents:
– No admission charge if vehicle has current resident sticker.
– Residents may invite up to 25 guests at no charge – Over 25 guests, admission fees apply.
– Resident must be present for all guests.
Non-Residents:
– Admission charged from May to the end of September.
General Admission Fees
– Individuals:
0-5 yrs old free
6 to 65 years old $4.00
65 and older $2.00
Handicapped $1.00

Parking: There are about 50 or more parking spots available in the parking area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes, seasonally (pets are not allowed in the park or on the beach from May 15 to September 15)

Website: Great Island Common

Highlights: lighthouses, beach, places to grill, pavilions

Tips:

  • When you enter the park, you must turn right.  The parking area is at the end of the circular paved road
  • If you want to use a pavilion, you may have to call ahead and reserve the area

 

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No other name than Great Common Island may be more apt for this park.  Except it’s not really an island.  But, it is great.

The park, with attached beach, sits on the shore of New Castle ( a small town of 968 according to their 2010 census) just outside of Portsmouth, NH).  The park and beach area are only 32 acres.  But what it lacks in area it makes up for in beauty and charm.

The park offers some great views of the water.  It is a good place to watch the waves crash against the rocks, although the waves weren’t too strong during my visit.

Great Island Common is popular with fishing enthusiasts, boaters and the occasional bird.

You can view two lighthouses from Great Island Common.

Whaleback Lighthouse was established in 1830.  The granite lighthouse that stands there now was built in 1872 and it was automated in 1963.

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Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, just down the road from the park, is also visible from Great Island Common.  During the summer, there are open houses at the lighthouse on Sundays from mid May to late October from 1-5.  Since I was visiting on a Saturday I was not able to attend the open house.  Next to the lighthouse (to the left of the lighthouse in the photo above) is Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and Fort Constitution.  In the distance, past the lighthouse, you can see the foliage has just started to begin.

Wood Island Life Saving Station in Kittery, Maine, is also visible from the park. In 1827, Wood Island was given to the federal government so the U.S. Navy could build barracks.  However, it would eventually be used to quarantine Spanish-American War prisoners who had Yellow Fever.  It is presently not in use.

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One of the biggest attractions at the park is a sculpture of a painter by an easel working on the scenic skyline.

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Pretty good painting of me.  It looks so life-like.

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Great Island Common is not just a park.  A beach is also attached to the park.

The park is spacious for kids to play in with lots of big trees for shade.

Erected in 1984, the memorial honors all of the people of New Castle who have served the country in all wars and conflicts.  Two benches sit next to the memorial, one on each side of it.

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Great Island Common is dog friendly except from May 15 to September 15.  Luckily, I was able to visit the week after ban ended.  It was a picture perfect day with a calm breeze.  So, it was a great day to bring your dog out!

Miley is a 8 year old Yorkie Poodle.

Tuck is a 6 month Cocka Poo (Cocker Spaniel & Poodle mix)

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Remy (on the left) is a 10 year old Puggle and Phoebe (On the right) is a 1 and a half year old Puggle.

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Jaelo (pronounced “J Lo”)is a 10 year old Puggle.

Below is a video by the shore of Great Island Common.

Posted below is a drone video of the Great Island Common area on Paul Moore’s YouTube page

 


Mystic Seaport – Part II (Mystic, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 2, 2017

Location: 75 Greenmanville Ave. Mystic, CT

Hours: Open daily, 9:00 – 5:00 (hours may vary depending on the season)

Cost:

Adult – $28.95
Senior (ages 65+) – $26.95
Youth (ages 4-14) – $18.95
Children (3 and younger) – Free

Parking: there is a free parking lot across the street from the Seaport Museum.  There is also additional parking across the street from the parking lot for overflow

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, but not all of the buildings are accessible to the handicapped.  Approximately one-third of our buildings have wheelchair-accessible entrances; interior access varies. The village’s unpaved roads are generally firm and stable suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. All roads are basically level with a few slight inclines located near the Children’s Museum, Treworgy Planetarium and Membership Building.  (see link below for more info)

Mystic Seaport Accessibility Guide

Dog Friendly: Yes, but they are not allowed in the buildings

Website: Mystic Seaport

Highlights: living museum with character actors, boats, replicas of historic homes, figureheads, lighthouse replica, play area for children

Tips:

  • For an after museum viewing treat, Mystik Village, an open area shopping mall is a mere.9 miles away on Coogan Blvd
  • the museum’s main parking lot can fill up quickly if you don’t get there early.  Additional parking can be found in the lots off Rossie St on the other side of the main parking lot

In part I of my blog posts about Mystic Seaport I showed you all of the figureheads and some other decorations and statues at the Seaport Museum.  Since there were so many interesting things to see and photograph there, I decided to break the blog post into two or three installments .  In this installment I will include photos of the boats and ships from the Seaport Museum (it is a seaport museum after all).  I hope you enjoy!

The ship pictured above and the staple of the Seaport Museum is the Charles W. Morgan, the last of an American whaling fleet that once numbered more than 2,700 vessels. The Morgan, built and launched in 1841, is presently America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat.  In fact, it is only second to “Old Ironsides”, the USS Constitution, in terms of age.  It’s also very hard to fit the entire vessel in the frame of your camera’s view.

As I travel all over New England, I have become more aware of how all of the states in this region are interconnected.  Evidence of this is how the Morgan was launched in 1841 in the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, an area that enjoys a prominent role in American fishing and whaling history.

Clocking in at 106 feet, 11 inches in length on deck and a beam measuring 27 feet, 9 inches, the Morgan was and still is one of the larger vessels in the New England area. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck and fully-rigged, and her sail measures in at 7,134 square feet.

But, lest you think the Seaport Museum is a one trick pony, there are lots of other sea worthy watercraft at the museum.

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The Calypso stretches 23′ in length with a 7’4” beam with a 2’5″ centerboard up.  It is made of fiberglass in an old French wooden boat design.  Built in 2004 at Latitude 46 Yachts, Ile de Re, France, the Calypso has a 9 horsepower Yanmar diesel engine.  Yeah I don’t know what that means either.

Calypso spent a decade racing and day-sailing along the South Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers in New Jersey.  After being damaged during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the boat was fully restored.  The boat is on exhibit and used for museum programs.

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Designed by Nathanael G. Herreshoff, Aida was built in 1926 by Herreshoff Manufacturing Co in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Aida measures out to 33’6″ in length with a beam of 9’2″ and it has a draft of 3’1″.

Aida  was owned by author Maynard Bray who used it to sail the waters of Maine.  She is planked with Longleaf yellow pine and Douglas fir and is framed with white oak.  She is fastened with bronze.  She is available for charter.

While there are other boats both on exhibit and available for charter, some of them were not available for photography.  I did find this Smallboat Exhibit.

Originally launched as George Stage, the Joseph Conrad, an iron hulled sailing ship, is also docked at the Seaport Museum.  She served as a training ship for American and Denmark sailors, separately, and has been used as a yacht in the past.  She 100’8″ on her deck, her bean is 25’3″ and her draft is 12′.

They were raising her sails when I began photographing the vessel.

Speaking of figureheads and masts, check out the figurehead on the Joseph Conrad.

You never know what you’ll see at the museum.  Randomly, a man who works at the museum began singing on this boat.

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This boiler is from an old ship that was once sea worthy.

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There is also a replica of a Verande which was used in the planning of a much longer Viking longship.  The Verande would be sea tested by towing, rowing and sailing to test its seaworthiness, ease of handling, safety and speed.

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In the Stillman Building, there is a replica of a captain’s quarters for the 1883 ship Benjamin F. Packard.  It felt pretty cool being able to access the living quarters of a captain without actually having to go out on a boat.

It looks cozy for sure.  The articles in the last photo are the figurehead, a billethead, and some of the other items that would be on the ship.

This concludes the ships and boats installment of my blog posts from Mystic Seaport.  Next, I will post about the buildings and some of the historical items on exhibit at the museum.  Thank you for reading!

Outside of the Stillman Building, I saw these two adorable Longhaired Dachshunds.

Clair is on the left and Chloe is on the right.

 

 


Congamond Lakes (Southwick, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 4, 2017

Location: 93 Point Grove Rd, Southwick, MA

Hours: the ramps are open around the clock

Cost: $5 boat launch fee

Parking: there is parking available in the parking lot of the boat launch and there is limited parking on Point Grove Rd.,

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: boat launch, fishing, scenic

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What better way to spend July 4th than at one of the busier lakes in Western MA?

Lake Congamond in Southwick, MA, seemed like the perfect place to spend the summer morning hours before our barbecue.  But, mostly because I like to say and write Lake Congamond.  What a fun name to say and what a fun lake to visit.

As  the name suggests, Congamond Lakes is not one lake but, rather, a group of lakes at the border of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  There are various boat launches.  We stopped off at the boat launch in Southwick (MA).

 

With a maximum depth level of 35 feet, the Congamond Lakes are a popular place for boating or taking some other aquatic vehicle.

 

Ducks are common at the lake and they are so used to being fed they will sometimes eat from your own hand.

 

Congamond roughly translates to “long fishing place” and we saw quite a few people fishing.

 

The pier offers spots for fishing, places to view the water and the boats or a place to sit with a friend.

 

Dogs are allowed at Congamond Lakes.  I’m just not sure they’re supposed to navigate the boats.

 

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Some dogs prefer land to being on boats.  Samurai is a Belgian Malinois.

 

Today’s featured link is Paul Samson’s Kayaking Blog.    People on boats, or in this case a kayak, can get to places those on land can’t get to and Paul found some gems during his kayaking adventure.  Paul’s blog post about Congamond Lakes can be found here.


Sail Boston Tall Ships (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Event June 17-22, 2017

Location: Boston, MA

Cost: Free (if you take a cruise out to see to the boats as I did fees would apply.  It costs $35 for adults and $30 for seniors.  Children and students also get reduced rates)

Parking: Due to the increase in visitors (they are expecting 2 million or more people) parking is limited.  The closest public transportation station is South Station on the Red line of the MBTA (fares are reduced for this period of time while people visit the event)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: tall ships from all over the world in Boston Harbor

Website: Sail Boston

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Normally, when we see foreign boats in our harbor, it would be cause for alarm, especially given our past.  But, this group of ships from all over the world came in peace.

Millions have been predicted to descend upon Boston as we celebrate Sail Boston 2017.

To avoid the crowds and get a better view of the ships, I decided to book a boat on Mass Bay Lines to cruise by these majestic ships.  The boat was comfortable, wecould roam around the boat to get better views and we got so close to some of the freighters that we could wave and even shout to the crews on the boats.  In fact, some people on our boat shouted greetings in the language of the crew based on their point of origin.  I highly recommend taking a boat cruise if you plan on going to Sail Boston before the ships leave Thursday.

Our boat, The Freedom was docked at Rowes Wharf in the heart of the seaport district.

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The views leaving the pier were beautiful.

The first ship we noticed was the Europa.

From Netherlands, the Europa has a steel hull and has a rig height of 33 meters.  It was built in 1911.

When the ships did not have their sails up, it was difficult to identify them.  Someone did announce the names of the ships as we passed by them.  But, it was hard to hear him at times and it was also hard to keep track of them all.  I think this is Thomas E. Lannon, a 93 foot schooner from Gloucester, MA.  It was built in 1997.

This is the Esmeralda, the pride of the Chilean Navy.  Check out the condor on the figurehead.  To show just how different the ships look with and without their sails up, look at the photo below from the Sail Boston website.  Big difference.  Oh yeah, and their photography might be a little bit more professional.  Just a little though.

 

The Oliver Hazard Perry from Newport, RI, is a baby compared to most of the other ships from the Tall Ships festival.  It was built in 2016.

Again, it looks much more impressive with its sails raised.

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Alert is a 70 foot schooner from Bailey Island, Maine.  It has a wood hull and it was built in 1992.  I was able to get the ship in various stages of dress.

The Adirondack III is an 80 foot schooner from Boston, MA.  It was built in 1997 and it has a wood hull.

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The Schooner Adventure is from Gloucester, MA.  It was built in 1926 and it is 122 feet long.

When and If is another 80 foot schooner.  It is from Key West, Florida and it was built in 1939.

The Formidable is a brigantine from Boston, MA.  It is 72 feet long and was built in 2000.

I was hoping to see more ships, especially with their full sails on.  But, I still think we saw a variety of pretty ships and boats.  What really caught my eyes was the buildings and structures against the ships and boats in the harbor.

These kayakers may have had the best views.  But, I think being dry on the boat was better for taking photographs.

Dogs like the tall ships also!  Cole, an 8 year old poodle, and his mom came by to view the tall ships.

To see videos, photos and other posts that I do not include on my blog, please connect with me on Facebook!


Boston Dragon Boat Festival (Cambridge, MA)

Date Of Event: June 11, 2017 (annually every second Sunday of June)

Location: Charles River, Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Dragon boat races, Asian art/music, food trucks, cultural events

Website: Boston Dragon Boat Festival

IMG_1815Thousands of people converged on the Charles River last weekend to celebrate the 38th annual Dragon boats festival.  Over 30 teams raced 39 foot Hong Kong along a 500 meter course (CYPN Storm won  the Club Challenge, “A” Division).

 

 

 

 

These rowers were getting amped up for their next race.

 

 

 

 

While these rowers stretched for their next event.

 

 

 

 

This rower had just finished a successful race.  The writing on his paddle translates to “Dragon Block.”

 

 

 

 

Kayakers also like to utilize the Charles for their own recreation and, for the most part, they were able to paddle around without interfering with the racers.

 

 

 

 

But, there weren’t just boats and kayaks at the event.

There were also cultural events.

 

 

 

 

Martial arts demonstrations

 

 

 

 

The grace and beauty of the participants were matched by the grace and beauty of the Charles River and Cambridge in the background.  And there is lots of beauty along the Charles.

 

 

 

 

This spectator got a chance to try out a seat on a dragon boat.  I think she liked it.

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There were also a variety of musical and artistic performers.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Drive, where the event was located, is always closed part of the day on Sundays from April until November so that joggers, cyclists dog walkers and anyone else can move freely on the roadway without worrying about traffic.  This road closure made it easy for for trucks to do business.  There were dozens of food trucks and vendors stationed along the road.

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Dogs are also welcome at the event.

Riley showed up with his ball.

 

 

 

 

Pitko, a Finnish name pronounced “Pete-co”, had a fun time at the festival.

 

 

 

 

Guy was all smiles as he watched the festivities.

 

 

 

 

“Princess”, a Himalayan cat, wasn’t afraid to show up at the race even if there dogs there.

 

 

 

 

Below are some videos of the race and cultural performers.

Please click on the link below to connect with me on Facebook at New England Nomad to view videos, photos and other media not included in this blog.  Thank you!


Leverett Pond/Echo Lake (Leverett, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 27, 2017

Location: Depot Rd, Leverett, MA (about 40 minutes north of Springfield, MA)

Hours: Open everyday from sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There is free street parking available on the shoulder of the road across from the lake.  There is room for about 5 cars.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: pond, poetry box, wildlife, boat launch

Website: Friends Of Leverett Pond

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Located in the center of town inconspicuously on the side of the road, Leverett Pond (also known as Echo Lake) is a 100 plus acre pond with amazing views and abundant wildlife.  In fact, the wildlife is so abundant it threatens the pond itself.  Beavers, specifically, seem to be clogging the dam at the nothern end.  It costs the organization $20,000 to fix this issue and they do not receive funding from the town.  So, the organization relies solely on donations.  But, still, the Friend of Leverett Pond are keep working to solve this problem.

Despite the ecological issues they may face, the pond still looks beautiful.

The pond is popular with boaters and fishing enthusiasts.  I saw two boats in the pond during the short time I was there.

During the winter, the pond is used by skaters.

While there were signs of wildlife, I was only able to see some fish in the water and a bird.

While the lake is a gem itself, one of the hidden treasures is the poetry box located on a tree by the lake.  If you weren’t looking for it you might just miss it.  Just to the left of the boat launch, the box is attached to a tree.

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Inside the box sits a binder with poems, stories and memories left behind by visitors. There are also a few pencils in the box for people to leave their thoughts and poems.   Some of the poems dated back to 2012.  It was not only nice to see this collection of art.  It was also nice to see it has been preserved and no one has stolen or disturbed the poetry box.

Behind the tree is a table for people to sit and read the binder or write their own addition to the binder.  The poems and other writings ranged from the comedic to the serious.  Some were written by children.  Others were written by older people.  Sometimes you could not tell who wrote the poem or what age they were.

Whether you’re a fisherman or fisherwoman, a boater or a poet, Leverett Pond is the perfect to spend the day.