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Archive for the ‘New England Waters’ Category

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The Scrimshaw on a newly woven basket.

A rare and wonderful tour was awarded to me to visit and chat with Susan Chase Ottison and husband Karl Ottison, at their Nantucket home and studio on a warmer than usual summer day on the island.  The  ground floor of the Head of the Harbor structure catches the cooler temperature breeze of the Nantucket Bay, and is a relief from the frenzied crowds in the lovely, but hurried town.  The studio gives a first impression of an 17th Century craftsman’s workshop of ancient tools and works.  Yet, a systematic tour by Susan organizes her space and process to hand weave and complete magnificent collections of Nantucket Lightship Baskets.  Known as the eminent expert on this talent, she is commissioned to custom design baskets and rehabilitate those of other master weavers.  The mid-day light filters through the studio window panes to reveal dozens of scrimshaw motifs ready to be mounted on future baskets. 

Last of an Artistic Talent

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As a discussion on the future of the “On Island” specialty of highest quality craftsmanship is a concern to the best of the weavers, Susan reports to consider that she is slowing down her trade.  Craft shops on Nantucket may offer these goods, as many are of high quality and affordable at these times.  There are baskets that are imported from Asia and have very poor value and craftsmanship.  Susan is remarkable is her talents and newer students on Nantucket may hope to continue to learn from these masters. And, she relates on her business card:    The old saying goes, I was made in Nantucket, I’m strong and I’m stout.  Don’t burn me or lose me, and I’ll never wear out.  

 

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Sunkist2 Island Traveler

This page gives you a little insight of my Travels through my lens.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning!

We call it, Indian Summer. The last throws of the waning Summer months transition into Fall. Still warm by day, until a blustery breeze picks up after morning. This is the time to walk the barren morning beaches. South County, Rhode Island State, USA offers this peaceful time. Yes, American Indians were the first settlers of this New England region.

Day break: South County,RI

Day break: South County,RI

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Memories of Seasons past

Memories of Seasons past

The Nikon d7100 DSLR, Nikkor 55-80mm .

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Hidden Gem of American History Shines its Lamp Brightly

NL_Light_mosaic     On the waterfront street near the City Pier of historic New London, Connecticut, USA, are the granite columns of the  179-year-old Robert Mills building: The Custom House and Maritime Museum.  Mills is most know for the Washington monument in District of Columbia.  His architecture on the 150 Bank Street location augments the age of seaport towns, such as New London, to regulate and collect the tariffs of sailing ship trade across the seas.  The Granite facade and the red brick vaulted interior rooms, highlighted by massive maple doors and soaring ceilings, evokes a time when government real estate was permanent.  The Custom House and U.S. Treasury Service still maintain office space on the second floor, though it is more of a museum space.  The three levels and a sub-basement contain treasures of the ship building days, mariner memorabilia, Ship Models, ancient sea paintings in oil, collections of sailing art and libraries of books and data.  The groupings are contained in delightfully decorated “captain’s rooms”, replete with mariner furniture.

1839 History that Rocked the World:

First Step To Freedom

amistad4On that infamous night of  July 2 at 4:00am, 53 slaves brought through Havana, and onboard the Amistad  schooner and south of the Bahama Islands revolt and seize control of the vessel.  The “Black Pirates” are discovered and taken into custody off the coast of Long Island, New York, by the U.S. Navy . They seize the schooner and escort it to New London to the U.S. Custom House.  The location serves as the beginnings of the Abolitionist Defense Committee and the US Supreme Court to instigate the Free-State Provisions.  The 35 surviving Africans departed New York for Africa aboard the barque Gentleman, and were returned to their Sierra Leone in 1842.  In 1866, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution defines a citizen as anyone born in the U.S. (except American Indians) or naturalized, thereby extending all rights of citizenship to African-Americans. 

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compliments of Wikipedia

The second floor remains the historical depiction space of the events and contains many displays.  The current Amistad Schooner  docks periodically on the local wharf, up from New Haven, Connecticut mooring.

Preserving the Protectors

The New London Maritime Museum stretches a bit further to preserve history.  The New London Harbor Light, at the mouth of the harbor, was the fourth lighthouse recognized by George Washington when he enacted the 1789 Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse. It is one of the earliest  flashing beacons. This and the Race Rock Light, off of nearby Fisher’s Island, New York, are under the management of the U.S. Custom House and Maritime Museum, having been turned over from the Coast Guard.  Tours have become available to these working lighthouses.  The history of the maritime region and the donated collections, the resources of knowledge and the staffing of very competent docents, make for a sea worthy journey.

http://www.nlmaritimesociety.org/

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Customhouse

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Trustee/Docent: Harrison Lea Jewitt, on command on Sunday for Visitors

Trustee/Docent: Harrison Lea Jewitt, on command on Sunday for Visitors

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PSDWE2013-150x150I love the sea and my surprise to have a special visitor from it across from my home is a treat.

Planet Solar cuts though the ocean on the energy of the sun.

The world trek of the vessel is rich in science and public appeal.  Staffed and crewed by scientists and open ocean seamen, this sleek boat rising on its two pontoons and full of technical equipment, is on a mission.  The destination is to research the sea  and reach far from distant ports to bring the message of solar power.  The track of Planet Solar began at Univerite de Geneve to raise public awareness of the interaction of ocean and climate, the Gulf Stream and atmosphere.  The MS Turanor ” Planet Solar” is the largest solar catamaran built. The crew of several left the Mediterranean Sea via  Spain and headed for the Caribbean.  The port of call in May was Sint Maarten/ St.Martin.  Miami. Florida and then New York followed and now the boat is in Boston, MA, USA.

SYP-0295-170x114The Fan Pier area of Boston Harbor is a perfect mooring for Planet Solar.  The education of the expedition to the public has occurred on the several days in port.  The Next port of call should be Halifax, NS, CAN.  The mission has a delay of departure from the unwelcome Bermuda High weather pattern now gripping the east coast of New England.  The trough of storms and ensuing lightning and the rough seas have them safely in place tied to the pier.  My discussion with Team Scientist, Anh Dao, and her recollection of the journey and the intense work left for the vessel is impressive.

The great opportunity to fulfill the mission and complete Planetsolar Campaign 2013 for the Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva  can bring pride to the crew.  Much thanks to the many sponsors and port hosts.  www.planetsolar.org

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Crew Scientist Le T Anh Dao, M.Sc. Eng.

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Seraffyn is back in the water for another season.

Duxsbury_Art_010This sailboat brings out the best in minimalists and the sea.  Yet, under the decks are the comforts needed to circumnavigate the earth without engine.  I am looking forward to the next sail on Seraffyn.  It just might be with her fine captain and the guest and Vicar’s wife, whom, as that excitedly highest charity bidder on this winter silent auction secured a sail.  The Southern Massachusetts port of her mooring awaits the sail up from her boatyard where the bright work and winter fixings took place.  The outing will be a great time on the harbor and then offshore for a bit.

Cast off your worldly woes

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Larry Pardey on the vessel, Scituate, Ma.

The salon of the vessel is tight. Everything has found its place.  Cubbyholes abound, as the Pardeys’ planned it.  After decades of researching, trials and testing and open-ocean voyages, original owners, Lin & Larry Pardey, set the bar.  Their DVDs and books rank highest on the mariner’s list of required reading.  At a bit shy of 30 feet in length, the captain of Seraffyn commands a special place on history, she having circumnavigated the world’s seas multiple times against prevailing winds at times.  The  last year road trip by the Pardeys to the United States and their travels on to the East Coast allowed for a visit and time to reflect on those accomplishments. Larry’s time at the tiller and the laughter and stories from Lin captured an era not long forgotten. Bless the wings of Seraffyn!

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Lin Pardey at the Scituate, MA Harbor event

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Captain Dow on the Right

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Sunkist2 Island Traveler

This page gives you a little insight of my Travels through my lens.

Home

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Overlooking the Rose Kennedy Greenway of Boston, as anything but green, at the finale of the Blizzard of 2013. All are shot from the several windows of “Home” above the scene below.

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The New England Aquarium and surrounding walkway take the surge of the sea at the highest tides.

The New England Aquarium and surrounding walkway take the surge of the sea at the highest tides.

The docks give way to the force of the blizzard.

The docks give way to the force of the blizzard.

Boston will dig out of this fifth highest record storm, as I remain at "Home"!

Boston will dig out of this fifth highest record storm, as I remain at “Home”!

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Sunkist2 Island Traveler

This page gives you a little insight of my Travels through my lens.

Illumination

Boston Skyline and Customs House Tower as front moves in 11:00PM

Boston Skyline and Customs House Tower as front moves in 11:00PM

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Direct hit!

Direct hit!

Waiting for the next hit...Mother Nature speaks.

Waiting for the next hit…Mother Nature speaks.

Cannon 750 on tripod, Before the rain, I could smell the O2 Ozone, taken off my Harbor Deck… Love it. ~Ron

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