Posts Tagged ‘Sailing’

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. 


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.








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

anh dao

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


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Sunkist2 Island Traveler

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

Challenge: choose an image that denotes: Fleeting

Imerovilgi, Santorini, GR Fleeting Sun
Imerovigli, Santorini, GR Fleeting Sun

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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


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!


Lin Pardey at the Scituate, MA Harbor event


Captain Dow on the Right

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OPSAIL 2012 delivers as promised to Boston Harbor

     Take one colorful Colonial Captain and the twinkle of the Tall Ships at night and you get Christmas.  Sir Jeremy Bell delivers as promised on the Clipper Liberty for Rum and Revolution on the summer night.  While in the destination of the OpSail Boston, the clear full-moon evening produces the glitter of the holidays of December.  Rum helps, too!


CISNE BRANCO (Brazil) – on Fish Pier

GLORIA (Colombia) – on Fish Pier

GUAYAS (Ecuador) – on Fish Pier

DEWARUCCI (Indonesia) – on Fish Pier

USCGC EAGLE (USA) – at Charlestown Navy Yard

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duxsbury_art_0101Cruising in Seraffyn by Lin & Larry Pardey is one way to live your unfinished dream. Known as the pioneers of castaways for greater life experiences, they have made their mark and cut their trail on our planet.  This book is celebrating its twenty-fifth year in publication. The book has sold over 50,000 copies in five editions and three languages. Their visions of practical and affordable dreams lure the reader into a mystical realm distant to 99.999% of us. Enticing?  Yes. Duplicated by others?  Yes. Why are these folks special?  Many try and few complete the Pardey’s life goals.  They were able to cast off the economic chains and put a plan to work that continues to be successful today.  And along the way Lin & Larry stayed true to their quest. They are considered the deans of Cruising the seas in a small wooden boat under sail.  They are experts to all who voyage to hidden ports and explore unknown peoples. Think of a romantic vision of Magellan.

Today they continue to travel; though land based in happy New Zealand, with roots in California and Canada. A pickup truck and camper serves as another home away from the sea. Spartan by most standards, Lin and Larry travel without much want, as their reputation proceeds them worldwide.  Writing and Publishing to share their life experiences and offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of open ocean life engulfs much of the year.  The rest is searching for the next anchorage or port on one of their other vessels in New Zealand.

See, Seraffyn is not the kind of yacht that many vision on the silky Caribbean Seas. Seraffyn is historic and represents a boat that those in the know, those that understand sailing and those that build vessel are keenly aware: it is Twenty-Four feet long and with one mast, has no motor or electricity. For that matter it has no toilet.  Think 24 feet for a moment.  That’s eight adult strides in a line. Try this: 3 Smart Cars bumper to bumper!  Now think this: Twenty-four foot seas, at night in the open Indian Ocean under sail, (no engines). Yet, the beauty of  Mediterranean and tropical islands were on their charts every new day. Two people sailing around the earth and visiting distant ports where Westerners have never touched is incredible.

Larry is the builder. Larry built Seraffyn to the specs of the Lyle Hess, Bristol Channel Cutter, a formal working boat.   This sturdy shallow draft vessel from hardwood and teak and brass was made to withstand the high seas, yet give comfort to the Pardeys.  Larry is the expert in the techniques of open sea cruising. The broad deck and the ample spaces below deck were enhanced by Larry’s designs.  These plans are available to all sailors. Lin is the scribe and her skills in putting the human spirit into their quest is magical.  One feels the rolling swells beneath the hull and the warmth of the smiles of children in the coves and bays from her words. Several books document their years on the waters. Their DVDs give us the knowledge of their decades of determination. In meeting and knowing the Pardeys and while sailing on Seraffyn, I have grown to respect their accomplishments  and embrace the books of their travels. The angels surely are looking over Seraffyn. The boat is owned by a caring seaman, in New England, who maintains the highest care over this fantastic vessel. The Pardey’s books are published by Paracay Publishers.


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Oriental’s Croaker Festival is usually on the weekend prior to the USA Independence Day Holiday weekend.  Sadly, I’ve missed it again.  This community event enshrines the saltwater fish species called the croaker.  A “croaker” is a local fish that “talks back” to fishermen lucky enough to catch it. It is actually kind of ugly. As it gasps for water, when on the dock, the gills puff up and out come a frog-like croak.  Eating them is a similar story.  They are not that large and finding flesh without a bunch of fish bones is a task.  So what is the story here?

This North Carolina “innerbanks” area town can use this or any excuse to draw a mix of residents and visitors to a charming little sun-drenched retirement/working port community.  Oriental is located not far from New Bern, N.C.  The tourism board got this one right.  From the “Croaker Pageant Queen” to the Parade, replete with the obligatory Croaker Float, the two day celebration has something for everybody.  Quirky food is one of my favorites. The open air booths have old-fashioned treats and more festival foods each year.  The Neuse riverfront surrounds the main street and the scent of Saltwater in the air gets my mouth watering for lots of seafood delights.  Because of the rich history of this event, and the success of recent years, the festival draws between 8,000 to 10,000 people.  Each year a theme is chosen: yes, a Croaker has to be a part of it.  Thirty years of this area’s worship to a fish that few would use as bait has ensued.

This town is a sailing and yachting place and real anglers head out of the little port for the “big ones”.  The sea dominates this land bordered by Pamlico Sound on the north and Ocracoke Island and the Atlantic to the east.   From New Bern, NC, cross the bridge and stay on NC Highway 55 to Pamlico County, stay on 55 though Grantsboro and Bayboro.  A ferry system provides free (yes, free) boat travel for passenger and cars from Cherry Branch from the south. At several times per day, this is the way to arrive. You wait in line in your car about a half hour and roll aboard.  Of course, anchoring out is not too shabby, and several protected spots to anchor abound.

The vendors include crafts, antiques, toys, novelties, jewelry art and Food!  My favorite: Hush puppies, coleslaw, baked beans, an icy-cold “frothy brew”, and corn-battered fried Croaker. Fireworks are the finishing touch.  Next year’s festival is July 1st and 2nd, 2011.

Visit http://www.croakerfestival.com/ and then look for me, I’ll have on a “Croaker T Shirt.”

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