Thursday, September 4, 2014

Constitution Marina

I wasn't going to write about this sailing trip. It's been fun, sailing down to Marblehead and Scituate again and then up through the Harbor Islands to Boston. But I figured my readers had heard enough about sailing for now! We're staying in a marina by the USS Constitution on the other side of the Charles river, right across from the North End. This is a very large, and very nice marina. There is even a pool! The shower and laundry facilities are excellent. I did a load of towels, and not only could I pay via credit card, but I could sign up to be sent a text message when my load was finished! Pretty fancy!

But here is the interesting thing. There are over a hundred boats in this marina that people live upon year round. The slip rental makes it an economical choice if you want to live right on the harbor in downtown Boston. The marina itself is locked and secure, and the docks are kept clear of snow and ice during the winter. Of course they have to heat their boats in the winter, and they tend to live on motor boats that are larger and have more space than an 38' sailboat! But it's an interesting proposition. Of course it puts a bit of a gleam in Lee's eye, but too bad for him he is married to me, and I like my house and garden too much. And boat toilets are a pain!

Tomorrow some friends are meeting us here and we are going to take them sailing. The plan is to sail out to George's Island and have a picnic. Then they will take the ferry back and we will sail back to Salem. We'll have to anchor at George's, and we've never actually anchored this boat, although we used to anchor all the time when we lake-sailed in Missouri. So we'll see. You have to be flexible when you are sailing!

So that was written on Wednesday. Thursday night we took Uber in Boston for the first time, and ate at a restaurant in the South End - Toro. They serve a variety of small plates, each one better than the previous offering. The restaurant was loud, and we were definitely the oldest people there, but the food was excellent! Items that stuck in my mind: a variety of olives (I'd been craving them), tuna crudite, eggplant, ham and crab empanadas, beef tongue, and a nice rosé. Lots of fun!

So on Friday our friends show up and out we go to George's Island. Much to our surprise, the USS Constitution is going out too, to shoot off their cannons on Labor Day weekend. We sail blithely along, watching fire boats spouting huge streams of water, with an incredible birds eye view of the vessel, and police boats yelling at us to get the fuck out of the way because the USS Constitution is going to be shooting at us! At first we simply don't understand that we are on the wrong side of the boat; we think we are just too close. Finally a nicer police boat gets close enough to us to explain that we need to be on the other side of the Constitution. Oh! Why didn't you say so!

Between the cannons going off and the planes landing at Logan overhead it makes for quite an exciting journey out of Boston Harbor. In retrospect we should have had the sense to turn on our VHF radio. We probably should leave it on whenever we're underway, but it's annoying; it squawks and make a lot of noise. But with everything going on in that harbor it should have been on. Next time!

When we finally head for Salem it's strangely peaceful out in Massachusetts Bay, even though there are 2-3 foot swells that are breaking right over our bow. Why we don't have the sense to close more hatches we'll never know, but not doing so means we need to do more laundry than we expected when we get home. Quilts, sheets, blankets, they all get soaked with salt water. I'd say live and learn but by now we should know better.

After all that we spend a quiet evening in Salem Harbor, eating odds and ends and taking pictures of the sunset. Our week on the boat ends with a day sail around Misery Island with Mark and Amy. Next up, a wedding!

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