Boston!

Trip Start Jun 22, 2007
1
19
43
Trip End Sep 25, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We had not planned on stopping in Boston but rather going over to Provence town before heading up to Maine.  Somehow, we got distracted for a week and we were glad we did. 

We decided to put off the stop in P'town until we hit the return leg.  Flexibility is one of the benefits of cruising so we take full advantage.  Boston it is.  So we got a notion that a week in Boston made sense.  I immediately, had a thought about getting Red Sox tickets so i made a fast Internet search and Yes there a few tics available for one of the three games this week.  So we talk a little more and conclude that we had better make sure we can find a marina in Boston at a price we can tolerate.  So we start making calls....voice mail...voice mail...voice mail.  A couple more hours and we finally connect with Constitution Marina.  Its a good location and the weekly rate is bad, but not a show stopper.  We sign up and give them a credit card.  Done.  Then back on the Internet for the Sox tix and Nope...all gone.  Nuts.  In a space of 3 hours I lost my chance to go to Fenway for a sox game.  You snooze, you loose. 

So we do a bit more planning and find we can get something called a GoBoston card which gives us access to dozens of attractions at a fixed price.  We opt for the 7 day card.  Done.  It even includes a tour of Fenway Park....a consolation prize to be sure but not too bad.

So we make our plans for entering Boston Harbor.  According to the cruising guide, its more challenging than the approach to New York.  In this case, we had to cross a number of shipping lanes, pick our way thought some islands, get past Logan Airport and dodge the usual high speed ferries etc.  We had made NYC, so we can do Boston.  Right.

So we set out and the un-predictable happens...Fog!  We had a taste of the white stuff a few time.  We head for Boston Light and its 'pea soup'...we are on what we call "4 eyes navigation'.  I watch the radar, handle the radio and Sue handles the wheel.  The radio chatter is full of "security call....security call....ship xyz heading inbound.  I couldn't make head or tails of most of what I heard.    Meanwhile, i can see only 500 feet ahead at best.  My palms sweat and I cant wait to get in .  After a while, you just watch the radar and keep a sharp lookout. 

By noon, we are nearing the interior or Boston harbor and the skies open.  We can see the skyline.  Soon we hail Constitution Marina and we are making the approach.  We are told our slip and told a dock hand would be out to take lines.  The slip is visible but looks very narrow.  After one 'fly by', I successfully back First Forty into the slip and we are in and tied down...Boston Mass....wow.

So the next week we spend being tourists.  We get an unlimited ride pass for the Boston subway called the "T" and have a ball.  Having lived for years in the south, I was again wary of rude "Yankees", big crowds and terrible traffic.  I have come to Boston for years on business but really never 'seen' the place.  Sue had never been here.

Again we were surprised and delighted with New England and its people.  We hardly met a rude person, we had great food and we saw wonderful history and arts.  Here are a few of the highlights...in no particular order.

Museum of Fine Arts- we have seen museums of art all over the world.  This one stands tall.  We went in thinking we could see most of it in two hours and found that 5 hours didn't do more than half. 

Fenway Park- While not as good as a game, seeing the park was a hoot.  You could almost imagine the people sitting in the stands with straw hats on and Babe Ruth pitching.  Many of the small, creaky seats are still in place.  Its hard to imagine that Boston fans pay $150 for a ticket routinely. 

North End- this Italian neighborhood is home to over a hundred restaurants and most are Italian.  I thought this might be a tourist thing, but this is the real deal.  Men sit on the steps who dont speak a word other than Italian.  I hear one exclaim., "Mama Mia"...I thought that we only in the movies.  We had 3 great Italian meals up there.

Duck Tour- you can get a ride around town, a very funny commentary and a short boat ride up the Charles River in a WWII Duck.  The fellow who drove ours was "Captain Foghorn" and this guy never let up for the full two hours...very funny guy and a good tour.

Harvard- I felt smarter even walking around this famous campus.  We went to the Natural History Museum and the Peabody Museum.  Great stuff.  The best part was photos taken by a woman who was part of a Natl Geog Expedition to China in 1920...this was a real expedition.  The pictures were hand colored and we amazing.

Aquarium- We have been to many of there, but this one was very good.  We saw the blue penguins we had missed in New Zealand.  Sue thought it was the best she had ever seen.

Irish Pubs- what can I say.

Sandwich- No not my lunch.  We took a day trip out to Cape Cod and the stop in Sandwich MA was a hit.  This was one of the most quaint places we have very been.  An old mill, running stream and quaint buildings we tops.

To make things every better one of our boating friends Dick and Kathy P who own a Nordhavn 50 invited us out to their home for an afternoon, dinner and an overnight stay in a "real bed".  This was a hoot and their hospitality was terrific.  The drove 50 miles in and back to pick us up. 

So after a week in Boston we are ready to move on....North. 
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