Today was a beautiful day and what better way to spend it than boat cruising around the Boston Harbor. Although this is commonly viewed as a purely recreational activity, our assignment was to observe the elements of the harbor we noticed and found interesting.
This being my first time taking a Boston Harbor Cruise, I was really excited to see and get oriented with the Harbor Islands. Before we even boarded the boat, I noticed the winds were picking up (great sailing weather I’m told!) and the sky was perfectly clear. The water was calm and I was immediately inundated with the natural salty smells of the water. An additional observation I made before even beginning the cruise was how clean the water appeared. Later in class, we learned that Boston Harbor in the last twenty years has improved significantly, going from one of the dirtiest harbors to one of the cleanest. This was very apparent as the water seemed crystal and clean and offered a very inviting invitation for swimming.
After completing the tour I came out with a real appreciation for the Boston Harbor Islands. All of them were pristine and well kept (for the most part) and honestly, they seemed under trafficked. Never having been to the islands myself, I don’t blame anyone for not having yet adventured to explore them. This being said, it seems as if these islands are one of Boston’s best-kept secrets.
On a general level, I noticed that the Harbor Islands were each very different. Each Island had a different distinction that made it unique. For instance, we visited Deer Island where the sewage treatment plant was. Personally, I found this very interesting. The area, although the most industrial site of the day, was very clean and well kept. There was no odor in the air and you wouldn’t honestly even notice it, if it weren’t for its large distinguishable buildings.
Another interesting part of the tour was actually touring Quincy market. We learned that where Quincy market currently is, is where Boston’s old shipyard used to be. Learning about your surroundings is one of the most valuable resources to exploring and enjoying the place where you live.
In addition, I also enjoyed when we saw the seagulls swarming over the water. We were told that it was an indication of a school of fish. It was just another instance of how from simply observing your surroundings (especially once you get to know them) can show you things you never would have noticed. I am excited to keep learning about Boston ecosystems on a deeper level.
Overall, I really loved touring spectacle, lovells, hull and the various marinas we saw. I really appreciated how protected the islands were and the fact that they transport you completely out of the concrete madness that Boston can become.