Friday, July 22, 2011

Boat trip around the Harbor

Most of us knew that the temperature would reach more than 100F this afternoon ( in fact, it was a record high since 1977!), but our enthusiasm to explore the Harbor overshadowed our reluctance to go out in the hot sun.

We took the 1.45pm MBTA ferry at Long Wharf, making a return trip to Quincy. Thanks to Prof Berman, we only paid $3 each for the entire journey that would otherwise be $6 for a one-way ticket.

Despite the hot weather, there were many people at the dock, waiting to board the ferry to surrounding islands. There are also other ferry operators servicing the route between Boston and Salem/Provincetown.

Once on the ferry, Prof Berman pointed out the islands that we passed by, including Thompson, Spectacle, Georges and Long Islands. During the trip, I noticed that the waters were clean, the air was not smelly, and it was a hive of activity on the islands and waters. There were many fishing boats, yachts and even jet ski riders out at sea. I also learnt that rangers (who also live on the islands) are available to conduct tours for visitors. From afar (because we didn't get onto the islands), it seems that the islands are well-maintained with favorable infrastructure to keep visitors coming. The pristine water conditions are so attractive that there are people living in houses near the shoreline so that they can enjoy the beautiful seaview, and perhaps jump onto their boat anytime they deemed like to do some fishing.

I think if we were to go back to the days before the habor cleanup, we would not have seen waterfront restaurants, piers, ferries and even human beings. We also would not have the luxury to enjoy alternative transport routes to nearby townships. Who wants to go near a filthy and smelly place? With no human traffic, there is no business. Since there is no incentive to be at the harbor, without the cleanup, it would probably have a huge pile-up of wastes taking residency there. The undesirable living conditions would also scare marine life away. What biodiversity of wildlife is there to speak of?

We have not started to do a thorough observation of marine animals at the harbor yet. I am curious to find out what we can see this weekend.

No comments: