Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cruising Boston Harbor

Starting our adventure we boarded our ship at Long wharf what we learned about was that Boston harbor at one time was actually carved out by glaciers and that's the way Stellwagen Bank was the portion that connected the landmasses together to create a pond. We were taught that all of the  wharf's and a significant portion of the land from government center to the water's edge was actually landfill. And that at one time there Bay and wetlands extended far more inland than it does today. As we peered into the boat slip there were few signs of life in the water on the pier other than algae, moss, seaweed and barnacles. The water was very brackish looking that we were told by our professor was because of algae and water from the Charles River emptying into the harbor. After we left the dock and headed out we were under the flight path for Logan Airport and had jets flying low on approach into the airport. As we look behind us we could see the USS Constitution in the Charles town Navy Yard looking forward there was a fire boat putting on a display.

Some of the interesting things we saw was the Boston skyline everything from the federal courthouse to the contemporary art museum to Anthony's Pier 4. Continuing forward it went past Fort Independence that's part of Castle Island. Some of the things that were most interesting about the inner and outer islands is this historical significance in history of these places. Many times over the years is islands of been used for corralling of deer for the Indians to waste water treatment plant. One of the most colorful stories was about a Pirate being hung at Nixes Mate, to the story of the haunting on George's Island by the Confederate widow lost her husband. On deer Island we retreated to the waste water treatment plant where we learned about the process of turning all of the ways from Boston back into portable drinking water that the recharging the ocean. Many of these islands over the years of been used for military purposes as either forts from the revolutionary times, through World War II, or as drug treatment facilities, prisons, isolation ward for people with diseases, mental institutions and also a place to dump not only medical but biological waste. Some of the sites that made an impression on me was the view of Boston harbor light to the sighting of comm orates. The sheer scope and beauty of these islands with their forest of trees in the lushness of the greenery against the backdrop of the skyline and the sun shimmering off the water was a magical moment.

An additional observation was how enclosed and protected the Bay was. There was very little chop is very calm.One of the most poignant moments came as we came alongside the USS Salem but in contrast also learned its history of shipbuilding in Boston. One of Boston's prides is the building of the Cutty Sark from red Oak. Massachusetts and colonial  times was known for its timber in the beauty and design of the ships. But in contrast you have ships designed for beauty and speed compared to a show of might and force. When you see the closed shipyards they are a constant reminder of times gone by and also how things change.

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