Saturday, July 13, 2013

First Day on the Water- Coulter Bailey

Today in Snails to Whales, we took our first trip out on Boston Harbor. It was great to be able to see Boston's skyline from the water, as it is makes one appreciate the city in a much different way. Shortly after we boarded the ferry and began to leave the harbor, we saw a Fire Department boat doing its water exercises, which was an awe inspiring site. After this rare spectacle we continued on passing Fort Independence, which was crucial in protecting Boston from the sea. The fort has been rebuilt several times, and currently is preserved as a state park.
On the other side of Boston Harbor is Deer Island, which is Boston's Wastewater Treatment Plant. Deer Island is a state of the art facility that handles all of Boston's waste, and breaks the sewage down so well that it can even be safely consumed. With Deer Island being part of Winthrop, the town reserves the rights to paint the plant whichever color it wishes, and employs its own residents to do the job. This is a continuing production, as there is always some part of the facility that needs to be repainted.

Past Deer Island is Thompson Island, which is home to Outward Bound's Education Center teaching students in environmental education, as well as peer leadership. Adjacent to Thompson Island is Spectacle Island, which actually looks like a pair of glasses on their side. These help make up Boston Harbor's thirty islands that all are fantastic for anyone to visit.

The first stop on the ferry was Georges Island, and while we did not get off the ferry, we did have a chance to look at the island. It also used to be a military fort named Fort Warren, and even has a ghost called the "Lady in Black" who was a wife of a Confederate soldier imprisoned at the fort.

After Georges Island, the ferry continued on past Peddocks Island, which is one long island, but may be separated due to erosion possibly next year. Across from Peddocks Island is Houghs Neck, which is home to public government subsidized housing. While government housing is great, it is not the best location as it is far away from Boston, schools, grocery stores, and any public transportation.

The ferry's next location was the Quincy Fore River Shipyard, and the stop is directly across from a decommissioned World War II naval cruiser named the SS Salem. It is obviously a very old ship, but it was great to be so close to such a large, historic ship.

Overall, the trip was great! We saw some incredible islands that make up Boston Harbor, and it was very interesting to learn about the history of each one, and how they have evolved over time to be a part of one of the cleanest harbors in the United States.

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