Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Whaling Ship and a Sailing Ship

Sometimes not having satellite TV access can be a good thing, because it forced us to raise our roof antenna to watch whatever local channels we could get out here in the tall trees. Watching the news on Thursday night I saw a news story that the New Bedford Whaling Museum was having a free entrance day on Friday, which was a savings of $26 for Denny and I--$14 for me and $12 for the old guy. That story was followed by a news story that the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle was coming into port at New Bedford on Friday morning, so voila', my plans for the day were set.

Denny and I just missed the actual docking of the cutter but it was still maneuvering itself into place as we arrived at the State Pier. All of the hands were on deck (who knew I'd ever get to see that phrase come to life?) and there was a large crowd of people on hand to witness the Eagle's arrival. The Eagle was originally built by the Germans but was taken by America as war reparations and has been used for training recently. She's a lovely huge ship and I swear I could see Captain Jack Sparrow up there grinning in the rigging. For the few days the Eagle is in port, the public will be allowed to tour the ship, but since that wasn't to begin until 1PM, Denny and I walked the two blocks over to the Whaling Museum.

Upon your entrance the first thing you see are the skeletons of two whales overhead. The museum is a fascinating warren of rooms with information on the history of whaling, the people who whaled, some history on the town of New Bedford, local artifacts and a couple of large scale model whaling ships for adults and children to explore.

A sperm whale skeleton. Docents were on hand to give talks and explain about the displays.

A gamming chair, used to transport people from one ship to another by rope and pulley.

The view from the deck of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Walking uptown in New Bedford. Note the stone paved street--and they are very narrow. New Bedford was a hugely important whaling center in the 1800s and today is still the number one fishing port in the country.

Tourist shot.
Further into the center of town we discovered the Whaler's Monument.

I kept tripping on the sidewalk because I was walking with my head tilted back to see the wonderful architectural details of the historic buildings in downtown New Bedford.
While downtown we discovered Moby Dick high in a building.

The hydrangeas in Massachusetts are fabulous, varying in color from medium to cobalt blue and on into a purple so deep it is almost a grape color.I had packed a lunch so Denny and I went looking for a place to eat that was away from town, since there were a lot of cars and people there due to the Eagle arriving and the free museum day. As we were heading for the state park we saw this wonderful Gothic church belonging to the Unitarian Society of Fairhaven. I love the baroque detailing all around it and was awed by the fact that the church and its outbuilding took up an entire city block.

Lunch was eaten on a park bench at the Fort Phoenix State Park overlooking Buzzards Bay and distant New Bedford.

After lunch while I was taking photographs of sailboats in the bay, Denny climbed down the boulders to the rocky beach to search for Massachusetts beach glass for me. And he found some!Another great day of exploring!


Arkansas Patti said...

What so impresses me about your RV'ing is that you always take adavantage of exploring the areas you visit. Some people I know seldom leave the areas they are parked in.
Thanks for taking us along.

SkippyMom said...

Those pictures are incredible - especially the church. WOW. Nice to see something other than a golf course from you. giggle [I am kidding]

And free is GOOD! Especially when you packed your own picnic. What a wonderful day.

Now can we see a picture of the glass Denny found. I want to see!

Journeyin' Lady... said...

Loved the descriptions of your "free" day in New Bedford.
Even though we also have satellite TV we try to watch any local channels we can get on antenna. And buying the local newspaper is one of our ways of getting "in-touch" with the local area.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...