Safe at Sea: The Atlantic seaboard
(Editor’s Note: This is part II of a four-part series about U.S. land destinations focusing on maritime history. For the previously published segments, visit online at www.captivasanibel.com.)
The waters of the Atlantic seaboard from Boston to Augusta, Maine, hold summer enchantment for some members of the America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. Seemingly, the waters tend to develop very knowledgeable skippers and first mates, and their help and advice in our club operations is always appreciated.
We note the attractions of the Maine Maritime Museum, located in Bath, Maine. On the banks of the Kennebec River, one may visit the Bath Iron Works and the Percy & Small Shipyard, where schooners were built long ago. An artistic sculpture of the largest wooden sailing ship ever built in America, the six-masted “Wyoming,” is a prominent feature of the museum. The display is designed to convey the enormity of the original vessel’s hull. The original ship, built in Maine, sunk in 1924.
With its vast supply of wood and expert woodworkers, Maine inevitably would become famous for its talented ship construction industry. Visitors to the museum will find on display over 100 historic Maine-built small boats. The museum also contains a huge collection of more than 20,000 objects, such as captain chests, sextants, binnacles and spy glasses. There is an extensive research library and numerous works of art.
Looking a little south along the coast, we certainly find numerous historic maritime sites and notable collections, along with the usual assortment of Red Sox fans. In the Boston area, there is the USS Constitution Museum, Cape Cod Museum and Fall River Maritime Museum. No doubt, each would be instructional on the magnificent seafaring history of the area, but my eye caught some unusual detail about the Peabody Essex Museum at Salem, Massachusetts. The museum is near the Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina and displays ship models, fine oil paintings, drawings, tools, weapons and instruments of navigation, plus ship and yacht plans from around the world. The museum is said to hold over 20,000 objects of oceanic art collected from islands in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.
Whenever your travels take you along the Atlantic seaboard, be sure to reserve some time to enjoy the wealth of maritime history the area offers, then be sure to stop in at a local “lobster pound” and experience the finest and affordable seafood meal in the world.
Bob Eidsvold is a member of America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. For more information, contact 239-985-9472 or Commander@SanibelCaptivaSPS.org or visit online at sancapboating.club.