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Mystic docks captured ? links to our past guide, part 3 - al fresco

 

Mystic Haven celebrates the naval past of New England. Known as The Museum of America and the Sea, the harbor is an entertaining journey all the way through 19th century marine life.

This is the third part in the cycle of all the rage attractions for New England vacations with a chronological theme. Others in the chain are Plymouth Plantation, Mayflower II, and Old Sturbridge Village.

Located 100 miles from Boston on Route 95 at exit 90 in Connecticut, the Mystic Docks exhibits are open amid 9-5pm April-October, and 10-4:00pm November - March.

Here's what you'll see and how to get the best out of your trip.

There's three main exhibits at Mystic Seaport: the historic ships, the authentic harbor village and exhibits, and the conservation shipyard.

THE SHIPS?

Whenever I visit Mystic Haven I head as the crow flies for the Tall Ships in the museum dock area. I'm just drawn to these magnificent vessels, and the most accepted to tour is the Charles W. Morgan - a astonishing illustration of a inexpressive whaling ship. It made 37 whaling trips from its launch in 1841 and ahead of retiring in 1921.

The Joseph Conrad and L. A. Dunton are the other fine specimens of Tall Ships in the museum collection.

These ships alone are worth the trip to Mystic Seaport. But two others with a distinctive and rich annals are the Sabino and Emma C. Berry. More later about the Sabino, but Emma C. first launched in 1866, and since then has undergone many changes as a fishing vessel and a coastal freighter. She was beautifully restored and donated to Mystic Harbor in 1969.

THE AUTHENTIC VILLAGE AND EXHIBITS?

A short walk from the ships is the village exhibits and galleries.

A amble because of the recreated Mystic Haven village stirs the imagination. Most of the buildings in the village are authentic and moved from other locations in New England and the Northeast.

With 46 exhibits you'll come across a rich mixed bag of shops, homes, and stores. Amble about the maritime shops and come across rope making, rigging, cooperage, and the sail loft. And two must-see exhibits are the Mystic River Scale Model, and the Shipsmith shop.

Further down from the village check out the galleries and make sure you spend time classified both the Voyages and Figurehead exhibits.

The three-floor exhibit of Voyages celebrates the inheritance of America and the sea, and how it continues to bearing our lives in many delicate ways. And diagonally the avenue is the Figurehead exhibit, and a breathtaking assembly of carvings.

Unfortunately, these carvings are a bittersweet display. The appeal for these carvings on ships has dwindled and it's now develop into an in danger of extinction art form.

Now wander back to the shipyard area and get ready to be amazed?

THE Continuation SHIPYARD?

I don't know about you but I've all the time had a good for your health absorption for the old mastercarft skills, and love to watch colonize work with them. Many of these skills are being lost as the economics of our time condense the need for them. Inexpressive ships are a thing of the past, and so the astonishing joinery and shipwright skills have dwindled all through the world.

But here in this angle of the world they are uniquely preserved.

In the Henry B. duPont Defense Shipyard many of these skills are still experienced to keep the museum ships in tip top shape.

In the yard you'll see carpenter's shops, a chains loft, a paint shop, metalworking shop, clump shed, and an old-fashioned sawmill. Close by is the documents shop containing vital minutes used by the museum's shipwrights, carpenters and riggers, to be adamant correctness as they work on preserving the ships.

Just diagonally from the duPont construction is the shipbuilding exhibit. Here you can see the keel of the whaleship Thames, and take in a helpful exhibit of the many stages of shop a ship.

And when you're at length ready for a rest take a 30 or 90 detailed cruise on the Sabino steamboat as she travels up and down the Mystic River.

Now that you've armed with this in order it's time to set the main sail, raise anchor, and head out to Mystic Harbor to come across this all for yourself.

For more in rank and permit prices for Mystic Haven visit their web site at www. mysticseaport. org.

Cliff Calderwood is the owner and contributing essayist of the New England vacations guide . You can read more about Mystic Haven and get a free move article at his New England vacation site.


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