Our World Tuesday: Mystic Seaport

Saturday morning, we headed with my nephews to Mystic Seaport, in Mystic, Connecticut. This is a maritime museum that focuses on New England's whaling past. Mystic is the annual field trip destination for just about every kid in Connecticut. When I was in elementary school, the 19th century seaport museum was a pretty modest affair. Now, though, the place offers all kinds of hands-on activities for kids and museum displays that include Connecticut's military maritime history as well as its commercial one.


From Mystic Seaport
The dimly-lit figurehead exhibit is, and has always been, my favorite.  The sculptures are romantic and dreamy, capturing a bit of the soft side of those old-time sailors.  (Of course, the stitchery decorating the Navy whites and the handmade doll furniture do that, too.)
From Mystic Seaport
The rescue station was new to me,  That display included a life boat, an all-metal rescue capsule a la Jules Verne, and living quarters (below).
From Mystic Seaport
The Joseph Conrad is one of my nephew Alex's favorite ships.  The interpreter aboard that 1921 schooner finally answered his question of why the wheel is so big and to the back.  We learned that you stand to the side of the thing to navigate so you can put your back into it, if need be.  We have enough trouble walking through electric doors, so the need won't be arising soon.
From Mystic Seaport


The trees atop the main masts indicate the vessels that will be in port on Christmas.  The Charles W. Morgan Whaleship, the 1841 whaling ship from New Bedford, Massachusetts that has been at Mystic since 1941, did not have a tree on it because it is undergoing restoration work.  We were able to walk on the main deck of this last wooden whaleship in the world and see the painstaking work being done, however.  We also walked amid the piles of logs being milled and tested for possible use in the restoration.   Mystic is an amazing place, and the hard work that made it possible, then as now, is palpable there.

Comments

  1. What a fascinating museum, Sandy! I would love to visit there! I'm fascinated by ships, particularly ones like these! Probably because I was raised in the sand hills of west Texas!! You had to drive miles and miles to even see a sizable puddle!! Hope you have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  2. Anonymous11:50 AM

    What a great place. I do love that romantic figurehead!

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  3. I love museums-it looks like a fun place!

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  4. Anonymous3:15 PM

    The photo of the living quarters really brought this to life, for me. So simple, yet so rich in the detail of life- both then and now.

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  5. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  6. I love historical places like this. I learn so much. Thank you for the tour!

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  7. Sandy, sounds like you all had a wonderful visit to the museum. Ilove the shot of the ship witht he tree on top. Great photos, have a wonderful week!

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  8. I love those ships. They were the best!

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  9. yes, New England sailing of that time was the BEST! The Franklin Institute had an all metal 'rescue capsule" that grabbed my imagination (darkly) when I was little, imagining being in that dark space in a vast churning sea of storms!


    Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

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  10. Great shots of a wonderful place ~thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor, USA

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  11. What a wonderful place. It sure is fun!

    Hank

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  12. Great tour Sandy, I love museum sights.

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  13. When I was a fifth grader in Utah our family made the epic trek (to me) one Christmas by train from Utah to Chicago, to New York, to New London and spent a few weeks with my Grandparents. Mystic Seaport was the highlight of the trip. I think the whaling ship was there then. Loved it.

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  14. I visited Mystic Seaport many years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Thanks for the memories.

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  15. Anonymous4:40 AM

    What an interesting place to visit! Loved your photos!!

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  16. For all of the damage whaling has done, I still can’t comprehend the bravery needed to hunt in boats like that. It really was a different time.

    Stewart M - Australia

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  17. A wonderful outing Sandy. I love the twin figurehead, I have only ever seen singles before and these girls are so very beautiful as well.

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  18. Sandy: Thanks for the memories, I spent a lot of time at Mystic Seaport when I worked in the area. This brought back neat remembrance of those days.

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  19. the first photo actually gave me my first morning smile. good morning!

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  20. Fascinating! There is also a maritime museum in St Michaels, MD with a history of the skipjacks on the Bay.

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  21. Thans for sharing this very interesting place.

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  22. We stayed in Mystic (the village) a year ago last summer on our eastern seaboard roadtrip, but like idiots we didn't go to the Seaport. I forget why. Loved the little village -- must go back. Thanks for the great look at what we missed. (Here and in the quiet lady post above; thanks!)

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  23. Oh, I think now your recent post (image) makes more sense to me.;)
    What a lovely place, it reminds me of a ship in a dry dock near where I used to live. It is also turned into a museum. I love old ships and that one is authentic old warship (sail ship, just like the one in your image) and that gives it a genuine feel.
    xoxo

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  24. I visited Mystic once. It was delightful. I know why the kids have such fun.

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