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Ahoy from Salem, MA!
We had an outstanding 5 mile motor this morning from Manchester by the Sea to Salem harbor. :-) We were also quite happy to pick up a mooring ball for the discounted price of $20. I guess that we were off season and didn't need to use the launch service, so he discounted the ball from $30. Hey, everything helps!
We had decided to take advantage of a spectacular day and explore Salem, MA. We've been there before to tour the Peabody Essex Museum (which is excellent and I strongly recommend), but have never spent much time exploring the surrounding town. We had a perfect day with crystal clear blue skies, no wind and warm temps, so it would have been a shame to have spent it on the water.
In the 1600s Salem was a major port for trade throughout the entire world. Trading from Salem decreased in the 1800s as the harbor silted and trading moved to deeper ports such as Boston and New York. Salem is primarily known for it's witch trials which where held in 1692. It's surprising how much black clothing the locals wear. I don't know if it's just that we're headed into Halloween season, but I suspect that it's more cultural than that.
Salem is a very chalk full of historic homes and buildings, and lets not forget, tons of witch museums and shops. There's a red line on the sidewalk that you can follow to see the majority of the historic sites and they even managed to route it past the shopping areas...funny how that works...We also picked up a brochure on a walking tour of the McIntire Historic District which takes you past even more wonderful homes. This if well worth making time to do. We also toured the House of 7 Gables and despite it being a little pricey for the length of the tour, it was very interesting. If you want to see old head stones which are in fantastic shape, be sure to the Old Burying Point Cemetery where we found some headstones dating back to 1673!
In all we spent about 6 hours wandering around Salem and we feel like we saw most of what it had to offer. Oops, we missed all of the haunted witch stuff and we didn't have our palms/fortunes/tarot-cards read, but such is life!
Today we're headed to Winthrop, which is next to Logan Airport in Boston. We're going to leave the boat at the Cottage Park Yacht Club, where our friend Paul Duval is a member and we got a great deal on dockage. There are two lows headed through the area which is supposed to drench the area for most of the weekend, and we decided that we'd just head home and "enjoy" the weather from the comfort of home. On Monday the weather should have improved and we'll continue our trip to RI.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser: We got a mooring ball from Brendon (508-509-2627) who manages several balls out of the millions in the harbor. I don't know what the normal price is, but I can't complain about the price that we got.