Lighthouses, Cottages & Wildlife Aboard ENCORE
April 26 - June 21
Cruise aboard Encore for three hours around Fishers Island Sound to see lighthouses, cottages, and (hopefully) harbor seals. Learn about the history, geology, and natural history of the area.
This year, Captain Spratt has added something special to the cruise – a one-hour pre-cruise talk about “The Lost Seaside Hotels of the Gilded Age From New London to Watch Hill, Including Fishers Island.” Captain Spratt will speak about the development, loss and rebirth of the fashionable seaside watering places along the 12-mile shoreline from the Thames River, Conn. to Watch Hill, R.I. framed to the south by Fishers Island, N.Y. and to the north the Connecticut Shoreline. Of the 16 seaside resorts along these shores only the Ocean House, Watch Hill, is still standing.
Utilizing his extensive post card, photographic, book and newspaper collection, resources from Mystic Seaport, Ferguson Museum, Stonington and Westerly historical societies, Mystic, Westerly & Groton libraries, and research for his book on the subject Captain Spratt presents an informative journey telling tales of the resorts, lighthouses, cottages, wildlife and characters incorporating rare images of the region.
Encore is a converted and restored swordfishing boat. During Prohibition, Rum Runners were seaworthy fishing vessels, which were repowered to outrun the Revenue Cutter Service, today’s U.S. Coast Guard. Encore was originally built for long fishing voyages in the rough Atlantic Ocean. Rum Runners would have to “runout” to Rum Row which was 3 miles from shore to pick up spirits on ships anchored outside of the reach of the U.S. Government.
Encore has been the subject of many articles over her lifespan. Built as a charter fishing boat out of Montauk, N.Y., she regularly fished Georges Bank, known for very difficult and dangerous sea conditions. Encore’s owner, Capt. Jack Spratt, saved her from the scrap yard and engaged the well-known wooden boat restoration team of Taylor & Snediker in Pawcatuck, CT, to restore her to as new condition, as well as complete cosmetic design modifications that brought her up to yacht standards. Capt. Spratt redesigned her interior spaces as well as rearranged her cockpit for comfortable cruising. A fast (700 HP) and sea kindly yacht, Encore is designed for open sea crossing such as we have in Fishers Island Sound and Block Island Sound.
Interested participants should make reservations through Central Reservations at 860-572-5331 beginning in April.
Registered participants will enter through the Thompson Exhibition Building and board at the north floats. Museum admission is not required.
Built as a charter fishing boat out of Montauk, N.Y., Encore regularly fished Georges Bank, known for very difficult and dangerous sea conditions. Captain Spratt saved Encore from the scrap yard and engaged the well known wooden boat restoration team of Taylor & Snediker Yacht Restoration to restore her to new condition, as well as complete cosmetic design modifications that brought her up to yacht standards. Encore‘s interior spaces were redesigned and her cockpit rearranged for comfortable cruising. A very fast and sea kindly yacht, Encore is designed for open sea crossing.