Boats and Water

Steve White

Seascapes: Summer 2010

Mystic Seaport represents many things to its 17,000 members and 275,000 visitors, but I suspect that there are two predominant elements that define us to most: boats and water…and we have an abundance of both! With summer on the horizon, it’s time, thankfully, to return our thoughts to getting out on the water. This issue of the magazine serves as your summer planner for how the Museum can add value to your weekday and weekend experience for you, your family, and your guests.

For many, Mystic Seaport is a gateway, especially for families, to the water. Whether it’s sitting on a pier or bulkhead, taking a trip on the Sabino or perhaps renting a Whitehall for a row, we help meet that natural urge to return to the sea. Even though the horizon is short at Mystic Seaport with the Groton side just 200 yards away, our interaction with vessels takes us to far-reaching destinations. Let your imagination run at the Museum and there’s no telling where you’ll end up!

This month we closed our most popular winter exhibit: “Skills of the Sailor.” What a sight it was to see children (and their parents!) making believe they were in some far-off land or on great ship as they furled sails and practiced their knots. I think most sailors would agree that skills learned at sea become skills for life, and even today our visitors can enjoy adding a new skill to their sea chest.

And the reason we emptied the Schaefer Building this spring was to make way for the much-anticipated “Tugs!” exhibit. What fun it will be to showcase tugboats and towboats, those unsung heroes of port life worldwide and to tell the many stories and share the diverse talents of the essential vessels that symbolize the everyman of boats. The exhibit is interactive and engaging, and it will include a pool outside where future tug captains can experiment with the concepts of pushing and pulling.

Local tug favorites will pay us visits from time to time as their schedules permit to call even greater attention to their specialized role in our maritime heritage. And please keep a look out for our own tug, Kingston II, that may well play an “active” role in bringing more attention to the world of tugs. We will do our best, too, to acknowledge the key role that crews of tugs play in assisting ships navigate the often congested and complicated ports and by helping them find the security of their transient berths.

So come join us again this summer, either on the water or at “Tugs!” – or both! Regardless of what you choose, it will no doubt be another busy and exciting summer at Mystic Seaport.

See you at “Tugs!”

Steve White



Stephen C. White