Mystic Seaport is in its prime!

There is arguably no better time of the year than when the WoodenBoat Show opens, and by the time you receive this newsletter, the show will be behind us and July 4th on the horizon. With the high season upon us, tremendous effort has been given to virtually all elements of the Museum. It’s easy to take all of this effort for granted, since providing a dynamic and memorable experience for our visitors is central to our mission, and it is what you’ve come to expect from Mystic Seaport. But the next time you are here, just take a moment to admire what has been done.  Look at the spectacular gardens, flower boxes, and plantings. All around the Museum the great work of the gardening crew is in full bloom. If you’ve not yet entered the Museum through the new Center Gate, I’m sure you’ll find it to be a treat. The new little house and all the detail surrounding it to make it a welcoming entrance has impressed us all. “Voyaging in the Wake of the Whalers” opened to great fanfare on Friday evening, June 19 followed by the general opening to the public on June 20.  It is a spectacular expression and representation of our understanding of whales and whaling, brilliantly presented by the combination of our talented staff and volunteers, researchers, and guest curators. Staff and visitors are abuzz regarding it, and it is a must see. The newly installed Packard Cabin is absolutely gorgeous, and the new Discovery Barn is treating families and our younger visitors to the scientific side of maritime heritage. Stop by the Buckingham-Hall House, the Print Shop, or the Carve Shop and engage in conversation with our interpreters who have for generations now provided valuable information and interaction with visitors, researchers, and fellow staff members. And of course, the Charles W. Morgan looks fantastic at her normal Chubb’s Wharf berth.

Please take the time to say thank you to our staff and volunteers who give so much to ensure the finest of experiences here at Mystic Seaport. They wear their badges proudly, and we’ve waited long for these summer months to arrive and our new exhibits to open. Take full advantage of your membership and don’t forget to renew, as there is so much to do and see now that summer has found its way to Mystic Seaport. Bring the family and get them out on the water on Breck Marshall or rent a whitehall and take a row down to the bridge and back, perfect for real quality time with a family member or loved one.

Speaking of loved ones, a former student of mine recently chose Mystic Seaport to propose to “the one” as we were the site of their first date. We talked about finding the perfect place at Mystic Seaport for the proposal, and ultimately chose the quiet space behind the Lighthouse on the edge of the Mystic River while a staff member secretively took a picture of the moment from the Bartram Dock.  You’ll be happy to know she said yes!

We all know there is something for everyone here at Mystic Seaport, and the summer experience is summed up from this one-liner from a young visitor just the other day. A grandparent and grandson were leaving the Children’s Museum, when the young one burst into tears and exclaimed, “But Grandma, I don’t want to leave!  It’s too much fun here!” These are the best of times for Mystic Seaport with respect to visitors, exhibitions, and future development. I leave it up to you to come and experience first-hand just what that means, but I’m confident that after your visit you’ll feel much like that grandson.

See you around the campus!

Steve White