Whole Once Again

SABINO leading the parade of antique and classic boats in a past year.

SABINO leading the parade of antique and classic boats in a past year. (Photo courtesy of Wil Langdon)

Goodbye damp, cold May; hello June! It is hard to believe that “summer” is here, but with all the events on the calendar and with all the hopes for warmer, sunny weather we are ready at Mystic Seaport to showcase our special programs and events, as well as our active waterfront and engaging exhibitions. Perhaps the cover of our most recent Mystic Seaport Magazine sums it up best: a beautiful picture of Sabino on the river over the title “Full Steam Ahead.” After her substantial restoration and the replacement of her 1940s-era boiler (you can see it on display in the Pilalas Lobby of the Thompson Exhibition Building), our steamboat returns to operation to lead the traditional Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous parade July 23. With the McGraw Gallery Quadrangle and Thompson Building fully open for their first summer, the Charles W. Morgan restored and at her berth, Mystic Seaport is whole again for the first time in nearly a decade. Steaming forward, indeed!

In my introductory letter in the Magazine, I write about the breadth of Mystic Seaport as represented in our staff, our collections, the exhibitions, and our diverse participatory experiences on campus. A summer day at Mystic Seaport is not to be missed, and the month of June kicks us off with two faithful and long-standing events, the Sea Music Festival and The WoodenBoat Show. Both symbolize the traditions of maritime heritage and both underscore the fact that there is no better home for their annual gatherings than at Mystic Seaport!

Also this June, we jump start the social scene in the McGraw Quad and on the Thompson Building deck with a special Black & White Party on June 16. Our website calendar listing has a complete description, but in short, dress creatively in black and white and come enjoy the McClure and Rosenfeld exhibitions that feature the power of black and white, and hang out with friends on the deck, enjoying the views and listening to good jazz. This event foreshadows the outstanding Arts on the Quad performances (drama and music) that we will feature in July and August on Wednesday nights.

And along the waterfront, from the Shipyard to the north end, there is so much to see, representing centuries of seafaring traditions. The crew of the Draken Harald Hårfagre has confirmed that they will remain at Mystic Seaport for the season, as they have fallen in love with the community and the Museum (and we with them!). Beginning June 30, she will be open to the public for tours. This remarkable reconstruction with her own historic story is worth seeing again and again, whether from Chubb’s Wharf or onboard. How rare it is to see such a representation of seafaring courage and determination.

There is so much to experience, and it’s only June! We look forward to seeing you wherever the Mystic Seaport spirit moves you.

Steve White