Tag Archives: Boston

3 November 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
Grab Your Hat

By Corey Sandler

We are back in the Hub of the Universe, or as people who are not from around here might call it, Boston.

The weather in New England this time of the year is very much binary. It can be glorious or it can be the opposite.

So this morning began with some fairly heavy rain, and the forecast for this afternoon calls for some pretty strong winds.

Nevertheless, Boston remains one of the handsomest cities of the United States. Today it requires the assistance of an umbrella and a hat and a good pair of shoes.

Speaking of hats, there are more than a few Red Sox caps in town including the latest version, proclaiming World Series champions 2018.

We are due to sail out of Boston at the end of the day and head east, then south, then west, then north to arrive at Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday.

The reason for the circuitous route is the presence of the hook of Cape Cod at Provincetown which extends all the way east, and then the necessity to go down below the island of Nantucket before heading west and north back up to Rhode Island.

The waters around here are rather treacherous and the hook of Cape Cod is littered with wrecks of old fishing and trading vessels. And the seas between Nantucket and Cape Cod are filled with shoals and other obstructions.

To make a long course short, we have to go out to sea and down and around

Here are some photos from Boston I have taken on various visits:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

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Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

14 October 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
The Hub of the Universe, in Autumn Colors

By Corey Sandler

It was a glorious day here in the Hub of the Universe today with bright sun but just enough nip in the air to remind us that summer is gone and winter lures around the corner.

There’s a fine song by Cheryl Wheeler called “Fall Comes to New England” that includes the lovely line, “And trees are Irish Setter Red.”

The colors are pretty chose to peak now.

We went to Boston Market (the real one, not the faux chicken franchise) near the North End for a cuppa chowder. We also some silks of the colors of autumn vegetables: Brussel sprouts, peppers, and apples.

The Red Sox are playing in the baseball League Championship tonight, with Boston’s typical combination of celebration and dread. Go Sox!

Geeks and progressives are gathered in town for HubFest, a celebration of all things new and unusual. And Silver Spirit is docked at Black Falcon terminal for the day.

Fall in New England is a very special time, the trees glowing on reds, yellows, and oranges. Pumpkins and gourds stretch from here to Salem.

Winter? We’ll deal with that later.

The old city of Boston is going through boom times, with massive development of the Seaport district near where our ship is docked including fancy high-rise condos and entertainment.

The redevelopment is simultaneously revitalizing the waterside and erasing the old history of the port. The good news, either way, is that Boston’s downtown and its neighborhoods including the Back Bay, the Fenway, and the Commons have held on to much of their charm and stature.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

27 September 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
Back to the Hub of the Universe

By Corey Sandler

A bit prejudiced, I am, but it is always a great pleasure to sail into Boston Harbor, gateway to one of the handsomest and most interesting cities in the United States.

On a beautiful call day we went for a walk from our ship at Black Falcon Pier to historic Faneuil Hall at the base of the city. I focused my camera on mixes of architecture and decoration in this beautiful city.

Here is some of what we saw.

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Boston scenes, and Faneuil Hall.

We were last here just a few days ago, on Sunday 23 September. You can read more of my comments and see additional photographs on that blog posting.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

22-23 September 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
The Hub of the Universe

By Corey Sandler

The sail-in to Boston offers an extended glimpse of one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, and also one of the more unusual cruise approaches.

Logan International Airport is just across the water from the cruise port at the Black Falcon Terminal. It is so close that flight controllers have to shut down the nearest runway when a large cruise ship is coming in.

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

My wife and I live on Nantucket Island, 30 miles out to sea below Cape Cod. It is a quiet and peaceful little place, especially in the off-season. For us, a trip to the big city of Boston is an expedition to another world. In a very good sort of way.

So I suppose I have to confess a bit of prejudice right up front. As anyone who lives here knows–and is not shy to tell you–Boston is the best city in the whole wicked world.

In fact, it’s the Hub of the Universe.

Just ask the poet-philosopher-scientist Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said so. In fact, there is a plaque in downtown Boston marking the exact spot around which the universe revolves.

It’s not just braggadocio. It’s an attitude—mostly humble, though not always—that recognizes that this is a very special place.

A beautiful harbor.

A lovely city, filled with parks and statuary and some of the oldest buildings in the United States.

It’s not ancient in terms of places like Athens and Rome and Jerusalem, but then again those places don’t have the Swan Boats, the Emerald Necklace, the Bay Bay, and Fenway Park.

And even better: the Red Sox are having a record-setting season and are headed to the baseball playoffs. We hope our next visits to The Hub of the Universe will see the hometown team moving toward the World Series. It seems only appropriate.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

27-28 October 2013: Shipping Out of Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

A Magical Night and a Fairytale Morning

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The sailaway from Boston last night began with an appropriately splendorific sunset.

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Sailaway at Sunset from Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

A few hours later we made a careful passage through the Cape Cod Canal, a lesser-known but very important waterway south of Boston.[whohit]-CCC and MV28Oct-[/whohit]

The canal provides a shortcut—and a safe passage—between Cape Cod Bay on the East and Buzzards Bay toward Providence and New York on the West.

Using the canal saves ten to twelve hours of sailing; without it vessels would have to go way out east to avoid the hook of Cape Cod and then usually way down south below Nantucket to avoid shoals, obstructions, and other hazards.

The canal has been in existence since 1914, and is quite heavily used. However, not every cruise ship can pass through; it is deep enough and wide enough for most vessels, but the limitation is the three bridges that pass overhead.

The Sagamore and Bourne highway bridges and the Cape Cod Railroad Bridge provide the only surface link to the mainland.

And each of the bridges stands 135 feet above mean high water in the canal.

Our ship, Silver Whisper, had an air clearance of 129 feet. That means the highest point on the vessel is just six feet or two meters below the bridges.

Larger (and less stylish) vessels cannot use the canal.

I have gone through dozens of times. So, too, has our captain. And the local pilot makes back-and-forth transits like a bus route.

But that does not mean that we don’t all take a deep breath before crossing below.

And our passengers—many of whom I had prepared with my lecture about the canal—were even more doubtful.

The view from the pool deck of Silver Whisper as our ship’s funnel goes below the bridges is astounding. Our mind tells us there is six feet of clearance; our eyes tell us, “No way.”

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Silver Whisper ducks below the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photos by Corey Sandler

Off to the Campgrounds of Oak Bluffs

We made it through, and this morning arrived offshore of Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, the final port of call on this cruise.

Martha’s Vineyard is one of those places that is famous for being famous.

It’s a beautiful island in the North Atlantic, large enough to have hills and valleys and harbors and lakes.

Because of some peculiarities of location, economy, and religion Martha’s Vineyard has a somewhat unusual history.

It does not have the same back-story as Cape Cod, mainland ports of New England, or of the farther-away neighboring island of Nantucket, 30 miles out to sea.

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Autumn colors, Campground gingerbread at Oak Bluffs. Photo by Corey Sandler

The Vineyard came to a bit of prominence as the global whaling industry began to grow.

Much of the financing and operations of the whaleships took place on Nantucket but some of the whaling captains and crew came from the Vineyard and the mainland.

Nantucket reached its peak about 1840, but then crashed: the economics of operating a whaling industry from an island so far out to sea without roads or railroads to bring the product to market was one problem.

And then the discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania and its use as a cheaper source of oil for lamps that ended whaling in this part of the world.

Nantucket went into a prolonged slump, something from which it did not begin to fully recover until the 1950s and 1960s.

But on the Vineyard, a new economy was developed earlier: tourism.

Oak Bluffs, population about 4,000…plus however many tens of thousands of summer people are hanging around—was the only one of the six towns on the island to be consciously planned, and the only one developed specifically with tourism in mind.

Some of the earliest visitors to the area that became Cottage City and later Oak Bluffs were Methodists, who gathered in the oak grove each summer for multi-day religious “camp meetings” held under large tents or in the open air.

The Campgrounds, and the association of cottages that surrounds the open-air Tabernacle, are time-travel back to the 1870s.

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The Campgrounds. Photos by Corey Sandler

And today the early morning light illuminated the cottages and the trees and the water and shone a bright light at the end of a fine cruise.

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Stained glass reflections on the autumn leaves within the Tabernacle, and Silver Whisper at anchor as we returned on the ship’s tender. Photos by Corey Sandler

Tomorrow: we sail into New York Harbor at dawn.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy of any photo, please contact me.

 

27 October 2013: Boston, Massachusetts

Looking Up at Boston

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I am in danger of running out of superlatives in this autumn of mostly spectacular, astounding, eye-popping, breathtaking…very pretty…weather and light.[whohit]-BOSTON27Oct-[/whohit]

When Fall Comes to New England, in the right temperament and temperature, it cannot be beat.

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Silver Whisper at the dock in Boston. Nearby, an exhibit at the Children’s Museum and a portion of the modern skyline of Beantown. Photos by Corey Sandler

We spent the day prowling Boston, a place very familiar to us but always a treat. In the morning–in photographer’s light–I concentrated on looking up at the architecture and the history all around.

We are nearing the end of this cruise, which began in similar weather in Montreal and QuebecCity and Saguenay and continued through most of our ports of call.

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Along the waterfront in Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

Ahead of us is a passage through the Cape Cod Canal tonight, always a great thrill for me and most guests. We need to pass below three bridges, each of which stands 135 feet above the water; the highest point of our beautiful vessel is 129 feet above the water. We always make it…and it always appears as if we will not.

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Saluting the colors at Quincy Market. Photos by Corey Sandler

Tomorrow we are due to call at Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, and on Tuesday make a triumphant passage up the Hudson River to our dock on Manhattan’s West Side.

Final photos and thoughts will arrive here soon thereafter.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.

 

9-10 October 2013: Cape Cod Canal and Boston

9-10 October 2013: Through the Canal to Beantown

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I’ve always admired women (for many reasons) but high on the list is the ability to dance backwards…and in high heels.

That’s a bit of what we’re doing on Silver Whisper, making a return trip from New York to Montreal, and then back again. We don;t often do that, instead usually always on the move from one part of the world to another.

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Boston in October. Photos by Corey Sandler

But I don’t mind. New England and Atlantic Canada is beautiful anytime of the year, and especially spectacular in the fall. The colors are approaching their peak right now, and the air has just enough of a crisp edge to keep us alert enough to fully appreciate all we see.

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The Paramount Theater in Downtown Boston. Photo by Corey Sandler

Last night we made a stately passage through the Cape Cod Canal, heading eastbound from Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay. Going through the canal saves nearly 180 miles of travel and also avoids the shoals and sometimes rough seas around Nantucket Island south of Cape Cod.

Not every ship can use the canal, though. It is wide enough and deep enough for large ships but the limitation is the three bridges (one railroad and two highway) that cross overhead.

All three bridges stand 135 feet above sea level, which is not that high. The lovely Silver Whisper has an air clearance of 129 feet, which means there is just six feet or two meters above the tallest point on the ship and the concrete and steel roadways or tracks of the bridges.

I’ve done the canal transit dozens of times, and every time it appears we’re not going to make it.

But we do. And we did.

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Squeezing Beneath a Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photos by Corey Sandler

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The View from the Navigational Bridge of the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photo by Corey Sandler

See my BLOG entry for October 6-7 for more details about the Cape Cod Canal.

Today we are in Boston. This is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the United States, and there’s an extra lilt in Bostonian’s steps as the Red Sox have advanced to the American League Championship, with real hopes of making it to the World Series. It’s been a tough year in Boston…we deserve some good news.[whohit]-CCC EB and BOSTON-[/whohit]

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The Massachusetts Statehouse on Beacon Hill in Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

All text and photos Copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.

 

 

 

6-7 October 2013: Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts

6-7 October 2013: Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Shipping Out of Boston…Side-stepping a Storm

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We spent a rainy Sunday in Boston. Speaking for myself, I’ll take a gray day in Beantown over sun and blue skies almost anywhere else.

Boston is one of America’s liveliest and culturally vibrant cities. And the religious fervor is uplifting: the Red Sox are in the playoffs and all is well with the world.

In early evening, we shipped out of Boston, heading for a call at Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard.

Let’s consider a ship coming out of Boston and wanting to go here, to New York.

You could go out to sea around Cape Cod.

Another route—not ordinarily a wise decision for a large ship—is to sail between Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

There is a passage, but it is very tricky and in places very pretty shallow.

Just ask the former master of the QE2, who almost lost his ship—and did lose his command—when he tried that in 1992.

Cape Nautical Chart

Shoals, Wrecks, and Other Threats around Cape Cod and the Islands

The hook of Cape Cod is like a giant’s raised right arm. Near its fist toward the northwest, is Provincetown.

If you didn’t know Cape Cod was there, or if your ship was being blown south in a howling nor’easter you could easily end up wrecked on the inside of the arm.

Mariners have also known about the Nantucket Shoals for more than four hundred years.

East and south of Nantucket the sea is pretty treacherous.

Cape Cod Bay

The Hook of Cape Cod

So for the past few centuries, large ships have dropped down below Cape Cod and sail to the south of Nantucket.

But even that has its challenges. Nantucket is nearly surrounded by shoals and other obstructions: rocks and remnants of nearly forgotten naval encounters of World War I and II.

Since 1914, if your ship is of the right side, there has been an alternative: the Cape Cod Canal.

Using the canal saves between 135 and 166 miles, eliminating about seven to ten hours of sailing through dangerous waters.

Construction of the Cape Cod Canal began June 22, 1909.

The man with the plan (and the money) was August Belmont, Jr. And the plan used by The Boston, Cape Cod and New York Canal Company was drawn by engineer William Barclay Parsons.

As a consultant to the Panama Canal Commission, Parsons had recommended a sea-level canal across Nicaragua, but Teddy Roosevelt disagreed.

As chief engineer of the New York Rapid Transit Commission, he had overseen the construction of Belmont’s I-R-T subway line.

In the borough of Queens, he is memorialized with Parsons Boulevard.

And the firm he founded, now called Parsons Brinckerhoff, is today one of the largest American civil engineering firms.

Construction of the canal turned out to be much more difficult than merely digging a channel.

In Panama, the French and then the Americans had to work in tremendous heat and torrential downpours. They dug through swamps filled with mosquitoes carrying malaria and Yellow Fever, crossed treacherous fast-flowing rivers, and blasted through the mountainous spine of Central America.

In Cape Cod, the problems included mammoth boulders left behind by Ice Age glaciers, and the cold New England climate which made it impossible to dredge or dig in winter.

Cape Cod and Nantucket are terminal moraines of the Laurentide Ice Sheet of about 20,000 years ago.

Laurentide Ice Sheet

The Laurentide Ice Sheet.

The huge rocks came down from the Canadian Shield.

Though Nantucket is mostly sand, if you look around the moors and even in town you’ll find some fairly substantial boulders.

There’s one in my neighbor’s front yard. It’s a gift from Canada.

The Cape Cod Canal debuted, as a private toll waterway, on July 29, 1914.

Belmont had managed to open seventeen days before the Panama Canal.

The canal was taken over by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Depression and widened and deepened. Three new bridges were built over the channel.

Each year, more than 35 million vehicles pass over the two highway bridges, which provide the only land link between Cape Cod and the mainland of Massachusetts.

Every time I use one of the bridges I remind myself they were built by the lowest bidder.

And I also enjoy four lanes of two-way traffic without a center barrier.

Canal Bridge

The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal.

Curb-to-curb the bridges are just 40 feet wide.

We’re 135 feet above the water, driving in traffic lanes less than ten feet wide; a semi-tractor trailer is eight-foot-six-inches wide.

The maximum length for vessels is 825 feet.

More importantly, ships have to be able to fit beneath the three bridges, 135-feet above mean tide.

Bottom line: An aircraft carrier or a monster megaship like the ridiculously supersized Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas that carry 6,000 passengers and 3,000 crew within their welded steel hulls are too long, draw too much water, and most importantly too tall to squeeze below the bridges.

Whisper Under Bridge

Silver Whisper Squeezes Below the Sagamore Bridge. Photo by Corey Sandler

Canal Map

The Cape Cod Canal.

Well, we made it through the canal, and arrived offshore of Oak Bluffs early Monday morning. But our string of good luck with the weather—something that began in the Maritimes of Canada more than a week ago—came to an end.

A significant gale was on the horizon, with high winds and seas. And so, Captain Luigi Rutigliano hauled anchor and we scurried out of Massachusetts and headed for an evening arrival in New York City.

A few hours after we left, my cell phone began chiming with messages about the cancellation of ferry boats to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket where we live. So we side-stepped the storm.

All text by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2013. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.