Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gypsies Travels, for the Curious Young

For those of you who have been following our grown-up blog, I -- I being Colleen -- have been asked by my most talented and gifted older sister, that being Marikate, to write a blog specifically aimed at the many youngsters of our joint, merged families (not to mention random-but-welcome-followers such as the fabulous Osborne kids).

If all goes well, this blog will include folklore, facts, history, geography and other interesting items and events that may intrigue the young, impressionable minds of the talented children - like you, Grace Kelley Harvey - who bring joy to all of our lives.

Wow! Marikate must think I'm enjoying myself way too much and therefore, I must need a project to take me away from my easy-going, soon-to-be-island lifestyle. Actually, I think this blog is a great idea.

Toward that end, Marikate bought a map for young Grace and Nell to follow along with our trip, which could serve as a little geography lesson for all. Anyway, feel free to comment and offer any fun facts you may come across from each area we visit.

Comment as much as you want!

I'm going to play catch-up for the time being, because we're well into our trip. For that reason, my reports on each area we've already visited will be pretty short. I promise better blogs in the future, but here we go!

Newcastle, New Hampshire; Wentworth-by-the-Sea Marina
Our trip began after our bon voyage party at the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Marina in Newcastle, NH.

The hotel that overlooks the marina was built in 1874. How many years ago was that? It became very famous in 1905. Do you know why? It was closed down for many years and people were afraid it might be torn down, but now it is back to being one of New England's most beautiful old grand hotels. Can you name some other grand hotels in New Hampshire?

Sandwich, Massachusetts
Our next destination was Sandwich, Mass. The town motto is "Post tea Nanfracia portus" which is Latin for "After so many shipwrecks, a haven." It is located on the side of the Cape Cod Bay at the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal. The town is named after the seaport town of Sandwich in England. Can you find that on a map? Meanwhile, what is your favorite sandwich? I love sandwiches! Can you give me the recipe!?

Rockport, Massachusetts
Next stop was Rockport, Mass. It was the most adorable little port town I have ever seen! It is located at the tip of the Cape Ann peninsula, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on all three sides. A native Indian tribe named the Agawams were the first to settle in this beautiful town. Ask your moms and dads to tell you about Hannah Jumper, the woman who made Rockport a dry town for many, many years. Your folks can explain what a dry town is.

Newport, Rhode Island
Next, we boated our way to a great old port town called Newport, RI. This great town overlooks the wonderful Narragansett Bay. There is an old fort called Fort Adams that dates back to the war of 1812. It now houses the museum of yachting and hosts both the Newport Folk Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival. Can you tell me how long the war of 1812 lasted? And who was involved in it?

There is a gorgeous old church called St. Mary's -- Tammy and I went to church and visited it-- where John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier got married on September 12, 1953. Can you tell me who John F. Kennedy was? Can you also tell me the name of the main college in Newport, R.I.?

Block Island, Rhode Island
After we left Newport we headed out to a small island located 13 miles south of the coast of Rhode Island. Block Island is a fragment of glacial "terminal moraine" -- even I had to look up that one! - so let me know what you find or know about them. We spent a great day on the island exploring and enjoying the vast beauty of the Island, which featured cool old lighthouses and great views of the coast. Now, we're off to New York and Long Island.

Stony Brook New York
Again, we're in a part of Long Island, NY; Stony Brook is a hamlet community. Can you tell me what a hamlet community is? Can you tell us who wrote a famous play called "Hamlet?" Anyway, we ended up anchoring in an inlet in Stony Brook for just a day. John's daughter Jen and her fiance Nic took a dinghy ride out to visit us and we had a nice cookout on the boat. The weather was very bad through the night and the boat was really rock'n, so we left very early to head to a more protected port in Long Island.

Northport, New York
I am sworn to secrecy with my Gypsy blood brothers and sister about our trip to Northport, so we'll have to skip that one. So Sorry.

New York City and East River
The East River is a tidal strait in New York City. It connects Upper New York Bay on its South end to Long Island Sound on its north end. It separates Long Island (including the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn) from the island of Manhattan and the Bronx on the North American mainland. In reference to its connection to Long Island Sound, it was once also known as the Sound River.

What famous landmark is on Liberty Island, and why is nearby Ellis Island important? Are Liberty Island and Ellis Island part of New York or New Jersey?

We had a great day to ride through the East River and take great pictures as we went through. You can check out the main blog for all of the pictures. After we came out of New York Harbor and headed back out to the Atlantic Ocean, we were on our way to our next destination in New Jersey.

Atlantic City, New Jersey
Located on Absecon Island, Atlantic City is most famous for its boardwalk and for casino gambling. It is also the inspiration of a famous board game. Can you name that game?

Because of bad seas -- very big waves and high winds -- we ended up having to stay in Atlantic City for four days. It would have been great if any of us gambled -- many say we are gambling by taking this trip -- but we didn't do very much; mostly caught up on reading and cleaning. When the seas calmed down enough for us to leave, we headed towards the Delaware Bay.

Cape May, New Jersey
This is where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. We decided we wanted to travel inside (not down the outer, eastern seaboard on the Atlantic Ocean). We traveled through the Delaware Bay to the C&D Canal (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal). Again, we anchored in the bay for the evening and got up early to head to the Chesapeake Bay, where we will be spending about a month of slow cruising. I did catch a flounder when I was fishing, but it wasn't big enough to feed all four of us, so I threw it back in the ocean. I'm hoping one day soon I catch a fish big enough for dinner. Until then - off to the Canal.

Summit North Marina, Bear, Delaware
This marina was a great little marina in a small inlet off the C&D Canal; a nice stop for us before we head the rest of the way through the canal and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Georgetown, Maryland on the Sassafras River

So now we're caught up. Here we sit in the Sassafras River at a nice marina at a slip. It's raining, so it gave us a good day to set up our new blog. We can see a beautiful house up on the hill called the Kitty Knight House, which is named after a woman Catherine Knight. Can you tell me what she is famous for? What famous beverage is made from sassafras?

Ms Grace has emailed us some questions she had about or trip. We will do our best to answer them.

1. What do we do if the kitties run out of food?

We have provisioned lots of cat food for them so hopefully we won't run out but if we do, we also have lots of canned tuna and salmon that they love to eat.
For more pictures of the Boat Kitties, click on this link.

2. What do we do if we run out of food?

We have more then enough food on the boat for about 3 months when we stock up and are never going to be more than a few days out at sea away from a grocery store.

3. Have you seen any animals?

We haven't seen as much as we would like but we have seen some dolphins and lots of different types of birds.

4. Do you get wet?

We do get wet every now and then but we do have a dryer if we need it. If it is a sunny day we can hang clothes over the rails of the boat so they dry in the sun.

Well, that's enough for now. Hope you have fun with all of the challenges I've set out for you. We'll be leaving this morning to head to another place to anchor for a few days in the river. That will leave time for lots of fishing, exploring, kayaking and boating ahead of us. Until next time, it's warm where we are - so may your nose and toes always be warm.

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