Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Seabreezes, Ships, Oyster Shells, Moby Dick . . . . And Walk, Walk, Walking

This is an atypical walk for my world (i.e., one without dogs), but one of the best ever.

Mystic Seaport is on the tidal Mystic River (doesn't that just sound cool and mysterious?) and drew me like a moth to wool. Once a year there is a marathon reading of Moby Dick aboard the Charles Morgan, a wooden whaling ship now in drydock, but a vessel that really did chase whales to bring them aboard and render their blubber for valuable (at the time) oil.

Touring the "blubber room" below deck while the words written by Herman Melville filtered down to my ears, well, it was pure magic. The particular passage was about sighting a whale and giving chase and here I was standing in a room on a ship where it all actually happened.

The marathon happens in conjunction with Melville's birthday in August, and there was even a white whale sheet cake at the conclusion.

A few tips: Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. There is plenty to see at the seaport and it is the size of a village. Food and drink are plentiful, budget accordingly to eat on site or pack a picnic cooler for a trek back to the parking lot afterwards.

Nearby: The Sea Swirl is a family favorite, a clam shack that also features ultra fresh seafood, hot dogs, ice cream, French fries like you remember then from your childhood. Downtown Mystic offers many more choices from sit-down dining to ice cream and sandwiches.