Where we are and where we’ve been: Just a relatively short distance north of Celeste’s is Mystic, Connecticut. It’s an old harbor town with a 19th century recreation village and several antique ships including a wooden whaler. (the Charles W. Morgan, the world’s last surviving wooden whaling ship) It’s a pretty town with lots of tall trees, many tourist shops and evidently a famous pizza place, that was the center of an early Julia Roberts movie by the same name. I don’t think that we have seen the movie and we did not eat pizza there, but recognized the name as we drove by. We found a nice campground, Seaport RV Park, which is not on the seaport, but close enough, where we stayed for a couple of days. In past trips through the area, we saw tall ships (A tall ship is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel with mast towering to 150’.) in the harbor, but none were there this trip. One of the days we drove out to Stonington, a small nearby village with a small beach open to the public and that accepts dogs. (Boy, most of these streets were made for buggies, not large pickups!) At the beach is the Stonington Harbor Lighthouse built in 1823 of granite. As lighthouses go it’s not very tall, but the building is impressive. There are several very large, beautiful old homes in the town, I’m sure that may were built by sea captains and whaling fleet owners.
We enjoyed the seawall and watching the boats, kayaks, swimmers and seagulls before winding our way back to camp.
Seagulls and sailing ships
Along the way were lots of the traditional New England stone walls bordering the road, reminding me of many of the historic accounts of early pioneers clearing the land.
Submarines have fascinated people from Alexander the Great to the Beatles, from Jules Verne to Tom Clancy. So, one of the interesting things we did was to go to the Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum. It’s in nearby Groton, CT and offers not only an interesting museum but free tour of the Nautilus Sub. The museum is the Navy’s official submarine museum and documents the development of submarines, from the Turtle, constructed in 1776 to the Navy’s modern submarines.
The Nautilus was the first nuclear-powered submarine and was launched on January 21, 1954. Over the next several years it shattered all submerged speed and distance records. In 1958, the NAUTILUS accomplished the “impossible”, reaching the geographic North Pole and making the first crossing of the North Pole by a ship. Brady toured the sub, ducking through the small bulkhead openings while Heidi and I browsed around the grounds.
Some pictures from inside the Nautilus
Duck your head and step high:
A harbor along the way:
Next we are going further north to explore more of New England.