I was fortunate that my job several years ago afforded me a couple of trips to New England. Those spontaneous weekend trips meant that I arrived in the area with no firm plans and played it entirely by ear. Thus one sunny winter day, I found myself standing in the old harbor in Salem.
It might be hard now to look at this quaint port and imagine it, but Salem was once a major port! Thus the large Custom House at the foot of the harbor - seen on the left hand side of this image.
Since I had no idea that I was going to be here, I had read nothing about the Friendship of Salem. The boat built in the 1990's is faithful in appearance to its 18th century namesake. However, it was built of modern materials. Perhaps I'm exhibiting my naivety where it comes to sailing, but I never would have looked at those huge masts and thought the ship was anything but an old survivor from a bygone age of sailing the high seas! While I love our modern world and its conveniences, these ships represent an entirely different world. There's something so magnificent and romantic about those old ships, isn't there?
I'd love to wander along the harbor again some day, to take in Salem in more detail, but it sure dazzled me that winter afternoon. What a beautiful and historic slice of New England Americana.
July 6th, 2013
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