Day 14 - Cape May NJ - Beverly MA
Phil, Di and Annelise
Wed 13 Jun 2018 17:55
A blustery day, strong south-westerlies and forecast rain in the afternoon. Not a day for sailing cross Nantucket Sound. Instead, the high-speed ferry as an easy alternative to visiting the island - the journey taking just over an hour at 35+ knots!! Nantucket, adapted from the Algonquian name for the island "land far at sea". A place where whaling has dominated the history and mystique of this island for centuries. By 1700, Europeans and Wampanoag Indians had begun serious pursuits of whales - the industry bringing in great prosperity - producing high quality candles from whale blubber and many items from whale bones. The ill-fated ship whale-ship, the Essex had left Nantucket and sank in 1820 in the South Pacific had inspired Melville's novel Moby Dick (first published in 1851). Even the Great Fire of 1863 failed to douse the whaling industry. All that changed with the discovery of oil and refined products, in 1849 when the last ships left the port.
However, many of the great mansions built by the ships captains still stand, reflecting the opulence of the time - Greek revival (The Hadwen house and gardens), with its sister house built for the Hadwens cousin; the three brick built houses built by Thomas Macey (a one-time captain and thence founder of Macey's stores) for the Macey's sons (provided they did not go into the whaling industry!) and the ubiquitous "federal" style white board square houses (5 top windows, 4 below). Plenty to see and learn in the Whaling Museum and a short walking tour although he rain somewhat damped the tour (and soaked its participants)! Resulting in a quick trip to a launderette strip(!!) and tumble dry the soaking jeans!! Return on the ferry ending the day of adventure!
Phil and Di