Hawthorne Cove Marina, Salem...the eagle has landed

Melvyn Brown
Sat 25 Sep 2010 17:00

42:31.2N 70: 52.18W




Melvyn arrived in Salem last Monday and I joined him on Thursday evening.  I had a baptism of fire because the most convenient route was a river ferry from Logan Airport to the financial district of Boston from where a ferry departs for Salem every couple of hours.  I missed the high-speed, large, state-run, hydrofoil from Logan and was obliged to take one of the many small, 10-person, motor launch water taxis which ply their trade in the harbour.  I then had a 55min ferry trip up to Salem (on the open sea).  I really felt I had my sailing credentials in place before I got on board Zarafina!


I arrived at 9pm Eastern Time having been up for twenty hours and was therefore happy to just fall into bed and as my Grandma would have said….’without any need for rocking’.  But I got it anyway.  I did complain to the management that the plumbing was very noisy and possibly the radiators needed bleeding, but apparently those of the sort of noises which proper sailors find comforting and which help them get off to sleep.


The first challenge next day was to find enough space on the boat to store my (modest) amount of luggage.  Yesterday was a day for shopping for essentials.  A reasonably successful expedition (plastic storage boxes to contain charts, pumps, ropes, canvas hats with only the merest touch of mould…..) which resulted in some storage space for my own essentials such as hairdryer, travelling iron, blowing drying lotion, evening bag, slippers and the like.  One item identified as necessary was a butter dish, however it proved impossible to find one in a town that is entirely given over to witches and the occult.  I could have had my aura photographed, attended a séance, gone on a ghost and vampire tour, visited the Salem Witches waxworks, had a temporary air-brush tattoo or body piercing...what I couldn’t find was a store selling butter dishes or a milk jug with a lid.  There is almost certainly an out-of-town emporium which has butter dishes and more, but of course we don’t have transport, and only one good ankle between the two of us.



The red line isn’t blood…..it’s the trail tourists are recommended to follow.


Intelligent – but illiterate – Salem Seagulls


Zarafina is on the one-but-last mooring, I think because they didn’t want the boat amongst the really posh ones, one of which is called “Free Spearit” – who says the Americans don’t do irony?  As we walked up to the marina entrance Melv was kicking broken shells from the pontoon.  Apparently the gulls drop their catch of crabs, mussels and clams onto the pontoon in order to break them open, sometimes it takes more than one attempt, but it does make for a potentially crunchy walk up to the clubhouse.  Running parallel to the pontoon is a dis-used and virtually derelict concrete jetty on wooden piles which was way above head height when I first saw it in the morning, but by high tide the pontoon and the jetty were more-or-less the same height.   It was then I could see it was nearly ankle deep in broken shells.  If the seagulls have abandoned it in favour of the pontoon it can only be because there is no concrete left to be seen.



However, the Salem Seagulls may be intelligent….but patently they cannot read because at the entrance to the Marina there is a sign saying “No Shell Fishing – Contaminated Area”.