Tag Archives: Boston

October, 2022:
Sailing Away (Part Two)

By Corey Sandler

In September I wrote about the view of Boston’s historic harbor from my office window and specifically about three interlinked tall ships: USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides” in informal, boastful references), USCGC Eagle, and the sailing ship Sea Cloud.

As is the case with most of the lectures I give around the world, pulling on a single thread of information almost always leads deeper and deeper into a story. And so I spent some time examining images from my trove of many thousands of photos from my travels.

Herewith, some true tales of tall ships.

Cutty Sark: Last of the Tea Clippers

Cutty Sark in Greenwich, England. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

The Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers to be built, and one of the fastest, although the timing of her launch was not great. Steam-powered vessels were beginning to take over, and in 1869 the Suez Canal was opened; the age of sail-powered cargo ships waned rapidly.

Cutty Sark was built in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1869 and intended to carry tea from China, which she did for a few years before switching routes to the trade in wool from Australia. After then she moved to other routes including carrying minerals in South America.

How fast was she? Her maximum recorded speed was 17.5 knots (about 20.1 miles per hour). That is about equal or greater than ordinary operating speeds for modern cruise ships.

Since 1954 she has served as a museum ship, perched on dry land atop a bluff in Greenwich, England, just short of London on the River Thames.

Vasa: Beauty Over Engineering

The Swedish warship Vasa in Stockholm. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Vasa sank on her maiden voyage on August 10, 1628 in Stockholm harbor. Built on orders of King Gustavus Adolphus, she was at that time one of the most powerfully armed warships in the world and also one of the most lavishly decorated.

Oh, and also spectacularly top-heavy.

When she was launched, she sailed less than a mile before a puff of wind rolled her over.

The Swedes salvaged some of her heavy bronze cannons and then all but forgot about the vessel for three centuries. A Swedish amateur archeologist found her in a shipping lane in 1956.

The almost-intact ship was conserved and restored, a process than took nearly three decades, and now lives on in a museum in Stockholm. There are few places that can match the Vasa Museum as a place for instant time travel.

The Flying P-Line Peking

The spectacular four-masted steel sailing barque Peking at the dock at the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City in 2009. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Peking was a Flying P-Liner of the German company F. Laeisz, which named nearly all of its vessels after places beginning with the 16th letter of the modern English alphabet.

She was built in Hamburg, Germany and made her maiden voyage to Valparaiso, Chile in 1911 carrying nitrate and wheat around Cape Horn.

The huge ship was a bit more than 377 feet from spar to stern and could hoist 44,132 square feet of sail, which is a bit more than an acre in total

With the outbreak of the first World War in 1914 she was interned there and was later given to Italy as war reparations, going on to owners in the Weimar Republic and then the United Kingdom. She was acquired by the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City in 1975, and in 2017 was transferred to the German Port Museum of Hamburg where she is on display now.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl in Bergen

Statsraad Lehmkuhl, still in service, is based in the beautiful harbor of Bergen, Norway. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl is a three-masted barque built for the German merchant marine in 1914 as a sailing training ship in 1914. After the first World War it was taken as war reparations by the United Kingdom, and then in 1921 purchased by a former Norwegian cabinet minister.

At the outbreak of World War 2, she was seized by the Germans, but repatriated after the war.

She is now operated by a foundation as a training ship, under a Norwegian name which translates as “Cabinet Minister Lehmkuhl”.

Statsraad Lehmkuhl is a sister ship to Dar Pomorza, which today is a museum ship in Gdynia, Poland.

The vessel is about 311 feet in length from spar to stern, and is little changed from when she was built, with one exception: in 2019 her diesel auxiliary engine was modified to work with battery power that can be recharged by the wind or the engine.

Roseway Near the Greenway

The schooner Roseway at her summer-season dock in Boston’s Seaport District. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

I once owned a handsome sports car with an ambitious engine; it looked like it was breaking the speed limit even when parked at the curb.

That’s the feeling I get when I see the Roseway, a wooden gaff-rigged schooner at her slip on the south side of Boston harbor.

She was built in 1925 in Essex, Massachusetts as a fishing schooner, but also with an eye on competing in the offshore fishing boat races held in Atlantic Canada at the time. (The most celebrated fishing/racing vessel of the time was the Canadian schooner Bluenose, the “Queen of the North Atlantic.” That ship, which wrecked in 1946, is remembered on the reverse side of the Canadian ten-cent coin.)

Roseway never won the big race, but was much beloved in American waters and in 1941 retired from fishing/racing to become a pilot boat in Boston Harbor during World War II and also served as a special-purpose U.S. Naval vessel with a .50 caliber machine gun aboard.

After the war, Roseway resumed its role ferrying harbor pilots in Boston, the last such sailing vessel in the United States when she was retired in 1973.

Today Roseway is operated by World Ocean School, a non-profit educational organization based in Boston, sailing in the summer up north and in winter from Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

By coincidence (and for confusion’s sake) her dock is very near the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park installed atop the Big Dig roadway along Boston’s waterfront which replaced the urban blight of the I-93 elevated roadway which cut off the city from its historic and handsome harbor for two decades between 1991 and 2006.

I hope you’ll join me in these pages in November for more maritime musings.

Photos and text copyright Corey Sandler. To obtain copies or otherwise use images, please contact me through my website at www.coreysandler.com

Website security

To see portfolios of some of my travel photos visit www.coreysandler.myportfolio.com or www.coreysandler2.myportfolio.com

Photo Portfolio 1

Photo Portfolio 2: Street Scenes

My Sway Portfolio

September, 2022:
Sailing Away (Part One)

By Corey Sandler

My office window overlooks Boston harbor, a bird’s-eye view of an historic patch of the North Atlantic that includes the location of the Boston Tea Party, the remains of the old wharves from which the city built its fame and fortune, and around the corner the permanent dock of the oldest commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution.

Constitution was launched from a dockyard in 1797 in what is now Boston’s North End, also in view from my window. Mostly constructed of live oak, as much as seven inches thick; Paul Revere made the copper sheathing for the hull and forged copper spikes and bolts to attach her planks. 

Several times a year Constitution is brought out from her berth and taken on a tour of the harbor, usually stopping to let loose a ceremonial salvo at Fort Independence on Castle Island at the outside of the harbor and again in front of the Coast Guard station in Boston near where she was constructed.

As I began writing this blog, I looked up and spotted her passing through the harbor once again.

USS Constitution passes through Boston Harbor. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved
USS Constitution at her berth in Charlestown. Behind the brick buildings of the historic shipyard stands Bunker Hill, site of one of the first major engagements of the American Revolution.

Today she relies mostly on assistance from tugboats, last moving under sail in August 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of her victory over Guerriere during the War of 1812. It was during that successful battle off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia where she earned her nickname “Old Ironsides” after her sturdy oak planking withstood cannonballs from the British vessel.

Constitution saw service against the Barbary pirates of North Africa, the War of 1812, and as a training vessel and ambassador ship including a circumnavigation of the planet in the 1840s and a three-year 90-port tour of the United States in 1934 after a decades-long fundraising effort that mostly collected coins from schoolchildren to pay for upkeep and restoration.

It is still a thrill to see the majestic three-masted heavy frigate, 304 feet in length from bowsprit to spanker, her mainmast standing 220 feet tall. I walk over to visit every few weeks to Charlestown to see her at the dock,.

Constitution is crewed by U.S. Navy personnel and is used for training and exhibition.

But a few weeks ago I caught glimpse of another large sailing vessel moving through the harbor, also flying the American flag.

The Coast Guard Cutter Eagle sailed into the harbor, below my window, stopping to salute the Coast Guard station, and then continued to Charlestown where she tied up at the end of the same pier that is home to her older cousin Constitution.

USCGC Eagle tied up in Charlestown, August 2022. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved
Sharing the pier, Eagle at left and Constitution at right. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

USCGC Eagle is a training vessel for the Coast Guard, carrying cadets and officer candidates from that branch’s academy. Eagle is just slightly smaller than her much older cousin; 295 feet long from stem to stern, with her foremast and mainmast standing 147 feet tall with a slightly shorter mizzenmast aft of the main.

The Eagle’s eagle figurehead. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

Eagle has a steel (not iron, not oak) hull and was launched in 1936 as a German naval training vessel; it came into American hands as part of World War II reparations.

This year, for the first time, both ships are under command of a female officer.

About 15 years ago we forged our own connection to USCGC Eagle when we sailed in the Caribbean aboard another venerable ship, Sea Cloud. She is larger than the two old naval ships in this post: 360 feet in length.

Sea Cloud under sail in the Caribbean. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Sea Cloud was built for Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1931, at one point serving as the unofficial residence of Post and her husband Joseph E. Davies, the second American ambassador to the Soviet Union. The ship was tied up in the River Neva in St. Petersburg in part because Post preferred its luxuries to those of Soviet Moscow.

During World War II, Post allowed the U.S. Navy to charter the ship for $1 per year and it served as a U.S. Coast Guard Cutter weather observation ship, home-based here in Boston. Today Sea Cloud is back in private hands, carrying cruise guests mostly in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

It was on one of those voyages that we spent some time with Sea Cloud‘s captain, Richard “Red” Shannon. We learned that he had retired from a career in the Coast Guard, and that one of his postings had been as sailing master of the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle.

On that voyage we met up with the very modern sailing vessel Wind Surf, part of the Windstar cruise fleet. The world’s largest passenger-ship sailing vessel at 617 feet including bowsprit, it has five aluminum masts and a computer-controlled mechanism to raise, lower, or furl its high-tech sails. Below decks there is also an engine to drive a propeller when that was needed or desirable; to be fair, both the Eagle and Sea Cloud have a similar arrangement.

Wind Surf, equipped with aluminum masts and computer-controlled winches to raise, lower, or furl sails. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

I asked Captain Shannon what he thought of the fancy Windstar vessel.

With a practiced pause, he said, “Well, I expect the sails don’t slow her down much.”

Photos and text copyright Corey Sandler. To obtain copies or otherwise use images, please contact me through my website at www.coreysandler.com

Website security

August, 2022: Northeastern Lights

By Corey Sandler

We take Independence Day seriously here in Boston.

After all, many of the most important early moments of the rebellion against King George began here.

Website security

The Boston Massacre, in which a British soldier fired into a crowd of several hundred protestors, killing five on March 5, 1770. (Referred to by the British as “The Incident on King Street.”)

The Boston Tea Party, the dumping of chests of tea from ships into the harbor to protest a British tax on that essential import, on December 16, 1773 at Griffin’s Wharf. 

The Battle of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, north of Boston.

And the Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17, 1775, which was a costly victory by the British against colonists in Charlestown on the north side of the harbor in Boston.

None of these events, you will note, occurred on July 4. (And I’d wager that many Americans would fail a basic history quiz on the meaning of the holiday, but I digress.)

The war between the 13 American colonies and Great Britain had been underway for more than a year before the Fourth of July in 1776.

The military occupation of Boston had actually ended in March of 1776 after the rebels had harassed the British with a combination of conventional battles and guerilla warfare. In March, about 1,100 Boston Loyalists departed by ship: some to Nova Scotia or the West Indies and some back to England. The departure of the loyalists nearly emptied Boston’s North End, a Tory stronghold notwithstanding the fact that it was the home of Paul Revere and other important rebels.

On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia. Actually, independence was declared on July 2, but the resolution that was passed on July 4 was an explanation of the reasons for the act.

The preamble says:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Recently, it seems as if it has been downhill since then. But I digress again.

So here in Boston, July 4 is a big thing. After two years of the pandemic, things are almost as they were in the Before Times. The party began on July 1, and continued until deep into the night of July 4.

For more than three decades, we lived at sea level on an island south of the Massachusetts coast and our celebration was on the beach, low-key and low-level.

But just before the pandemic arrived, we packed up and moved on up to Boston and up 400 feet in the air to an aerie with views of the harbor on one side and the River Charles on the other. Our Independence Day was spectacular, high-key and high-level.

Here’s some of what we saw.

Boston Harborfest July 2, 2022

Boston Harborfest 2022. Fireworks over the harbor. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Boston Harborfest 2022. The wharves along the waterfront were at the heart of the growth of Boston into a great trading port. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Harborfest 2022, Zoomed. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Harborfest 2022. Griffin’s Wharf, the location of the Boston Tea Party, is at far right. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Harborfest 2022. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular July 4, 2022

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The Big One, from barges in the River Charles. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The River Charles empties into Boston Harbor from the west. The Pops orchestra performed at the Hatch Shell in the Esplanade on the left side of the river. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. The River Charles is illuminated by the fireworks above. Private boats and tourist vessels lay at anchor in the river; hundreds of thousands of onlookers watched from the Esplanade on the left side and from bridges. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. Beacon Hill and the Back Bay are at left. Fenway Park, home to the Boston Red Sox is left of the iconic Citgo sign (the red triangle.) On the right side of the river is Cambridge, which includes Harvard and MIT. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

All photos copyright Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to obtain or use an image, please contact me.

To see portfolios of some of my travel photos, www.coreysandler.myportfolio.com or www.coreysandler2.myportfolio.com

February, 2022:
Snow Job

By Corey Sandler

So if all had gone according to plan, we would be in Norway today, chasing the Northern Lights.

That’s one of my favorite things to do in one of my favorite places.

As in:

The Northern Lights in Tromsø in March of 2019. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

I’ve chased the lights many times, and you can see some of my favorite photos in early entries of this blog. Search for March of 2019 for a series of posts, including my personal jackpot. You can jump to that page by clicking on the link that follows; why don’t you read the rest of today’s blog first? http://blog.sandlerbooks.com/2019/03/08/7-8-march-2019-tromso-by-night-the-northern-lights-found/

Because of the morphing threat of the virus which must not be named, we are instead still home in New England.

Interesting fact: it is colder in Boston today than in Tromsø, Norway. And this morning we have more snow on the ground than the city at the top of Norway, too.

A massive blizzard passed through the Northeast United States over the weekend; on Saturday the snow blew sideways for nearly 12 hours here in Boston. We rode out the storm in our aerie over the harbor, 200 feet above the snow plows and the shovels down below.

Sunday morning I went out on a photo expedition.

When Winter Comes to New England

Sunrise Colors the Snowbanks. In the background is the old Custom House in Boston, a handsome structure which once was one of the most important structures in the port city. Originally built in 1849, its distinctive tower was added in 1915 and that made it the tallest building in New England until the Prudential Tower was completed in Boston in 1964. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

Downtown Digs Out

Quincy Market at Dawn. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved
Cold Comfort. The old taverns along what used to be Boston’s waterfront have seen many storms in their history. The Union Oyster House exists in a building that dates from 1714; it has operated as a restaurant since 1826 and claims to be the oldest eatery in continuous operation in the United States. When I passed by just after 7 in the morning, the barkeep was shoveling out and asked me if “Dunkin'” was open down the street with supplies of donuts and coffee. Still snowed in, I told him.

The Statehouse Glows

The Golden Dome. The handsome Massachusetts Statehouse catches the sunrise. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

Boston Uncommon

Boston Public Garden with a new white carpet from a storm last year. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Still Life with Cigar

A remembrance of celebrated Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach occupies a cold bench at Faneuil Hall. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Dreaming of Norway

In My Mind’s Eye. One of the handsomest settings for a small town in Norway is that of Narvik, in this picture from before the pandemic. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved

All photos and text copyright Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to obtain or use an image please contact me.

April 2021:
Tomorrow Never Comes

By Corey Sandler

If you think about it, tomorrow never comes.

At midnight we arrive not at tomorrow but instead at a new version of today.

Deep thinking, I know. It’s been a full year in the Year of Living for Today, with plenty of time for at-home philosophical discourse.

Website security

Like the first green shoots of spring, there are signs of hope. Vaccines have arrived and are making their way into arms left and right, although there is still a vast gap between first world countries and the rest of the planet.

Which raises the issue: once those of us lucky enough to obtain protection are ready to travel, where do we go?

Cruise lines are making plans once again; let us hope.

I know we’re ready.

So, on the subject of new beginnings, here are some sunrises.

Sunrise over Boston Harbor, March 2021. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Looking East from the Boston Seaport toward Portugal, March 2021. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boston Public Garden at dawn, March 2021. Photo by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Downtown Boston near dawn, March 2021. Photo by Corey Sandler
Sunrise on Monument Street in Charlestown north of Boston, March 2021. Photo by Corey Sandler

January 2021:
Under the Cold Moon, the End of the Beginning?

By Corey Sandler

In many cultures, at midnight on the last day of the calendar, the old year is ushered out the back door and the new year welcomed at the front.

Last night, we did just that. Good riddance to 2020, a year that for most of us brought (almost) nothing worth celebrating.

A long, long year ago on New Year’s Eve, we were at sea, sailing north along the coast of Baja California from Mexico, headed for San Diego and eventually Los Angeles. (You can read about that trip by scrolling down to the entry for 3-4 January 2020.)

When we disembarked on 4 January, we were looking forward to a few months’ break before heading back to cruises in Norway, around the British Isles, and South America. It was going to be a busy year.

Instead, 2020 became the Year When Time Stopped.

By March, one after another cruise contracts were canceled and after 15 years of globe-trotting we have instead stayed home. Literally.

From our home high in the sky over Boston harbor, we can see the Black Falcon cruise terminal where not a single cruise ship visited in 2020. On my early morning walks, I find Downtown Crossing, the heart of Boston, scarcely crossed. And Boston Common is uncommonly empty.

But there is hope in the form of the painfully slow rollout of an exceptionally speedily developed vaccine.

If all goes well…

…we can hope that sometime soon–perhaps in this new year–we will once again be able to venture far and near.

As British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in 1942, as the tide of World War II seemed to be turning, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Recent Photos

Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Photo by Corey Sandler

Boston at Dawn. Photo by Corey Sandler

The Final Full Moon of 2020, early 30 December. Known in New England as the Cold Moon, it was (how could it be anything else in this year?) the 13th full moon of 2020.
Photo by Corey Sandler

Photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. To purchase a photo or obtain rights to use an image, please contact me.

August 2020:
It’s Getting Sketchy Out There

By Corey Sandler

The great Bard Jimmy Buffett wrote, “Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes. Nothing remains quite the same.”

This past December we flew to Valparaiso, Chile at 33⁰ South Latitude, about 2,285 miles below the Equator, to begin a cruise.

When we stepped off the ship in Los Angeles, California in January we had no idea our aqueous journeys were headed for suspension.

We spent mid-January to mid-February on an extended winter holiday in glorious Montreal, 5,435 miles away at 45⁰ North Latitude.

For the past two decades or so, we have been spending about six months of each year aboard ship. By this time–as I write these words in August–we had been scheduled to sail the west coast of South America, then from Iceland over to circle the United Kingdom and on to Norway and next the Baltic Sea. The fall was going to take us to the Greek Isles and Israel.

Instead, 2020 has become The Year on Dry Land, with no certain change in sight.

Cruising will resume, in some form, sometime and we intend to be on board, somewhere.

NEW PHOTOS BY COREY SANDLER. CLICK HERE

Seeing Old Things with New Eyes

As an author, I can write anywhere. As a photographer, I see the world through my lenses.

But without changes in in latitude, I’ve been making some changes in creative attitude.

Firmly ensconced on the penultimate floor of a condo tower in Boston’s Seaport, I’ve embarked on a project documenting the changing light of the big city and the harbor.

With my travel circumscribed by the invisible fence of the microscopic virus, I’m exploring artistic enhancements to photos: drawing with light, which is the literal meaning of the word photograph.

All of the images in today’s post are photographs I have taken. When I first took up a camera, we would retreat to the darkroom to dodge, burn, filter, and perform other techniques to find new ways to view the image. Today, digital photography gives us amazing tools to make new versions.

Someone out there is sure to be thinking, “These images are not real.” That is correct.

But I would point out that no photograph is real. The photographer chooses what to include and exclude before the shutter button is pressed. Settings on a lens select short or deep fields of sharpness. The shutter speed determines whether a dancer’s foot is frozen as if not moving, or blurred in action. And today’s advanced digital cameras can literally see in the dark, capturing details not discernible to the human eye.

Here are some of my interpretations of recent photos and a few older images from my back pages.

Impressions of Sunset in Boston, July 2020. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved
A View of Our Perch in the Sky in Boston’s Seaport. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved
An enhanced view of International Place along the water in Boston. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved.
A Photo Turned Magazine-cover Water Color: Boston from the Seaport. Photo art by Corey Sandler, 2020. All rights reserved.
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda 2015. Photo art by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.
Boi Bumba Dancer, Parintins, Brazil 2015. Photo art by Corey Sandler

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. If you would like to obtain a print or otherwise make use of an image, please contact me.

3 November 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
Grab Your Hat

By Corey Sandler

We are back in the Hub of the Universe, or as people who are not from around here might call it, Boston.

The weather in New England this time of the year is very much binary. It can be glorious or it can be the opposite.

So this morning began with some fairly heavy rain, and the forecast for this afternoon calls for some pretty strong winds.

Nevertheless, Boston remains one of the handsomest cities of the United States. Today it requires the assistance of an umbrella and a hat and a good pair of shoes.

Speaking of hats, there are more than a few Red Sox caps in town including the latest version, proclaiming World Series champions 2018.

We are due to sail out of Boston at the end of the day and head east, then south, then west, then north to arrive at Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday.

The reason for the circuitous route is the presence of the hook of Cape Cod at Provincetown which extends all the way east, and then the necessity to go down below the island of Nantucket before heading west and north back up to Rhode Island.

The waters around here are rather treacherous and the hook of Cape Cod is littered with wrecks of old fishing and trading vessels. And the seas between Nantucket and Cape Cod are filled with shoals and other obstructions.

To make a long course short, we have to go out to sea and down and around

Here are some photos from Boston I have taken on various visits:

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

14 October 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
The Hub of the Universe, in Autumn Colors

By Corey Sandler

It was a glorious day here in the Hub of the Universe today with bright sun but just enough nip in the air to remind us that summer is gone and winter lures around the corner.

There’s a fine song by Cheryl Wheeler called “Fall Comes to New England” that includes the lovely line, “And trees are Irish Setter Red.”

The colors are pretty chose to peak now.

We went to Boston Market (the real one, not the faux chicken franchise) near the North End for a cuppa chowder. We also some silks of the colors of autumn vegetables: Brussel sprouts, peppers, and apples.

The Red Sox are playing in the baseball League Championship tonight, with Boston’s typical combination of celebration and dread. Go Sox!

Geeks and progressives are gathered in town for HubFest, a celebration of all things new and unusual. And Silver Spirit is docked at Black Falcon terminal for the day.

Fall in New England is a very special time, the trees glowing on reds, yellows, and oranges. Pumpkins and gourds stretch from here to Salem.

Winter? We’ll deal with that later.

The old city of Boston is going through boom times, with massive development of the Seaport district near where our ship is docked including fancy high-rise condos and entertainment.

The redevelopment is simultaneously revitalizing the waterside and erasing the old history of the port. The good news, either way, is that Boston’s downtown and its neighborhoods including the Back Bay, the Fenway, and the Commons have held on to much of their charm and stature.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

27 September 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
Back to the Hub of the Universe

By Corey Sandler

A bit prejudiced, I am, but it is always a great pleasure to sail into Boston Harbor, gateway to one of the handsomest and most interesting cities in the United States.

On a beautiful call day we went for a walk from our ship at Black Falcon Pier to historic Faneuil Hall at the base of the city. I focused my camera on mixes of architecture and decoration in this beautiful city.

Here is some of what we saw.

BOSTON TODAY

Boston scenes, and Faneuil Hall.

We were last here just a few days ago, on Sunday 23 September. You can read more of my comments and see additional photographs on that blog posting.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

22-23 September 2018:
Boston, Massachusetts, US:
The Hub of the Universe

By Corey Sandler

The sail-in to Boston offers an extended glimpse of one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, and also one of the more unusual cruise approaches.

Logan International Airport is just across the water from the cruise port at the Black Falcon Terminal. It is so close that flight controllers have to shut down the nearest runway when a large cruise ship is coming in.

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

My wife and I live on Nantucket Island, 30 miles out to sea below Cape Cod. It is a quiet and peaceful little place, especially in the off-season. For us, a trip to the big city of Boston is an expedition to another world. In a very good sort of way.

So I suppose I have to confess a bit of prejudice right up front. As anyone who lives here knows–and is not shy to tell you–Boston is the best city in the whole wicked world.

In fact, it’s the Hub of the Universe.

Just ask the poet-philosopher-scientist Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said so. In fact, there is a plaque in downtown Boston marking the exact spot around which the universe revolves.

It’s not just braggadocio. It’s an attitude—mostly humble, though not always—that recognizes that this is a very special place.

A beautiful harbor.

A lovely city, filled with parks and statuary and some of the oldest buildings in the United States.

It’s not ancient in terms of places like Athens and Rome and Jerusalem, but then again those places don’t have the Swan Boats, the Emerald Necklace, the Bay Bay, and Fenway Park.

And even better: the Red Sox are having a record-setting season and are headed to the baseball playoffs. We hope our next visits to The Hub of the Universe will see the hometown team moving toward the World Series. It seems only appropriate.

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

————-

Now available, the revised Second Edition of “Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession” by Corey Sandler, for the Amazon Kindle. You can read the book on a Kindle device, or in a Kindle App on your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

If you would like to purchase an autographed copy, please see the tab on this page, “HOW TO ORDER A PHOTO OR AUTOGRAPHED BOOK”

Here’s where to order an electronic copy for immediate delivery:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IA9QTBM

Henry Hudson Dreams and Obsession: The Tragic Legacy of the New World’s Least Understood Explorer (Kindle Edition)

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.

SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS

27-28 October 2013: Shipping Out of Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

A Magical Night and a Fairytale Morning

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

The sailaway from Boston last night began with an appropriately splendorific sunset.

BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9355 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9366

Sailaway at Sunset from Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

A few hours later we made a careful passage through the Cape Cod Canal, a lesser-known but very important waterway south of Boston.[whohit]-CCC and MV28Oct-[/whohit]

The canal provides a shortcut—and a safe passage—between Cape Cod Bay on the East and Buzzards Bay toward Providence and New York on the West.

Using the canal saves ten to twelve hours of sailing; without it vessels would have to go way out east to avoid the hook of Cape Cod and then usually way down south below Nantucket to avoid shoals, obstructions, and other hazards.

The canal has been in existence since 1914, and is quite heavily used. However, not every cruise ship can pass through; it is deep enough and wide enough for most vessels, but the limitation is the three bridges that pass overhead.

The Sagamore and Bourne highway bridges and the Cape Cod Railroad Bridge provide the only surface link to the mainland.

And each of the bridges stands 135 feet above mean high water in the canal.

Our ship, Silver Whisper, had an air clearance of 129 feet. That means the highest point on the vessel is just six feet or two meters below the bridges.

Larger (and less stylish) vessels cannot use the canal.

I have gone through dozens of times. So, too, has our captain. And the local pilot makes back-and-forth transits like a bus route.

But that does not mean that we don’t all take a deep breath before crossing below.

And our passengers—many of whom I had prepared with my lecture about the canal—were even more doubtful.

The view from the pool deck of Silver Whisper as our ship’s funnel goes below the bridges is astounding. Our mind tells us there is six feet of clearance; our eyes tell us, “No way.”

BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9378 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9390 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9387

Silver Whisper ducks below the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photos by Corey Sandler

Off to the Campgrounds of Oak Bluffs

We made it through, and this morning arrived offshore of Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, the final port of call on this cruise.

Martha’s Vineyard is one of those places that is famous for being famous.

It’s a beautiful island in the North Atlantic, large enough to have hills and valleys and harbors and lakes.

Because of some peculiarities of location, economy, and religion Martha’s Vineyard has a somewhat unusual history.

It does not have the same back-story as Cape Cod, mainland ports of New England, or of the farther-away neighboring island of Nantucket, 30 miles out to sea.

OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9435

Autumn colors, Campground gingerbread at Oak Bluffs. Photo by Corey Sandler

The Vineyard came to a bit of prominence as the global whaling industry began to grow.

Much of the financing and operations of the whaleships took place on Nantucket but some of the whaling captains and crew came from the Vineyard and the mainland.

Nantucket reached its peak about 1840, but then crashed: the economics of operating a whaling industry from an island so far out to sea without roads or railroads to bring the product to market was one problem.

And then the discovery of petroleum in Pennsylvania and its use as a cheaper source of oil for lamps that ended whaling in this part of the world.

Nantucket went into a prolonged slump, something from which it did not begin to fully recover until the 1950s and 1960s.

But on the Vineyard, a new economy was developed earlier: tourism.

Oak Bluffs, population about 4,000…plus however many tens of thousands of summer people are hanging around—was the only one of the six towns on the island to be consciously planned, and the only one developed specifically with tourism in mind.

Some of the earliest visitors to the area that became Cottage City and later Oak Bluffs were Methodists, who gathered in the oak grove each summer for multi-day religious “camp meetings” held under large tents or in the open air.

The Campgrounds, and the association of cottages that surrounds the open-air Tabernacle, are time-travel back to the 1870s.

OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9432 OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9414 OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9406

The Campgrounds. Photos by Corey Sandler

And today the early morning light illuminated the cottages and the trees and the water and shone a bright light at the end of a fine cruise.

OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9445 OAK BLUFFS SANDLER 5372-9466

Stained glass reflections on the autumn leaves within the Tabernacle, and Silver Whisper at anchor as we returned on the ship’s tender. Photos by Corey Sandler

Tomorrow: we sail into New York Harbor at dawn.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy of any photo, please contact me.

 

27 October 2013: Boston, Massachusetts

Looking Up at Boston

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I am in danger of running out of superlatives in this autumn of mostly spectacular, astounding, eye-popping, breathtaking…very pretty…weather and light.[whohit]-BOSTON27Oct-[/whohit]

When Fall Comes to New England, in the right temperament and temperature, it cannot be beat.

BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9349 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9347

Silver Whisper at the dock in Boston. Nearby, an exhibit at the Children’s Museum and a portion of the modern skyline of Beantown. Photos by Corey Sandler

We spent the day prowling Boston, a place very familiar to us but always a treat. In the morning–in photographer’s light–I concentrated on looking up at the architecture and the history all around.

We are nearing the end of this cruise, which began in similar weather in Montreal and QuebecCity and Saguenay and continued through most of our ports of call.

BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9302 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9293 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9316 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9285

Along the waterfront in Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

Ahead of us is a passage through the Cape Cod Canal tonight, always a great thrill for me and most guests. We need to pass below three bridges, each of which stands 135 feet above the water; the highest point of our beautiful vessel is 129 feet above the water. We always make it…and it always appears as if we will not.

BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9336 BOSTON SANDLER 5372-9323

Saluting the colors at Quincy Market. Photos by Corey Sandler

Tomorrow we are due to call at Oak Bluffs on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, and on Tuesday make a triumphant passage up the Hudson River to our dock on Manhattan’s West Side.

Final photos and thoughts will arrive here soon thereafter.

All text and photos copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.

 

9-10 October 2013: Cape Cod Canal and Boston

9-10 October 2013: Through the Canal to Beantown

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

I’ve always admired women (for many reasons) but high on the list is the ability to dance backwards…and in high heels.

That’s a bit of what we’re doing on Silver Whisper, making a return trip from New York to Montreal, and then back again. We don;t often do that, instead usually always on the move from one part of the world to another.

BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8319 BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8300

Boston in October. Photos by Corey Sandler

But I don’t mind. New England and Atlantic Canada is beautiful anytime of the year, and especially spectacular in the fall. The colors are approaching their peak right now, and the air has just enough of a crisp edge to keep us alert enough to fully appreciate all we see.

BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8309

The Paramount Theater in Downtown Boston. Photo by Corey Sandler

Last night we made a stately passage through the Cape Cod Canal, heading eastbound from Buzzards Bay to Cape Cod Bay. Going through the canal saves nearly 180 miles of travel and also avoids the shoals and sometimes rough seas around Nantucket Island south of Cape Cod.

Not every ship can use the canal, though. It is wide enough and deep enough for large ships but the limitation is the three bridges (one railroad and two highway) that cross overhead.

All three bridges stand 135 feet above sea level, which is not that high. The lovely Silver Whisper has an air clearance of 129 feet, which means there is just six feet or two meters above the tallest point on the ship and the concrete and steel roadways or tracks of the bridges.

I’ve done the canal transit dozens of times, and every time it appears we’re not going to make it.

But we do. And we did.

Cape Cod Canal EB 5372 SANDLER-8240 Cape Cod Canal EB 5372 SANDLER-8237

Squeezing Beneath a Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photos by Corey Sandler

Cape Cod Canal EB 5372 SANDLER-8254

The View from the Navigational Bridge of the Sagamore Bridge on the Cape Cod Canal. Photo by Corey Sandler

See my BLOG entry for October 6-7 for more details about the Cape Cod Canal.

Today we are in Boston. This is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in the United States, and there’s an extra lilt in Bostonian’s steps as the Red Sox have advanced to the American League Championship, with real hopes of making it to the World Series. It’s been a tough year in Boston…we deserve some good news.[whohit]-CCC EB and BOSTON-[/whohit]

BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8265 BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8292 BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8278 BOSTON 5372 SANDLER-8269

The Massachusetts Statehouse on Beacon Hill in Boston. Photos by Corey Sandler

All text and photos Copyright 2013 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.

 

 

 

6-7 October 2013: Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts

6-7 October 2013: Boston and Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Shipping Out of Boston…Side-stepping a Storm

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We spent a rainy Sunday in Boston. Speaking for myself, I’ll take a gray day in Beantown over sun and blue skies almost anywhere else.

Boston is one of America’s liveliest and culturally vibrant cities. And the religious fervor is uplifting: the Red Sox are in the playoffs and all is well with the world.

In early evening, we shipped out of Boston, heading for a call at Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard.

Let’s consider a ship coming out of Boston and wanting to go here, to New York.

You could go out to sea around Cape Cod.

Another route—not ordinarily a wise decision for a large ship—is to sail between Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

There is a passage, but it is very tricky and in places very pretty shallow.

Just ask the former master of the QE2, who almost lost his ship—and did lose his command—when he tried that in 1992.

Cape Nautical Chart

Shoals, Wrecks, and Other Threats around Cape Cod and the Islands

The hook of Cape Cod is like a giant’s raised right arm. Near its fist toward the northwest, is Provincetown.

If you didn’t know Cape Cod was there, or if your ship was being blown south in a howling nor’easter you could easily end up wrecked on the inside of the arm.

Mariners have also known about the Nantucket Shoals for more than four hundred years.

East and south of Nantucket the sea is pretty treacherous.

Cape Cod Bay

The Hook of Cape Cod

So for the past few centuries, large ships have dropped down below Cape Cod and sail to the south of Nantucket.

But even that has its challenges. Nantucket is nearly surrounded by shoals and other obstructions: rocks and remnants of nearly forgotten naval encounters of World War I and II.

Since 1914, if your ship is of the right side, there has been an alternative: the Cape Cod Canal.

Using the canal saves between 135 and 166 miles, eliminating about seven to ten hours of sailing through dangerous waters.

Construction of the Cape Cod Canal began June 22, 1909.

The man with the plan (and the money) was August Belmont, Jr. And the plan used by The Boston, Cape Cod and New York Canal Company was drawn by engineer William Barclay Parsons.

As a consultant to the Panama Canal Commission, Parsons had recommended a sea-level canal across Nicaragua, but Teddy Roosevelt disagreed.

As chief engineer of the New York Rapid Transit Commission, he had overseen the construction of Belmont’s I-R-T subway line.

In the borough of Queens, he is memorialized with Parsons Boulevard.

And the firm he founded, now called Parsons Brinckerhoff, is today one of the largest American civil engineering firms.

Construction of the canal turned out to be much more difficult than merely digging a channel.

In Panama, the French and then the Americans had to work in tremendous heat and torrential downpours. They dug through swamps filled with mosquitoes carrying malaria and Yellow Fever, crossed treacherous fast-flowing rivers, and blasted through the mountainous spine of Central America.

In Cape Cod, the problems included mammoth boulders left behind by Ice Age glaciers, and the cold New England climate which made it impossible to dredge or dig in winter.

Cape Cod and Nantucket are terminal moraines of the Laurentide Ice Sheet of about 20,000 years ago.

Laurentide Ice Sheet

The Laurentide Ice Sheet.

The huge rocks came down from the Canadian Shield.

Though Nantucket is mostly sand, if you look around the moors and even in town you’ll find some fairly substantial boulders.

There’s one in my neighbor’s front yard. It’s a gift from Canada.

The Cape Cod Canal debuted, as a private toll waterway, on July 29, 1914.

Belmont had managed to open seventeen days before the Panama Canal.

The canal was taken over by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Depression and widened and deepened. Three new bridges were built over the channel.

Each year, more than 35 million vehicles pass over the two highway bridges, which provide the only land link between Cape Cod and the mainland of Massachusetts.

Every time I use one of the bridges I remind myself they were built by the lowest bidder.

And I also enjoy four lanes of two-way traffic without a center barrier.

Canal Bridge

The Bourne Bridge over the Cape Cod Canal.

Curb-to-curb the bridges are just 40 feet wide.

We’re 135 feet above the water, driving in traffic lanes less than ten feet wide; a semi-tractor trailer is eight-foot-six-inches wide.

The maximum length for vessels is 825 feet.

More importantly, ships have to be able to fit beneath the three bridges, 135-feet above mean tide.

Bottom line: An aircraft carrier or a monster megaship like the ridiculously supersized Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas that carry 6,000 passengers and 3,000 crew within their welded steel hulls are too long, draw too much water, and most importantly too tall to squeeze below the bridges.

Whisper Under Bridge

Silver Whisper Squeezes Below the Sagamore Bridge. Photo by Corey Sandler

Canal Map

The Cape Cod Canal.

Well, we made it through the canal, and arrived offshore of Oak Bluffs early Monday morning. But our string of good luck with the weather—something that began in the Maritimes of Canada more than a week ago—came to an end.

A significant gale was on the horizon, with high winds and seas. And so, Captain Luigi Rutigliano hauled anchor and we scurried out of Massachusetts and headed for an evening arrival in New York City.

A few hours after we left, my cell phone began chiming with messages about the cancellation of ferry boats to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket where we live. So we side-stepped the storm.

All text by Corey Sandler. Copyright 2013. If you would like to purchase a photo, please contact me.