Daytrippers visits Mystic's scenic landscape and climbs aboard the Schooner Argia. This modern replica of a 19th century sailing schooner is docked near the quaint downtown and provides tourists a chance to see the coast from onboard a ship. Argia is a replica of a Chesapeake Bay cargo ship that would have carried tobacco or lumber. Many passengers come from the Mystic Seaport and get to rest their feet and feel the wind as they see the historic buildings from the water. "A boat view of the coastal line, it's pretty interesting," says Mike Johnson from Pennsylvania. "You can see more than driving or walking." Captain Isaac Henry, who has worked aboard the Argia for about a year, agrees: "It's nice that they can see the two different perspectives from walking through versus the waterside." Historic ships, such as the Charles W. Morgan and the Sabino, are easily visible from up on deck.
After Henry leads visitors around the Seaport, he steers the ship down the Mystic River and underneath the Bascule Bridge, yet another National Historic Landmark. Then, his crew unties the sails and asks for passenger participation with raising them. "A lot of people want their kids to help or they're really into it," says Henry. "In general, yeah, pretty much a couple of people, every sail, are interested in being a part of it." He believes this experience gives visitors real insight into life at sea one-hundred years ago. "On days when there's absolutely no wind or a lot of wind, what it was really like and the amount of labor involved," says Henry. "Humans have been using sailing vessels since the Egyptian times going up and down the Nile."
The 81-foot schooner, which can hold up to 49 passengers, heads out into Fisher's Island Sound where the crew shares facts about the exclusive island and surrounding land masses. The boat sails around silently, as the passengers enjoy an incredibly relaxing experience. "Very peaceful, very peaceful," says Johnson. "It's pretty. A very pretty coastline."
A trip aboard the Argia makes for a wonderful summer excursion but the crew says the fall sails, during foliage season, are also really spectacular.
The Argia remains on the water through October, offering daily sails at 10:20am, 2:20pm and 5:30pm. Tickets cost $42.00 for adults, #39.00 for seniors and $33.00 for youngsters under the age of 18. For more information, log onto www.argiamystic.com or call (860)536-0416.