Strolling the sidewalks of Mystic Seaport is always an educational treat, but, if you haven't seen the historic seaside village from the water, then you've missed the boat!
"Our main goal at Mystic Seaport is to get everyone to take a boat ride," says Mike O'Farrell, the Seaport's Spokesman. "You learn by doing. Getting on the water is one way." Hop aboard The Sabino, called one of the oldest wooden, coal-fired steamboats still in operation. Or, flag down a free water shuttle which takes visitors from one side of The Seaport to the other.
But, the most adventurous options exist at The Boathouse. Anyone can rent a rowboat to go back in time, out on the Mystic River. It's not easy, advises expert Sarah Melchior. It takes a lot of coordination to operate both hands at the same time while propelling backwards! Weight needs to be centered while wind and tide also play a role.
More experienced boatsmen can rent a small sailboat, too. Take a cruise past The Seaport's most famous vessels: The L.A. Dunton or The Charles W. Morgan, which is quite a site as it is being restored in the shipyard.
"You get to be the Captain of your own adventure," says O'Farrell. "It gives you a completely different perspective and enhances your visit here."
The Boathouse is open everyday through September 10th. Then, on weekends through Columbus Day.
Rowboats: $10 per half hour or $15 per hour
Sailboats: $20 per hour