"THERE IS NOTHING...ABSOLUTELY NOTHING...HALF AS MUCH FUN AS MESSING ABOUT IN BOATS."
WIND INTHE WILLOWS
We had the enormous privilege of spending the day on a 1957 Chris Craft boat lovingly restored by John Tower and Pete Engel. John and Pete are the husbands of my sweet friends and neighbors, Jean and Ruth, sisters, who lived across the street from me when I lived in Franklin, Massachusetts during my high school years.
John, Jean and Ruth. We missed Pete, who couldn't make it.
Not only did we get to spend the day on the boat with these lovely people but they took us to a remarkable place called the Isles of Shoals just off the coast of New Hampshire.
We left out of Rye Harbor.
The Isles are about 7 miles out to sea.
And to my great pleasure, one of them has a lighthouse!
The White Island Lighthouse
The main island is Star Island.
It houses the Oceanic Hotel, which was built during the tourist boom the 19th century. Later the Unitarian church thought it would make the ideal spot for church conferences. It has been used for conferences ever since. It is now owned by a nonprofit organization and conferences are based around a variety of family, youth, and individual themes, including faith, music, art, yoga, etc. Personal retreats are also encouraged where participants can stay for up to a week.
I was so tempted to ring that dinner bell!
A working turnstile.
( I love this photo.)
Sigh. Another charming island for me to fall in love with.
I can imagine what a fun place this would be for a family reunion.
Or a personal retreat. To ponder and meditate. Write and draw.
Everyone sitting in those rocking chairs on the porch had a tablet and were writing.
May have been a writer's workshop.
Again, love these magnificent clouds. You can see a rain storm in the distance. Our fine Captain John had his eye on it the whole time and brilliantly maneuvered our departure to just miss it. He and Jean were going back to Star Island to moor there for the night and it looked like the timing was right again and the storm had just passed by there while he was bringing us back to Rye Harbor.
We had a delicious gourmet lunch, prepared by Ruth, on board while moored in the Star Island harbor.
Quinoa salad with fresh tomatoes and basil from her garden, a linguine with peanuts and chives,
watermelon and fresh bread with pink lemonade. A perfect summer picnic on a boat!
During our travels here on the New England coast we have visited many a harbor. As we walked along and observed the boat culture we often wondered to each other what that life style must be like. We were able to discover a taste of it for ourselves today. It is extraordinarily relaxing. Time to read, fish, nap, ponder, bask in the beauties of sea and sky, and talk and visit with friends and family.
We could get used to it! :D
We were best friends through high school, she was one of my bridesmaids and came all the way to Colorado for our reception, and she gave me an engraved silver or pewter cup when each of our 7 children were born. (She says she didn't know what she was getting into when she gave the first one!) She is a remarkable human being. One of the most selfless and giving people you could ever know.
I love you, Ruth!
Love you too, Captain John. Thanks for sharing your beautiful boat and your time with us.
(love you too, Jean.)
One last note about the boat.
They saw a vintage ad for Chris Craft boats with the word "jaunty" in it. Since John's name is John Tower, a friend thought that was a great take on the his name-John T. Thus "Jaunty" it is.
We rejoice in good times with good friends.