Back to the USA

Tags: Fairhaven, Martha's Vineyard, sailing, USA, Wickford

Date: September 11, 2017

After Lunenburg we anchored one night further along the South coast of Nova Scotia and from there we sailed directly to the US - through the Cape Cod Canal and to Fairhaven/New Bedford. We stayed there for a few nights doing chores on the boat but we also had time to visit Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven. It is a tiny fort but has an interesting history, since the first naval battle of the American Revolution on May 13-14, 1775, took place just off shore of where the fort is located. At the time there was no fort but shortly after the battle a small fort was built and outfitted with cannons, some of which had been captured from the British in the Bahamas. On September 5-6 1778 the fort was destroyed and burnt down by the British but promptly rebuilt and renamed Fort Phoenix:

Not far from the fort we passed the Unitarian Memorial Church built in 1904 in the so-called Gothic Revival style. The church was financed and donated to the Unitarian Church by Henry Huttleston Rogers, an American industrialist who made his fortune in the oil refining business and decided to spend some of his money donating buildings to his hometown, Fairhaven. The church was designed by the American architect Charles Brigham but forty-five Italian craftsmen were brought in to do all the stonework carvings:

The bronze doors of the church each weigh more than 2 tons:

The Fairhaven High School, called "Castle on the Hill" was also financed by Henry H. Rogers and donated to Fairhaven town:

After leaving the Fairhaven/New Bedford area we went to Martha's Vineyard, the island where the rich and famous Americans like to keep a summer cottage. Some of them are summer mansions rather than cottages, though:

On the north side of Martha's Vineyard we anchored in Lake Tashmoo which is not actually a lake but a deep narrow inlet filled with mostly local moored boats:

As we entered Lake Tashmoo, Skip, a friend from Florida who spends some of his time on Martha's Vineyard came out in his dinghy and took this picture of us:

Skip took us around most of the island. Next to his house we ran into some of Martha's Vineyard's wild turkeys:

Martha's Vineyard has a a year-round population of approx. 15,000 people but in the summer it increases to more than 100,000 people. Even so, it is still possible to find areas to go for a hike. Here is the view over Lake Tashmoo from shore:

We also found some wooded areas:

We sailed from Martha's Vineyard to Wickford in Rhode Island to meet some friends we first met in Guadeloupe in February and then kept running into as we sailed west. We moored in the protected harbor of Wickford next to several wooden boats:

This is a so-called Catboat, characterized by having its single mast set well forward on the bow of the boat. The Catboats seem to be quite popular in the Cape Cod area and in Rhode Island:

The town of Wickford is full of old mostly wooden buildings, here is St Paul's Church erected in 1847:

An old wooden house probably built in the late 1700s:

This is the Old Narragansett Church from 1707. It was moved from the town of Narragansett to Wickford in 1800 and is one of the earliest examples of English classical design in the American colonies:

In addition to all the old wooden houses Wickford has a couple of yacht clubs, boatyards and marinas with room for hundreds of boats: