Sunday, November 11, 2012

Where did the week go

Thursday

Well the wind howled all night and shook the condo and rattled the doors as the gusts seemed to come right trough the windows and the sliding doors.  No damage here but lots of small branches all over the ground.  It rained all night and all day today.

We headed for New Bedford.  New Bedford was the Whaling Center of the world.  They lit the world, pre-electric days, with whale oil.

Our first stop was the National Park Service where we gathered information and watched a movie.  New Bedford was also on the under ground railroad but the talks on that have closed for the season.

First stop of the day
These are house flags and where flown at the top of the main mast on the whaling ships.  They enabled other ships to tell who they were from a long distance.

This is half normal size
Another House Flag
Then we headed down to the Whaling Museum


Interesting skeletons hanging from the ceiling

Decorated period room
 This Sperm whale is in the main lobby.  It has been here since 2000 and is still dripping whale oil from its upper jaw.  The collect it and the odor of it is present in the room.  A Sperm whale typically contained 30 barrels of oil.

Still dripping oil 
The sailor throwing the harpoon stood in the bow of this small boat
 All these products contain whale oil.  It was the main oil for burning and lubrication before petroleum was discovered.  Ships from New Bedford sailed all over the world to harvest the whales and their precious oil.

Lots of products contain whale oil
They had a nice collection of harpoons.  Both hand thrown and the ones fired from shoulder guns.  They had pictures of the ones fired from cannons.  Some of the ones fired from guns had exploding tips.

Harpoon collection
 Once the harpoon is thrown into the whale its time to hold on for dear life, from inside a small boat like the one shown below.  The idea is to let the whale tire itself out and then when you can get close to it, lances are used to pierce the lungs and heart to finish the whale off.  Then it is towed to the mother ship,  to cut it up and process the blubber to render the oil and store it in barrels so it does not go rancid.

This is a 1/2 scale boat used to harpoon the whale.

You can see the masts of lots of ships in the harbor
 Today most of the fishing done out of New Bedford is for Scallops.  New bedford is also know for their textiles which grew out of the sail making industry when it died off.  There were numerous pieces of glass on display also that was locally produced.

Older sewing machine
 We spent several hours in the museum there was so much to see you would need to visit several time to absorb it all.

Lower jaw from a small Sperm Whale
It was a good day despite the weather and we were safely back to the condo just after dark.  Its still raining and windy hopefully it will be much nicer tomorrow.

Friday

We woke up to sunshine and just a breeze this morning.  So we are going to head up to Chatham and hope to see another lighthouse.

Besides touring we all have been keeping quite busy here.  Bonnie has been reading a lot and processing the shells she has collected by bleaching and drying them.  Carol has read and taken several online courses so she can teach more classes.  I have been working on insurance quotes, extended warranties, and checking on the progress of the coach.  Yesterday we found out that the door window that has to be replaced may not be in by the 15th, so we may be delaying when we pick it up. We want to just make one trip and come home with it all ready to go.

We got going shortly after 10 and headed up the Cape again.  First stop was Hyannis Port to look for the Kennedy Compound.  We were close the other day but did not actually find it.  It is not really a compound at all, the Press just called the area that Joe, John, and Bobby's houses occupied the Compound.  We drove by and respected the do not enter signs on the street to the house.  We parked in the public beach parking lot and walked up the beach.  This was a good idea since they face the sea and should really be seen from that side.

We first came to this place first it is actually next to the Kennedy property

Waiting for this to come on the market
 This is Joe Kennedy's house on the right, Ted lived here after his mother Rose died at 104.  He lived here until he died in 2009.  Added bonus that is Taylor Swift's house on the left.



A better shot of Taylor's house

Interesting breakwater wall
 This is Joe Kennedy's house from the beach.  The other two are kind of behind it.



Then we headed up the road and checked out one of the Coast to Coast Campgrounds.  It is about 95% full of permanent set ups so don't think we will be trying to use it.

From there we headed for the Chatham lighthouse.

Still an active Coast Guard station
 There used to be two lights here.  One was actually moved and became the Nauset light that we saw the other day and is the one on the Cape Cod Potato Chip bags.

We believe these guys were dragging for bay scallops which are in season

Scallop boat

Bonnie looking for shells, shot with a 500mm lens on her new cammea
 Close up of the top of the lighthouse.

Chatham light
Since we were not that far away we headed up to the National Seashore again.


Then into the Marconi Station Site.  This is the place the first wireless communications were sent to Europe in 1903.  This launched the industry that I worked in for over 40 years and still dabble in it, so it was an honor to visit it today


 This is what the first spark gap transmitter site looked like.


The views were spectacular.



Carol enjoyed just watching the water and the waves.


This is the remains of one of the dead men anchors that were used to anchor the guy wires for the towers.  They were buried under 8 feet of sand and criss crossed.


Carol spotted some beach plums.  Some say they are sweetest plums on earth.

The Plum bush

Close up of the Plums
Well that was the end of the tour for the day.  We had heard a lot about a place called Wicked so we headed there for supper.  Everything on the menu looked delicious.  We settled on the Nantucket Bay Scallops for an appetizer and the Fire Kissed Pizza for our main course.


Great Pizza
Finally we headed home and had some ice cream for dessert.  Last night here and leaving by 10am in the morning so will call it a night and rest up for the drive home.

Saturday

Frost on the grass when we woke up this morning.  We took out the trash and stripped the beds, turned in the keys and hit the road for home.  We had an uneventful drive home.  The Odyssey rode great and was very comfortable.  One tank of gas for the trip home.  In all we put on over 1500 miles and we saw a lot of different and interesting things.  We also passed some big piles of snow at the edge of mall parking lots today.  Sure an glad that it missed us.

Welcome to New York pay a toll

Bridge to cross the Hudson River near Albany

Crossing the Hudson
We stopped in Waterloo for a couple hours and still made it home by 7:29am.  The house was 53 degrees so I turned up the heat and started to get things back to normal.  Catching up on recorded TV and hope to head to bed early.

Here are the final numbers from the trip
Trip A is the whole trip and Trip B is the trip home.  We are happy with the mileage the Odyssey is getting and after spending over 38 hours in the car it is very comfortable to travel in.


Sunday

Up early this morning and we headed for church.  It is Veterans day and it was nice to be recognized during the service.  After church we headed home.  I worked on putting the Cyclone rake away for the winter.

Took this apart and its ready to store for the winter.
Bonnie had lunch ready and then we headed out to bring the coach home.

Home again for a few days
I had a plug to rewire and and I took the battery watering system off the batteries.  By then it was dark and I headed in.

All rewired
About the time I got settled in the house and was working on the charge slips from the vacation the girls pulled in with supper.  Elizabeth brought Butternut squash soup and Apple crisp for supper.

It sure was delicious and we topped off the evening with a movie.  Then the girls headed home.  Thats about it for the week.  Thanks for checking in.