Row, Row, Row Your Boat......(Part II in the Newport Series)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Hi There!   So, if you read my last post you know I am doing a series of posts on the very beautiful destination of Newport, RI.  If you missed my last post....From the Edge of Eternity, it featured Cliff Walk, a beautiful paved walkway that extends along the rocky coastline of Newport between a string of spectacular mansions and the Atlantic ocean.  Although I will be blogging about some of the mansions, the downtown district, the recreational opportunities and the accommodations in upcoming posts, today I want to turn my attention toward one of my favorite parts of Newport - the Newport Shipyard.
Now you're probably thinking that this is an odd thing to blog about, or that I must own a boat of some sort, but truth be told, no I don't own any sort of water vessel.  Even though I grew up on Saratoga Lake and my Dad did own a small fishing boat, until my first visit to Newport, I didn't even realize vessels of this magnitude existed.
Our first visit to Newport about 3 years ago happened as a result of our daughter acquiring us a room at the Hyatt Regency on Goat Island using some work points she'd accumulated.  That first morning of our stay, we asked the concierge for recommendations for things to do, places to eat, etc....   It seemed surprising to me when she said, "you have to have breakfast at Belle's at the Shipyard".   Hmmm.....really?   Not yet being familiar with Newport and the Shipyard being just across the bridge from Goat Island, it seemed an easy decision to follow her advice.  At first I felt weird, out of place, entering the shipyard.  I didn't own a boat, wasn't there to ride a boat, didn't know anyone there who owned a boat, but the sights before me quickly mesmerized me and drew me in.  I'd been transported to another world, a world occupied by the rich and maybe famous, a world very far beyond the world I grew up with on Saratoga Lake.
We found Belle's ......  a small take-out restaurant nestled in a very large shipyard warehouse.  The warehouse was surrounded by wide docks and hundreds of boats (yachts) each one more shiny and beautiful than the other.  We placed our order and when it was ready, we sat at the picnic tables outside, covered by pretty canopies along the docks.  When we finished our delicious breakfast in this most remarkable atmosphere, we spent the next hour or two wandering the maze of dock after dock admiring the massive vessels parked here.   The yachts had come from all over the world.   According to Wikipedia, "With coastlines on the west, south and east, Newport is a maritime city. Its harbors teem with commercial fishing boats and power and sail pleasure craft. It is known as the sailing capital of the United States. Many defenses by the New York Yacht Club of the America's Cup yachting prize took place here".

On our first visit, the Maltese Falcon was docked here.  At the time, the Falcon was the third largest sailing yacht in the world.... 305 ft in length, 25,791 square feet.   Think about that!!!   It was a sight to see, especially  from a distance in comparison to the other ships.  Since this blog isn't about the Maltese Falcon, I won't give you anymore, but I highly recommend you use the link below to explore the inside of the Falcon and marvel at it's beauty and consider renting it at the bargain price of $600,000....for the week!!!!!   It might be interesting to note that docking at the Shipyard from May through September costs $135 per linear foot/per month.  So.... multiply $135 x 305 feet of the Maltese Falcon....per month!!!! Yikes!!! 
The Maltese Falcon in action - taken from the article linked below.

Also during that visit, the J-Class Regatta was taking place, so we got to see the crew of both of these yachts ready their vessels for the race.  Interesting to note that both teams, and yachts, the Velsheda and the Ranger, were not from this country.

It's hard to describe just what it is that I love so much about the may be the meticulous care and polishing that goes into keeping these vessels looking so pristine, it may be seeing the folks from every corner of the world who choose Newport as their destination, or it may be the fantasy world I feel a part of as I wander these docks.  Whatever it is, I could spend hours (and do) among these beautiful and majestic "boats".  Whether you're a boat enthusiast or not, I dare you to visit and see if you too aren't transported into this world of the rich and famous and if you can look at the endless array of yachts with their sparkling chrome and polished wood and not be impressed and in awe.  Trust me, if you get to Newport, this is one stop you cannot miss!   Like me, it will be a regular stop whenever you visit Newport....which I hope will be the result of this series of posts.  And don't forget to use the link below to read all about the Maltese Falcon!!!

(Just a little one behind my son-in-law and granddaughter)

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