A Galleon in Port

Our anniversary falls on Memorial Weekend so this past Friday we celebrated it with drinks and dinner in Newburyport, after which we walked around the foggy old town and came across a pirate ship, with a party on board. This was El Galeón, a Spanish reconstruction of a sixteenth-century galleon, which is apparently sailing up and down the eastern U.S. coast this summer. Somehow we didn’t know she was going to be in Newburyport, but there she was, and quite a sight to see. This is a ship from my period, so I was thrilled, and determined to make it back to see her in daylight. The weekend was busy, and so I didn’t manage this until late yesterday. In broad daylight El Galeón was still pretty impressive in its details, and bigger than I thought such a ship might be, but perhaps not quite as magical as she appeared on Friday: much less fog, no costumed party-goers on board, and I suppose alcohol might have colored my previous view a bit. But I had wanted to head north to Newbury and Newburyport anyway, to explore some Moses Little territory as a follow-up to my last post, and these towns are so packed with beautiful old houses they are always worth a trip, even on a busy holiday weekend.

Newbury cemetery

Newbury Short House Memorial Day Weekend

Newbury Short House Memorial Day Weekend2

Driving through Newbury, I always stop to admire the Knight-Short House (built c. 1723) with its brick sides.

Newburyport Galleon 4

Newburyport Galleon3

Newburyport Galleon2

Newburyport Galleon Night

Newburyport Galleon


El Galeón in port, day and night. Then I was off to see more houses.

6 responses to “A Galleon in Port

  • derrickjknight

    Yes, that is big

  • helenbreen01

    Donna, great story and pics as usual. Happy anniversary too. So much history in Newburyport and environs. My grandson just started at Governor’s Academy in Byfield – lovely setting.

  • Cotton Boll Conspiracy

    I can only imagine how much work it required to keep wooden sailing ships of that size in working order. So much upkeep, not that modern ships don’t require a great deal, as well. But I suppose seeing one up close brings home the amount of labor and the different skills required.

    • daseger

      Great point–you do get an appreciation of all those associated maritime industries that dominated the economic life of port cities like Newburyport and Salem in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries–just the sheer amount of rope!

    • Alan Lord

      That IS quite a ship. I love the night shot of it. Looks like a motion-picture, sound-stage shot. For sure, the maintenance of these vessels was/is substantial.

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