Seeing the HMAV Bounty on our waterfront is not just inspiring, it belongs there. If there is but one thing primarily missing in Newburyport is a tall ship of its own. Whether it is the Friendship, or a tall sailing private yacht – our port was built just for such vessels.
Happily that need for such a ‘tourist attraction’ (as the Daily News labels it.) is the missing link between our great history and our current heritage tourism infrastructure. It should be our goal. When the courageous citizens and politicians began to preserve and restore the downtown, they had that vision – and the result was a clipper ship on our waterfront. Unfortunately, as you read this old post of mine, the city was still in shambles and could not support its presence.
The fact is, we have an excellent compromise already in the offing: We should have a restored replica of the Coast Guard Revenue ship, the Massachusetts, sitting on our waterfront directly behind the Custom House. The early Museum directors had it as one of their goals! And most assuredly, it should be a goal for the present directors.
As Newburyport’s prominence grows, we will need a central anchor. A sailing vessel on our waterfront is just what is needed.
In the meantime, the Mayor and the Chamber should be heartily commended for making a path clear for this tall ship and hopefully for many more down the road to make the visit.
As anyone can see from the picture above, the crews and the owners will be warmly received!