Harbor Tour

For my dad’s birthday this year, I gave him a harbor tour (for two) when he came to visit. So while my parents were with us, Dad got his gift, and Max and I went too. We boarded The Heritage at Portsmouth Harbor.

Behind us we could see the bridge that spans the Piscataqua River. When you cross this bridge, you cross from New Hampshire into Maine (or vice versa, depending on your direction).

The captain piloted the craft and narrated for the hour+ long cruise.

I love this large park that sits on the harbor, and the white steeple towering over the town.

We enjoyed looking at the beautiful homes along the harbor.

Along the northern part of the harbor, there was a massive, abandoned building that looked like a castle. We were quite surprised to learn that it is an abandoned naval prison. Prisoners sent here were serving life sentences, and the prison was notorious for its terrible conditions. The captain said that the cells were 7′ x 10′ and three men lived in a cell. The guards were U.S. Marines, and there was never an escape. The penalty for the guard who let a prisoner escape was that he had to serve the prisoner’s sentence.

To our great delight, a seal, who was eating a fish, swam by our boat. The captain said, “This is like something out of National Geographic! You don’t get to see this very often, folks!”

My dad, enjoying New England clam chowder on a boat in the Atlantic! A true New England experience!

The Wentworth by the Sea, a grand hotel built in 1874 and still open for guests today.

This lighthouse sits in the harbor. The captain said waves have been known to crash to the top of that lighthouse in very fierce nor’easters. He said that the last time that happened was during the storm that the movie “The Perfect Storm” was made about. He said that the lighthouse has stood strong because its walls are constructed from 5-ft. thick dovetailed granite blocks.

I think they were enjoying themselves!

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