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USS Constitution unfurls her sails


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Kayaking in Boston harbor with tall ships has been on my bucket list, so when Al Coons suggested going out to watch the USS Constitution drop her sails in the outer harbor, i took the bait.

We put in off Carson beach, paddled a short distance into the inner harbor, then picked up and joined the outcoming flotilla..they'd formally established a 300 yard perimeter around her...she had flanking escorts that kept all of us out of the way; she was moving faster than paddlers could keep up; when she turned to port towards Presidential Roads and eventually Deer Island she was followed by a scrum of civilians...it was a calm day, but there was plenty of chop from the wakes, so we held back, stayed around the north end of Spectacle I.

She was far off, but we could see the unfurled sails, impressive from the distance...could imagine what it must have felt like to have a man of war appear on the horizon...then she returned towards the inner harbor, so we went out towards the channel to watch her take the salute from Fort Independence...

...it was a terrific experience; would have seen a lot more watching it on TV, but it was thrilling out on the water!

Tom Hirschfeld






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