There’s been a couple of stories of late related to our local environment that held encouraging signs.
In the fall, the Newburyport waterfront received some bad news — the downtown waterfront-based Prince of Whales would no longer be offering its whale-watching tours. It was the only ship in Newburyport that offered these tours, which drew up to 10,000 people a year.
The Newburyport Waterfront Trust has acted quickly and responsibly in finding a new provider. This week it selected an offer from the Charos family to host the tours from the locally based charter ship Captain’s Lady III. The Charos family has a well-established reputation for offering charter trips aboard its Plum Island-based ships. The Captain’s Lady III will take the prominent docking spot that the Prince of Whales had held for years.
Newburyport has done a good job of recognizing the importance of keeping its waterfront open and accessible — and pleasant — for the public. It also has the correct vision of encouraging maritime-based activities along its downtown shoreline.
Newburyport’s waterfront is the dynamic core that built the city, yet it is also a connecting link to a far more interesting world that surrounds us. The Merrimack River and our local coast are worlds unto themselves, well worth exploring. Whale-watching cruises provide a fulfilling experience of both the river and the coast, and they complement the interesting variety of maritime opportunities that are offered here — like sailboat cruises, river and marsh cruises, kayak rentals, and charter boats.
Walking the boardwalk gives a flavor for what our maritime environment holds, but there is nothing like getting out in a boat, feeling the power of the Merrimack under you, the lap of the waves on the sea and seeing the interesting sights that occur everyday along our coast, to give a full measure of appreciation.