Oyster stakes gave way to a scattering of lobster pot buoys as Elizabeth Jean gamboled up Long Island Sound from New York to Connecticut. A menu entrée offering “New England Tempura,” (turned out to be a traditional fried seafood platter) and an al fresco shore-side restaurant presenting an abundance of lobster dishes (Newburg, risotto, and tacos) provided culinary evidence of Elizabeth Jean’s transition to New England shores, the coastal fringe of Hawthorne’s heart filling “lump of earth.” We shared these regional culinary reference points respectively with Patti and Dick Broad (Eric’s friend from his Princeton youth) and Jonathan (Eric’s first cousin) and his wife Kit. A tour of Jonathan’s “Boat House” project and a side trip up the Connecticut River to historic Essex rounded out our reintroduction to Connecticut and entry to New England waters.
The Mary E welcomes the Elizabeth Jean to Essex. The Connective River Museum operates the 1906 vintage schooner, which has served as a cargo ship, U.S. mail carrier, sword fishing vessel, and private yacht.
By the time of the American Revolution, Essex was already a shipbuilding center.
Captain Sullivan, prepares to test drive the Turtle. The world’s first submersible with a documented record of combat. The original Turtle was built in Old Saybrook down river from Essex. The Turtle made several unsuccessful attempts to attach explosives to British warships in 1776.
The Gump-like Captain Sullivan photo bombs the British landing at Essex during the War of 1812. Within a 24 hour period, the British destroyed 27 ships. Captain Sullivan escaped unharmed.
Dick and Patti met us in Essex and we drove to Old Saybrook (home of the Turtle’s shipyard) for dinner.
Jonathan and Kit aboard Elizabeth Jean. We later visited Niantic harbor to see Jonathan’s construction project. His client asked for a house that looked like a ship and Jonathan delivered a land-side structure whose elegance rivals the QEII. Lobster and seafood dinners in Noank at the mouth of the Mystic River capped a memorable visit