Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spectacle Island

The day after our trip to Canobie Lake Park, the Elliots and the Southerns took an afternoon trip to Spectacle Island - one of the Boston Harbor Islands.  Although it has been around forever, the current Spectacle Island is made up, in part, from landfill created by The Big Dig and it is the remnants of this history-filled dirt that make Spectacle Island a really fun destination.

The beaches of Spectacle Island are COVERED with sea glass and sea pottery and I have yet to meet the child how doesn't love hunting for sea glass / pottery.

To get to Spectacle Island, you have to take a 15-minute ferry from Boston Harbor.  It was another extremely hot day (104!), so we were looking forward to getting on the water and enjoying the feel of some sea breezes.

Alas, the sea breezes seemed to be suffering from the heat as well and the boat ride was just as hot as the walk from the parking garage.

The view was better, though.

Henry had sailing in the morning, so we went on our excursion in the afternoon.  The boat there was not crowded at all but it was also not air-conditioned at all.... and have I mentioned that it was really hot?

The ferry drops you off by the ranger station / restaurant.  After a quick break to use the facilities, we started our search for beach treasure.  

We didn't have to go very far.

Josie found this piece of broken tea cup right away:

And Georgia found pieces of sea glass and a section of an old tile wall:

Spectacle Island has only one rule about the sea treasures you find on the beach:  They have to remain on Spectacle Island.  You can decide whether you want to leave the glass / pottery where you found it, or you can bring it up to the Ranger Station where it will be displayed for all other visitors to see.

Some people also choose to leave their discoveries on this old boat piece:

Whatever you decide to do with your glass, it still is fun to look for and find.  We can go an entire day searching in Maine and not find a single piece of sea glass, and here on Spectacle Island, you can't take a step WITHOUT finding one.

When you buy your ferry tickets at Boston Harbor, you have to choose the time of your return boat.  Meredith and I decided an hour and a half would be long enough, so we bought tickets on the 4:00 ferry.  This ended up being the perfect amount of time on an extremely hot day.  The bathroom stops, the purchase of water, the time spent in the Ranger Station looking at other people's treasures and reading about the history of Spectacle Island, and the treasure hunting used up our 90 minutes pretty easily and if we had stayed any longer, we surely would have melted.

If it wasn't for the scorching heat, we could have taken a leisurely hike around the island or bought dinner at the outdoor restaurant, but going back home to an air conditioned house seemed to be a better idea.

The trip back was just as beautiful... and just as hot.

We were ready to call it a day.

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