Saturday, August 15, 2020

Boston Light and Nantasket Point

 


Yesterday morning found me admiring Boston Light which is said to be the oldest light station in the United States.  Paddling out to it from Hingham was my main objective of the day but also on my mind was the 1630 landing of the ship Mary and John which sailed from England as part of the Puritan Migration.  Roger Clapp wrote in his memoir of the passengers being less than pleased when the ship's Master, Mr. Squeg, set them and their baggage ashore at Nantasket Point rather than at their expected destination, Charlestown.  Apparently Squeg was reluctant to venture amidst the many shoals within Boston Harbor.  So while Nantasket Point isn't shown on today's maps, I can't help wondering just where it was located.

It was a beautiful morning to be out on the water.  Seas were flat and I passed through Hull Gut about a half hour before high tide.  While passing though the Gut, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter ferry boat Glory was just leaving the dock near the appropriately named "Windmill Point"...

Once out of Hingham Bay, I headed parallel to Boston's first shipping channel known as Nantasket Roads towards Little Brewster Island and Boston Light...
 
This light station was first lit in 1716 and today retains a second-order Fresnel lens which displays a flash of light every 10 seconds...
...visible as far as 27 miles away.

A very informative article on Boston Light Station written by Wayne Wheeler was found on the U. S. Lighthouse Society's web site. The article includes mention of an early Revolutionary War battle involving the light station and more specifically a cannon being fired at British boats from Nantasket Point.  Included in the article is a map showing Nantasket Point's 1775 location (halfway between Point Allerton and Pemberton Point).  Leaves me to wonder if the ship Mary and John found safe harbor in Hull Bay after passing through Hull Gut. 

While paddling around Little Brewster Island I caught this glimpse of Graves Light some 3 miles further out to sea...
Graves Light was completed and lit in 1905 when a second shipping channel into Boston Harbor was created.  

So upon my return through Hull Gut and into Hingham Bay, I more than likely passed the place where Roger Clapp and his fellow passengers were left standing on the sandy shore.  Their desired destination of Charlestown lay some 7 miles or so to the northwest between the Boston skyline and Deer Island's white dinosaur eggs...

Could those Mary and John passengers possibly conceive of today's commuters covering that distance in about 20 minutes aboard the MBTA's high-speed catamaran Champion?...
The capacity of the Champion is 150 passengers and could have handled all of the Mary and John passengers.

By the time I reached a quiet Bumpkin's Island the day was fast heating up and a relaxing swim was greatly enjoyed...


A map showing most of the spots mentioned...


Only trash encountered was of the shiny and floating nature...

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