Block Island will be one of our ports of call, where the annual rendezvous of the American Schooner Association brings together classic schooners for a lobster dinner and musical jamboree!
We board Sunday, August 27 @ 8:30pm and return Wednesday, August 30 @ 3pm.
New London, Connecticut
New London is a seaport at the mouth of the Thames river on the southern coast of Connecticut, considered to be the best deepwater harbor on Long Island Sound. The port was a base of naval operations during the Revolutionary War, including the colonial privateer fleet. The harbor was a major 19th century whaling port; only Nantucket and New Bedford were more important. The wealth that whaling brought the city funded the construction of much of the city's historic architecture. New London is homeport to the U.S. Coast Guard tall ship Eagle, as well as home to the Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is a seaside city rich with history and architecture dating as far back as colonial times. Her harbor is packed with all sorts of yachts, from America's Cup 12 meter sloops, to the sail training schooners Aurora and Adirondack II. Many of the famed Gold Coast mansions are open for touring.
Newport was founded in 1639 and soon grew to become the most important port in colonial Rhode Island. A public school was established in 1640. In the mid 1600s, a group of Jews fleeing the inquisition in Spain and Portugal were allowed to settle in Newport. The Newport congregation is the second oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. At the same time, a large number of Quakers settled in Newport. The Quaker meetinghouse in Newport (1699) is the oldest house of worship in Rhode Island. At the same time, a large population of Baptists settled in Newport. In 1727, James Franklin (brother of Benjamin) was printing in Newport; in 1732, he published the first newspaper, the Rhode Island Gazette. Newport was also a major center of pirate activity during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. So many pirates used Newport as their base of operations that the London Board of Trade made an official complaint to the English government. The most famous pirate who made Newport his base was Thomas Tew. Tew was very popular with the locals, after one of his pirating voyages, it was reported that almost the whole town came out to greet him.
In the 1720's, colonial leaders, acting under pressure from the English government, arrested many pirates. Many were hanged in Newport and were buried on Goat Island. During the colonial period, Newport was the center of the slave trade in New England. Many of the great fortunes made during this period were made in the slave trade. The Old Brick Market in Newport was the scene of many slave auctions. The Common Burial Ground on Fairwell Street was where most of the slaves were buried.
During the American Revolution, Newport was the scene of much activity. In the fall of 1776, the British, seeing that Newport could be used as a naval base to attack New York. The city was repopulated with loyalists and British soldiers. For the next three years, the whole of the Narragansett Bay area became one large battlefield, with Newport being a British fortress.
In the summer of 1778, the Americans began the campaign known as the Battle of Rhode Island. This was the first joint operation between the Americans and the French after the signing of the treaty of alliance. In 1780, the French under Rochembeau landed in Newport and for the rest of the war Newport was the base of the French forces in the United States. The French soldiers behaved themselves so well that in gratitude, the Rhode Island General Assembly repealed an old law banning Catholics from living in Rhode Island. By the time the war ended (1783) it had destroyed Newport's economic wealth, as years of military occupation closed the city to any form of trade. It was in Newport in 1791 that the Rhode Island General Assembly voted to ratify the Constitution and become the 13th state.
Block Island, R I
Block Island is at the eastern end of Long Island Sound. The island is a fragment of glacial terminal moraine approximately twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, of which it is part, and from which it is separated by Block Island Sound.
It was first sighted in 1524, by Giovanni da Verrazzano. The island was charted by the Dutch explorer Adriaen Block In 1614, and was named after him. When the Europeans arrived, it was occupied by a branch of the Narragansett people who called the island "Manisses." English settlers first arrived in 1661, when the island was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The island became part of the colony of Rhode Island in 1672.
New Shoreham is the only town on the island. Block Island is a popular summer tourist destination and is known for its excellent bicycling. There are two historic lighthouses on the island, Block Island North Light, on the northern tip of the island (established in 1829, current lighthouse was built in 1868), and Block Island Southeast Light, on the southeast side of the island (built in 1875). Much of the northwest tip of the island is undeveloped and serves as a resting stop for birds along the Atlantic flyway.
New London, Connecticut (return)
Return to New London to disembark.