Boston Harbor

During our second weekend in Boston, we toured Boston Harbor from the water and the air, got a few boat projects done, and met some locals and friends from out of town.

Trip highlights from June 23 through 26th follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

Christian and Annjea

We had a great visit with Boston residents Annjea and Christian Cormier. We had lots of questions for Annjea, who is a Chemical Response Officer with the US Coast Guard.

A printer with scanning capability has turned out to be a critical piece of equipment on our journey. We’re often needed to print out, sign and return via email forms and documents for country entry and exit formalities and a variety of other reasons. Our printer’s scanner was malfunctioning, and its replacement arrived today.

Our chain stopper, when flipped down, hooks between the chain links to prevent it from deploying. We need to hold the stopper up to let out chain, and we lost the bungee we were using. We couldn’t find a similar replacement with stainless steel hooks so made a new one from bulk bungee parts.
Aquarius Leader

The 193x32m Aquarius Leader dominates the waterway as it passes by Charlestown Marina.
Warren Tavern

Warren Tavern in Charlestown, established in 1780, is the oldest tavern in Massachusetts. Notable patrons included national heroes Paul Revere, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

Long Trail Limbo IPA in a window seat at Todd English’s Figs in Charlestown.
Red Sox Pizza

An exceptional “Red Sox” Pizza at Figs.
Aerial Tour

Our friend Frank Eigler happened to be in town on vacation with his family in their Piper Aztec airplane. It was great to see Frank, it was fun to see his airplane, and we even got a chance to do an aerial tour of Boston. We started in Lawrence, MA, then flew east to follow the coast south to Boston and along the Charles River and over Charlestown Marina before returning back to Lawrence. James even tried his hand at the stick for a bit. A video of some of the more interesting parts of the trip over Boston Harbor and Logan airport, including our take-off and landing, is at

At the Charlestown Marina opening of the season barbecue.
Frank and Juimiin

Frank Eigler, Juimiin Hong and their two boys came over to visit later in the afternoon. We used to work with Frank at the IBM Toronto Software Lab in the 1990s and haven’t seen him and Juimiin since they visited us in Seattle in 2002. And we’d never met their boys. It was great to catch up after all those years.
Lock replacement

We added keyed hasp locks to the three dinghy storage areas. These low-cost locks are chromed steel rather than stainless, so only survive a year or two. But, even with the frequency of replacement, so far they are the most cost-effective we’ve found.
Spare battery

We often travel great distances in the tender and sometimes there’s no-one for many miles around us. So we choose to carry a spare battery in case there’s a failure of the primary, someone accidentally leaves the lights on, or the bilge pump runs indefinitely. The spare just clips on with alligator clips. The old clips had rusted out, so we replaced them.
Hole saw

When the dinghy is not in use, we disconnect the power to prevent the battery from draining down. The tender should be able to be left nearly-indefinately, without battery leakdown, but there is risk that some electrical device will be left on or the system will have a small voltage leak. And if either happens, the battery can be depleted. We’ve forgotten to disconnect the power a few times, so we decided to install an LED voltage display to make it obvious when the dinghy still is powered.
Voltage display

The LED voltage display has two values. One is that it shows current voltage levels so it’s easy to spot issues early and the other is that it’s bright and can be seen from a long distance away so we can easily to spot whne the power has been left on.

Looking back to our berth at the start of a dinghy trip around the harbor.
Mystic Marine Fuel

Boats constantly were arriving and departing the Mystic Marine Fuel dock on this Sunday afternoon.
Mystic Generating Station

The Mystic Generating Station can produce 2,002 megawatts, the highest full-load output of any in the state. The station mostly runs on natural gas, but can also run on petroleum.
DeLauri Pump Station

The 365-ft 1.5-megawatt turbine at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) DeLauri Pump station.
Amelia Earhart Dam

The locks at the Amelia Earhart Dam on the Mystic River. The dam and locks were built in 1966 and the dam named for the famous aviator, Amelia Earhart, who moved to Boston in her late 20s.
Malden Bridge

The Malden Bridge between Sommerville and Everett opening to allow a SeaTow vessel and tow to pass through. The first bridge here, built in 1917, was a Strauss Overhead counterweight trunnion bascule bridge that was replaced in 1963 with the current parallel double leaf bascule bridge.
Admiral’s Hill Marina

Admiral’s Hill Marina at the head of Island End River. The approach and dockside depth is only 6ft—too shallow for Dirona’s 6’7″ draft.
Chelsea Yacht Club

The Chelsea Yacht Club, underneath the Tobin Memorial Bridge, was organized in 1886.
Pearl Street Bridge

The Pearl Street Bridge over the Charles River. Boston has an abundance of bridges and tunnels.
Sunoco Logistics

The Sunoco Logistics Terminal in Chelsea is one of several bulk petroleum storage facilities along the Chelsea River and supplies jet fuel to nearby Logan International Airport.
Chelsea Street Bridge

The Chelsea Street Bridge was completed in 2012 at a cost of $125M, replacing the old bascule bridge.
East Boston Steam Pump Station

The historic East Boston Steam Pump Station, built in 1894, was one of three Boston Metropolitan Sewerage System pumping stations built at the time. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority facility turned the property over to the Division of Capital Asset Management in 2002.
Great Eastern

We saw the 600x91ft Great Eastern pass by the marina earlier today. It must have been a tight fit through the Pearl Street Bridge, with less than half a boat’s width on either side.

The 229ft superyacht Freedom moored at the Boston Yacht Haven. We assumed that the ship was here for the Fourth of July celebrations, but it was gone a day or so later.
Aspen Alternative

The 165ft superyacht Aspen Alternative is available for charter for a mere $185,000 per week, plus expenses.
Long Wharf

Historic Long Wharf on the right, with downtown Boston in the background.
Coast Guard

US Coast Guard Base Boston.
Boston Garden

The TD Garden, nicknamed the Boston Garden, home of the Boston Bruins NHL team and the Boston Celtics NBA team. The arena was completed in 1995, replacing the original Boston Garden that first opened in 1928. We were hoping we might catch a game there, but the Bruins season was over by the time we arrived and the Celtics haven’t started playing yet.

The Converse Factory Store near the Boston Garden. You can design your own shoes there, but it takes about four weeks to get them.

The Massachusetts State Police has a huge marine station under the Charlestown Bridge.
Gridley Dam

The Gridley Dam on the Charles River was named after General Washington’s first army engineer Col. Richard Gridley. The dam controls the surface level of the Charles River basin and upstream tributaries. It looked a little crazy in there, with the boats fending off each other and the walls.

“Duck” rides are very popular in Boston. Ducks are amphibious road and sea-going vehicles, originally designed for troop and supply delivery in World War II. They now are part of tour fleets used in many cities throughout the world. We see them everywhere, often passing alongside our marina. The nearly 80-year-old technology is getting more expensive to maintain and could be improved upon from a usability and servicability perspective. Picture is a modern version of the original World War II vehicle. Boston also has a fleet of real Ducks used in the tourist trade.

Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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2 comments on “Boston Harbor
  1. Timothy Daleo says:

    I see you are getting good use out of your Milwaukee driver. I have the DeWalt version, since it shares the battery with the vac, and could not imagine life without one. The amount of tools and equipment you keep on Dirona are impressive. I really like the ability to quickly see the voltage. I was thinking of adding a gauge to the Maxum but wanted something that could also show battery condition.

    I bought some Flitz and it reminds me of Blue Magic. Flitz worked well if the surface was just dirty but did not help with surface rust or stains. Any suggestions?

    • We found Flitz quite effective at getting rust and other marks off our stainless. We just followed the instructions of applying with a paper towel and buffing off with a clean, dry rag.

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