Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Found Across the Globe: Mystic, Connecticut (with a short lesson on "nautical typography")

There is nothing like New England in the summer. My city of Boston comes to life after a very, very long winter and I remember again why it is I choose to live here. But one of the greatest advantages of the location is its proximity to so many amazing summer day trip destinations. The weekend comes and Bostonians flock to the Cape or the beaches of Rhode Island, and this past weekend I found myself in the lovely town of Mystic, Connecticut.

Mystic is a leading New England seaport with a history rooted in the whaling industry. It is also home to Mystic Seaport, a large maritime museum (Wikipedia refers to it as the world's largest, in fact) with some amazingly preserved ships. The museum is incredible, informative, and wonderfully kept up— and you'll see from the photos that the town is equally charming. Hand-painted signage, beach kitch, and bits of preserved history make Mystic well worth the visit.
In addition to learning all about the whaling industry, shipbuilding, scrimshaw, figureheads, and Mystic Pizza, I was given a short lesson on the "nautical alphabet." Before my sister clued me in, I never knew the meaning behind these small flags which you often see displayed on boats or used in preppy patterning. These flags can be used in combinations, just as letters are, to spell out messages between two ships or between ship and shore. Used singly, these each have individual meanings— for instance, the letter L alone means "Stop Instantly." For a full lesson on "nautical typography," visit this helpful site. ••••


Meghan Colvin said...

TESS! Not only do i LOVE your photos...really, they're fabulous...but i used to go to that area every year when I was in Boston! Aww, such memories. Thank you! This might be one of my favorite collections! ;)

Sarah Martin said...

SO informative! I had no idea those nautical flags had a letter equivalent (but I am from Ohio…so I have an excuse).
Great pictures! I love all the ropes, knots, and wood.

Meghan B said...

haha, martin grew up landlocked.
love these photos!