Monday, August 30, 2010

Wooden Ships, on the Water

19th century technology meets 21st.
Just like OUR boat!
Chicago has nine different marinas.  We spent Saturday night in Belmont Harbor, one of the northernmost.

On Sunday, we moved five miles farther south, to Monroe Harbor, which is close to the lock that would take us off the lake and into the inland waterway system.

The Navy Pier "Headhouse." Towers
once held water for fire control.
Coincidentally the move also took us right past Navy Pier, where the Tall Ships were docked.

Navy Pier is an amusing, curvaceous contrast to the serious skyscrapers that form its backdrop, kind of  like a cheerleader hanging out with a crowd of engineers.  It's called Navy Pier because the Navy really did train there during WWII.  But when it first opened, in 1916, the pier was designed to serve as what it is again today--a fresh-air, family entertainment destination.

There's our friend Niagara, the boat we spotted on Lake Huron
Visitors could do more than goozle the boats--for a fee,
you could go for a ride!
Dragonfly was able to cruise quite close to the ships (not too close . . .  we saw Coast Guard boats chasing away powerboats that crossed some invisible line.)  As we reversed roles and goozled the big boats, we realized that one of the harbor tour boats had rapidly turned a tight circle to come back and cruise around us!  We could hear the tour guide over the loudspeaker:   " . . . and folks, just ahead of us, that's an English narrowboat!"

You can tour the Tall Ships OR take an "Extreme Thrill Ride" on this boat.
(Needless to say it is not solar-powered)

1 comment:

  1. You became part of the tour! Not sure if that's a good thing, I'm reminded of the line from the Mel Brooks classic, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" at the end of the movie King Richard (Patrick Stewart) banishes Prince John (Richard Lewis), "Put him in the Tower of London! Make him part of the tour."