Crew Position: 41°65’N, 70°28’W – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Boat Position: 26°06’N, 80°10’W – Riverbend Marine Center, Fort Lauderdale
Walking through Boston Common on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it was hard to imagine the tragic event that took place just three weeks ago. Families were having picnics in the park; couples were strolling through the gardens; street vendors were competing with each other on who sold the best hot dogs. The only reminders of the bombing were the banners and t-shirts that read ‘Boston Strong’, a silent statement of the Bostonian spirit and a sign of the city’s commitment to unite in the face of adversity.
We followed the typical tourist trail through Booah-ston - eating at Quincy Market and drinking at Cheers bar - before setting off on a roadtrip through New England. Driving up through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, we stopped off in the many small, quaint, picture-perfect towns that dot the coastline. In Salem to look for witches (and found an Irish woman!). We walked around ‘The Perfect Storm’ harbour in Gloucester before driving by the Bush family holiday home in Kennebunkport – no welcome mat there, so we shoved on inland towards New Hampshire.
|A quick snog in Vermont|
As we crossed the borders between states, we noticed the subtle differences like the state slogans - 'The Spirit of America' in Massachusetts ‘Live Free or Die’ in New Hampshire; ‘Vacationland’ in Maine - and the not-so-subtle differences like sales tax rates. The USA has over 9,646 different sales tax structures, ranging from 1% to over 10% depending on the town, state and item. Different rates between states is understandable when you consider the size of the country and compare it to different tax rates across Europe. However some of the categorisation does seem to border on the ridiculous. Like one state which taxes decorative pumpkins but not edible ones; or another which taxes ice-cream cakes according to the ratio of ice-cream layers to cake layers; or the one that taxes clothing accessories but not fur clothing.
|'Goose Pond' outside Keene AKA local swimming pool|
|Flying the flag in Keene|
On Wednesday evening we arrived in Keene, New Hampshire where the local Heneghans welcomed us with open arms, home-cooked meals and a hot tub. We put away the maps and guidebooks, and enjoyed a few days visiting places that only the locals know about. We even fitted in an early morning climb up Mount Monadnock, one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world. As we caught our breadth at the summit, we realised that, for the first time in a long time, we couldn't see the ocean...
|The New Hampshire forest makes a welcome change to the ocean horizons|
|An alternative to shopping mall walking|
|Mount Monadnock. Done.|
|Extended crew photo - one American, four Irish and six Canadian|