Boston Day Two

Last evening, just as the captain and local pilot were preparing to set sail, FRAM developed a fault. We’ve sailed numerous times since she launched in 2007, and this is the first time FRAM has let us down. Apparently one of the propeller controls won’t work and clearly, we could not put to sea in such circumstances. The crew set to work, and in the meantime, we headed to bed not knowing what’s next. Late evening, Richard and Dawn are advised we would not sail in time to reach Rockland as scheduled. We were due to join a couple of locals on a walk in Rockland, so we send messages ahead to warn them.   

By early morning it becomes apparent that FRAM will sit in Boston all day, while repairs are attempted. The Furlongs Travel management therefore jump into action. We are back in contact with Dave’s coach company but unfortunately, they do not have a vehicle available. Another transport contact is called, and within 45 minutes we have a nice coach ready for an extra excursion. We also call our guide from yesterday, PJ. Great news, he is willing to help (although only after he re-arranges a couple of personal appointments – that is service for you!). So, where shall we go? PJ, Richard and Dawn decide we should head to Lexington and Concord. The weather forecast is good, so it should be a nice visit to these pretty little towns. Guests are invited, and we have a full house. Our “Yankee Bus Lines” coach turns up at the quayside. It is bright yellow, so matches some of our regular Furlongs Travel signs. Mike, the driver, is on the ball, and the coach even has free Wi-Fi.  

On the way out of Boston, PJ recalls the story of the Battles of Lexington and Concord which were fought on 19 April 1775. They kicked off the American Revolutionary War which lasted until 1783. Tensions had been building for many years between residents of the 13 American colonies and the British authorities, particularly in Massachusetts. On the night of April 18, 1775, hundreds of British troops marched from Boston to nearby Concord to seize an arms cache. Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began mobilising to intercept the Redcoat column. A confrontation on the Lexington town green started off the fighting, and soon the British were hastily retreating under intense fire. Many more battles followed, and in 1783 the colonists formally won their independence. Our timing is therefore perfect, although as Brits, we should perhaps keep a low profile! In Lexington, primary school children are re-enacting, some dressed as redcoats and others as colonial minute men.  

We spend some time in the area then head up to the Minutemen National Park where we see an informative film presentation and have a short walk through the park and over the famous Old North Bridge.  

We conclude the tour by visiting Concord, a small, pretty town where we invade Sally Ann’s, the local coffee shop. The shop-owned remarked she has never seen such a large group served (with the help of two British invaders) within 10 minutes!