3 Observations from Mystic Seaport

I thought Mystic Seaport was the town itself. Wrong! It's an entire town within a town, dedicated to all things quaint, historic, and maritime. I didn't take great photos, but I do have some observations:

1. My husband is an old soul.
He shares interests with men who wear sweaters with elbow patches, drink Metamucil, and love to revisit the good old days but stoically glaze over all the worst parts of the war. It's adorable and will make him a good dad to the late elementary age era when science fairs and history projects start (and I may or may not start getting bored).

Direct quote: "While I must applaud the museum's effort to preserve a piece of America's maritime history, I can't help but look at the Charles W. Morgan with a British Naval Captain's eye and notice all its lubbery lines, cluttered deck arrangement, and generally tubby appearance."

And when met with my eye roll: "All my maritime sensibilities come from the British Navy of the Napoleonic era. I've been spoiled by the lean, hungry men o'war of the Master and Commander series"
A painting above a random door at Webb, where my old man of a husband honed his sensibilities
The Charles W. Morgan whaler, in all it's lubbery glory
 2. Tunnel vision doesn't help you fund raise.
This is a good lesson for my professional life. Mystic's one and only misstep was that just about every display and appeal was for their prize possession, the Charles W Morgan, the oldest functioning whaling vessel in the world. It's an awesome boat, don't get me wrong, and seeing it (and hearing about it over and over) made me appreciate New England's salty past and need for whale blubber to light their lives. But nonprofits have a tendency to take their golden star and talk about them on and on and on.

I fundraise. I think about how to get people to care enough about housing that they want to spend time on site and give us money to keep our work going. But there are good, holistic ways to talk about why you deserve someone's time and money, and they ought not be just your star.

They could be talking more about these little beautiful boats

Or this lovely bay view from the docks

Or the ship renovation center, the delicious chowder, youth programs, historically accurate shop for a blacksmith, cooper, apothecary, rope manufacturer, and historically accurate home for a poor family, rich family, and middle class family. Or any number of other programs and sites that make Mystic Seaport pretty awesome but I didn't get great photos of. And I'm sure they do talk about them, just not as much as the whaler.

3. Boats are amazing. The ocean is amazing.

We know more about space than we do about the ocean, which is a SHAME.  Before a century ago, waterways were everything, the ocean an obvious major aspect. Exploration, expansion, supplies, recreation, FOOD. We've explored less than 5% of the ocean and understand relatively very  little about how it impacts our weather systems and what potential there is for the future. Oceans cover 70% of the planet and we've only explored 5% of it?? What a shame.

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