Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Great Day at Spectacle Island

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to tag along on one of Save the Harbor's All Access Boston Harbor trips to Spectacle Island!

The view from the boat as we left Boston.
The day started out at the pavilion where youth and community groups met up to learn some of the history of Boston Harbor. Then we all walked down to the docks where the Provincetown II was waiting to take the nearly 500 kids from the region out to Spectacle Island. The kids were all so excited and many of them told me that they had never been on a boat before. For the ones who had been on an All Access trip before, they told me all about the activities and swimming that they couldn't wait to do on the island.

Not only had I never been on one of these trips before, but I had never been to any of the Boston Harbor Islands before either. When we showed up at the island there were many families enjoying their day on the beach and on the trails. I was shocked at how close the island was to the city, and once we were there it seemed like a great place to take a day trip with family and friends. It was like a little place to escape from the city.

Once we had, had our lunch, I went over to the pier to fish with some of the kids. I had fished in a lake before but never in the ocean. The kids were having a ball on the pier. Casting was pretty hard for some of them, but they caught on fairly quickly. Most of them were fascinated by the bait more than the actual rods. There was also a small touch tank with crabs in it on the pier that some of the Save the Harbor staff had caught overnight. I was afraid of getting pinched, but the kids dunked their hands right in without any hesitation.

Two girls from the Dorchester YMCA fishing together.

A little bit later I ventured over the hill to the group of kids playing all different types of sports. There was a big game of football going on with a group from Lynn that later turned into kickball. I played dodgeball with a few boys from Lynn as well, and they would take breaks every few minutes to drench their heads with their water bottles. I asked them why they wouldn't just go swimming to cool off, and at first they were confused by the question as if they hadn't thought about that before. They all looked at each other and one by one told me that, yeah, maybe they would jump in the water.

A group of kids from the Lynn YMCA playing football on the island.

Everyone seemed to disperse down towards the beach in the later afternoon. I went over to the water with some other Save the Harbor staffers and while I didn't bring my bathing suit to go in the water, that didn't stop the group...I was dragged in when I least expected it. The water was freezing at first, especially since I was covered in wet clothes, but I realized it was a lot warmer than the beach water I was used to up north. I had a ton of fun floating around with some of the staff, and it didn't take as long as I expected for my clothes to dry out on the way home!

Overall the trip was so much fun and I got the chance to do a lot of things that I had never done before. It was great to see so many smiling faces all day who were excited to spend a day on the island with their friends. I hope I get the chance to get out to the islands again soon!

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