Tour Report: President’s Tour to New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts sponsored by Bob & Lisa Dumas- October 30, 2016 The following is a tour report for this year’s President’s Tour to honor our President Randy Long. The President's tour is held each year in appreciation of the current President's service to the club and is arranged by the Vice President. As Lisa and I have toured this wonderful museum in the past I felt this would be an excellent choice for this year's tour.
We met 8am at the commuter lot off I-395in Moosup, Connecticut. Due to the time of year and the distance to our destination, it had been previously decided to take modern cars for this outing. We started out heading north on I-395 in the direction of Massachusetts. We left at approximately 8:10 am and generally stayed together as printed directions to our final destination was handed out and this proved to work very well as no one got lost. We all caught up to each other at McDonald’s in Seekonk, Mass. for a scheduled quick pit stop. At this point we had approximately 34 members (2 more met us there) and several vehicles. We regrouped and continued to head east on I-195 exiting at Exit 15 onto route 18 south which we followed to Elm St. where we parked in the Elm St. garage as it is walking distance to the museum.
When we arrived for our 10 am tour, we were greeted by the young man at the desk who took the admissions and called for our docents. Two gentlemen were assigned to us, both Sandy and Gerry were very knowledgeable about the whaling industry. Even though I'd toured the museum in the past, I learned new information from our guide. We started out in the lobby where three whale skeletons hang from the ceiling. Sandy explained when a whale dies or is killed in our waters it becomes the property of the U.S. Government. These three are on permanent loan for educational purpose. We were taken to the exhibition areas on the upper floors which include additional skeletons, harpooning boats and tools, a 1/2 scale representation of a whaling ship and numerous artifacts throughout the three floors. There are many original pieces of artwork throughout the museum and Page #3
also in an attached art gallery. These were created by some of America's greatest artists and they depict this brutal and often very dangerous way of life. We were told that several deaths normally occurred during each voyage which could last 4 or more years. It was also noted that much of New England's cultural diversity was shaped by the whaling industry due to the fact that sailors were picked up along the way. Many of these people came from the Azores which gives us today's Portuguese segment of the population.
At about Noon we headed up the street to Freestone's Restaurant for a really nice lunch. The wait staff was ready for us as I had contacted the restaurant a couple of weeks prior to coming with a headcount. The food was great and the service was fast and courteous considering how many of us there were.
Afterward, many of us returned to the museum to see things that we missed and take in the view of New Bedford Harbor from the outside deck on the top floor. I couldn't have planned for better weather as it was about 70 and sunny. Most of us left about 2 pm.
On the way home several of us stopped at the Antique Center at Wamsutta Place to check out two floors of antiques and collectables. I didn't find anything I couldn't live without. We left for home at about 4:30 pm after a really enjoyable day. I want to thank all of you who attended and paid tribute to our president.
In Attendance: Randy & Cindy Long, Charlie & Nancy Obreiter, Bob & Lisa Dumas, Doug & Gail Miller, Gary & Jean Arcand, Alan, Sandy & Andre Carignan, Chip & Lynda Allard, Karl & Lynda Van Auken, Candace Sommer-Van Auken, Barbara Sommer, Bob & Lorraine Loiselle, Jack & Marge LaRochelle, John & Terry Holmes, Louise Anderson, Chuck & Laura Yeager, Richard Jenkins, Deb Merrill, Beth Gentile, Roland LaLuminaire, Jim & Barbara McShane, Steve & Bobbi Orlomoski
Respectfully Submitted byBob Dumas