Working Waterfront proven a great way to relax

By Barbara Veneri, Sea Notes, New Bedford Standard-Times

A couple of weeks ago, Laurie Bullard of the New Bedford Economic Development Council dropped me an e-mail to ask for coverage of the yacht rendezvous in New Bedford Harbor, timed to coincide with and be a part of the Working Waterfront Festival.

Well, events conspired to keep me away from the harbor last weekend, but all reports indicate the yacht rendezvous, consisting of many yachts in “full dress sail,” was a smashing success. Boats from the Beverly and New Bedford Yacht Clubs, as well as from the Boston chapter of the Cruising Club of America, paraded into the harbor and, more importantly, took slips and moorings, rafted up, and stayed the night.

Everyone who has attended this or past Working Waterfront festivals knows that New Bedford is nothing if not a “working” harbor. But part of that work includes making the harbor a place to stop, go ashore, enjoy downtown and, if necessary, stock up on supplies, get the engine looked at, take a shower and have a hearty meal at a good restaurant. This is what cruising sailors do — and New Bedford Harbor is playing host to more and more of them every year.

Bill Cook of the CCA said the boaters from the Boston area who cruised down through the canal and Buzzards Bay to New Bedford last weekend —¦ thought the rendezvous was excellent. The Working Waterfront Festival had great variety, and from the boats we had ringside seats for the tug pushing contests and the helicopter rescues — really a unique experience.”

In past years, I have taken my boat loaded with fellow sailors over to New Bedford to race in the American Cancer Society regatta, view the tall ships, hang onto a mooring and have lunch, and take a slip for an overnight “adventure” a few miles from home.

This past summer, chugging back into New Bedford Harbor to the Moby Dick Marina after photographing the Buzzards Bay Regatta, I chanced on friends of mine aboard their Beneteau, leaving the harbor after an overnight visit. Most days, they keep their boat in Padanaram Harbor, but a trip to New Bedford — whether for play or work — makes an interesting overnight destination.

The aforementioned Ms. Bullard has written an excellent article called “Destination: New Bedford” that you can find online at Here is an excerpt:

—¦it is well worth taking the time to visit an authentic working waterfront and explore a seaport where people have gone to sea for 250 years. That relationship continues to define New Bedford. Experience a harbor that is home to both working boats and yachts and the perfect layover-destination and a welcoming port for recreational sailors. Hidden in plain sight on the north side of Buzzards Bay, you will find everything you need from excellent marine services to restaurants with fresh seafood to the nearby National Park and Whaling Museum. With over 1,000 recreational boat slips and moorings, New Bedford Harbor is a newly-found hot-spot for recreational boating.”

October 03, 2010 12:00 AM

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