Tall Ships And Fried Fish At Sail Boston 2017

This isn’t a typical post for me, then again my last weekend wasn’t typical either. With the tall ships in for Sail Boston 2017, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum was well represented along with our other local maritime organizations. We spent a hot and muggy weekend on the Boston waterfront talking to visitors and sailors from all over the world. However the stars of the show were the vessels of course, and Essex stood tall with seven vessels representing our little town with a big maritime story. Three historic schooners along with four “new” Essex schooners participated in Sail Boston. Our Museum’s flagship, the Lewis H. Story had the distinction of being the “littlest tall ship” at only 30 feet.

Lewis H Story
Our replica colonial codfishing “pickup truck” the Lewis H. Story

Re-launched after a near 3 year reconstruction, the Story is an authentic replica of a colonial Chebacco boat. A versatile codfishing pickup truck spread the reputation of the Essex shipbuilders far and wide. She was in good company at Boston’s Fan Pier, tied up with her older sisters: Adventure, Roseway and Lettie G. Howard as well as the latest Essex schooner Ardelle.

Schooner Adventure
Adventure was launched in 1926 and is Gloucester’s tall ship. She was the last American dory trawler, catching every cod and haddock by hand until 1953.
Pinky Ardelle
The pinky schooner Ardelle, built in 2011 by master shipwright Harold Burnham.

After sweating through my clothes twice, I decided to grab something to eat on the way back to the train. There was no way I could get a seat anywhere near the waterfront so I decided on a place along my route called the Central Wharf Company that had good reviews online. With a name like that I expected some good seafood, but left a little disappointed.

I certainly was not hip enough for this place, with my Museum t-shirt soaked with sweat and lack of fedora or ironic moustache. Nobody paid me any attention, the hostess was too busy on her phone and the waitstaff attended to the better dressed and better smelling clientele. Thankfully the bartender saw my aggravation and came over and helped me out. I settled on their cod sandwich, which was reasonably priced.

Frie cod sandwich
Cod sandwich with apple slaw herb and lemon aioli, ciabatia.

I know these trendy kind of places like to throw all different flavors at you. Sometimes it works, sometimes less is more. For my cod sandwich, I felt the fish itself was good, but was hard to taste due to all the other flavors going on. The breading the fish was fried in was too flavorful for cod, I’m sure it would be great on catfish, but for cod, it was just too ambitious in my opinion. The ingredients were obviously high quality and were probably fine on their own, but all together the fish was lost in the mix. I didn’t finish the sandwich, I had to hunt somebody down to get my check, and I don’t think I ever need to go back. Nor do I think they care, I’m not in the demographic they cater to.




  1. Well stated on one of the big problems in the customer service industry today (and among society). If your job is to provide a positive customer experience for others then put your %#%^ phone away for your shift. And all customers should be treated equally no matter what.

    Liked by 2 people

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