If you're looking for a fun, family activity that is a very Newport, RI/New England thing to do, I've got just the ticket. We did it and really enjoyed it. We took a sightseeing sailboat ride through Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay. John bought the tickets early in the day because it was an absolutely beautiful day, and the Bay was very calm. Such perfect weather, made it more likely the hour and forty five minute SightSailing trip we wanted might sell out. We opted for the 4:00 PM sail, so we could go straight to dinner afterwards. It was a delightful day with temperatures in the mid- to high 60s. It was a mix of sun and clouds. SightSailing of Newport is located on Bowen's Wharf, in downtown Newport, and the boat, Schooner Aquidneck, leaves from there.
Schooner Aquidneck is 80 feet long and is a beautiful and very impressive Tall-Ship. Our Captain, Jeff, and crew, Kevin (who was in charge of sailing the boat), Ben and Eric, (deckhands) were great. They told us lots of great stories about the area and answered all our questions. Kevin even allowed John, Alex, and a had to be over 75 year old former Navy man to steer the boat. They loved it. There were blankets out for us passengers to grab, as it got quite chilly when we ventured out into the open water.
Captain Jeff Giving Safety Briefing
All of our crew had their Captain licenses, and several of them lived on the water. Full time. As in, they have no house on land. Jeff told us about how he sails south for the winter to the Bahamas and finds work every year. Eric was planning to do that this coming Winter and was getting his certification as a scuba instructor. It was so interesting to hear these sailors talk about their lives. We could not imagine living on a boat full time. There would be no place to go to be alone. And I would be very concerned to be on the water during some of the terrible storms we've had this past year. But, we could tell these sailors loved the water and this way of life. We definitely recommend taking a SightSailing tour when you visit Newport. It was a very reasonable $29.50 per person. Passengers can bring their own snacks and drinks or can purchase a bottle of water for $1.00. It was a relaxing and interesting day on the water.
Back at the Dock