Gene Allen shoots Parker and Griswold Inn chef Jim Gallagher preparing blue crabs. Photos/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Gene Allen shoots Parker and Griswold Inn chef Jim Gallagher preparing blue crabs. Photos/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

Arrived in Essex, CT, at 9:30 Wednesday night and checked into the Griswold Inn, our base camp for the next few days. What a great place! Established in 1776, “the Griz” has welcomed mariners for centuries, so we feel right at home. The dining room and pub are just about the coolest and coziest places to dine or down a pint, the walls adorned with paintings of sailing ships and steam ferries. In fact you feel as if you are IN a ship at times.

On Thursday morning we got up early and launched the Boston Whaler at the town dock at the foot of Main Street, then went crabbing with local crabbing experts Will and Dylan. Caught a mess of them in short order, which the chef at the Griz prepared for us later for lunch.

The Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum.

After crabbing we paid a visit to the Connecticut River Museum, where we checked out the many artifacts and exhibits detailing the history, ecology and importance of the 410-mile river. Definitely worth a visit.

Later in the day we checked out some of the shops in the pretty downtown area then got a tour of the Essex Island Marina, where we are keeping the Whaler. The Marina is a family-run, family-friendly place that is very popular among transient boaters. With its pool, green lawns, funky breakfast and lunch shack, it almost has a resort feel to it. And the staff is helpful and friendly.

Today we plan to cruise the lower river with Ben Wilde of Wilde Yacht Sales and then head upriver for a nature tour aboard RiverQuest. Then it’s off to the Essex Steam Train and more! Phew…more on Essex later.

New England Boating TV, sponsored by GMC and Boston Whaler and their network of New England dealers. The show airs Mondays, at 7:00 p.m. on NESN. Check for current listings by CLICKING HERE.

Tom Richardson
Editor/co-host

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