NEBO TV Report from the Field: Jamestown, RI

Even though Jamestown, situated on Conanicut Island, is connected to the mainland by 2 bridges, we thought it would be more fun and appropriate to arrive by boat for last week’s shoot. So on Thursday morning we launched our Pursuit C260 at the state ramp at Fort Adams State Park in Newport and made the short trip across the East Passage to Conanicut Marine, located at East Ferry, where the majority of Jamestown’s shops and restaurants are located.

Jamestown, RI
Conanicut Marine, Jamestown, RI

As soon as we docked the Pursuit, we noticed baitfish spraying all over the place, so we quickly grabbed a rod to see what was chasing them. To our surprise, the bottom was loaded with scup—some big ones, too—that readily attacked Tom’s metal spoon. Then we got another surprise. Also feeding on the baitfish were 5” mackerel, a rare sight in Narragansett Bay, especially in late summer.

With the fishing segment suddenly taken care of, we were off to an unexpectedly efficient start, so we kept the ball rolling by heading up Narragansett Avenue to Jamestown Outdoors, which rents and sells kayaks, SUPs, gear and apparel, and also arranges kayak tours in and around Jamestown. We were greeted by delightful owners Jason and Beth Hatch, who brought us to nearby Fort Getty State Park, where Parker hopped aboard a stand-up paddleboard and set off towards Dutch Harbor with Beth. Upon arrival, they enjoyed some delicious tacos, courtesy of Tallulah’s Taco Shack at the Dutch Harbor Marina. Meanwhile, Tom and Jason took a short kayak paddle into the nearby Fox Hill Cove marsh and salt pond—an important nursery for many types of marine animals.

After our collective paddles, it was back to Conanicut Marine to interview its founder and president Bill Munger, who discussed the facility’s amenities and services, which include floating docks, transient slips and moorings, engine and hull repair, laundry, showers and shuttle service. Conanicut Marine also runs the Jamestown & Newport Ferry, which docks at the town wharf next to the marina and offers service to different parts of Newport and Rose Island. It’s a convenient way to travel between the 2 ports.

Next Parker visited the historic Jamestown Windmill with historian Sue Maden. The windmill, which operated until 1896, is owned and maintained by the Jamestown Historical Society, and makes for an interesting side trip for boaters visiting Jamestown. Another point of interest is the Clancy Designs Glass Studio, where Parker received a lesson in glass blowing with owners David and Jennifer Clancy.

Parker toured the village, stopping in at Clancy Designs Glass Studio, where she got to see how owners Jennifer and David create their amazing glass art.
Jamestown, RI
David Clancy of Clancy Designs.

At 3:00, we reconvened at the Lionel Champlin Guest House, a comfortable bed-and-breakfast close to the East Ferry waterfront. Tom and Parker hopped on their Montague folding mountain bikes and headed off on a short ride to Beavertail Light. Here they were met Linda Warner, a past president of the Beavertail Lighthouse and Museum, who gave Tom and Parker a tour of the well-preserved and historic lighthouse, which is the 3rd oldest lighthouse in the country still occupying its original location. Linda discussed some of the lighthouse artifacts, including its original Fresnel lens, and even led Parker and Tom to the top of the lighthouse tower for an incredible view of Rhode Island Sound.

With the sun about to set, we headed back to East Ferry, where we were treated to an amazing dinner at Simpatico, courtesy of congenial host Amy Barclay. We enjoyed an array of delicious fare, including Calamari Antipasto, Little Rhody Littlenecks, BBQ Pan-Seared Jumbo Shrimp, Grilled Swordfish, Char-Grilled Angus Sirloin and the house favorite—The Bolognese.

Jamestown, RI
Will Tuthill aboard Muktuk.

That about wrapped things up for the majority of our Jamestown shoot, except for the harbor tour segment. Tom and Tommy covered that on Friday when they returned to Jamestown and met with local boater and boating writer Will Tuthill and his daughter Annie, who happens to be studying video production in college. With Annie running second camera, Will conducted the tour aboard Muktuk, his vintage Wasque bass boat/cruiser, beginning at Mackerel Cove (a protected anchorage and swimming hole) and heading north through the East Passage. Along the way he pointed out Horsehead Rock, Fort Wetherill, Clingstone (House on the Rocks), Jamestown Boat Yard, Clark Boat Yard and explained the approach to East Ferry. The tour ended below the Newport Pell Bridge, which also put the wrap on our Jamestown shoot.

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New episodes of New England Boating TV will begin airing this fall on Mondays and Sundays on NESN.


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