Report from the Field: Newport, RI

Jimmy and Gene shoot the commercial boat basin.
Jimmy and Gene shoot the commercial boat basin.

The weather couldn’t have been better for our first day of shooting the Newport episode of New England Boating TV!

The Newport Maritime Center, as seen from the water.
The Newport Maritime Center, as seen from the water.

We arrived in the famous port around 10:00 a.m. and stopped by the Newport Maritime Center on Saint Anne’s Pier to chat with harbormaster Tim Mills about this great public facility, where boaters can tie up for a reasonable hourly fee or leave their dinghies while they restock on ice, check their emails or shower. The Center also has laundry, a wide-screen TV, a lending library and lifejacket loner program. It’s also steps from Thames Street’s many shops and restaurants.

Team Alvimedica leaves the dock at the Newport Shipyard.
Team Alvimedica leaves the dock at the Newport Shipyard.

After that we were off to the Newport Shipyard, where things were hopping, We interviewed owner Charlie Dana, who told us about the marina’s amenities for visiting boaters and a bit of its history. The shipyard is home to Belle’s Cafe, a wonderful place to dock and dine for breakfast or lunch. After a tasty meal, we were able to shoot the Alvimedica—the high-tech Volvo Ocean Race sailboat capable of 50 mph—leaving the dock for a media cruise.

Parker interviews Terry Nathan at the IYRS facility.
Parker interviews Terry Nathan at the IYRS facility.

Next up was a visit with IYRS’s Terry Nathan, who told us about all the incredible boat-restoration work and marine-trades training that’s being done at the school. If you love wooden boats and boatbuilding, you owe yourself a visit to this Thames Street institution. I can still smell the odor of freshly sanded pine and cedar.

Parker enjoys the tour of Newport.
Parker enjoys the tour of Newport.

After IYRS we strolled Thames Street to take in the street scene, and Parker stopped by Summerties to pick me up a sailboat-themed bowtie for our evening lawn party at the Castle Hill Inn.

By now it was late afternoon and time for our rendezvous with Hinckley Yachts’ Roe O’Brien and Ted Gersen, who had a Talaria 44 waiting for us at the 41N dock. We hopped aboard and were treated t o a personal tour of the inner harbor, with Ted and Roe describing all of the local sights. There was plenty of boating eye-candy on display too, including many amazing wooden sailboats and gleaming mega-yachts.

At 7:00, Roe and Ted dropped us off at the Castle Hill Inn docks, where we found ourselves in the midst of the inn’s summer-kickoff lawn party. We also just caught the sunset behind Jamestown. An amazing end to an equally amazing day! Stay tuned for a report on Day Two of our Newport shoot.

Look for New England Boating this fall on NESN. You can check out Season I Episodes here.

Belle's Diner at the Newport Shipyard
Belle’s Cafe at the Newport Shipyard.
The public can dock at the Maritime Center dock at Saint Anne's Pier.
The Maritime Center at Saint Anne’s Pier offers public dockage.
The Oliver Hazard Perry at the Newport Shipyard.
The Oliver Hazard Perry at the Newport Shipyard.
The lawn party at the Castle Hill Inn.
Lawn party at the Castle Hill Inn.
The Coronet, being restored at IYRS.
The Coronet, being restored at IYRS.
Great bowties at Summerties on Thames Street.
Great bowties at Summerties on Thames Street.
Dockmaster George Jones points out the bullet holes in the beams inside the Maritime Center, which occupies the basement of a former arsenal.
Dockmaster George Jones points out the bullet holes in the beams inside the Maritime Center, which occupies the basement of a former arsenal.