Juky 18 – 22, 2021
It is so cool to be in Philadelphia on our own boat and just walk to the historical sites. Locations such as this were first visited by boat and so arriving by boat provides a glimpse into the journey our ancestors took.
Coming up the Delaware, we passed New Castle where one of Jim’s 8th Great Grandmothers, Rachael Embree Carr Cox was born in 1679. I have a 8th Great-grandfather, John Calvert, buried in the Arch Friends Cemetery in downtown Philadelphia in 1699. Rachael was born in the American Colonies but I don’t know her parents history. However, John arrived by ship to Philadelphia with his wife Judith (my 8th Great Grandmother) and son Isaac (my 7th Great Grandfather) and were granted land in William Penn’s colony.
I also have a much more recent 3rd Great Grandmother, Mary Flaherty who likely came through Philadelphia in the Great Irish migration in 1845. Sadly, little is known about her life beyond her coming from Cork Ireland and upon her death in 1865 her children, including my 2nd Great grandfather John Joseph Brown, were put in a orphans home in Scranton, PA. Their father Thomas Brown was in the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry fighting for the Union in the Civil War. Although her husband Thomas was apparently born in the United States, Mary was one of the 1.5 million Irish that escaped Ireland due to the potato famine. She must have lived a very hard life.
But enough of family history, although entwined with that of Philadelphia and so very interesting to me. Now, you want to know about the tourist events (maybe…)
One must of course visit Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was debated and signed.
It was good to again see the chambers of the House and Senate where they began to figure out how to run a newly created country with a very different charter than any before, or I guess since.
A visit to the Liberty Bell of course is also on the list. Since our last visit, the Bell has gotten its own building and interpretation. I had never realized (or more remembered?) that the bell is a symbol of freedom for people all over the world as well as a symbol for the Civil Rights and women’s movements.
We also visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Wow! Although all the advertising said it was a world class museum, I was skeptical. It was only built in the 1920’s on an old water reservoir. I was wrong, A museum with depth and breadth. it took us the entire day and we did not see everything.
One more thing we did which is worth mentioning. There is a new Constitution Center on the “mall” in Philadelphia. This museum is all about understanding the constitution in depth. Quite interesting. They also had life-size bronze sculptures of the signers of the Constitution. There is good historical information on all the signers except one (can’t remember his name but he was a Quaker). So, the bronze are very accurate. Rather spooky walking among them actually. You kept feeling there was someone behind you when it was only a sculpture.
I am getting long, but there was so much to see and do. We did have a little boat project as well. On arriving in Philadelphia, out stern thruster was not working. This is the little propeller (separate from the normal propulsion that allows us to move left and right for docking and such. We also have a bow thruster. We got into our slip just fine, but wanted this baby back. What was wrong? We do not have good documentation on this thruster and it is rather difficult to get to. And, you cannot remove it with the boat in the water. Sylvia takes a small “harbor bath” to make sure nothing is stuck in the propeller blades. All is fine and they spin freely. Lots of pondering and checking other parts. It has 4 big solenoids that engage as needed to move the propeller for left or right movement. Voltage is not correct at these. Check the batteries for the thruster (they are battery as opposed to hydraulic). The problem became clear.
The terminals for the 2 8 D batteries were melted. The terminals are lead and it is hard to keep them tight. We must admit we had not checked them recently, but last time we did they looked fine. Jim overnight-ed tinned brass terminals, installed these and all is fine. A potentially expensive problem avoided.
After our 3 and a half days in Philly which we thoroughly enjoyed, we headed back to Delaware City for an overnight that turned into two nights. We made a visit to Fort Delaware on Pea patch Island in the middle of the Delaware River. Quite historical and an interesting visit.
We are now in Cape May, hanging here for a couple days before heading north to New York via the Atlantic Ocean. A good weather window is to our liking. Looks like Tuesday or Wednesday is good. It is 14 hours to Sandy Hook Bay, south of NYC. Do we do it in one long day, or make it two? TBD