Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Sunday, the last day of the Portuguese Festival, we visted the Gazela, a tall ship built in 1881 in Portugal. In port giving tours during the Festival, we visited this survivor from the golden age of sail. Surprised that it wasn't bigger, we walked the decks, talked with the preservation crew, and learned that this ship made its last yearly voyage from Portugal to New Bedford in 1969.
 It was still working, along with the faster, newer boats in my lifetime! That blew me away.
The rich fishing area around New Bedford is what brought Portuguese immigrants here in great numbers over the years. The ship carried small working dories stacked like tea cups on the decks. They baited long lines with many hooks.
 They also maintained the ship, hand pumped the bilge, kept her clean, salt dried the cod for the long journey back to Portugal, and made sense out of the dizzying number of lines, and canvas that it takes to brave the relentless heavy seas and winds. In the 1950's drag nets on motor-powered trawlers made long lines obsolete and the ship went into retirement. William Wikoff Smith bought it and donated it to the Philadelphia Preservation Society, the oldest wooden square-rigger in the U.S. still sailing. The volunteers who maintain her are so proud of this ship. They learn valuable skills and have life changing experiences.
We then attended Sunday's Festival Parade.
There were bands...


Historic old vehicles...

 And kids scrambling in the streets for thrown candy. I'm part kid when it comes to a parade.
 We are soon to leave New Bedford/Dartmouth and we celebrated with our hosts, Donna and Bob Parker at New Bedford's Antonios Cafe, a wonderful restaurant with Portuguese food. Seafood Paella for me, broiled scrod for Jim. Donna and Bob shared a pork stew. My paella had a lobster tail, claw and one leg, plus multiple small neck clams, mussels, chicken pieces, shrimp, scallops and beef chunks. And, low prices. We looked around and every dish could serve two, or more, rather than one. The Parkers don't know how Martha Stewart got wind of this place, but she popped in with her entourage one night unexpectedly and crowed about its virtues on her show. The food was marvelous.  Shrimp and meat appetizers-ditto. I'm feeling quite spoiled and fat by now, as you can imagine.  
 The pork stew has roasted potatoes on top. The sangria comes in a water glass. Jim was fulfilled by finally having broiled scrod, something he looks  for every time he visits New England.
For a slug of pictures check my album:

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