Narragansett, RI - Events of Saturday, September 7 to Monday, September 9, 2013
The tip of the peninsula where Narragansett is located is known as Point Judith. There is a lighthouse there we wanted to see, especially since it is less than two miles from where we were staying at Fishermen's Memorial State Park. There is also a small harbor a little to the west of Point Judith called Galilee. We saw signs for a fishing contest in Galilee on Saturday that included craft and food booths, so we decided drive down to Galilee on Saturday so we could check out the harbor, the crafts and the lighthouse all at the same time.
There were two rows of booths with several artists who painted seaside scenes and a couple of crafts, but most of the booths were either food or new merchandise.
One of the few craft booths had fish and nautical-themed items made from small bits of driftwood and shells...
...and another that had fish made from recycled copper sheet.
There were also a couple of car dealers there with a few cars on display, a Verizon booth and a several other businesses offering promotions of various sorts.
The waterfront turned out to be a lot more interesting than the craft show. Across the bay we could see Snug Harbor Lighthouse, which is not the one we went to see at Point Judith so it was a bonus.
We also walked around the marina. There were a few pleasure boats, but most were lobster and commercial fishing boats.
Some of the crews sell lobsters right off the boat. The fishermen were very friendly and seemed happy to answer questions. We came on the two fishermen in the photo below stringing up fish they were taking out of the plastic barrels. We found out the fish are skates. Skates are diamond-shaped fish that belong to the same family as sting rays, although skates do not have stingers. Parts of the skates are edible (the "wings"), but these fish were going to be used as bait for lobster traps.
A little farther along, another fisherman had a wooden box filled with ice and several different types of fish, and he was explaining what each fish was. The four fish on the on the left are four different types of flounder. The two longer fish in the center are dogfish, which are related to sharks. The three, round, orange shells to the right are scallops.
After we left the marina, we headed over to the eastern side of the peninsula to Point Judith Light. It is an operating lighthouse, and is fenced off with US Coast Guard signs that said "Authorized personnel only." However, the gate was open, and there were other civilians inside walking around, so we went in.
This is the third lighthouse built at Point Judith. The first was a 35-foot tower that was built in 1810 and was destroyed by a hurricane in 1815. It was replaced the following year by a 35-foot stone tower. The current lighthouse is a 51-foot, octagonal, granite tower that was built in 1856. The upper half is painted brown and the lower half is painted white to help make it more distinctive in the daytime.
Beyond the lighthouse tower is a small gravel/cobblestone beach where the favorite activity seems to be building cairns. Simply put, cairns are piles of rocks. They can range from a few, small stones stacked on top of one another to huge piles. Cairns have been used since prehistoric times as landmarks, trail markers, grave markers and for ceremonial, astronomical and religious purposes. Many times they are used just to say, "I was here."
Paul even built a small cairn of his own.
After Point Judith, we stopped back at the motor home for a while. Later in the afternoon, we drove to the waterfront area in Narragansett to Monahan's Clam Shack for lupper. Monahan's got excellent on-line reviews for their lobster rolls, so we wanted to give them a try.
The lobster rolls are available cold with mayo or hot with butter. The hot ones are grilled. Since we prefer butter, we had both had a hot lobster roll ($15) and we shared a fried clam strip dinner with slaw and fries ($11).
The lobster rolls were the largest we have had, and they had excellent flavor; but as we found with most of the lobster we have had in New England, the meat was tough. The clam strips were so-so. They weren't very sweet, and the coating was a little too heavy.
The ambiance at Monahan's was excellent. We had a nice view of the ocean right from our table. From the fishing pier behind the restaurant, we also got a good view of the Narragansett waterfront.
We relaxed around the campground on Sunday and watched everyone else leave.
Since we didn't have sewer hookup while at Fishermen's Memorial State Park, and since we won't have sewer at our next stop either, we needed to do laundry. Margery found The Pier Washtub, a new laundromat in Narragansett that got excellent on-line reviews, so we headed there on Monday morning. From the website we learned that they had complimentary Wi-Fi and the machines took credit cards. Doing the laundry at a commercial laundromat is one of our least favorite things to do, but this laundromat was exceptionally nice with all new equipment, and there was an attendant who was very helpful.
After finishing the laundry, we headed back to the motor home after a brief stop at the grocery store. When we got back, we did some pre-departure chores then relaxed the rest of the afternoon. We headed out to our next destination on Tuesday morning. We'll tell you where that was in our next post.