Mattapoisett had it's own bumper
sticker that said :"Mattapoisett, its special".
A wide open harbor that offers little shelter in a storm, Mattapoisett looks out across Buzzards Bay, to the Elizabeth Islands.
A history of shipbuilding for the whaling trade, now the harbor features Shipyard Park, the town ramp and docks, along with a small beach down the street. Countless hours of entertainment are provided as Brownell Boatyard hauls vessels of all sizes in full public view, with many locals to score the success of the captain's demeanor.
My first launch of the sailing vessel Yuletide was one of the many occasions so enjoyed by the local overseer's of the wharf. As she floated for the first time, being backed into the water, the vessel gave me the first clue as to the handling of a full keeled yacht in reverse, and went crashing in an unpredictable direction, directly into Brownells workboat. After that I always had a line to the shore to steady her springtime path down the long stone dock in reverse.
For years I launched and haled my boat in Mattapoisett. Some of the worst weather I have ever had to face on-board the boat was involved in the spring and fall rituals. Unfortunately, I never was abvle to choose the weather. The last time I hauled was in the midst of a full blown gale, but the time had been booked with Brownell, so the schedule was the schedule. My vessel had sailed in the day before, but was on the southern end of the harbor, on a Brownell mooring that was quite far away from the landing. The seas were huge, the wind howling. Before heading out I went to the harbormaster, asking him to keep an eye on me, and the chance for capsize. I rowed across the harbor, from trough to wave top where my progress would be stopped dead by the force of the wind. A long time passed as I struggled with the oars, and did make slow progress. As I approached my vessel I looked at the huge swells, realizing that getting there was the first problem, getting aboard was another challenge. The seas were huge, and navigating from the dinghy to the sailboat took careful timing. I made it, with great relief. Cold and tired I went below and got a pot of coffee going as I assessed the situation. After warming up, I slipped the mooring line, and bolted backwards as the wind grabbed the hull. Fortunately, a friend waited on the dock, and was there to grab my lines as I approached. Later Brownell showed up, and the boat was hauled with no more incident.
It was also the last time that I hauled in Mattapoisett.
Halfmast over Shipyard Park for a longtime friend of the town