Sailing Salem!

Things to do in Salem that aren’t the same things everyone does in Salem, part 1

There are certain must-see attractions for visitors to Salem. At least if you follow the conventional wisdom. People post their itineraries on social media — you can check this out… they all have pretty much the same list of things they want to do. And that’s cool, a lot of those things are pretty neat-o.

But say you want to do something a little different, or don’t, perish the thought, like the movie Hocus Pocus and need to see all its filming locations. There are, in fact, lots of other things one can do for entertainment, edification, etc. when visiting Salem. (Or living here, as the case may be).

Today’s recommendation is going for a sail or the schooner Fame. It’s a faithful replica of a hefty wooden sailing ship built in 1810, and you can go sail right out of Salem Harbor on it. Aside from the fact that a gentle sail is delightful, you’ll be (if you’re nerdy like me) fascinated by the old-fashioned ways of rigging and navigating. The crew will happily let you hoist up the sails if you wish to take the duty of their hands, and, once out of the more dangerous channel into the inner harbor, they’ll even let you steer the ship.

The whole affair is casual — you’re not lectured to. If you want to corner a mariner and bombard them with questions, they’ll be happy to oblige. If you want to buy a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink aboard and just admire the sights, that’s fine too. Walk about, talk to your fellow passengers, or keep to yourself. It’s all very flexible.

Whether you’re familiar with the local topography or have just been wandering about on land, it’s wonderful to get the very different perspective of Salem that comes from the sea — a view common to our fore-fellows.

Photo by: Michelle Callahan


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