12 August 2018 | Newport, Rhode Island
As we motored into Newport, RI, we focused on finding a mooring ball in Old Port Marina waters. The harbor master had us come up to a buoy for Tall Ship #9 which was empty for the three days we were staying! We were in the front row at the middle of downtown Newport along with all the mega yachts and tall sailing ships. We were dwarfed! So the weather is overcast and constantly threatening rain. But our My Radar app shows that we will dodge getting wet.... We quickly went and bought some souvenirs: dish towel, 2 books, Christmas ornament, nautical tie, etc. Had a great dinner ashore. Today we are off sightseeing: The Breakers, the Cliff Walk (3.5 miles), and other places. Particularly, in a book '1421' by Gavin Menzies, there is an 'enigmatic structure' in a city park in Newport that Gavin says was built as a lighthouse by the Chinese in 1421. There are a few other explanations, but what convinces me is that there is an identical structure in existence today in China. It has a second story window (opening) that looks out to sea, and could display light from a fire to guide ships at sea. Gavin's story says one of the Chinese treasure fleet left people there because of shipwrecks and no capacity to carry them further. With the promise to come back and pick them up in the next year, those left behind built this 'lighthouse' so that the rescue fleet could find them. What a romantic idea!