The Connecticut River spans 410 miles from the border of Canada to Long Island Sound. Inside the Connecticut River Museum, visitors can span that space through exhibits that tell the stories of the river and the people who have lived along it. Aerial photographs and a large mural depict the evolution of the river communities through time, and the “On the Great River” exhibit showcases the early history of the river through artifacts and works of art. A reproduction of David Bushnell’s “Turtle” allows visitors to get up close to the submarine, turn the propeller, and pump the ballast intake. A huge mural, cannonballs, and ship fragments recall the night in April, 1814 when British forces traveled upriver and burned the privateer fleet in Essex. The river played a key role in the development of towns and cities in New England, providing everything as transportation routes to waterpower.
Along with long term and special exhibits, the Museum offers educational programs for adults and children as well as seasonal boat cruises up the River. Cruises travel along the lower river valley, labeled one of America’s last great places by the Nature Conservancy.
The US Coast Guard–licensed captains with Peconic Water Sports tow customers through the water using all of the 400 horses inside their Malibu Wakeboats' Indmar engines. Before launching from the dock in Greenport Harbor, they wield their coaching experience to train each participant in the techniques necessary to ride their selection of Liquid Force wakeboards, Connelly Marine water skis, tubes, and kneeboards. These captain-coach hybrids emphasize safety as much as technique, and each is annually certified in CPR and First Aid. Captains also conduct seasonal fishing charters through the bay or open sea, as well as sightseeing cruises along Eastern Long Island.
On board the yacht Mystique, the crew of Lady Katharine Cruises organizes themed brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises that give occasions a nautical boost. Summer lobster bakes move aside for fall foliage cruises along the Connecticut River, and entertainment cruises are held throughout the year with themes including jazz, Big Band, oldies, and salsa. In addition to public voyages, the vessel can be chartered for weddings and private cocktail parties.