Thursday, February 27, 2014

Seal Watching in March! Watch video

Winter is the time for seal watching if you come to the Mystic area. Book your trip with Project Oceanolgy. A reporter filmed our excursion, and you can click on it within the following excerpt of my book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail, which includes where to warm up afterwards:

Unlike sea lions, seals are shaped like blobs and don’t do fancy tricks. The big excitement for me, much bigger than watching lazy seals take up rock space, was the reporter who came along with her video camera. While the other passengers were busy making the most of the voyage, either by recording the number of seals we saw along with the location, time and temperature; giggling with their binoculars on an all-girl birthday party; or simply sitting around fighting sea sickness; I kept busy trying to catch the reporter’s eye so she’d feature me in her news clip. I figured you never know—some director might see it and say, “Hey, watch that middle-aged woman study those lazy seals—she’d make a great leading lady in our next epic seagoing movie for baby boomers!”

Despite my attention-getting efforts, the reporter filmed all around me to catch the do-nothing seals and the giggling birthday party girls. But Jim made it into the published news clip—I caught a glimpse of him with his binoculars standing behind the party of girls.[i] (Note to self: next time I’m in public, carry a prop such as binoculars, wear a weird, eye-catching hat, or station myself next to kids.)

Returning back to Mystic after our seal watch, we dried off in front of the large, stone fireplace in the lower level pub area of the Captain Daniel Packer Inne—the very place the National Geographic website said we would feel like a character in Moby Dick. The Inne was built more than 250 years ago in 1758 by Captain Daniel Packer who operated a ferry across Mystic River. Packer liked to entertain his guests, mostly travelers between New York and Boston, with tales of his high sea adventures.[ii]

Although there were some similarities in the maritime d├ęcor of the Captain Daniel Packer Inne and the Spouter-Inn of Moby Dick (minus the clubs and spears “tufted with knots of human hair”), the Packer Inne was much more comfortable. The Spouter-Inn, for example, didn’t have their fire going when sailor Ishmael entered. Herman Melville wrote: “It was cold as Iceland—no fire at all—the landlord said he couldn't afford it...We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.”

Unlike Ishmael, we didn’t meet any shrunken head dealers or whalers with beards “stiff with icicles,” but we did enjoy squeezing next to a female prison guard at a tiny table beside the fireplace.  Without a ship to sail, she didn’t try to persuade us to serve as crew on some grueling voyage, but she did regale us with fun prison escape stories—like the time a woman dressed in an orange prison outfit asked a convenience store owner for change to make a phone call—which ultimately led to her recapture.


[i] (King, Project Oceanology Seal Cruise (with Video), 2011)

Monday, February 17, 2014

History of Mystic, Connecticut--Clipper Ship Days

Mystic Seafarer's Trail: History of Mystic, Connecticut--Clipper Ship Days: Photo caption:  The final resting place of Captain Charles Sisson in Lower Mystic Cemetery, Conn. His quest for gold during the California...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday, December 15, 2012

LOOK INSIDE the Mystic Seafarer's Trail

Adventure the Mystic Seafarer's Trail.  Click on "LOOK INSIDE" to read first few chapters. With the release of my new book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail, I have set up a new blog that will be updated with new Mystic adventures at:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mystic Seafarer's Trail Launch Party Today!

Meet the author, Lisa Saunders, and sailors featured in the book, Mystic Seafarer's Trail, at the launch party in Groton, Connecticut. The Mystic Seafarer’s Trail is a humorous and historical look at the haunts and homes of Mystic's noted seafarers--living and dead--and includes little known details about Amelia Earhart's wedding in Noank. To read the first few chapters, click on "LOOK INSIDE!"

Event details:
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 2 – 4 p.m.
Mystic Seafarer’s Trail Launch Party and Holiday Open House
Meet the seafarers featured in the book and see a certified copy of Amelia Earhart’s marriage license. Light refreshments and autographed copies available.
Where: Mystic River Acupuncture, 167 Broad Street, Groton, 06340 (on street parking)
More info, directions:, 860-448-6766.