Cruising on the Sophie C

31 Aug 2016 1:49 PM | Kelly Bryer (Administrator)

Moe Demers – Comfort Inn Airport Class of 2011, and Elaine Demers – Comfort Inn Concord Class of 2011, recently used their GSA PERK for the Mount Washington Cruises, and sent along a write up and some photos…

For those of you who have sailed on the M/S Mt. Washington, Elaine and I encourage you to try a different experience. We suggest you sail on the 72 foot long M/V Sophie C, the U.S. Mail Boat that delivers mail to islands on the big lake twice a day. It is the oldest floating post office in the United States. You can even send a post card with its post mark. “Smitty”, her captain, gives a running commentary on the sights and lore of the lake between stops. At some stops, it is a quick exchange of mail sacks. At others, they pick up and deliver mail to mail boxes on the dock or in small cabins on the dock that have mail boxes inside. Oftentimes, especially when delivering to summer camps such as the Lawrence, MA and Boston, MA YMCA camps, they have children waiting to come aboard and purchase ice cream treats from the Good

Humor ice cream freezer. At one particular stop, after eating their ice cream treats, the children lined up to climb atop a dock piling and take a dare devil plunge into the lake. It’s all part of the summer experience on the big lake.

The vessel has seating for what I estimate to be about 60 passengers in an enclosed lower deck and an open air upper deck. On this particular day, it was windy and Elaine and I chose to ride on the lower deck. The views were just as spectacular as they were topside. The boat will run until Sept. 10th before closing down for the season. By that time, the summer youth camps, their biggest customers, will have closed down for the season.

The M/V Doris E, similar in size to the mail boat offers excursions on the lake as well. There are no port calls. It sails around the Weirs Beach area and Meredith Bay. Both vessels are small enough that they can go where The Mount cannot, giving a better insight into life on the lake. As an interesting side note, there are islands on the lake that will forever be undeveloped thanks to conservation easements, thus giving future generations a glimpse at what the lake once was before trees were cut and buildings went up.

That’s it. I hope you get to do it yourself some day.

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