Our friend Roger invited Colin, Ren, Sue, me, and several of his other friends out on his 42 foot Duffy for a cruise up the river Wednesday 07/03 to see the Portsmouth 4th of July fireworks Wed eve. I had a late afternoon interview in Manchester, NH and wasn't sure how my drive back would be with, not only regular commuter traffic along 101 and 125 would be, but also traffic at the start of a major holiday weekend. But despite all of that, I made good time.
Colin and Ren picked us up at 7:00pm, and we were out on the boat and cast off by 7:30pm. It was an unexpected bright and sunny evening sky as it had rained the last few days and the prediction was 30% for tonight. But no rain at all. We had a nice cruise down the Piscataqua River into Portsmouth. The bridge that has been being rebuilt for the last year is about finished. It was interesting seeing all of the work barges clustered around both of the main lift sections.
With Colin handling the ropes, Roger nudged the boat up against the outside section of one of the visitor docks at Prescott Park. The park was full of people attending a concert, but many of the boat docks were surprisingly open. Later that evening after the fireworks started at about 9:15pm, we all commented that there was no where near the number of boats on the river to watch the fireworks than there had been in the past. It could be because of the predicted bad weather. But also maybe the economy in general. We're just not seeing the boat traffic we have in the past, and this is going on 2 or 3 years of this decline.
I remember commenting to Sue at one point on the cruise back up river that the slight river fog that we saw must have also been what I thought was smoke from the fireworks. When we were at the docks with the fireworks going off a half mile away at the South Mill Pond, the smoke had drifted over us and across the river, enveloping the buildings along the shore of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The bright yellowish flood lights from the yard cast an eerie glow across the dark river water, and I just figured that was all smoke. But maybe that had been a mix of fog as well.
We got back to Roger's mooring a little after 11:00pm and were home just before midnight. I was out like a light.