"Downtown Adventures" | Text and Photos by Vicki Totten

Skipper in his new role as ferocious Guard Cat.

A lot can happen in a year. In 2015, when I started writing "Boating Adventures" for the WWN, my husband and I were living part-time on our sailboat in the Rockport Harbor. Two years ago, the blog shifted after we rescued a kitten we named Skipper and it became "Boating Adventures with Skipper the Boat Cat."

Then in 2017, a few months before the hurricane, we bought a house downtown. This marked the end of our sleeping on the boat. And now that we have had the house for a year, Skipper apparently has decided that he no longer is a boat cat, and lately has resisted our efforts to bring him on the boat with us. So, in recognition of these changes over the last year, "Boating Adventures" is now becoming "Downtown Adventures."

If Skipper has his way, Downtown Adventures will still involve him. And my husband will see to it that there will be more boating adventures. But living downtown gives us a daily smorgasbord of happenings to choose from. And there are definite advantages to living downtown. For one thing, you don't have to worry about a new neighbor moving in with their dog that barks all night long. You may have to worry about a new bar coming in that plays music all night long - but so far, that's not what happens at night on the streets of downtown Rockport. For the most part, it becomes a ghost town. There are a few restaurants and a new pub at the other end of downtown, but other than that, everyone else goes home at night. But sometimes, even their "going home at night" can provide us with entertainment.

One such "going home" event occurred a few weeks ago. A few friends had stopped by after dinner, which is something we have discovered is very easy for friends to do when your house is on their route home. We were sitting on our porch when we suddenly heard this extremely loud engine noise coming down Water Street headed toward the harbor. It took a while before we could actually make out what it was, since it was pitch black out that night and a stand of Oleander bushes was keeping us from seeing the noise maker until it got right in front of our house. Then suddenly, emerging from behind the Oleanders at 11:00 p.m. at night was a man on his riding lawn mower driving in the middle of Water Street with no lights on, a baseball cap on his head, and a very focused look on his face. The story we made up was that he had been to the new pub down the road, had had a few too many to drink, and figured this was a safer way to drive himself home.

Another incident occurred one morning as we were having our coffee on the porch and noticed a flat barge headed out of the harbor. It was slowing down just as it got to the edge of the harbor when we suddenly heard this loud splash. Just about the time I joked to my husband that it was probably a dead body they were throwing overboard, we looked up to see what appeared to be a person falling into the water. This caused us to quickly head over to the long fishing pier to take a closer look. Well, it seems that the day before, someone was attempting to sail in without their motor on and the wind slammed their small boat into the rocks. The sailor apparently then left his boat and walked over to the harbor to retrieve his fishing boat, thinking it would be able to pull his boat off the rocks. Instead, the fishing boat then soon joined the sailboat, half submerged. Hence, the splash in the water was indeed a body, although instead of it being a dead body it was one of the people who were now attempting to salvage the wrecked vessels.
The seemingly never ending dredging in and near the harbor area downtown.

There are sure to be new tales to be told and happenings to share as downtown comes back alive after the hurricane.  Already, the Second Saturday events along with the Rockport Center for the Arts new Art Market, are transforming downtown, with cars lining the streets and walkers everywhere.  So, please stay tuned - and don't forget to visit downtown.

People are everywhere downtown on Second Saturdays

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