It occurred to me as I was enjoying another Newport summer tradition, a harbor cruise, that we perhaps take Narragansett Bay a bit for granted. While I’m most respectful of this impressively large body of water (and the ongoing improvements in its state of cleanliness and environmental priorities) I had forgotten the facts that distinguish it…so just in case you had also, here’s a quick “Did you know?” Or perhaps for many of us, “Do you remember?”
Narragansett Bay forms the largest estuary in New England (an estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea).
- The Bay is twenty-five miles long and ten miles wide. It covers 10 percent of Rhode Island.
- Surface area is one-hundred and forty-seven square miles.
- The average depth is twenty-six feet; the deepest part is one-hundred and eighty-four feet in East Passage off Castle Hill.
- This aquatic playground also boasts an expansive natural harbor and includes thirty islands; Aquidneck, which is home to Newport, is the largest.
The homes that border these shores are fortunate indeed! Starting with “Beacon Rock”, an iconic McKim, Mead & White creation both imposing and dramatic.
(featured image above).
“Bonniecrest”, one of John Russell Pope’s two Newport masterpieces.
“Beechbound”, complete with turrets and crenelations.
On a promontory overlooking the channel and Mackerel Cove, “Horse’s Head” is of such a scale you can see it clearly from Castle Hill (it’s other side shows the drama of the cupola wing).
Arthur Curtiss James’ former boathouse, “Aloha Landing,” magnificently restored by the current owners.
A Conanicut Island estate that seemingly “grew like topsy.”
Country French charm on Mackerel Cove.
Majestic” Harbour Court”, once the private abode of the Brown family and now the New York Yacht Club’s Newport outpost.
“Halidon House”, an always welcome site with it’s cheery yellow countenance.
And last but certainly not least, the Rose Island lighthouse, where you can actually spend the night and play lighthouse keeper.
Hope you enjoyed a few outings this summer on our magnificent Bay.