Sunday afternoon my wife Victoria, our son Billy, 7, and I took a delightful tour through downtown Providence on the Proud Mary, the oldest vessel in the fleet of the Providence River Boat Company. Embarking at the Hot Club, we rode upriver to Waterplace Park and back downriver to the Hurricane Barrier, but no farther after Capt. Tom McGinn declared that the water’s roughness argued against taking the last leg of the tour. Peering through the two open gates of the barrier, it certainly looked like the wind was whipping the waves into a sauciness sufficient to induce seasickness if not capsizement.
The new Providence waterfront, designed by the late Bill Warner, loves to mug for the camera, and I did not forget mine. The ones below will help me long remember my boy’s lovely Father’s Day gift. Billy is familiar with the Proud Mary, since we frequently book passage on WaterFire evenings. I’ve been doing this for eons, since the boat service was founded in 1992 – two years before the new waterfront was finished – by Capt. Joe Dempsey, whom I still bump into now and then.
On top I have placed a photograph by Christopher Garrison from the boat company website. The shot, in which Capt. McGinn seems to be pointing to my favorite section of the embankment, gives a fabulous sense of the riverfront on a glorious sunny day.