Aboard the Green Turtle: Boston’s Floating B&B

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The Green Turtle is a unique B&B in Boston. Photo by Frank Hosek
The Green Turtle is a unique floating B&B in Boston. Photo by Frank Hosek

As I settled onto a cushioned wicker sofa, with a mug of dark, French-roast coffee and marveled at the morning stillness, a gull skimmed the water silently. I watched as the sun broke the morning horizon, washing the Boston skyline in vibrant hues of yellow, copper and harvest gold.

A hearty “hello” broke into my peaceful reflection as Jon Dolence requested permission to come aboard the Green Turtle, a unique floating bed and breakfast in Boston Harbor. Proffering a large platter of egg/mushroom/feta cheese omelet casserole, home fries, kielbasa sausage, melon and sweet breads for two, he asked how I had slept.

“Like the captain of my destiny,” I replied.

“A night on the water will do that,” he chuckled as he bounded off the boat onto the pier to deliver another breakfast.

The Green Turtle

Over a decade ago, Jon and his wife Karen  started up The Green Turtle, a floating bed and breakfast in Boston Harbor consisting of two houseboat suites and two yachts, one of which was to be our retreat for 3 nights.

Their floating home-away-from-home provides most of the amenities offered by landlocked B&B’s, including TV, DVR, stereo, soap, towels, showers and a continental breakfast. What the others don’t have that the Green Turtle provides is the calming sway of the ocean, the salty air and a spectacular view across the bay of the Boston skyline. While the largest metropolis in New England lies just beyond the dock, the din of the city barely registers on the 45-foot yacht.

Upon landing at the marina, Jon, a tanned, fit gentleman that belies his nearly 70 years, effortlessly grabbed our suitcases, placing them into a red canvas wheel barrow and headed down the pier with us trotting close behind.

Boston Skyline. Photo by Frank Hosek
Boston Skyline. Photo by Frank Hosek

Our vessel consisted of two queen staterooms, fore and aft, each equipped with a bath. Amid ships is the apartment-sized galley (kitchen) and salon (living room). After explaining some of the nuances of the floating hotel room, such as the electrical “head” (that’s a toilet to you landlubbers), the European-style shower/tub combination (there were a certain amount of acrobatics involved) and where the fully-stocked fridge and a basket of fresh snack goodies waited, Jon pointed out some of the local sites and nearby conveniences and bid us adieu.

The location was incredibly convenient. The marina is located just steps away from Charlestown Navy Yard and the Boston Harborwalk, a public walkway that follows the edge of piers, wharves, beaches and shoreline around Boston Harbor.

Parking is available, but we ditched the rental. The marina is easily accessed by the very efficient water-taxi service from Logan International. Besides providing an easy and enjoyable conveyance, the water-taxi has the added benefit of avoiding the nightmarish traffic of Bean-Town.

The first foray off of “our” yacht took us to the Charlestown Navy Yard. Maintained by the National Park Service, the yard is home to the historic USS Constitution. Wrapped in a web of scaffolding as it sits in dry-dock while undergoing a major restoration, she is still open to the public.

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