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The Mount officially welcomes spring

Shakedown Cruise goes off under sunny skies

ALTON SELECTMAN Peter Bolster (center) was among those who took part in the Shakedown Cruise on Monday aboard the Mount Washington. Matthew Fassett - Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
May 04, 2011
LAKE WINNIPESAUKEE — As part of its preparation for the 2011 season, the M/S Mt. Washington held its annual "Shakedown Cruise" on Monday, May 2.

Members of the media, along with dignitaries from the neighboring towns and New Hampshire Ambassadors, who volunteer at the different state offices throughout the Granite State, were invited on a three-hour tour around Lake Winnipesaukee that departed from Center Harbor.

It couldn't have been a more beautiful day for a cruise around the lake.

Captain Jim Morash, who is also the co-owner of the historic boat, which was constructed in 1888, talked about it being a great day for America, with the recent dismissal of Osama Bin Laden.

Governor John Lynch had planned to attend the cruise, but he was unable to step aboard due to security meetings that were scheduled after Bin Laden's death.

A representative for Senator Jeanne Shaheen read a letter to the crowd on board showing support for the Mt. Washington.

As part of the cruise, the New Hampshire Department of Safety and Marine and Fire Divisions inspected the vessel.

David Barrett, the Director of Safety, presented Morash with stickers and other operating licenses.

Barrett wasn't shy about giving the ship worthy praise.

"It's a masterpiece," Barrett said.

Morash was also presented with the certificate for place of assembly by the New Hampshire Fire Marshal's office.

Morash talked about the engines that were installed prior to last season and their success.

The engines are much more fuel-efficient and have really improved the service on the Mt. Washington.

Morash said that during the off-season, a new white coat of paint was put on the historic vessel.

He was questioned about how the boat was taken out of the water. Morash said that a marine railway in Center Harbor was used to lift the boat, and a new coat of paint was added.

Morash also talked about the Captain's Lounge, which will be dedicated to the historic captains that have guided the ship since its construction in 1888.

The ship made one stop at Weirs Beach during the shakedown cruise and then cruised out into the broads before returning back to Center Harbor.

Morash feels confident that the ship will be here for years to come.

"The Mt. Washington will be here in 2088," Morash said. "We may not be here, but she will."

The ship is 230 feet in length, offers four levels, three dance floors and a capacity of 1,250 passengers.

The Mt. Washington will kick off the 2011 season with a Mother's Day Champagne Brunch and Cruise on Sunday, May 8.

The ship will leaving Weirs Beach at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m..

The Mt. Washington will be offering trips from Alton beginning on May 21, departing at 11:15 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m.

For more information on the daytime cruise schedule, other special events and the Dinner Dance Cruises, visit www.cruisenh.com.

Tim Croes can be reached at tcroes@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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