October 19, 2013 along Portsmouth, Virginia's riverfront.

"One of the Greatest Gathering of Schooners in the World" featuring participating schooners from the 24th Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

There's a Boat-load of Activities Planned for the 2010 Schooner Days in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia

There's a lot going on this weekend, starting with the arrival of the schooners throughout Friday. (The LYNX, which as many of you know, was used to train cast and crew for Pirates of the Caribbean, is at the High Street Landing if you're looking for it!) There are schooners moored everyone along both landings. Take a walk around Olde Towne and check them out, then head for one of the 18 restaurants offering Schooner Fare all weekend long.

Colonial Seaport foundation will be exhibiting and demonstrating the use of historic shipwright tools and usages.
 On Saturday morning, beginning at 9 a.m., there will be all kinds of seafaring activities going on down at High Street Landing and North Landing. Schooners will be moored at both landings, and some are open for tours. The Naval Shipyard Museum will have special children's activities from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the Navy and the Coast Guard will also be represented, which is just as well since we are going to be invaded by PIRATES right there at the landing! Also there for visitors to enjoy:  Blacksmith works, historic shipwright exhibits and demonstrations provided by the Colonial Seaport Foundation and other maritime related crafts practiced by historic re-en actors, and teams of boat builders from S.A.I.L. will be creating watercraft right there before your eyes! (They will launch the skiffs upon completion on Sunday afternoon.) The Naval Shipyard Museum outdoor activities will end at 1 p.m., but the Museum will still be open until 5 p.m. along with the other activities at the landing.

Learn to build a wooden skiff at the boat building tent located at the High Street Landing on Olde Towne's waterfront.
 Also on Saturday, head up to North Landing to visit the Hoffler Creek exhibit and the Elizabeth River Barge, with special activities for children on board. Col. Crawford will be giving free tours of Olde Towne/Downtown starting at 2:30 and 8 p.m. from the Renaissance Hotel entrance. And many of the merchants on High Street will be participating in a "Sail-a-Thon" sale or give-away.

Privateer "Lynx" docked at Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia's High Street Landing for Schooner Days. Photo by Mike Goodwin.
 On Sunday, boat building will continue at High Street, and the LYNX will be offering tours during the morning for a $5 donation. You can take a cruise on the SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. from the dock at Ocean Marine ($16/person--check www.spiritofindependence.net for more info). The LYNX will also take off on a river cruise Sunday afternoon (see www.privateerlynx.org for details and cost), or you can head down to the Commodore for the Natchel Blues Network's "International Blues Challenge.

We've ordered sunshine all week-end long, so get out and about and aboard Schooner Days. Whatever you do, spread the word, and don't miss the boats. See you there!

"The Age of Sail" at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum During Schooner Days

From the deck of the Lightship "Portsmouth."

Saturday, October 16, 2010, 10am – 5pm
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum presents “The Age of Sail” on Saturday, October 16th, 2010 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Learn about the history of ships and the impact they played on our local history. This event takes place during the heart of Schooner Days, a three-day celebration offering numerous maritime related activities along High Street Landing, just in front of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. During Schooner Days, Portsmouth’s waterfront will be lined with schooners from around the world.

 The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, corner of High and Water Streets
Lightship Portsmouth Museum, London Slip (foot of London Street and Water Street)

Call the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum at (757) 393-8591. For more information regarding Schooner Days, please visit www.portsnavalmuseums.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

Schooners Begin to Arrive Pre-dawn at Portsmouth, Virginia's waterfront for Schooner Days

Schooner "Pride of Baltimore II arrives at Portsmouth, Virginia's waterfront. Photo by Joe Elder.
 The "Pride of Baltimore II" followed by the "Lynx" and the "Woodwind" were pre-dawn arrivals at Portsmouth, Virginia's waterfront arriving around 5:30 A.M.. Favorable winds on the Chesapeake Bay produced a fast-paced race, but as of this posting, we have not received official race results. Included below are a few pictures taken as these schooners arrived. More to come. See you at Schooner Days!

Schooner "Woodwind" from Annapolis, Maryland arrives with the lights from the City of Norfolk in the background. Photo by Joe Elder.
"Pride of Baltimore II" moored along the Portsmouth, Virginia seawall. Photo by Joe Elder.
The mast of the "Pride of Baltimore II" against an early morning sky. Photo by Joe Elder
Stern shot of the privateer "Lynx" moored at Portsmouth, Virginia's seawall for Schooner Days. Photo by Joe Elder.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Visit the "Mystic Whaler and the "Sultana" During Schooner Days

The "Mystic Whaler" from Providence, Rhode Island
The Mystic Whaler is a reproduction of a late 19th century coastal cargo schooner that was designed for the passenger trade by Chubb Crockett of Camden, Maine.  She was built in 1967 in Tarpon Springs, Florida and was rebuilt in 1993 in Providence, Rhode Island.

The schooner meets or exceeds all Coast Guard standards for safety with an auxiliary diesel engine and generator and a full array of navigational equipment.

    * Weight: 107 tons
    * Length overall: 83 feet.  Sparred length: 110 feet
    * Draft: 7 ½ feet.  With centerboard down: 13 feet
    * Sail area: 3,000 square feet
    * Rig: schooner
    * Hull: steel
    * Decks: Clear, vertical grain Douglas Fir
    * Beam: 25 feet
    * Power: Detroit Diesel 6-71, 175 horsepower. Transmission: Twin Disc 508
    * Generator: Northern Lights, 30 kilowatt
    * Passenger capacity: 65 day, 34 overnight
    * Water capacity: 900 gallons
    * Fuel capacity: 850 gallons

The Schooner "Sultana" from Chestertown, Maryland.
The Schooner Sultana is a replica of a Boston-built merchant vessel that served for four years as the smallest schooner ever in the British Royal Navy. Using the British Admiralty’s meticulous documentation of the original Sultana, she has been recreated with outstanding detail and offers all who sail aboard her a terrific glimpse of 18th century seafaring life. Launched in 2001, and based in the historic port of Chestertown, Maryland, Sultana now sails as the “Schoolship of the Chesapeake,” providing unique educational programs for more than 5,000 students each year.

Rig: Topsail Schooner
Homeport: Chestertown, Maryland
Sparred Length: 97'
Length on Deck: 51' 3"
Draft: 8
Beam: 16'  8"
Rig Height: 70'
Gross Tonnage: 43 GRT
Builder: John Swain Swain Boatbuilders, LLC

Schooner Days: Set sail - Captain Jack style

The tall ship "Lynx" as she enters the Baltimore harbor. Photo by Allen B. Graves
By Carrie White
The boat that served as training grounds for Capt. Jack Sparrow and his crew is coming to Portsmouth.
The 122-foot square-topsail schooner Lynx hosted cast members from "Pirates of the Caribbean" for training before the movie. The Lynx and about 40 other tall ships will sail into Portsmouth as they conclude the 21st annual 127-nautical-mile Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Baltimore.
The first race was in 1990, several years after Norfolk's Capt. Lane Briggs and his Tugantine Norfolk Rebel, the world's only schooner-rigged tugboat, challenged the 1812-era topsail-schooner replica Pride of Baltimore II to a race from Baltimore to Norfolk.

Capt. Lane Briggs Tugantine Norfolk Rebel, the world's only schooner-rigged tugboat.
 "The winner got a case of beer," laughed Jamie Trost, captain of the Lynx and co-captain of the Pride of Baltimore II.
The race moved from Norfolk to Portsmouth about seven years ago. Several days of festivities precede the race's start today in Baltimore. It will end anywhere from 11 to 44 hours later with Portsmouth's Schooner Days festival. (The race officially ends at 10 Saturday morning off Hampton's Thimble Shoal.)
Proceeds from the event go to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Portsmouth will celebrate with bands, exhibits, demonstrations and historical tours.
The Lynx was built in 2001 to be a traveling, living museum. The original Lynx sailed one mission during the War of 1812 before it was captured at anchor while waiting to begin its second. It was a privateer, a term that came from the U.S. government's endorsement of privately owned boats to take booty from foreign ships.

Color engraving of the Privateer "Lynx", circa 1813.
 Today the wooden "tops'l schooner" is crafted from Douglas fir, Southern pine and various tropical hardwoods. The cast of "Pirates" spent about a week aboard the Lynx to learn the ropes, Trost said.
On Sunday, the Lynx and the Pride of Baltimore II will host an "adventure sail," with room for about 40 people aboard each ship.

The Lynx won't battle Jack Sparrow's Black Pearl, but we wondered how they would match up.
The Lynx is a two-masted, square-topsail schooner. It is 78 feet long on deck, 72 feet on the water line and 122 feet wide over the spars, and it has a draft of just under 9 feet.
The Black Pearl doesn't have specific dimensions - the original was basically a steel barge fashioned to look like a three-masted boat. For the next three "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies, a ship was built on the hull of another ship.

The"Black Pearl" created for Disney's film "Pirates of the Caribbean"
The Lynx can be sailed with nine crew members, although during its heyday it would have carried 60 to 70 crew members "to work the guns, to board enemy ships and just because of attrition," Trost said. Some crew members likely would have died.
The Black Pearl would need about "twice the size of our crew - 120, maybe, although it's hard to say," Trost guessed of the larger vessel.
The Lynx White, rigged parallel to the ship fore and aft for speed and maneuverability.
The Black Pearl Black, rigged perpendicular to the body or "square-rigged": better for "long journeys on the open ocean," Trost said.
The Black Pearl is called "nigh uncatchable," but Trost was confident in the Lynx's ability to outrun and outmaneuver the pirate ship.
The Lynx Black, deadrise hull that shoots straight up (instead of jutting out at almost a 90-degree angle) and was built for speed.
The Black Pearl The jutting "full-bilged" hull, also black, was designed for storing treasure and booty and would be an extreme handicap in a race with the Lynx.
The Lynx 6-pound carronades, or smooth-bore, cast-iron cannons.
The Black Pearl 12-pound cannons. "They've got more guns and people, so we'd just run away," Trost said.
Other differences
The Lynx "We can't flip upside down and go into the other realm" like the Black Pearl did in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Trost said. But then, the Lynx doesn't spend much time in the world of the dead.
The Black Pearl Leaky
The Lynx Not
Time in Davy Jones' locker
The Black Pearl Yes
The Lynx No
Captains' (moral) compass:
The Lynx Trost will not barter anyone's soul to captain the boat or win the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.
The Black Pearl Sparrow bartered his soul to captain the Pearl.

Carrie White, caramine@aol.com

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tall Ships, "Pride II" and "Lynx," Give Baltimore a Blast!

Sailing into Inner Harbor

 Pride of Baltimore II enters the city's Inner Harbor in the company of the Privateer Lynx. Pride II and Lynx sailed into the Inner Harbor at about 12:30 p.m. before going to dock in Fells Point and Canton. 

Watch this video taken during their arrival by clicking on the link below!

Pride of Baltimore II viewed from the deck of the USS Constellation as she enters Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Photo By Allen B. Graves
The Tall Ship Lynx arrives at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Photo by Allen B. Graves

Privateer Lynx and Pride of Baltimore II Arrive in the Chesapeake Bay

11 October, 2010
Day Five: Mid-coast Maine to Baltimore
1200 Pos. 39° 22.8' N, 076° 03.4' W
79 NM Run since 1200 10 October.
Barometer at 1017Mb and steady
Flat Calm
Anchored at Mouth of Sassafras River off Betterton, Maryland.

'Lynx' position at the time of posting this update.
 A gorgeous and breathless Chesapeake Bay day for Lynx to get some details taken care of before making her second ever arrival to Baltimore tomorrow. And hot – the crew were in shorts for the first time since leaving Chicago six weeks ago! Arriving here in the midnight dark last night, we’ve been swinging lazily with the change of tides ever since. This morning we dragged the carronades out of the bilge and re-rigged them, and tinkered around with rigging work all through the day.

At the moment, we are gearing up to make an arrival into Baltimore tomorrow at roughly noon, in company with Pride of Baltimore II. Together we will salute Ft. McHenry, then carry on past Fells Point – where the original Lynx and Chasseur were built – to the Inner Harbor before securing at our respective docks. Given the amount of time the two vessels have spent together in the last four months, it seems only fitting that we should arrive together in the place we are historically indebted to.

Currently, Pride II is anchored in the Maggothy River, South of Baltimore. We saw her ghosting along off the Jersey Coast yesterday morning, and having waited for the breeze until evening, she sailed up the Delaware Bay last night, then motored past our anchorage just before dawn today. Interesting to see them again underway after over a week and 400nm of parting company.

And tomorrow, we will get to show both the vessels off together once again. But making our rendezvous will mean an early start, so it’s an early night as well.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the nearly to Baltimore Crew of Lynx.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Privateer LYNX reaches the Chesapeake Bay- Destination Fell's Point Baltimore, Maryland

Privateer LYNX en-route to Fells Point Baltimore, Maryland.

10 October, 2010
Day Four: Mid-coast Maine to Baltimore
1200 Pos. 38° 49.1' N, 075° 01.6' W
202 NM Run since 1200 9 October.
Barometer at 1017Mb and steady
Breeze at Force 2, ENE
Seas: < 1'.
Motoring at 1800 RPM, Pitch 2, with Fores'l and Stays'l set in hopes of the forecast Southwesterlies.

Lynx has made it to the Delaware before the Southwesterlies did. In rolling conditions across from Montauk Point to Cape May, we were anxious as to whether we'd encounter another violent onset of wind that could stop us in our tracks or force us to divert. But that weather hasn't arrived yet, and we are inside the relative protection of the Delaware Bay. Some hard pushing, but worth it to make the weather window that was available to us. By this evening, Lynx will be into the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and on her way to three weeks in the Chesapeake Bay, the very place her ancestors were designed and built and sailed from with great success back in 1812.

The C&D Canal essentially makes one big, connected bay out the Chesapeake and Delaware. But as we motor up the Delaware, the contrast between these two mid-Atlantic Bays is striking. Delaware is wide open and has only one major tributary, making it a little light on coves and bays to thread up and anchor in. Unless your vessel only draws six feet.

The Chesapeake, on the other hand, has tributaries abounding. Lots of little rivers with twists and turns that reveal serene tidewater landscapes and protected anchorages. All these challenging waterways - and the need to navigate them - were part of the reason the Baltimore Schooner design evolved the way it did, allowing for quick turning and nimble navigation. After an action packed six months of voyaging from Florida to Chicago via Gaspe, the crew, and probably Lynx herself, is looking forward to enjoying some of those sedate anchorages.

We'll start with the Sassafras River, the first deep river we'll encounter after the canal. Before we can properly enter Baltimore, there are guns to hoist out of the bilge, stores to re-stow in anticipation of guests for the upcoming Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, and details in the rig to deal with so we're ready for the race. A nice, quite Eastern Shore anchorage is perfect for all of that.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the crew of Lynx

The Colonial Seaport Foundation Exhibiting Our Maritime Heritage at Schooner Days

Schooner Days is a celebration of the world’s largest gathering of schooners along the waterfront of Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia. It's held this year in conjunction with the 21st Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Baltimore to Portsmouth- racing to save the bay!
Schooners gathered in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia for Schooner Days
This three day celebration offers numerous maritime-related activities, many are free to the general public.

The Portsmouth waterfront from North Landing to beyond the High Street Landing will showcase  around 40 schooners from local and distant ports and is considered the largest gathering of schooners in the world.

2010 Schooner Days at Portsmouth, Virginia

Schooner Days was created to commemorate Portsmouth Virginia's rich maritime history with a variety of scheduled historical recreation events including demonstrations by shipwright artisans, maritime related musicians, costumed actors and even a hands-on building of skiffs! Other exhibits will be on hand to bring awareness for the need to preserve and improve the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay.

The Colonial Seaport Foundation will be on hand Saturday, October 16 at Portsmouth Virginia's Schooner Days.
The Colonial Seaport Foundation will be on hand Saturday, October 16 with a tented display to help educate the public about not only the Chesapeake Bay itself but the important role the bay and rivers in the area played in colonial America's maritime past. The CSF will have on display a selection of maritime sailing specialties including navigation, seamanship, shipbuilding, knot tying and more. Of course they were also more than happy to discuss the Luna project and collect donations and new foundation members. Of course they were also more than happy to discuss the Luna project and collect donations and new foundation members.

Maritime exhibits at the Colonial Seaport Foundation tent.
Members of the Colonial Seaport Foundation. Come and meet them during Schooner Days.
The Colonial Seaport Foundation (CSF) is a maritime educational organization. The purpose of the CSF is to preserve facets of America's colonial (17th-18th Century) maritime heritage by providing historically accurate information and education to the public including, but not limited to life in coastal and maritime communities, life aboard a vessel of the period, common trades within the maritime community, and coastal transportation along the Atlantic Seaboard. Working either alone or in cooperation with other organizations or local communities, the CSF intends to display and demonstrate the operation of vessel(s), equipment, tools, procedures, skills and lifestyles used or experienced within the maritime community. Depending on the type of event conducted or supported, historically authentic equipment, dress and speech will be used as much as possible.

The education will take place on shore and aboard a replica of an early 18th Century coastal trading sloop, which the CSF is currently rebuilding from a bare hull. A curriculum will be established to provide pierside education, classroom lectures and possibly underway field trips for students and interested citizens or organizations. Parts of the curriculum will cover selected topics from the Standards of Learning published by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Model of Colonial Seaport Foundation's 'LUNA'.
From a geographic perspective, the primary focus of the CSF's efforts will normally be within the Middle Atlantic States.

Members of the organization are volunteers who have self-funded their efforts to date. You can read more about the Colonial Seaport Foundation by visiting their website @ http://www.colonialseaport.org

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Build and Launch Your Own Skiff During Schooner Days

Schooner Days was created to commemorate Portsmouth Virginia's rich maritime history with a variety of scheduled historical recreation events including demonstrations by shipwright artisans, maritime related musicians, costumed actors and even a hands-on activities.  One of those events is the opportunity to build and launch your own boat. What better way to celebrate Portsmouth Virginia's maritime heritage than by building your own boat on the Elizabeth River.

Joe Filipowski demonstrates the use of a plane to a young boat builder.
 The S.A.I.L. (Straight Ahead In Life) Boat Building Weekend is a unique opportunity to build your own Bevin’s Skiff rowboat during the Schooner Days in just one weekend!  You will be guided through the process by an expert team of S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life wooden boat builders.
You will start on Saturday October 16th and complete your boat Sunday afternoon October 17th in time for a maiden voyage on the Elizabeth River. In addition to boat building, other fun activities such as model boat decorating will be on-hand for the children.

Build a wooden skiff at Schooner Days in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.
It all takes place in front of Skipjacks Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery on the riverfront at One High Street next to the High Street Landing in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.  Special thanks to W.F. Magann Corporation for sponsoring the outdoor tent for this event.
The event is limited to ten family/group teams.  Each team will build and take home a Bevin’s Skiff rowboat.  Building teams can be 2 to 6 people with at least one adult.

Here are the boat specifications:
Type: Bevin’s Skiff Rowboat
Length: 12.0 ft.
Width: 4.5 ft.
Weight : 120lbs
Capacity: 460lbs

Your boat features the following: very durable all-purpose rowboat design, room for fishing or camping gear, comfortably carries two adults and two children, oar locks for easy rowing and keel for straight tracking while rowing. Please preview the new S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life Community Boat Building Preview below for information about the upcoming event!

Interested in building your own boat?  Applications can be obtained by contacting Travis Jordan at 757.374.729 or can be mailed to you by contacting the S.A.I.L. staff.
The participation fee for each build team is $500 which includes: Complete boat package, Space to build your boat in the park over the weekend; Instructors on-hand to lead you through the construction process. Your package will include a complete kit of parts and supplies (except paint) to build the Bevin’s Skiff rowboat plus two oars.  (Loaner life jackets will be available for launch)
Sponsorships are available for qualifying families/groups; to apply, please write us a short letter explaining your request.
All you need to bring to the event is your team of family and friends prepared to have fun!

About S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life:
S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life is a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to building the lives of young men and women through Strength, Attitude, Intellect, and Love.
S.A.I.L.'s vision is to develop world-wide programs that empower youth to take hold of their destiny and find their purpose in life as they begin to chart and navigate their future.
S.A.I.L. takes young men and women through the process of boat-building and sailing, and uses it as an educational metaphor for building a successful life.  Participants further their educational development in areas of math, science, history, and English as they learn to build classic wooden sailing skiffs through experiential education. Participants simultaneously learn about self-development as they proceed through the stepwise progression model of the S.A.I.L. program which incorporates core life values found in Strength, Attitude, Intellect, and Love.  These values are strategically emphasized through each stage of the boat-building process and parallel the development found in building a successful life.  Participants also gain leadership and entrepreneurship skill development by building a product (boat), marketing and selling that product.
S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life was developed in 2007 by William Travis Jordan, Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology, Regent University, and is based upon research literature in the areas of psychology, child development, adventure therapy, and experiential education.
S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life currently develops 10 foot to 15 foot, wooden rowing/sailing skiffs designed by Joseph Filipowski. The skiffs are made from Marine-grade African “okoume” hardwood. Proceeds from the sale of the skiffs benefit the S.A.I.L. program, along with the youth who participate in building the boats and receive a percentage of the proceeds.
During the summer of 2008, S.A.I.L. worked with more than 50 youth in the Hampton Roads area through the sponsorship of Operation Blessing. The youth who participated built the “Psalty X”, developed by Joseph Filipowski, which was exhibited at the 4th Annual Virginia In-Water Boat and Sailfest in Norfolk, Virginia.
For more information, contact S.A.I.L. Straight Ahead In Life 110 Kristen Lane Suffolk, VA 22313  Tel. 757.374.7297  E-mail. sail.mk1230@gmail.com;  Their website is www.sailenterprises.org.

About Schooner Days
Schooner Days is a celebration of the world’s largest gathering of schooners along the waterfront of Olde Towne Portsmouth. It's held this year in conjunction with the 21st Annual Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race from Baltimore to Portsmouth- racing to save the bay!
Schooner Days was created in 2009 to commemorate Portsmouth, Virginia's rich maritime history with a variety of scheduled historical recreation events including demonstrations by shipwright artisans, maritime related musicians, costumed actors and even a hands-on building of a skiff!  Other exhibits will be on hand to bring awareness for the need to preserve and improve the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay.
For more information, go to www.schoonerdays.com

About the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race
The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR) was founded to promote public awareness of the Chesapeake Bay's maritime heritage and to encourage the preservation and improvement of the bays natural resources.
Proceeds of the race are donated to one or more charitable organizations involved in conservation of the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay.  To date, $137,624 has been donated to support children's education programs of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The race begins in Fells Point, in Baltimore, Maryland, and ends 127 nautical miles down the Chesapeake Bay in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Entry is open to all schooner-rigged vessels.
More than 40 schooners are participating in this year's 21st annual race.
For more information, go to www.schoonerrace.org

Privateer LYNX Underway- Destination Baltimore, Maryland and the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race

Privateer LYNX en-route to Baltimore, Maryland for the start of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race.

09 October, 2010
Day Three: Mid-Coast Maine to Baltimore, MD
1200 Pos. 41° 03.5' N, 071° 32.3' W - Due South of Block Island
56 NM Run since Weighing Anchor at 0530 off New Bedford.
Barometer at 1020Mb and falling slowly
Breeze at Force 3, NW
Seas: 2-4' swell out of the WNW.
Motorsailing under Fores'l and Stays'l at 1800 RPM, Pitch 2, 8-9 knots.

A strange week of weather and ship delays for Lynx ended on Wednesday when we departed Boothbay, ME ahead of a North Easterly Gale, and made it to Portland to snug in for 24 hours as the winds veered toward the South West - exactly the wrong direction - at nearly Gale strength, and then eventually moderated while becoming due West. Leaving at sunset on Thursday, 7 October we motorsailed to keep a healthy pace and reach the Cape Cod Canal on a fair tide.

Clearing the canal, we expected to motor into moderate conditions, based on the forecast for W to NW winds 10-15 knots. But in reality, just past New Bedford, we got it handed to us. The breeze was consistently over 25, gusting close to gale force, and worse yet, it was WSW, so dead on the nose. The seas quickly built to nearly 5' and stopped us cold. With no good harbor ahead, we turned back 12 miles to anchor in the famous whaling town of New Bedford at 1630.

Actual position of the Privateer LYNX.
After 11 hours of building, then moderating conditions, we weighed anchor just before dawn and are making all speed toward the lee of the Jersey Coast. Conditions are supposed to be mild and favorable for tonight, but then come contrary again mid-day tomorrow. With luck, we will be into the Delaware Bay and experiencing milder conditions by then. We are hoping for a landfall off North of Cape May, and then follow the coast into the Delaware. It is a bit of a gamble - and appropriately so as Atlantic City's Casinos will likely be our first sight of shore - because there are Southerlies to come later on Sunday. But with luck, we'll get there ahead of them and maybe even use them coming up the Delaware.

The Lynx Educational Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence. Visit their web site at http://www.privateerlynx.com/.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race- Racing to Save the Bay!

Schooners gather at the starting line near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Reprinted from the GCBSR web site. 

Schooner racing on the Chesapeake Bay is rooted in the trade rivalry between Baltimore, Maryland, at the northern end of the Bay, and Portsmouth/Norfolk, Virginia, at the southern end. The fastest sailing vessels delivered goods and people to their destinations and often garnered the best price for their cargo by beating slower schooners into port. Over the years, commercial schooner designs evolved for the bay's routes — taking into consideration shallow waters, local crops and regional needs, with speed being a primary concern to beat competitively loaded vessels into port. These schooners also played a critical role in our nation's early wars. While there are no cargo-hauling schooners now working the Bay, there are a considerable number of schooners still in use as cruising vessels and privately owned boats.

 Historic view of Victory Chimes underway with cargo below decks. 

 In 1988, when the City of Baltimore launched her flagship modeled on those earlier vessels, Captain Lane Briggs of the Tugantine Norfolk Rebel — the world's only sail-powered schooner-rigged tugboat — challenged the Pride of Baltimore II to a race from Baltimore to Norfolk, reviving an historic rivalry between schooners, captains and cities on the Bay. With the challenge accepted, the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race (GCBSR) was born.

Captain Lane Briggs with Tugantine Norfolk Rebel under construction.
In 1990, a weekend in October was set aside for what had become an annual event, and yacht clubs at the northern and southern ends of the race volunteered to support the schooners and crews in their efforts.

Over the 19 years of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race, there have been some incredible races with schooners going to the wire to win. Harsh weather conditions in some of the races have tested the mettle of the vessels, crews and captains. As many as 56 schooners have signed up for a single race, and more than 100 — with vessels from as far away as California - have enjoyed the fall race on the Bay. The 2007 race was the fastest race in this long series. With strong following winds, several schooners set new records for both elapsed and corrected time. The schooner Virginia set a new time to beat of 11 hours, 18 minutes and 53 seconds, beating the previous record of 12:57:51 set by Imagine...! in the 2005 GCBSR.

Schooner Virginia with Pride of Baltimore II trailing behind. Photo by Fred LeBlanc.
 With the growth of the event and the resulting focus on these vintage sailing craft, the organizers and sponsors elected soon after the start of the event to maximize the value of the race in very special ways. The race brings focus to the maritime traditions of schooners on the Chesapeake and brings attention to the environmental issues facing the Chesapeake. All net proceeds of the race are donated to support youth education efforts aimed at saving the bay. This is why the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race is proud to say that we are "Racing to Save the Bay!"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Schooner Lady Maryland: Visit Her at Schooner Days

The Schooner Lady Maryland sailing the Chesapeake Bay
The Lady Maryland is a replica of a Chesapeake Bay pungy schooner, a boat which sailed the Bay in the 1800's. The name "pungy" may originate from the place where some of the first pungies were built - the Pungoteague Creek on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Pungies, which were considered fast sailing vessels in the 1800s, were primarily used as workboats which carried perishable cargo such as oysters, watermelons, tomatoes, fish, peaches, and grain.

Lady Maryland was built by the Living Classrooms Foundation in 1985. The Lady Maryland is made out of wood, principally from the trees of Maryland, such as White Oak and Pine. All the wood used to build this ship was donated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. 

The Schooner Lady Maryland demonstrating to students how to pull on a line during Schooner Days in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia
Lady Maryland is pink and green because these are the traditional colors for pungy schooners. Some say pink was used because the oxides and pigments needed for pure white were not readily available in the early 1800's. Others say that when the builders poured the white hull paint into the same buckets they used for the red bottom paint, the result was "pungy pink".

The decorative trailboard of the Lady Maryland  moored at the High Street Landing, Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.
Today, the Lady Maryland sails as part of the Living Classrooms Foundation's educational fleet, providing hands-on, multidisciplinary educational programs for students of all ages.

Vital Statistics:

 LENGTH:           104 feet overall
BEAM:     22 ft.
HEIGHT:     85 feet with topmast
DRAFT:     7 feet
SAIL AREA:     2,994 square feet
SAILS:     Jib, Foresail, Mainsail, Topsail
BERTHS:     20
WEIGHT:     82 tons
BALLAST:     18 tons
POWER:     Two 85 horsepower Cummins diesel engines

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sailing With the Privateer LYNX. Destination: 2010 Schooner Days, Portsmouth, Virginia

The LYNX sails along side of the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.

Sail along with the Privateer LYNX as she makes her way south to Baltimore, Maryland to participate in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race and then to Portsmouth, Virginia for the 2010 Schooner Days. You can follow her daily travels by visiting the track finder site at http://www.sailwx.info/shiptrack/shipposition.phtml?call=WDA988  Please enjoy reading a few recent ship reports written since her departure from Montreal. You can also visit the Privateer LYNX website at  http://www.privateerlynx.com/

24 September, 2010
Day Four: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
45�40.0'N x 061�26.4'W, In the Canso Lock
164 NM Run since 1200, 23 September.
Barometer at 1029Mb and falling slowly
Breeze at Force 4, NW
Seas: Calm in the Lock
Sailing between 6-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib and Main, until approaching the lock.

Our last lock - another "control" lock with little to no elevation change, is behind us and Lynx is on the Atlantic Side of Nova Scotia. The lively conditions of yesterday and the day before mellowed out into splendid sailing weather under a glimmering full moon last night. The breeze stayed with us right on to the Strait of Canso - which divides Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia - where we were obliged to take them in for maneuvering into the lock.

Had conditions kept up the favorable outlook, we would have reset them just past the lock and sailed down the Strait to Chedabucto Bay and out to sea. But the forecast for tonight and Saturday is calling for strong contrary winds. Trying to make Lunenburg Harbor would have been quite a stretch, and there are few other very protected places for a Southerly going Southwesterly. Fewer still that are familiar to us.

So we anchored at 1450 EDT in an area off of Inhabitants Bay called, simply, The Big Basin. True to its moniker, it is a large, protected and lake-like piece of water ringed by forested islands and sparsely populated hillsides. The entrance channel was unmarked and slightly tricky, but the pay off is 360 degrees of sheltered anchorage. Sharing the anchorage are our friends aboard Pride of Baltimore II, so we must present nearly as pretty a sight to shore as the shore is showing us.

With over half the distance to Gloucester covered, we'll comfortably sit tight here tonight and tomorrow, then hope to take advantage of the Easterly and Southeasterly winds in the forecast to make tracks toward the U.S. again.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the crew of Lynx, snugged in at The Big Basin.

The Privateer LNYX  under sail. Photo taken from the deck of the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.
26 September, 2010
Day Six: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 45�26.8'N x 061�05.1'W, Sailing out of Chedabucto Bay
Sailed off Anchorage in Big Basin this morning at 0900, 15nm run.
Barometer at 1029Mb and rising
Breeze at Force 3, NE
Seas: 1-2'
Sailing Broad between 5-7under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, Jib Tops'and Main.

I imagine it is a rare occurrence for one Baltimore Schooner to be anchored in the Big Basin of Inhabitants Bay, Cape Breton Island, let alone two. And for the two to both sail off their anchors in quick succession is certainly something rare. But that is exactly what happened this morning when first Pride of Baltimore II (being further West and so less deep into the Basin) and then Lynx got underway.

Aboard Lynx we were appreciative for the respite of a quiet, wooded anchorage after so many hectic weeks and months of tightly scheduled port visits, tours, and daysails, and the recent brisk weather. And the boat was better for it too. It is not like sailors to sit idle while aboard, and so we spent Friday afternoon and Saturday on rigging projects and intense cleaning. Hosting thousands upon thousands of visitors over the summer was showing its wear on Lynx, and an intense morning "field day" got the ship back to gleaming in her compartments. We also took the afternoon to review safety procedures and drills, as well as wrap up some outstanding projects.

The day was the warmest we'd seen since leaving Montreal - woolies we shed in favor of t-shirts and though foggy, the Basin was serene. The offshore buoy reports indicated lump and grumpy seas with winds to match, but our little anchorage was quite peaceful

After dinner, we hosted several of the crew from Pride II over for an early evening tea and social call before both boats snugged in for the night and waited for the Northerlies to come.

Now we are still in sight of Pride II, sailing in company down Chedabucto Bay to Round Cape Canso and start, for the first time in six weeks, heading West.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the America bound crew of Lynx

27 September, 2010
Day Seven: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 43 44.8'N x 064 08.04'W, South of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia
183nm run since 1200 EDT on 26 September.
Barometer at 1029Mb and steady
Breeze at Force 4, SE
Seas: 3-4'
Motorsailing Broad on a port tack between 7-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, and Main with maximum pitch and minimum rpm.

With favorable breezes, for now, Lynx is making speedy tracks Eastward. With a forecast of contrary breezes in the Gulf of Maine later this week, we are resisting the temptation to continue purely sailing, but have put to work Lynx's versatile power-train to help keep an aggressive speed of advance toward the US. As I have discussed in previous blogs, Lynx has a variable pitch propeller that comes in very handy in motorsailing instances. The sail plan we have has shown itself good for 6-6.5 knots, but by making the pitch as aggressive as possible we can add 1-1.5 knots to that speed with the engine in dead slow ahead, thereby maximizing fuel economy for speed. It isn't the most traditional or "romantic" way to go about things, but it works to get us on the move for our destination when conditions aren't completely ideal.

The breeze is supposed to fill in and allow for us to actually sail, but in the meantime we are entertained by a few marine sightings and the novelty that we have not set foot ashore in seven days. The sky is graying up, and the coming forecasts indicate some rain and fog, as well as a veering of breeze to South and then southwest. South is workable, southwest, will be a headache. For now, we are sailing WSW and putting some southing in the bank. Ahead of schedule, we can also afford to bear away on the breeze toward the North, and hide out somewhere again until it becomes favorable for getting down the coast.

All best,

Jamie Trost and the still dry crew of Lynx

28 September, 2010
Day Eight: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 43- 30.4'N x 067 - 57.8'W, Crossing the Gulf of Maine
166nm run since 1200 EDT on 27 September.
Barometer at 1018Mb and falling steadily
Breeze at Force 4-5, SxW
Seas: 3-4'
Sailing on roughly a beam reach between 7-8 under Fores'l, Stays'l Foretops'l, Jib, and Main.

Despite the soggy, foggy forecasts, the day has been pretty glorious. We were socked in a few times last night, but with the dawn the visibility has opened up beyond the forecasted limits for most of the day, and the breeze is a pleasant 16-18 knots, instead of the 25-30 predicted.

In short, we're pretty lucky. After an approximately 50/50% mix and match of sailing vs. motorsailing over yesterday afternoon and evening, we have been sailing since 0900, and making near eight knots most of the time.

Even with the more favorable conditions, this is not the breeze to get us to Gloucester. It already has a touch more West in it than anticipated, and is forecast to continue out of the South & Southwest. So rather than beat our way to Gloucester, we are making for the coast of Maine to wait for the wind to cooperate later this week when a cold front should bring the breeze North of West.

Unfortunately, the Coast of Maine wasn't designed for anchoring in southerlies, particularly ones with a touch of West in them. Sure there are coves and tucked away places if you travel up the Sheepscot, Kennebec or Darmiscotta Rivers far enough, but we also have the added wrinkle of wanting to clear customs and so maximize our detour. That leaves only Portland and Rockland as feasible options. Portland, terrific town that it is, offers little in the way of anchoring in a southerly, at least not close enough to town that a customs official would want to ride out in our rescue boat. And, with the westerly element in the breeze, it isn't easily reachable.

Rockland it is. Complete with a designated anchorage area just in front of town and well protected from the South. We should be there a few hours after sunset. And if not actually standing on U.S. soil for the first time in over two weeks, at least hook down in it.

All best,

Jamie Trost and Rockland bound crew of Lynx

Privateer LYNX sailing with the PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II

29 September, 2010
Day Nine: Montreal, Quebec to Gloucester, MA
1200 EDT 44 06.1'N x 069 05.7'W, Anchored in Rockland Harbor
60nm run since 1200 EDT on 28 September.
Barometer at 1018Mb and rising steadily
Breeze at Force 4, SSW
Waiting at anchor to clear customs

Rockland Harbor is a good anchorage in most winds. Which would explain all the mooring fields inside the breakwater. Those add an element of complication to sailing a Baltimore Schooner onto her anchor in the dark. The mooring fields cover most of the best anchoring ground, so the best a large vessel can do is get close. But not too close or there won’t be room to swing when the breeze shifts. And not in the middle of the entrance channel to the inner part of the harbor.

So on a breezy, rainy night we managed to dodge all those obstacles and execute the classic Tops’l schooner round up, whereby you fall far off the wind to get the fores’l into the lee of the mains’l and brail it in, then take in the heads’ls. Once they’re in, pivot around by putting the helm hard down and overhauling the mains’l to weather. As the ship comes head to wind, naturally losing speed already, the foretops’l goes aback and really puts the breaks on. Then, before she gets sternway on, let go the hook and take in the tops’l.

If it all works out right, you’re exactly where you wanted to be anchored. Or, maybe a touch close to the channel, but still pretty good.

That’s about how it worked out last night, which is a great show for a recently turned over crew who’ve never done it before as a team. And with two shots of chain out we had a relatively mellow night of it, despite the gusts and rain. But as of noon today, we are still under the “Quebec” flag – not the one we recently flew in Montreal, but the plain yellow one indicating we are eagerly waiting to clear customs. Rockland is a port of entry, but it is managed out of Bangor, where the small staff is largely focused on clearances at the airport there. For us, someone has to travel down to the coast, then out to our anchorage via our rescue boat. Luckily, the weather has cleared and it won’t be a wet ride.

All best,

Captain Jamie Trost and crew of Lynx, patiently waiting under quarantine.

The Privateer LYNX is the Recipient of the American Sail Training Association's
Transpacific Yacht Club's

The Lynx Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence. For donation information, please contact the Lynx Educational Foundation 1-866-446-5969 509 29th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Visit Pride of Baltimore II at Schooner Days in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia

PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II under full sail.
Whether making harbor in a new port of call half way around the world or returning home to her berth in the Inner Harbor, Pride of Baltimore II grabs attention! Whether blasting off her shipboard cannons or skimming majestically over the waves with all sails aloft, Pride II makes a proud statement about her sponsors and her colorful maritime history. As the Goodwill Ambassador of the State of Maryland and the Port of Baltimore, Pride II represents the business, tourism, and educational interests of the state with unmistakable flair and panache.

Schooner Pride of Baltimore II moored at Portsmouth, Virginia's seawall.
Pride of Baltimore II was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor, the original Pride of Baltimore, which was tragically sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986, taking her captain and three crew members down with her. Both ships were built in the Inner Harbor as reproductions of 1812-era topsail schooners, the type of vessels, called Baltimore Clippers, that helped America win the War of 1812 and finally secure its freedom.

Specifications of Pride of Baltimore II
  • Tonnage: 185.5 long tons
  • Overall Length: 157' (47.85 m)
  • Length on Deck: 96'6" (29.42 m)
  • Beam: 26' (7.93 m)
  • Draft: 12'4" (3.76 m)
  • Launched: April 30, 1988
  • Commissioned: October 23, 1988
  • Naval Architect: Thomas C. Gillmer
  • Master Builder: G. Peter Boudreau
Since her commissioning, Pride II has sailed nearly 200,000 miles, and visited over 200 ports in 40 countries in North, South, and Central America, Europe, and Asia. In 1998 she undertook her first voyage to Asia with port calls in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. In 2000 she made her fourth trip to Europe capturing First Place in her Class in a Transatlantic Tall Ship race. With her sharply raked masts, her abundance of sail, and her sleek profile, Pride of Baltimore II captures the imagination and makes friends for Baltimore and Maryland wherever she goes. She is indeed a memorable Goodwill Ambassador.

Tops'l Schooner Pride of Baltimore II.  Photograph by Fred LeBlanc.
 You can visit the Pride of Baltimore II website by following the link here. PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II  Come and see the Pride during Schooner Days, October 15 and 16, 2010 in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia. See you there!