TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

Sea stories, scuttlebutt and fantastic photos covering America\’s official Tall Ships® Races!

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It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Mystic Whaler

Posted by Tall Ships America on February 2, 2016

Mystic Whaler

Mystic Whaler

Where you’ll find the ship

Southern New England and the Chesapeake Bay

Fun Fact

Her captain, Capt. John Eginton, recently was awarded Tall Ship America’s Sail Trainer of the Year at our joint Annual Conference in Quebec City this past weekend! If you get the chance, congratulate him on this great honor.

The backstory

Built in 1967 and rebuilt in 1993, the Mystic Whaler hosts a variety of cruises, ranging from 3 hours to 5 days out of the her homeport in New London, CT over the summer. The Mystic Whaler offers great sailing opportunities for both novice and experienced passengers. In the fall, she travels to Maryland for three weeks of 3-day overnight sails and to participate in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. This past season, she placed 3rd in her AA class in the competition. Some of the overnight cruises have special interest extras such as lighthouse tours, sea music and full moon cruises.

Who sails
Passengers and trainees of all ages

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Bluenose II

Posted by Tall Ships America on January 26, 2016

Schooner Bluenose II Photo Credit Mark Krasnow

In anticipation for our Annual Conference this week, we figured we would feature a Canadian Flagged Tall Ship as a tip of the hat to our host city, Quebec. Time to learn a little about Bluenose II

Where you’ll find the ship

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Fun Fact

There are four completely different local namesake theories explaining why the vessel is called Bluenose… Check them out here to see which theory you believe!

The backstory

While the original Bluenose launched in 1921, Bluenose II first launched in 1963 after being constructed from the same plans of the original and even the same boat builders. She serves as a goodwill ambassador for the Province of Nova Scotia, participating in tall ship events throughout the Western Hemisphere. She continues to sail in the tradition of the original vessel, encouraging all of their officers and deckhands to enhance their skills and certifications.

Who Sails

Individuals and groups


Tune in next Tuesday to see what Tall Ship will be featured next!

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016, Annual Conference | Leave a Comment »

To Fair Canada We Go!

Posted by Tall Ships America on January 21, 2016

Fairmont Hotel Photo Credit Fairmont.com

Fairmont Hotel Photo Credit Fairmont.com

It’s that time of year! When a sailor’s thoughts turn to networking, seeing old friends, and learning about what’s new in tall ships. That’s right – it’s conference tiiiiiiiiime!

Next week, Tall Ships America HQ will head to lovely Quebec City to join our friends from across the pond, Sail Training International, as we jointly host the Quebec International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference 2016.  This year’s conference is part of the lead up to the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta and also in anticipation of this summer’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Great Lakes 2016. So much to do! And we could not be more excited to see our international friends.

There is still time to register and, if you want to see what we will be discussing, you can view the agenda on our website.   Need more convincing? Check out this toboggan ride! That looks crazy enough to make up for the chilly weather…

Photo Credit Rich Whitaker

Photo Credit Rich Whitaker

Posted in 2016, Annual Conference, Sail Training International | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tall Ships America on January 19, 2016

Ocean Star

Ocean Star Photo Credit: Sea|mester

Where you’ll find the ship

Lesser Antilles, Caribbean

Fun Fact

Our new intern, Micah Wisen, spent his semester abroad from Syracuse University sailing aboard Ocean Star during the Spring of 2015. His experience aboard resulted in his desire to continue working in the sailing industry and we are happy to add him to the Tall Ships America team!

The backstory

Originally launched in 1991, Ocean Star has sailed under the Sea|mester  flag since 1998 hosting college-level, semester voyages aboard.  Nearly 400 student sailors have had the good fortune to live, study and sail the Caribbean Archipelago aboard Ocean Star since it was acquired by Global Expeditions Group. This vessel has hosted many newcomer’s to sailing and whose experience crewing Ocean Star were truly life-changing. Let’s hope for their continued success in the sail training industry!

Who Sails

High school graduates and college students


Tune in next week for another featured vessel prior to our Annual Conference in Quebec!

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2016 | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tall Ships America on December 29, 2015

Gazela Priemeiro Photo by D. Whitman

Gazela Primeiro Photo by D. Whitman

Where you’ll find her cruising around
Delaware River, Chesapeake Bay, and the Atlantic Coast

Fun Fact
was one of the last dory mother ships (similar to Schooner Adventure!) and is over 100 years old – she was built in 1901.

The Backstory
At a century old, where do you begin? Built in Portugal at the turn of the 20th century, Gazela Primeiro fished the Grand Banks for nearly seventy years. She would leave Portugal in the spring with 90 tons of salt, and return in the fall with 350 tons of salt cod. Since 1971, she has called Philadelphia home. Owned and operated by the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, a nonprofit volunteer organization, Gazela sails as a goodwill ambassador for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Port of Philadelphia.

Who Sails
Volunteer members of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild


Posted in #tallshipstuesday, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tall Ships America on December 22, 2015

Adventure Photo Credit C. Briscoe

Adventure Photo Credit C. Briscoe



Where you’ll find the ship
Massachusetts Bay and the Gulf of Maine

Fun Fact
Schooner Adventure was a “highliner”, the biggest money maker of all time, landing nearing $4 million worth of cod and halibut during her fishing career. When retired in 1953, she was the last American dory fishing trawler left in the Atlantic.

The backstory
The Schooner Adventure is a National Historic Landmark and a Project of Save America’s Treasures. She was built in 1926 by the John F. James and Son Shipyard and launched in Essex, Massachusetts. The Gloucester Adventure, Inc. organization has been in custody of the vessel since she was donated in 1988. Since 1997, the vessel has undergone a stem-to-stern restoration. She sails as an educational resource for the Cape Ann community, focusing on Adventure’s history and Gloucester maritime heritage.

Who Sails
Students of all ages; members of the Adventure organization; community; tourists; private corporations


Tune in next Tuesday to see what Schooner Adventure has in common with Gazela Primeiro in Philadelphia.

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about EUROPA

Posted by Tall Ships America on December 15, 2015

Europa sails into Toronto during the 2010 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Photo Credit: P. Lock

Europa sails into Toronto during TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Great Lakes 2010 Photo Credit: P. Lock

Where you find the ship cruising around

Fun fact
Europa  was built in 1911 and originally served as a lightship in the entrance of the river Elbe. She is one of the only tall ships that regularly sails to Antarctica every year. Tall Ships America Intern -Summer 2007, Matt Maples, spent several seasons on Europa and you can read about his adventures on his (now defunct but no less wonderful) blog.

The backstory
Europa was fully restored in 1994 and since then has sailed all over the world. She regularly participates in tall ship races and ocean crossings. With her professional crew of 14 and a guest crew of 48, everyone gets to sail the ship. For a glimpse into the life aboard Europa, follow their logbook.

Who sails
Youth trainees, individuals, families, and groups of all ages and nationalities.



Posted in #tallshipstuesday, Matt Maples, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tall Ships America on December 8, 2015

Image provided by Tabor Academy

Image provided by Tabor Academy

Where you’ll find the ship
Coastal New England in the summer and offshore Atlantic and Caribbean during the school year.

Fun Fact
Sail training has been taught at Tabor Academy since 1918 and Tabor Boy (originally a North Sea pilot schooner built in 1914) has carried Tabor students since 1954. And they have a documentary! Tabor Boy: One Hundred Years at Sea

The backstory
Built near Amsterdam in 1914 as a Dutch North Sea pilot schooner, the Sailing School Vessel (SSV) Tabor Boy originally carried the name Pilot Schooner #2.

As a fall and spring extracurricular activity, the vessel sails with an all-student crew under an adult captain to enable upperclassmen to take  on the roles and responsibilities of mates and officers. Coastwise cruising and offshore voyages are combined with oceanology studies.
During the summer, one week cruises (“Orientation at Sea” program) enables up to fifteen trainees to be fully involved in sailing and living aboard the vessel while studying marine wildlife, ecology and history of the New England Coast. Winter programs feature sailing and snorkeling in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands to observe and document endangered coral reef ecosystems.
Who sails
Tabor Academy students

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, Member Programs, Videos | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about USS Constellation

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 10, 2015


Where you’ll find the ship
The museum ship is a dockside attraction in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland

Fun Fact
USS Constellation is rated a sloop of war/corvette. A corvette was traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper warship (not to be confused with the Chevrolet Corvette). Want to know why she is labeled a “sloop” of war? This Wikipedia article explains the terminology and how it has evolved.

The backstory
Where to begin…The last all-sail warship built by the US Navy, USS Constellation served her country for nearly 100 years in both military and non-military roles. From 1859-1861, she was the flagship of the US African Squadron charged with the mission of intercepting vessels engaged in the illegal slave trade along the coast of West Africa.  During her later years, she sailed as a training ship at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. She was last under sail in 1893. Her final role as a commissioned vessel came during World War II when she served as flagship of the US Atlantic Fleet. The ship underwent a massive restoration to return her to her original 1854 configuration.

Who sails
Although she doesn’t sail anymore, the ship is open to public tours, and you can stay overnight as part of the educational programming of Historic Ships in Baltimore


Photos courtesy of www.historicships.org and www.baltimorebiz.com

Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2015, Newport | Leave a Comment »

Help support Adventure and Education Under Sail

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 6, 2015

GIVE with tiny logo copy

– Discovering one’s own strength and capacity to succeed through facing the challenges of the sea.
– Learning to cooperate and to lead by being part of a dedicated ship’s crew.
– Practicing the skills, arts and self-sufficiency of traditional seamanship and navigation.

These experiences help transform uncertain and unformed youths into successful citizens and confident leaders. And these are the values that are carefully preserved and generously offered by the member vessels of Tall Ships America in programs of education under sail.  (click here to read our “Profiles in Sail Training”)

We ask for your help to carry on in this important effort, by making a gift to Tall Ships America’s Annual Appeal.  This year we have received a $50,000 2-for-1 Challenge Grant, which will match your contribution with two dollars for each dollar that you give.  Your gift of $100 will be worth $300 to support our programs.

We look forward to having you aboard with us as a valued shipmate, and we thank you for your support. We will close our Annual Appeal on December 31, so please make your gift now to support adventure and education under sail.

You can read the complete Annual Appeal letter, and donate, on our website

Posted in 2015, Annual Appeal, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »


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