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

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It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY- Let’s learn about Amerigo Vespucci

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 6, 2015

Photo Credit Gruppo di Cultura Navale http://www.culturanavale.it/documentazione.php?id=297

Photo Credit Gruppo di Cultura Navale

Quale parte del mondo? (Where in the world?)

Un po’ di divertimento fatto (a little fun fact)
When embarked with midshipmen during summer training cruises, the crew can total 450.

La storia (The story)
Launched in 1931, Amerigo Vespucci is named for the great explorer and cartographer of the 17th century. With her triple decks, Amerigo Vespucci conjures up memories of men-of-war from two centuries ago. Now, the ship is a gracious 20th century goodwill ambassador, as well as a symbol of Italy’s global maritime heritage and tradition. The ship is used to train junior officers of the Italian Navy.

Che naviga (who sails)
Junior officers of the Italian Navy




Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

Ships, Clocks and Stars

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 30, 2015

Ships Clocks and Stars


Is it just me or does Mystic Seaport always seem to have the coolest programs happening? There seriously does not seem to ever be a dull moment at the waterfront. The latest program, “Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude ” looks especially fascinating. The “Ships, Clocks & Stars” exhibit tells the story of the race to determine longitude at sea and how one of the greatest technical challenges of the 18th century was eventually solved by the dedicated efforts of astronomers, physicists, clockmakers, sailors, and many others. Produced by the National Maritime Museum in London, Mystic Seaport is the only place in the world this unique exhibit will be on display for the next six months.  The exhibit is at Mystic Seaport through March 28, 2016, after which time it moves on to the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

More information about the exhibit can be found here.


Posted in 2015, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 29, 2015

The gundalow "Piscataqua," on the Piscataqua River, Portsmouth. NH. The Gundalow Company, Portsmouth, NH. Photograph by Ralph Morang

The gundalow “Piscataqua,” on the Piscataqua River, Portsmouth. NH.
The Gundalow Company, Portsmouth, NH. Photograph by Ralph Morang

Where you’ll find her cruising around
Piscataqua River, Great Bay and connecting rivers

This might interest you
The Piscataqua River is considered to have one of the strongest currents in the world.

The story
Piscataqua was built in 2011 in Portsmouth, NH by Paul Rollins for the nonprofit Gundalow Company. She represents the type of local sailing cargo barges known as “gundalows” that were commonly used from 1690 to 1920 on the interconnected estuarine rivers in the Piscataqua Watershed that spans the border between NH and ME. Since no two gundalows were alike, Piscataqua was built using the only existing lines of the Fanny M (found at the Smithsonian Institution) built in 1886. Piscataqua was built on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum with the help of a professional crew and volunteers using traditional materials and methods. She was built as a sailing classroom to fulfill the Gundalow Company’s mission “to protect the Piscataqua region’s maritime heritage and environment through education and action.”

Who sails
Students of all ages and the public


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It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Freda B

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 22, 2015

Freda B in the Parade of Sail into Los Angeles last summer during TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Pacific Coast 2014 Photo Tall Ships America

Freda B in the Parade of Sail into Los Angeles last summer during TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Pacific Coast 2014 Photo Tall Ships America

Where she sails
San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean

Fun Fact
The schooner is named after the owner’s grandmother, Freda Marie Been

The Story
Originally commissioned as the Spirit of St. Augustine, she was designed by legendary East Coast naval architect, Charles Wittholtz. Her traditional gaff rigged design was intended for comfortable offshore passage-making between New England and Key West with well-appointed accommodations. Called Liberty during many of her 18 years of service before she was purchased in 2010 by Marina O’Neil and Paul Dines of SF Bay Adventures and brought to the Pacific Ocean. Re-christened the Freda B, she is now berthed in Sausalito, California, where she is available for private, custom parties and events, as well as public sails.

Who sails
Individuals and groups


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

My Two Weeks on the USCG Barque Eagle

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 18, 2015

Guest Blogger2


As I mentioned before, we sent a few Tall Ships America members on the Fall EAGLE OCS cruise. Here is Becca’s write up of her experience…

Photo credit N. Tegethoff

Photo credit N. Tegethoff

Lunch tray in hand, walking down the wide companionway from the galley to the mess deck of the 295′ barque Eagle,  to find an open seat in a sea of a hundred matching navy blue uniforms and two hundred polished black composite toed boots is somewhat surreal.  On my last tall ship, our motley crew of twelve or so squeeze through a tiny galley in our torn up, paint and pine tar covered Carhartts, grab our plates and personalized coffee mugs, then scatter around on deck.  There are a few points of culture shock going on here: one is the sheer scale of things, the other is being a civilian on a military training vessel.

The Eagle is truly massive.  Not only the actual dimensions (39′ beam, 25′ freeboard), but the size of the crew (47 permanent and, for my cruise, 70 officer candidates), and even the rabbit-warren maze of below deck compartments feels huge.  The rig, of course, also dwarfs those of just about every other ship I have sailed.  The royal yard is the size of some tops’l yards I’ve seen, and even the buntlines are at least 3/4” line.  There are so many shrouds we climb three or four sailors abreast, at least until the futtocks.  What does not feel huge, however, is my rack: one of twelve in its compartment, stacked three high with built in personal storage unit under the mattress leaving just enough head room to roll over without my shoulders hitting the overhead. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2015, Guest Blogger, Member Programs, USCG | Leave a Comment »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Schooner Adventuress

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 15, 2015


Photo Credit Sound Experience


Where you’ll find her cruising around
Puget Sound, San Juan Islands

Fun Fact
During her northern expeditions, Adventuress carried on board the naturalist, Roy Chapman Andrews,  who was one of the inspirations for Indian Jones. [Ed. noteAndrews’ Wikipedia page reads like every kids fantasy after seeing Indiana Jones for the first time. Dinosaurs!]

The story
Sound Experience sails the historic schooner Adventuress to educate, inspire, and empower an inclusive community to make a difference for the future of our marine environment. Since her launch in E. Boothbay, Maine, in 1913, the B.B. Crowninshield-designed schooner has traveled the Strait of Magellan and the Bering Sea on an Arctic exploration with naturalist Roy Chapman Andrews; served as a Bar Pilot vessel off of San Francisco; patrolled the west coast during World War II; and trained young sailors in seamanship skills in Seattle with Youth Adventure. Adventuress has sailed on the waters of Puget Sound for more than two decades under the stewardship of non-profit Sound Experience, offering hands-on environmental education and leadership development to thousands of young people annually and partnering with youth-serving organizations to reach at-risk kids. Sound Experience offers programs for all ages and backgrounds and takes pride in providing many levels of training opportunities for volunteer and paid crew. Adventuress is a National Historic Landmark and is considered to be an icon of environmental sustainability.

Get Involved
Who sails? Schools and other groups from elementary through college, individuals and families



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Summer Run on EAGLE

Posted by Tall Ships America on September 10, 2015

Last month, Tall Ships America invited current members to apply for the opportunity to sail on board USCG Barque EAGLE as part of their twice-yearly Officer Candidate School (OCS) cruise. This collaboration with EAGLE has been going on for several years . I wrote about my own experience on EAGLE during the March 2011 OCS cruise and I am always excited to see who applies and then seeing their photos on Facebook. Occasionally, I even get some sailors to write about their experience on this blog- read Lance Fairbanks and Brian Holmen’s posts.

This time around, we had four Tall Ships America members embark on EAGLE for her two week trip down to Baltimore, MD by way of Portsmouth, VA. Kent Matsuoka wrote about his experience on his blog . Here are some photos from the other participants –

Gumby help_N Tegethoff

First things first, testing abandon ship skills Photo N. Tegethoff

Tall Ships America members on board EAGLE_N Tegethoff

Tall Ships America members represent Photo N. Tegethoff

Bracing the Course. Photo J. Roemer

Bracing the Course. Photo J. Roemer

Up and Overs. Photo J. Roemer

Up and Overs. Photo J. Roemer

Photo J. Roemer

Photo J. Roemer

The spring OCS training run is usually in March and we hope to be able to offer this opportunity to our Tall Ships America members again (not a member? Become one now!). We will make the announcement with the requirements via this blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Member Programs, USCG | Leave a Comment »

2015 NMSS Essay Contest!

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 24, 2015

NMSS Essay FlyerNational Maritime Sailtraining Scholarships and Tall Ships America are holding an essay contest for maritime enthusiasts ages fourteen to nineteen. Teens are asked to write a 1-2 page essay with their response to the question, “Why are you interested in a career in the maritime industry?” The prize is $1,000.00 USD to complete a sail training program of their choice. Submissions must also include the completed NMSS Essay Form and will be accepted by email, mail or fax through October, 28, 2015.


ESSAY TOPIC: The 1-2 page essay shall answer the question: Why are you interested in a career in the maritime industry? Entrants should indicate interest in attending a state run maritime academy or the US Merchant Marine Academy or in joining the maritime industry through apprenticeship programs. The essay should also address the value of participating in a sail training program towards obtaining the entrant’s career goals.

DESCRIPTION OF PRIZE: Each winner will receive an award of $1,000.00 USD to be used towards the completion of an approved sail training program. All requirements must be met in order to claim the prize.

ELIGIBILITY: This essay contest is open to teenagers 14 to 19 years of age. Applicants may live anywhere in the world but must be able to participate in an approved sail training program, as outlined below. Employees of the American Sail Training Association, dba Tall Ships America, may not participate as entrants.

STATE, FEDERAL, AND INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS: Winners must be eligible to participate in a sail training program on a Tall Ships America member vessel in good standing that is inspected and certified under CFR 46 subchapter T (Small Passenger Vessels) or CFR 46 subchapter R (Sailing School Vessels). The program must be of at least one week’s duration and include no less than six days at sea.

JUDGES: Each complete submission will be read and evaluated by the staff of Tall Ships America. Each essay will be judged on the basis of creativity, passion, and how effectively the essay question is addressed. The top 5 entries will be selected by the staff of Tall Ships America. Winners will be notified by email on November 4, 2015. Awards will follow by mail upon completion of the sail training program and follow-up essay. The return of any notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted.

DEADLINE: Entries must be received no later than October 28, 2015. Submissions should be emailed to Jennifer Spring with the subject line ‘NMSS Entry’; mailed to NMSS Program, c/o Tall Ships America, PO Box 1459, Newport, RI 02840; or faxed to NMSS Program, c/o Tall Ships America at 401.849.5400.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Submission must include a completed ‘NMSS Entry Form’ along with the essay. In order to receive their full award, each contest winner must complete the sail training program and submit a secondary essay describing the value in the sail training program in which they took part. By submitting this follow-up essay, winners are consenting to its publication, along with the publication of their name and the program in which they participated, in any and all Tall Ships America promotional materials with no additional compensation given or further permission required. Tall Ships America maintains the right to edit entries before publication. The author retains copyright of his/her work.

Posted in 2015, Member Programs, Tall Ships Youth Adventure Program | Leave a Comment »

New Scholarship Available to Sail on Picton Castle

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 14, 2015



Dark blue-green waves exploded into white on [the] cliffs. I looked up at our rigging and the two square sails set on each mast. They’d turned a deep red, the colour of the sun setting behind us.” – Rigel Crockett, on Picton Castle‘s departure from Lunenburg in November 1997

PICTON CASTLE has just announced that they are offering ‘Professional Marine Training Scholarships‘ for their upcoming Transatlantic Voyage. The six-month long voyage begins October 1st and will include ports such as the Azores (Portugal), Essaouira (Morocco), Carriacou (Grenada), and Picton Castle‘s North American Homeport of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia (Canada). Full and partial scholarships are available and the requirements are as follows:

– Between ages 18-35
– Any nationality
– Must have demonstrated interest in pursuing or continuing a career in the marine industry
– Prior experience at sea is an asset but is not an absolute requirement
– Financial need – this scholarship is designed for those who could not otherwise afford the voyage
– Must also be accepted through Picton Castle’s trainee application process

These scholarships were made possible through the Nova Scotia Seamanship Education Society, a registered charity that supports marine training opportunities.

*     *     *     *

To share your member vessel news, please contact Tall Ships America.

Posted in 2015, Member Programs, PICTON CASTLE | Leave a Comment »

IT’S #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Learn about Lady Washington.

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 4, 2015



Pacific Northwest, Pacific Coast of USA

Played HMS Interceptor in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

As a privateer during the American Revolution, the original Lady Washington fought to help the colonies gain their independence from England. In 1788, she became the first American vessel to visit the West Coast of North America, opening trade between the colonies and the native peoples of the Northwest Coast. Built at Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington, and launched in 1989 as a Washington State Centennial project, the reproduction Lady Washington sails the waters of Washington State and the West Coast of North America as the tall ship ambassador for the state of Washington. With a busy year-round sailing schedule, Lady Washington regularly tours the West Coast, providing shipboard education programs for schools in 89 port communities in Washington, Oregon, California, British Columbia, and Alaska. More than 15,000 school children visit Lady Washington each year to learn about the rich and colorful maritime heritage of our nation. Crew are paid professionals and volunteer trainees.

Who sails? School groups from elementary school through college, individuals, and families
Program type: Sail training for crew, apprentices, and paying trainees; sea education in maritime history; passenger daysails, overnight passages, family camps; dockside interpretation

Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority
Phone: 800-200-5239
Website: www.historicalseaport.org

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


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