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Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

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 »

It’s #TALLSHIPSTUESDAY! Let’s learn about Kalmar Nyckel

Posted by Tall Ships America on October 27, 2015

Photo Credit Andrew Hanna

Photo Credit Andrew Hanna

Where you’ll find the ship cruising around
mid-Atlantic and Northeast

Fun fact
Since Kalmar Nyckel predates the invention of the steering wheel, the helmsman controls the ship with a whipstaff, a large stick that is used to push the ship’s tiller back and forth.

Here is a fascinating guide to the ship and her history (PDF)

The backstory
Kalmar Nyckel, the tall ship of Delaware, is a recreation of a 17th century Dutch Pinnace which served as an armed merchant ship, a Swedish naval vessel, and as the colonial ship that founded New Sweden in present-day Wilmington, Delaware. She delivers education programs based on a variety of curricula to students from fourth grade through high school during the school year as part of the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s education mission. With the exception of her officers, the crew of the Kalmar Nyckel are volunteers who come from all over the world to participate in her crew-training programs and sail the ship.

Who sails
School groups from elementary through college, as well as individuals and families


Posted in #tallshipstuesday, 2015, Member Programs | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »


Posted by Tall Ships America on July 31, 2015


Oliver Hazard Perry makes her first appearance at a TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) festival

Oliver Hazard Perry makes her first appearance at a TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) festival

My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The words of Maine’s own poet rang true last week during the Parade of Sail into Portland, Maine. I was on the parade command boat at the muster out in Casco Bay, making sure the ships fell into line and proceeded to their docking locations in an orderly and pretty-to-look at fashion.  For many of the ships, a Parade of Sail is something they do numerous times each season and the crew knows what the public wants to see – their ship under full sail. To the best of their ability – taking into account wind, weather, and safety on the water– the tall ships deliver. Since we were the parade command boat, we spent most of the time running up and down the line, keeping track of the timing of the parade (nothing worse than a parade that is over too soon!) and marveling at the amazing sight before us –

Sailing into Portland

Sailing into Portland

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2015, Races, USCG | Leave a Comment »

News From the Road

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 29, 2015

“News from the Road” (Updates from the TALL SHIP CHALLENGE® Race Team)

4th of July sunset copy

Photo Credit: E. Short, Tall Ships America

July 4, 2015: Happy Fourth of July! We’re celebrating the holiday weekend with the tall ships in Greenport, NY. Front Street is overflowing with vendors and festival-goers, while bands play music in the park by Mitchell Marina. From ship tours to carousel rides, there’s plenty to do at Greenport TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2015!

July 5, 2015: The sun is shining on the north fork of Long Island today! The village of Greenport is bubbling with activity along the waterfront. More visitors crossed the decks during ship tours yesterday than there are people living in this town. But lines to board the tall ships are moving quickly, leaving festival-goers with plenty of time to explore the vendor booths and sample the local restaurants after they visit these unique vessels.

July 6, 2015: The quiet village of Greenport awoke early this morning to the sound of cannon fire, as l’Hermione made her grand entrance into the harbor. Now, thousands of locals and out-of-towners alike are lining up along the docks, eager to explore the tall ships. There’s vendor tents to visit throughout the day and dancing in the park tonight…for a small village on the North Fork, there sure is a lot of activity when the tall ships come to town!

July 7, 2015: We love being greeted every morning by the sight of ship masts towering above the village shops and restaurants. It’s the last day of TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Greenport 2015 so come on down to the waterfront and join the fun!

July 8, 2015: We had a wonderful week in Greenport with the tall ships! We’re headed home to Newport for a few days…but we’ll see you soon in Portland, Maine!

Foggy Festival (Credit Mark Warner)

Photo Credit: Mark Warner, Tall Ships America

July 18, 2015: It’s a breezy morning in Portland, Maine. The tall ships are just out of sight as eager visitors search for spots to sit along the waterfront. The Parade of Sail is due to start at 1345 and we can’t wait! The Race Team is dispersed along the docks, ready to catch dock lines and welcome the sailors to Iberdrola USA Tall Ships® Portland 2015.

July 19, 2015: Sunday morning is hidden behind the dense fog of Portland’s summer but that hasn’t stopped the crowds from coming to visit the tall ships. Maine Wharf, Maine State Wharf, Port Ocean Terminal, Compass Park, and Ocean Gateway Center are lined with vessels, music, entertainment, and vendors – no matter the weather today, Old Port is the place to be!

July 20, 2015: Last night’s intense thunderstorms have tempered into a gray, foggy blanket over the city. The towering masts and traditional rigging of the tall ships appear and disappear as thick patches of fog roll across the waterfront. But the excitement in the air is nearly as tangible as the fog – the tall ships are in town for Iberdrola USA Tall Ships® Portland and there’s so much to do!

July 21, 2015: It’s late on Tuesday morning and the festival season has come to an abrupt close. Already, most of the ships have set sail for their next destinations. We’ve sent them on their way with lots of hugs for the sailors and wishes for fair winds. We hope to see you all next year for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 Race Series!

Photo Credit: E. Braunstein, Tall Ships America

Photo Credit: E. Braunstein, Tall Ships America

For more updates from the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Team, subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Posted in 2015, TALL SHIPS ATLANTIC CHALLENGE | Leave a Comment »

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