Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friendship to sail on August 7th

Image courtesy Essex National Heritage Commission.
We love the tall ship Friendship.  We especially love her when she's in port and people can climb aboard and explore her decks, learning about Salem's maritime history and imagining the life of a sailor, a sea captain, a navigator.  One of the reasons we love Friendship so much is that she can sail.  She is a US Coast Guard certified vessel and she was built to sail, so - on occasion - sail, she must. 

On August 7th, Friendship will depart Salem for a port visit in New York City.  Her trip is part of a youth program called Friendship Sails! A Youth Journey on the High Seas.  The vessel will spend 2-3 days at sea, and once in New York the youth aboard will attend a Youth Summit with their peers from New York City and Baltimore.  She will be berthed at the Dennis Connor's North Cover Marina on the Hudson River on August 10th. Friendship will return to Salem on August 16.

The National Park Service and Essex National Heritage Commission are hosting a "Bon Voyage" event on Derby Wharf on Sunday, August 7 at 4:30 PM.  People are invited to bring handkerchiefs to wave at Friendship as she leaves port, the traditional send-off that was practiced in Salem in the 18th century.

It is fantastic to watch Friendship leave from Derby Wharf, especially when there is a crowd waving hankies, and it is equally fantastic to see her come out of the harbor from Winter Island Maritime Park.  You won't need a handkerchief at Winter Island, but I recommend a camera. 

Visit for Friendship's 2011 sailing schedule.  

Image courtesy Essex National Heritage Commission.
About the Friendship 
The Friendship of Salem is a full-size replica of the original ship constructed by the renowned shipbuilder Enos Briggs in Salem in 1797.  She is a 171-foot three-masted “East Indiaman” - the type of merchant ship that made Salem a leader in the opening of international trade with the Far East, Europe and Russia in the years immediately following the American Revolution.  The Friendship is the largest wooden, Coast Guard certified, sailing vessel to be built in New England in more than a century.  The original Friendship made 15 voyages around the world before being captured by the British during the war of 1812.  The new Friendship is part of the National Park Service's Salem Maritime National Historic Site which includes the last remaining intact complex of colonial era wharves, the 1819 Custom House where author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked and several related maritime structures and Federal Era houses. Friendship is a fully operational sailing vessel.  She is permanently berthed at Derby Wharf in Salem but, on special occasions, she sails to ports along the New England coast.  This trip to New York City will be her furthest sail to date, but plans are being made to sail to Baltimore, MD to commemorate the War of 1812 next year.  Friendship’s keel was laid in 1996 and she was certified by the US Coast Guard as a passenger carrying vessel in 2010.   

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