Chief Mate’s Clipboard
Goldie is coming into his 5th season in Niagara. He started off as an Able Seaman in 2008 and 2009. He came back in 2011 as a mate and engineer. He also has worked 3 winters here at the Erie Maritime Museum working in the Rig Shop building the Fore Shrouds, working at the shipyard and tackling many engineering projects. This season he will be sharing Second Mate duties with Pat Crosby so both of them will be able to take care of their engineering or carpentry duties while the other one is standing the watch. Goldie’s time in Niagara was had him taking part in all aspects of the operation. He is both useful and competent in the rig or in the engine room and spends time doing both throughout the uprig period. Last Winter/Spring he even joined the carpentry crew at the shipyard to get some exposure to the wood working aspect of the wooden sailing ship world. Goldie is willing to work in any capacity to fulfill the needs of the ship and the ship is a better place for it.
Goldie has been looking forward to the 2013 season since his return in 2011 and with his help it’s going to be a great summer.
And in case you read his bio from 2009, he is still doing well holding up to the reputation of my childhood best friend who was a male golden retriever that I named Goldie.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The first day of the season was on March 14th. 7 of the 17 seasonal crew are now here to add to the 4 full-time members of the pro crew. These 12 plus our numerous volunteers who come down everyday will be the crew that are going to rig the ship this Spring. The rest of the crew will arrive during the month of May after we start sailing. David Goldman, Michael Pierson and Sydnee Groenendaal have been here since Jan 4th as our winter maintenance crew either working down in the Rig Shop or out in the Engine Room getting ready for the 2013 season.
The crew has been fighting the elements to get the ship rigged so far. The first and second weeks of rigging were held up due to snow and January like conditions but they have been gaining ground everyday that it has not been snowing or not below 20 degrees. Once the winter cover came off we were able to get a crane to come in a week later to send up both topmasts and all of their associated rigging, both lower yards, the jibboom, the spanker boom, both anchors and all of the deck boxes. The crane has helped us make up some time from all the bad weather. The weather this week finally has temperatures in the 50′s and we should be outside everyday working so anyone who is interested in seeing how to put together brig come on down and we will put you to work.
Over the course of the next few weeks I will post a bio of each of the seasonal crew that will be sailing with us this summer so all of you can get an idea of who your crew will be this year.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
So the schedule and syllabus for this winter’s sail training is ready to go. This is a great opportunity for everyone that stares at pictures of Niagara all over town thinking how much fun it would be to sail and work on that ship. Our goal is to train new volunteers to help us sail the ship during the coming sailing season for both day sails in Erie and in passage. The Niagara volunteers are the only way that a ship like this can be taken care of to the high standard that she is.
The program starts with and orientation to the ship and the museum on either Saturday Jan 8th or Saturday Jan 15th at 0900. The training classes start on Saturday Jan 22nd and run every other week until April 16th. The classes start at 0830 and end at 1230.
Our sail training program won the American Sail Training Association’s “Sail Training Program of the Year” for 2010 and we are lead by Captain Wesley Heerssen who is the American Sail Training Association’s “Sail Trainer of the Year” for 2010.
Come on down and be a part of it.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
We have a schedule that we can publish for everyone!!! The day sails are pretty much locked in so you can sign up for those whenever you would like. The only changes that may be made would be in the ports we are going to this summer and I will make sure that the schedule is updated as soon as I know there is a change. Please let me know if there is any problems with viewing the schedule. I believe you will have to rotate it once you open the pdf to view it in landscape. If you have any questions send me a message or comment on the blog. Let’s go Sailing!!!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )
Captain Wesley Heerssen has been awarded the American Sail Traning Association’s Sail Trainer of the Year Award. This is a big deal. Of all the tall ship sailors in the country ASTA has chosen Wes to be the best of 2010. This is a huge honor for him and we should all be proud to have such a Captain on our ship.
This is well deserved award. Wes has been tireless in his dedication and work for this ship and ultimately the trainees that sail on board her. He is a patient teacher that does not get frustrated or upset with the people around him and creates an environment that is incredibly conducive to learning. He uses positive reinforcement to get the most out of people and in so doing he gets everything that they can give him. Captain Heerssen also leads by example to create a work ethic on board that is unstoppable. He possesses a wealth a knowledge concerning sailing on board a tall ship and is passionate about sharing that knowledge with all that sail with him.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
On Saturday about 50 people were on hand to finish building the winter cover framing and strech the canvas over it. We ended the day with the canvas on and lights working inside. Thank you to all the people who came out to help.
This week will be spent fine tuning in order to get the cover water tight or more importantly snow tight for the winter. If you aren’t busy come on down and give Ryno and Isaiah a hand.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
So it’s only been 5 month since I last posted an update here on our blog. I apologize for that. Conditions of the service is my only excuse.
It has been an excellent 5 months for us though. We sailed 99 days this year which is the most I have seen in 6 seasons. We sailed nearly 5000 miles and went to all 5 Great Lakes and participated in American Sail Training Association’s Tall Ships Challenge. We even won one of the tall ship races.
Downrig is underway now. We should be finished with that by next week and then we will be putting the winter cover on October 23rd.
I will try to get more updates here now that we are not sailing.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
Due to the wonders of modern technology we are able to connect all the readers of this blog to the nearly lost technology of sqaure rig seamanship. We are currently sailing under all plain sail(jib, fore topmast staysail, maintopmast staysail, spanker, topsails and t’gallants) at 5 knots bound for Port Colborne on course 070 PSC.
The trainees all worked very hard to get ready to get underway this morning. We worked all day yesterday loading out the ship. We loaded so much that we had to take 2 of our guns off to make up the difference in weight. We also got the chance to watch the finest movie on tall ship sailing last night. In case you do not know, i am talking about Around Cape Horn.
We got underway this morning at 1032 and headed out into the lake. We quickly set sail and drifted for a couple hours unitl the wind filled in. The trainees have now been taught how to steer, stand lookout, haul on lines, tack, ware and of course do dishes. Tonight will be their first night underway and also the first night underway for Niagara this season. It has all the making of a beautiful night on Lake Erie.
Tomorrow the trainees will be going to Fort Erie after we arrive in Port Colborne. Is there any better way to learn the history of a region than to sail to all the destinations on a ship that helped create that history?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Here you can see Dylan and Matt, 2 of our OS’s, sewing whippings into some new topsail braces.
And here you can see Isaiah, an AB, and the new intern knitting a new headrig net.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Movie Filmed Onboard the Flagship Niagara to Premier Thursday, April 29
A fantastic sea adventure, a cautionary economic and environmental tale, and a mythic saga of man and nature “INTO THE DEEP: America, Whaling and the World” will premier April 29th at the Erie Maritime Museum.
“INTO THE DEEP: America, Whaling and the World” is a PBS Documentary movie that was shot onboard the Flagship Niagara last August (2009). The film will be distributed nationwide on PBS’ network this summer. In order to provide a special screening opportunity for Erie-area residents, the Flagship Niagara League is pleased to announce an Erie premier and director’s reception. The event, a fundraiser for the Flagship Niagara, will feature an opening cocktail reception, followed by brief remarks and commentary by Director Ric Burns.
According the documentary program website, “American Experience”, INTO THE DEEP: America, Whaling, & The World, from filmmaker Ric Burns, tells the thrilling and epic story of three centuries of American whaling, and the unique relationship between American whalers and the giant creatures they hunted. The hunt for these mysterious, mammoth beings helped fueled the expansion of the American economy – propelled tiny backwater ports like Nantucket and New Bedford to the unrivalled center of the whaling world – and pioneered the first truly global enterprise America ever knew.
Few aspects of the American experience have struck more deeply into the imagination of the American people – or resonated more profoundly with deepest American hopes, fears and dreams – than the savagely primal, unfathomably limit-testing experience of whaling. Says Ric Burns, “the epic story of whaling is intimately bound up with the story of America, in strange and telling ways: as a riveting case study in maritime culture at its most extreme – as a dark and shining parable of American capitalism on the rise – and as an allegory for the American, and the human experience – long before a restless sometime whaleman and would-be writer named Herman Melville ever went to sea.”
When: Thursday, April 29th
6:30 p.m. Museum Reception
7:15 p.m. Film Introduction by Director Ric Burns
7:30 p.m. Showtime
Where: Erie Maritime Museum – Hirt Auditorium
Cost: FNL Member: $45 per couple or $25 Individual
Non Member: $60 per couple or $35 Individual
*Make check payable to Flagship Niagara League.
Telephone reservations accepted by credit card.
Call: 452-2744, Ext. 225
Contact: Bill Sutton, Executive Director, Flagship Niagara League
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