When I was 3 years old I picked out what became the best friend a boy could ever have. He was a Golden Retriever who was my closest friend and companion until I was in High School. I named this dog Goldie(I was 3). I tell all of you this only so you can know the standards that our Goldie had to live up to in order to be called a name that I hold in such high regard. So far he has not let me down.
Goldie is from Rochester, NY and grew up on Lake Ontario. By the age of 4 months he had sailed across Lake Ontario on his parents boat. While growing up he spent many summer cruising Lake Ontario. Goldie also spent time in England as a sailing instructor while he and his family were living in London. While in the Boy Scouts Goldie reached the level of Eagle Scout with a Lake Ontario based final service project.
In 2003 Goldie started his career in tall ships on the schooner Victory Chimes. This is the largest of all the Maine Windjammers sailing in the Penobscot Bay fleet. Goldie also spent time sailing with South Street Seaport on Lettie G. Howard and a couple years with Ocean Classroom on the their 3 vessels. He holds a 100 ton Near Coastal Master’s USCG License and an AB Special MMD.
Because of a prior commitment Goldie was not able to join the ship until the beginning of June. We then very soon after left for Toronto which was one of our hardest passages of the summer. We were already by then a very close knit crew but Goldie had no trouble at all fitting into the mix due to his positive attitude and his infectious laugh. Goldie’s laugh will most likely be heard by most of the ship’s company and usually they will end up joining in whether or not they know what the joke was.
Goldie’s positive attitude and selfless dedication to the ship and the crew have made him an extremely valueable member of this crew both during the sailing season and the winter. Goldie’s presence this winter has been instrumental in keeping such a strong volunteer core. Rob and I could not have done it without him. Trainees will enjoy working with Goldie again this summer.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Pat is born and raised right here in the Erie area. Pat started his life on the water aboard the Enticer. Pat owned and operated this boat as a sport fishing charter boat from 1991 until 1999. He worked at the Bayfront Center for Maritime Studies for a year as well before coming to Niagara full time in September of 2005.
Pat starting volunteering on the ship in the fall of 1999 loading the trucks to send the ship to Philadelphia for her last East Coast voyage. He then spent the next 5 years between volunteering and working on service contracts as a carpenter.
Since Pat started working for the ship full time he has spent time as Carpenter, Assistant Engineer, AB and he will be sailing as the Engineer this summer. Pat has worn many hats while sailing on the ship and many things have been asked of him. He does all these things enthusiastically. Pat loves Niagara and will do anything to help the ship and his shipmates. His dedication to the ship and shipmates is infectious and all who sail with him are inspired to work as hard as he does.
This year Pat will be changing his blue shirt to a khaki shirt. This will be his first year as an officer and he deserves it. He also holds a 200 ton master’s license on top of all that experience. We are lucky to have him on the ship.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Rob started sailing on tall ships at Tabor Academy on the schooner SSV Tabor Boy. This is also where he and I met while we both students at Tabor. By the time Rob left the SSV Tabor Boy he had risen to the rank of XO which the equivalent of Chief Mate at the ripe old age of 17. He also implemented a formal sail training program on the schooner as a senior project. This sail training program is something I used later as a tool to help create my own sail training program at Maine Maritime Academy. He spent his college years at Hobart College racing dinghies and getting a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in geology but luckily for us he came back to tall ships after graduation.
Rob came to Niagara as an AB but as the Boatswain berth opened up he was the obvious candidate. Rob will now be entering his first full season as Boatswain and second season on the ship. His tireless work over this winter will be quite apparent to anyone who steps aboard. The ship looks better now than I have seen it and that is in large part due to the work Rob has accomplished.
Rob’s teaching background and calm demeanor will give the trainees this summer comfort in learning the miriad of things they will need to know in a very short period of time. Rob always has a smile on his face and anyone who gets the opportunity to sail with him will usually have that same smile as well.
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Chris started his career at sea in the United States Coast Guard at the age of 18. After 4 years in the UCSG taking him from places such as Homer, Alaska to the Panama Canal, he entered Maine Maritime Academy where he spent 2 years and currently holds a 200 Near Coastal License.
He spent last season as Third Mate and Engineer. This summer he will continue his duties as Third Mate and will be taking over the Safety Officer duties. With myself, Joe and Chris we will have 3 officers going into their second year in the same positions. This is a huge benefit to the ship. The learning curve will not be as steep which will let us hit the ground running.
Chris’s positive attitude and ability to liven up the atmosphere with the crew is invaluable with maintaining a high level of morale on the ship. His passion for Niagara and our sail training program shines through in all the work he does on board.
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This week marked the arrival of Chris Cusson, David Goldman, Hannah Gray and Sydnee Groenendaal. Chris and Goldie will be here all season. Hannah is just here for a month to help with uprig. Sydnee is spending her spring break with us before she comes back in May full time which is actually the same thing that I did before my first season on the Flagship Niagara. It’s been great to have a crew again that can tackle many tasks all throughout the week rather than just on Saturdays. Cover Day is only 4 weeks away! The sailing season is getting closer and closer everyday!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
This is a interesting look at what Erie has to offer. I thought putting it up here might help any prospective trainees or people who will be joining us. It will give you an idea about the other things in Erie.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Here’s the crew for 2009:
Senior Captain: Walter Rybka
Captain: Wesley Heerssen
Chief Mate: Billy Sabatini
Second Mate: Joe Lengieza
Third Mate: Chris Cusson
Engineer/Carpenter: Pat Crosby
Cook: Ray Krugger
Boatswain: Rob Aspinwall
Alpha AB Seaman: Monet Brazier
Bravo AB Seaman: David Goldman
Charlie AB Seaman: Rocky Hadler
Ordinary Seaman: Isaiah Young
Ordinary Seaman: Natalie Schaefer
Ordinary Seaman: Sydnee Groenendaal
Ordinary Seaman: Jeremy Dann
Ordinary Seaman: Michael Pierson
Ordinary Seaman: Ben Tribby
Ordinary Seaman: Billy Rudek
I plan on posting here and on facebook informatin on each of the crew members and what they are doing this winter so keep checking the blog and you’ll find out who your 2009 Niagara crew is. This looks to be a great crew and I can’t wait to sail with them this summer. The crew will start arriving March 3rd and our full compliment will be here by the Shakedown Sail on May 21st. Let’s Go Sailing!!!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
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