In 2009, the US Brig Niagara will be sailing out of her home port in Erie, Pennsylvania on several voyages to exciting destinations on the Great Lakes! We will also be flying the flag at home quite a bit in 2009, so the summer schedule promises to display the ship and interpret her history to as many people as possible, and to draw crowds to Erie as well as in other ports.
In 2008, the daysail program proved to be overwhelmingly popular. Therefore, in 2009 we are increasing the number of daysails available to the public to 26 daysails in Erie, PA.
In 2009, The Niagara Daysail Program will be available on Friday evenings, Saturday evenings, and Sundays during the day. While the days are longest in June and July, the ship’s daysail schedule allows slightly later evening sails in June and July than in August and September. Be sure to review the schedule carefully to be certain of daysail dates and times when registering for a daysail or planning a visit to tour the ship and museum.
Student registration in the 2009 Daysail Program (Saturday and Sunday daysails only) will begin on Monday, November 17, 2008 for Flagship Niagara League members only. Daysail registration for the general public begins on December 17th. FNL Members are given the benefit of early opportunity to register for the daysail program. If you’d like to become a member of the Flagship Niagara League, you can find out how on our website at www.brigniagara.org
The Flagship Niagara League and Erie Maritime Museum are proud to announce a new Corporate Team Building Program designed to improve inter-office camaraderie, communications, and teamwork. This exciting new program was systematicly designed through the implementation of several pilot programs offered over the last two sailing seasons. All nine Friday evening daysails are currently reserved for corporate use until promotion of this new program is fully implemented. For questions about this new program, please contact Capt. Wesley Heerssen, (814) 452-2744, x218. We anticipate beginning to accept public registration for specific Friday evening daysails (not booked for corporate use) after February 12, 2009.
The passages next summer are what the crew thrive on. Trainees in the live-aboard Seamanship Training Program are sure to get a thrill out of the scheduled passages between Erie and other Great Lakes ports! If you’ve never sailed throughout the night, steering and holding the ship to her course by little more than the binnacle light and moonlight… or if you’ve never climbed aloft to make sail changes during the mid-watch…then my friends, you haven’t lived! It’s an empowering experience you’ll never forget.
This summer we will be making a passage to Montreal. This will be the first time in 9 years for Niagara to be in Montreal. We will have the opportunity to transit the Thousand Island Region as well as the St. Lawrence Seaway. We will also be adding a stop in Oswego, NY on our way back from Montreal before stopping in Port Colbourne, ON for Canal Days.
We’ll also be making two visits to historic Put-In-Bay, OH, in the islands at the West end of Lake Erie, where Niagara’s famous Battle of Lake Erie occurred. Put-In-Bay is much more than the party island most folks from the Great Lakes region hear about. Between the parks, the historic homes & buildings, the vineyards, the beaches, the caves & more, there is no shortage of things to do in Put-In-Bay. Moreover, it is a place held dear in the hearts of everyone who’s ever sailed onboard Niagara. Put-In-Bay is the ship’s home away from home and the two trips there will each offer a most unique perspective of Niagara and Put-In-Bay’s common history.
I’ll post more details about these fantastic ports later, but for now I’ll offer this… While in Put-In-Bay we are planning on conducting several daysails. At this time we are still working on the plan for implementing the daysails, registration process, etc… So stay tuned to the Ship’s Log for details on how to sign up to sail onboard while we’re in Put-In-Bay.
In August, the ship will be sailing to Port Colbourne, Ontario at the southwestern end of the Wellend Canal to help celebrate their annual Canal Days festival. Port Colbourne is a beautiful town at the downstream end of Lake Erie, about 75 miles upstream of Lake Ontario. Ships can go from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario by either of two means…via the Welland Canal or over the famous Niagara Falls. Personally, I prefer the former. It’s likely to be an exciting August passage, involving numerous sail changes dodging summer squalls to stay in the calmer waters. The ship will probably pass in view of Long Point lighthouse on our way between the ports of Erie and Port Colbourne. This passage will be particularly meaningful for anyone who lives in Erie, Buffalo, or Port Colbourne because the three communities share present as well as historical ties across the Niagara penninsula.
Trainees are free to sign up now for any length of time between two and four weeks. We generally do not accept trainees for less than two weeks, and after four weeks, trainees are typically ready for the Apprenticeship Program. So if you want to join the big rigs, and sail on one of America’s last fully operational square-riggers, get planning now!
The 2009 summer sailing season is approaching fast, so if you want to sail on Niagara, choose the program that best fits you, your friends, or your company, and start planning now! Contact Julie Wagner at the Flagship Niagara League office as soon as possible to plan next summer’s adventure before the ship is fully booked! Julie can be reached by phone at (814) 452-2744, x221 or by email at email@example.com