USS Fort McHenry Public Tours

Update 9/6/2015

The USS FT McHenry will be open to free public tours Sunday, 9/6 (12:30-4pm) and Monday, 9/7 (10am-4pm). Launches leave from 67 Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester. First come, first serve. Restrictions apply.


 

Update 9/5/2015

Due to mechanical difficulties with the launch, Sept 5 tours on the USS MCHENRY are indefinitely postponed. We hope to have everything up and running soon.


The 610-foot USS Fort McHenry, one of the Navy’s fleet of Whidbey Island Class dock landing ships, is scheduled to dock about 9 a.m. Friday in the Outer Harbor and will be open to free public tours Friday, 9/4 (noon-4pm), Saturday, 9/5 (1-4pm), Sunday, 9/6 (12:30-4pm) and Monday, 9/7 (10am-4pm). Launches leave from 67 Rogers Street in downtown Gloucester. First come, first serve. Restrictions apply.

Maritime Gloucester Evening Under the Spars Auction 2015

savethedatespars2015b-w528The Maritime Gloucester Evening Under the Spars Auction 2015 is now open. The auction will run from August 28, 2015 to September 5, 2015, with proceeds going to Maritime Gloucester in order to support our programs.

Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!

Now is your chance to not only get all the great items you want, but to do it knowing you are helping support our organization and mission to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences.

Columbia Arrives Thursday, August 27

Come down to Maritime Gloucester (23 Harbor Loop, downtown Gloucester) to celebrate the arrival of the schooner Columbia on Thursday, August 27, at 10am. All attendees will be entered into a raffle for a free 2015 Schooner Festival Hat and Schooner Festival T-Shirt! (must be present during the drawing to win)

Help us welcome the Columbia is proper Gloucester style!

Gloucester Schooner Festival Celebrates Essex Schooners

The story line of this year’s 31st annual Gloucester Schooner Festival, which runs from September 4th to September 6th, is all about Essex built and Essex inspired schooners. And the arrival of the 610’ USS Fort McHenry, but we’ll get to that.

The Schooner Columbia-- yesterday and today

The Schooner Columbia– yesterday and today

The signature or attraction schooner at this year’s Festival is the replica Columbia. The original Columbia was a 141’ classic Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts in 1923. That fall, the Columbia, designed for speed,  challenged the Bluenose, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races in Halifax. Nearly winning the title, the Columbia was narrowly defeated by the Bluenose and was one of the few American schooners to provide a challenge to Bluenose. (The other being the Gertrude Thebaud which beat the Bluenose in the Lipton Cup in 1930. The trophy is on display at Maritime Gloucester.). The replica Columbia was built by Brian D’Isernia at his boat yard, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, in Panama City, Florida. The Schooner is currently sailing to Sable Island, where the vessel was lost with all hands in a gale on August 24, 1927.  Following a memorial service at sea, the Columbia will make the return trip to Gloucester that never occurred. The Columbia is slated to arrive in Gloucester on August 27, 2015 in advance of the Schooner Festival.  “This is such a great story,” says Schooner Committee Chair, Daisy Nell Collinson. “We hope the public will come out in great numbers to welcome the Columbia and, over the weekend, celebrate the great history of schooners from Essex and Gloucester.”

This year’s schooner race also includes three of the remaining five Essex-built working schooners. The schooners Adventure (1926), Lettie G. Howard (1893), and the Roseway (1925) will all be racing this year. The Highlander Sea (1924) will be resting comfortably at the Gloucester Marine Railways as it enviously observes its wooden brethren compete for the Esperanto Cup. Of the remaining “intact” Essex-Built Schooners, only the Ernestina-Morrissey will be missing from this austere group. The Massachusetts owned schooner is being rebuilt in the state of Maine. Joining their elders will be the schooners Thomas Lannon, Ardelle and the Fame, all built over the last 20 years by 11th generation boat builder Harold Burnham at his boat yard in Essex.

USS Fort McHenry

USS Fort McHenry

The Schooner Festival will also feature a major attraction vessel — the USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43), which is a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy. She was named for Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, the 1814 defense of which inspired The Star-Spangled Banner. This 610’ vessel is actively deployed around the world for combat and humanitarian purposes. It carries as many as 22 officers and 391 enlisted sailors. The ship will be available for public tours on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. “The City of Gloucester is honored to have the USS Fort McHenry in our historic harbor,” says Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo-Theken. “We hope the community and weekend visitors take this opportunity to board the ship and honor the great men and women serving our country.” For more information about this Navy vessel, go to http://www.fort-mchenry.navy.mil/.

For a complete list of the Gloucester Schooner Festival schedule, go to http://gloucesterschoonerfestival.net/?page_id=23

Lead sponsors of the Festival include: the City of Gloucester, First Ipswich Bank, Market Basket and Institution for Savings. For a full list of sponsors, go to the Festival’s website. The Festival raises much needed funds from the community by offering Schooner Festival raffle in addition to corporate support. Please purchase raffle tickets (available at Maritime Gloucester) or during Maritime Heritage Day. These funds directly support our efforts to put kids on the water.

Maritime Gloucester is a 501(c) (3) non-profit institution whose mission is to inspire students and visitors to value marine science, maritime heritage and environmental stewardship through hands-on education and experiences. Its one-acre campus is located on Gloucester Harbor at 23 Harbor Loop, adjacent to the Coast Guard Station. For more information go to www.maritimegloucester.org or like us on Facebook.

USS Fort McHenry

The USS Fort McHenry will be visiting Gloucester during the 2015 Schooner Festival. A Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship of the United States Navy, she was named for Fort McHenry, in Baltimore, Maryland, the 1814 defense of which inspired the Star-Spangled Banner.  (More information to follow)

USS FORT MCHENRY1

Columbia to Join Schooner Festival

YesterdayTodayColumbiaD-Web (4)The Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee is thrilled to announce that the schooner Columbia, a steel hull exact replica of the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner, will join the fleet during the 2015 Festival.  Columbia was launched in 2014.

Click here to view the Columbia’s brochure.

Information about Columbia (written in 2014):

Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that the COLUMBIA (ESG Hull 981) a steel hull exact replica of the historic Gloucester Fishing Schooner, has completed her sailing trials. The sailing trials were held on September 18, 2014 directly offshore of the beaches of Panama City, Florida. Ninety-one years earlier, the original “COLUMBIA” was officially measured on October 27th, 1923 just before her race with the “BLUENOSE” by Raymond J. Milgate, a marine surveyor of Halifax, N.S.

The original COLUMBIA was a 141’ classic wooden hull Gloucester Fishing Schooner built at the historic A.D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts. The town of Essex was the center for North American Fishing Schooner construction. Designed by the innovative William Starling Burgess, the original COLUMBIA was bred for speed. In the fall of 1923, the COLUMBIA challenged the BLUENOSE, Canada’s legendary schooner in the International Fishermen’s Cup Races held offshore of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Nearly winning the title, the COLUMBIA was narrowly defeated by the BLUENOSE and was one of the few American schooners to provide a real challenge to BLUENOSE.

Tragedy struck the promising young COLUMBIA on August 24, 1927 near Sable Island, the notorious “Graveyard of the Atlantic”, where the COLUMBIA was lost with all hands in a gale.
The COLUMBIA will continue to undergo final outfitting and delivery preparation this fall at Eastern. The COLUMBIA will also be exhibited at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show October 30th – November 3rd, 2014. Details can be found at the website below.

http://www.showmanagment.com/fort_lauderdale_international_boat_show/event/

Working with John W. Gilbert & Associates of Boston, Massachusetts, the design was re-engineered with a steel hull instead of wood. An engine room and staterooms were added to the design. Covey Island Boatworks of Lunenburg Nova Scotia built the rigging and spars. Blocks were fabricated by A. Dauphinee & Sons and all the sails were constructed by Michelle Stevens Sailloft, LTD, both from the Second Peninsula, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Teak decking was completed by Teakdecking Systems of Florida.

Festival Raffle features Caggiano Painting

Lanes Cove by John Caggiano, Rockport, MA

Lanes Cove by John Caggiano, Rockport, MA

Tickets are now available for the 2015 Gloucester Schooner Festival Raffle. The grand prize in this year’s raffle is a beautiful 9″x12″ oil Painting by Festival Artist John Caggiano– Lane’s Cove.  (The painting is 9″x12″ in an antiqued  gold painted wooden frame (overall frame size 15″ x18″)

Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 and are available for Festival Committee members and at Maritime Gloucester at 23 Harbor Loop in downtown Gloucester.

Prize list:
Grand Prize: 9″x12″ Lane’s Cove Oil Painting by Festival Artist John Caggiano
Ryan & Wood Distilleries Gift Basket
Twelve 1 1/2 lb lobsters from Mortillaro’s Lobster Co.
Two Tickets aboard the Schooner Thomas Lannon
$85 gift certificate from North Sails
$50 gift certificate from Turner’s Seafood w $50 gift certificate from Russell Orchards
$50 gift certificate from Lobsta Land Restaurant
$25 gift certificate from Turtle Alley Chocolates
Daisy Nell children’s books: set of 5 books/CDs

The drawing will be held on 9/6/2015, at the conclusion of the Gloucester Schooner Festival.
Proceeds from this raffle will support the Gloucester Schooner Festival & its Youth Education Fund.