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    Tall Ship Sailor Tuesday

    It’s Tall Ship Sailor Tuesday! We made it up, but we think it’s awesome. One of our favorite tall ship sailors (he and Raphael Semmes are probably tied for favorite) is Irving Johnson. If you’ve ever sailed with us, you may have heard us discuss his movie, Around Cape Horn. In it, he documents his sail around Cape Horn in 1929 on board the Peking, a 377 foot steel hulled, four masted barque. If you haven’t seen it, please make the effort to get a copy – it is awe inspiring. Well, onto Captain Irving.┬áIrving McClure Johnson was born on July 4, 1905 on the family farm in Hadley, Massachusetts…

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    The Battle of Lake Erie

    This morning seemed like a good morning for a fun fact post on Facebook. The phrase I chose was ‘take the wind out of his sails.’ This phrase refers to a ship battle technique of maneuvering your vessel to the windward of another vessel. The ship and it’s sails block the other boats wind and your opponent loses all maneuverability. In my search to find a great battle picture, I ran across the artwork of Patrick O’Brien. Not to be confused with Patrick O’Brian of Master and Commander fame (but seriously, it must be something to do with the name), Mr. O’Brien with an ‘e’ paints amazing works of marine…

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    What’s A Tall Ship?

    Quite frequently, we have passengers on board ask what makes us a tall ship or what is a tall ship. Tall ships have their own festivals, their own association, John Masefield wants one with only a star to steer her by. In this post we will explain what makes a tall ship a tall ship. Quite simply put, a tall ship is large, traditionally-rigged sailing vessel. Popular modern tall ship rigs include topsail schooners, brigantines, brigs and barques. Over the years, four classes of tall ships have emerged, standardized and popularized by the organization Sail Training International: A, B, C, and D. Class A All square-rigged vessels (barque, barquentine, brig,…

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    A Post About Clouds, Are You Cirrus?

    In this day and age of weather apps that instantly give us condition updates, it can be easy to forget that for hundreds of years, sailors used cloud shapes as weather indicators. Take the classic sailor’s saying, “Mackerel skies and mare’s tails, means you soon shall shorten sail.” Let’s take a look at the different clouds and what they indicate. Clouds belong to one of four base categories that use Latin words to describe the appearance of the cloud from the ground. The four principle categories are: Cumulus, meaning heap Stratus, meaning layer Cirrus, meaning curl of hair Nimbus, meaning rain Further classification within these fours groups identifies clouds by…

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    It’s Hot So Let’s Talk About Something Cold

    If you’re looking for some cool summer reading, might we suggest Alfred Lansing’s Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. I read this book last summer cover to cover in under a couple of days, it was that riveting. If you’re not familiar, the saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, “defined heroism.” On August 1, 1914, the same day Germany declared war on Russia, Shackleton departed London on the ship Endurance to the South Pole. The goal of his expedition was to cross the Antarctic overland. The ad Shackleton posted in the paper to raise crew kind of…

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    The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Hey there guys, Kim here! OK, so not a schooner, but the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald has always fascinated me. The legend of the Edmund Fitzgerald remains the most mysterious and controversial of all shipwreck tales heard around the Great Lakes. Her story is surpassed in books, film, and media only by that of the Titanic. Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot inspired popular interest in this vessel with his 1976 ballad, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” If you’ve never heard it before, first off, shame on you, second, here you go: The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost with her entire crew of 29 men on Lake Superior November 10, 1975,…

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    My Favorite Schooner

    We on the Schooner Freedom are not ashamed to admit that we are schooner dorks. We argue about the names of masts on four masted schooners, how big you could make that jib, and we look up other schooners, just because we want to know about them. I love it, it makes me happy and you have some great stuff to talk about when you meet other schooner dorks. My personal favorite schooner, other than the Freedom, of course, is the Schooner Thomas W. Lawson. It was a seven (yeah, I said seven) masted steel schooner. It was, to date: 1. The largest schooner ever built, in terms of tonnage…

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    New Web Site

    We have a new web site, hurrah! It took a lot of research and man hours, but goodness was it worth it. We hope that you all enjoy it as much as we do. Designing a new web site may not be as glamorous as the actual sailing, but it all comes together gloriously to allow us to do what we love to do. Feel free to browse through the site and keep a weather eye on our blog – it will be updated daily (mostly) and should be a great way to keep in touch with everyone. Thanks for all of the positive feedback on Facebook – we couldn’t…

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    Nautical Movie List Part 1

    Hey guys, Kim here. With a little bit of rain washing out our earlier trip, it seemed like a good time to start the beginnings of our favorite nautical movies list! Captain Ron Any sailor knows you always start off with Captain Ron. Why? Because it’s Captain Ron…and the filming locales are all tropical, so we immediately feel tropical! “If anything’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there.” Deep Water Hands down, my favorite sailing documentary. Deep Water tells the true story of the 1969 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. This sail race took competitors around the world, by way of the 3 capes, solo, non-stop, and unassisted. The Golden…

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    Florida, Schooners, Pine, and Mr. Fatio

    Despite the much told stories of pirating in St. Augustine, the town’s most prolific maritime venture was the legal trade of Florida Yellow Pine. I know, it doesn’t sound as exciting but Florida Yellow Pine was so desired, it was considered a huge bargaining chip between two world powers, England and Spain. Florida’s timber trade began in Pensacola, FL in 1743, with the first shipment containing pitch, turpentine, and 2 Florida yellow pine spars, each 84 ft. long, on a packet schooner bound for Havana. The first water-powered sawmill was built on Six Mile Creek in Jacksonville in 1819. Six Mile Creek is a shoot-off of the St. Johns River,…