Please select your home edition
Edition
Safety at Sea - Baltic - 2

Connecticut Schooner Festival

by The Day/Sail-World Cruising on 17 Sep 2013
Connecticut Schooner Festival .. .
As the America's Cup unfolds a new world of sailing challenges and the sailors themselves present more like characters out of a fantasy science thriller than traditional sailors, over in Connecticut they are celebrating our graceful sailing history.

Schooners from around the region - Mystic Whaler, Brilliant, Malabar II, Virginia, Sophia Christina, Mary E, Schooner Mystic and Equinox - gathered to celebrate their historic ties with the region in the 'Connecticut Schooner Festival'.


All were welcome to join in, not just experienced sailors. Lucinda Johnson and Gladys Ramos, mother and daughter landlubbers, got into the spirit of handling a tall ship Friday morning as they helped to hoist some of the Mystic Whaler's 3,000 square feet of sails.

As the crew shouted 'Heave!' during the short trip from Mystic Seaport to City Pier in New London, Johnson and Ramos joined some of the 23 guests aboard the 83-foot schooner and responded with 'Ho!' as they pulled on lines that brought up the sails.

Johnson had won tickets for Friday's three-hour ride, which kicked off the inaugural Connecticut Schooner Festival. She invited her mother to join her.

'That was pretty cool,' Johnson, who lives in Ledyard, told The Day of getting her hands on the lines and pulling up the sail. 'Whatever they told us to do, we did it.'

Mystic Whaler was supposed to lead a parade of sail Friday for the start of the festival. But weather conditions and other events conspired to reduce the parade to only three ships — Mystic Whaler, followed by Brilliant and Malabar II.

But no one on board Mystic Whaler seemed to mind. And neither did the people lining either side of the Mystic River to see the ship off. Standing on docks and seated in lawn chairs on grassy areas, several dozen people waved and shouted to Capt. John Eginton as he motored down the Mystic River with sails set.

The overcast morning turned into a brilliant day as the schooner cruised out to Fishers Island Sound and then up the Thames River. Speed boats, kayakers, ferries, more than 100 boats lining up for the Fall Off Soundings race, and even a submarine, were part of the sights along the way.

On board, New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio chatted with other guests, including state Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, and talked up the city's assets — City Pier, Waterfront Park, floating docks and good restaurants.

'We have to capitalize on our investments,' Finizio told The Day. 'We've got to get the people here to see what we have. New London is very much on the rise.'

On board without his cellphone, Finizio said he was the most relaxed he's been in months during the three-hour journey. 'I'm not from a boating family, but I love to be out on the water,' he said.

When the ship arrived at City Pier, Mystic Whaler's homeport, about 1 p.m., Eginton shouted a greeting: 'Welcome to New London and welcome to the Schooner Festival!'

The festival is a collaboration of Mystic Seaport and OpSail Connecticut to celebrate the region's maritime heritage. The five-day event began at Mystic Seaport on Wednesday and included a parade of lighted boats Friday night.

Soon, after the celebrations and some fun racing on Saturday - which was much easier to identify with than the America's Cup - it was all over and all the schooners left New London late Sunday morning for their home ports.

Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Growing Fleet of Firsts for Queensland’s biggest GC Intl Marine Expo
A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape even more world-leading marine brands/businesses step aboard this week A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape as even more world-leading marine brands and businesses step aboard this week with first releases at Australia’s first major boat show of 2017 – the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo in March.
Posted on 2 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Lisa Blair departing on her Antarctic circumnavigation attempt
Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair will depart on her record breaking attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica on 22 January Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair will depart on her record breaking attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica on Sunday 22 January 2017.
Posted on 21 Jan