Sunday, October 21, 2012

Inaugaral Old City Seaport Festival at Independence Seaport Museum

There was a distinctly 19th C. feel to the Seaport as I entered and saw a forest of masts.

Inside the museum, the Sea Dogs were performing period music in period costume, very 18th C.

The Kalmar Nyckel distinctly brought home the 17th C. So here we have about 400 years of nautical history in front of us.

The Kalmar Nyckel brought the first Swedish settlers to the New World in 1638.

The replica, Delaware's tall ship, is as bright and ornate as the original would have been.

The folks aboard established the first permanent settlement in the Delaware Valley, the Colony of New Sweden, at what is today Wilmington, DE.

I'd never been aboard her. She is aptly named.

She is the second ship bearing that name, the first was tragically lost in a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986.

Both ships were built as replicas of the Baltimore Clippers, which type helped win the war of 1812.

The Gazela Primiero, commonly called the Gazela, is Philadelphia's tall ship. Built in 1901 in Setubal,  Portugal for the Grand Banks fishery. Not a replica, she is the original article.

I have no information about this charming little runabout, not even sure she was part of the festival, but she had a beguiling 1950's look about her.

Tugboat Jupiter also in the care of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild (as is Gazela). Built in 1902 as a steam powered vessel, later converted to deisel, she worked in NY for Standard Oil. She came to Philly in 1999.

AJ Meerwald is New Jersey's tall ship.

Built in 1928, she's a Delaware Bay Oyster Schooner. She worked into the late 1970's and after a brief retirement was given over to her current protectors, The Bayshore Discovery Project.

Gotta love it.

This sleek beast is the Summerwind.

She is now a training vessel for the Merchant Marine Academy. Built in 1929 in Thomaston ME for a wealthy industrialist who lost her due to the crash, she's had an interesting history. She serverd as an anti-submarine patrol off Montauk during WWII. Just look at that elegant boom.

She's immaculately maintained, this service being provided, in large part I was assured, by the first year gentlemen.

It wasn't all tall ships! Here's a glorious 'little' Herreshoff Meadowlark, replete with leeboards.

Quite a lineup, there's Summerwind, with Gazela just visible behind her, the Meadowlark, AJ Meerwald and the Kalmar and Pride. Wow.

The festival was capped off with a (mock) pirate battle late Sunday afternoon. Here we see the Kalmar, Pride and Meerwald, with the Pride of Baltimore evidently taking a shot at the Seaport!
the above photo courtesy ISM, credit Darrah Foster.
All other photos copyright Thomas Armstrong 

Indepedence Seaport Museum did something new this year. They rolled three different events from the past into one very rich weekend. The Philadelphia Wooden Boat Festival, the Pirate Battle and the Tall Ships weekend were all combined to produce the Old City Seaport Festival. I was unable to attend on Saturday, the nicer of the two days, weather wise, due to being out of town, but made it down on Sunday. The forecast was for rain, and as a result, some of the small boats that had been there Saturday didn't return. The rain held off, and though overcast and threatening, it was a very good day. Lots to see and do. The presence of so many tall ships was nearly overwhelming and represented a sizable chunk of American nautical history, spanning centuries. There was live period music and many craft vendors inside the museum.
This is now a paid event, and I initially felt the price was a bit high until I realized that it included entrance to the museum's collection, things for children, but most of all a chance for a tall ship sail! I'm sure this event will grow both in popularity and recognition, as it has so much to offer. Well done. My only regret is that, through my own ignorance, I missed the second floor balcony beer garden.

Originally posted by Thomas Armstrong on 70.8%

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