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%

Saturday, October 13, 2012

30th Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

A couple of looks at the waterfront and activity on the Miles River

Coming in from the race is James Miller in Fretless, a 26' Tancook Whaler built by Peter Van Dine in Qwings, MD, 1979.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Lourie

Pete at the dock taking care of the details

Here's Dark Star, a smart little round stern sharpie.

I just caught the owner as he was pulling out, said she was a 'Gardner' sharpie, no more info.

While the above two boats were new to me, this Welsford Navigator, Slip Jig, is a perennial visitor,owner built by Kevin Brennan

Just in from the race is another regular face at the MASCF, Andy Slavincus  and his Olin Stephans Blue Jay.

Tim Shaw added a sailing rig to his self designed and built outrigger canoe/proa Al Demany Chiman, and went to the races. Tim blogs about his boat activities @ Chineblog.



This marvel, and I am unsure of her name, was built by the Lavertue brothers,

 In Dan Sutherland's NY shop,

And fitted out with Bob Lavertue hardware. She took a spill in the race, but has recovered nicely.

Man and Baidarka become one.

Sultana Projects built this replica of the John Smith shallop a few years back.


She now resides at the CBMM.

The museum grounds have some terrific displays,

like these found in the appentice boatshop.

Bessie Lee is a seaside bateau,, from the Eastern Shore of VA. These boats worked both the bay and ocean sides of the penninsula. She has three mast steps, visible on the foredeck, to accommodate various conditions. Built c. 1820 by Hanson Downes, Capeville VA.

A big chunk of something destined to become part of a restoration, though I'm not sure which boat.

 Rosie Parks in her restoration shed.
The skipjack Rosie Parks was built in 1955 in Dorchester County by legendary boatbuilder Bronza Parks, for his brother, Captain Orville Parks, Sr. The sailing oyster dredging workboat was named after their mother. The skipjack is now under historic restoration at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

Keel detail


Her new deck is almost finished caulking.

Doesn't she look grand!

All photos copyright Thomas Armstrong except where noted
Another grand day in St. Michaels, MD. This festival never fails to please the small boat enthusiast. While it's not as broad in scope as Mystic, it's every bit as engaging and satisfying. That's a tall order. A little rain towards the end of the day dampened no ones spirits. It's a great museum doing really good work, and hosts a multitude of interesting weekends. Check it out if you aren't familiar with them. My day at the festival was followed by crabcakes, shrimp and drinks with my companions in charming St. Michaels.. Doesn't get any better.

Sincere thanks to John Ford and Tracey Munson for easing my way, and to all the participants in #30!

Originally posted by Thomas Armstrong on 70.8%

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Chappy Ferry Book

The newly released CHAPPY FERRY BOOK, by Tom Dunlop, which tells the dramatic, sometimes incredible 200-year-old story of the ferry for the very first time.

The book comes with remarkable photographs by Alison Shaw (and scores of historic images never seen before) as well as a short film on DVD by John Wilson -- hosted by Dick Ebersol, the former head of NBC Sports -- showing the ferry at work today.

Uriah Morse, ca. 1807-1835 The first known owner of the Chappy ferry.

Consider H. Fisher, ca. 1866-1883 The second known owner of the Chappy ferry
This is the oldest known image of the Chappy ferry in operation: Owner and skipper Charles B. Osborn unloads four passengers (and a valise) from his rowboat ferry at his boathouse pier, just south of what is now Edgartown Marine, circa 1895.
  CITY OF CHAPPAQUIDDICK of 1935, the first self-propelled scow (or motorized barge) on the route. 

Anthony A. Bettencourt, 1929-1948 The fifth known owner of the Chappy ferry (1929-1948)
Foster B. Silva, 1948-1953 The sixth known owner of the Chappy ferry

George T. Silva, 1953-1962 The seventh known owner of the ferry
Laurence A. Mercier, 1962-1966 The eighth known owner of the Chappy ferry
Jared N. Grant Era, 1966-1988 The ninth known owner of the Chappy ferry. The ON TIME III rounds the corner at Bend in the Road Beach in Edgartown on the day of her launch. The person supervising the tow is Lynn Murphy of Chilmark.
Debra J. Grant and Roy Hayes Era, 1988-2008 The tenth known owners of the Chappy ferry

Peter S. Wells and Sally T. Snipes Era, 2008-present The eleventh known owners of the Chappy ferry

This camera barge was the original self-propelled, car-carrying Chappy ferry, built by Tony Bettencourt, Manuel Swartz Roberts, and others on Chappaquiddick Point in 1935. Her name was CITY OF CHAPPAQUIDDICK. Serving as the platform for the filming of the last act of JAWS may have been the last job she ever did.
Alison Shaw photo
Alison Shaw photo
Tom Dunlop and Alison Shaw collaborated on this project as well.
Another Alison Shaw project

 All photos courtesy 'The Chappy Ferry Book'

Author Tom Dunlop and photographer Alison Shaw, who brought out the beautiful 'Schooner', the story of the building of the schooner Rebecca at the Gannon & Benjamin yard, have teamed up again to produce 'The Chappy Ferry Book' a history of the ferry running between Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard and Chappaquiddick Island. It's delightful. The book is lushly illustrated, filled with archival photos from the very early rowboat years, through the Jaws' adventure and up to the present with contemporary work from Alison Shaw. Tom Dunlop deftly embellishes the history of the ferry with context, anecdote and occasional intrigue. Reading the book, it is clear that the ferry has become a well loved fixture of Island life. Regardless of whether or not you have any interest in the Vineyard or Chappy Island, this is the story of the evolution of a simple, but essential service. It transcends the mundane by revealing the humanity of those involved.Highly recommended. Comes with a nice little video as well.

The 'Chappy Ferry Book', 'Schooner', and Alison Shaw's beautifully photographed 'To The Harbor Light', Lighthouses of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Cod are all published by Vineyard Stories, which is a uniquely interesting publishing house, a whole other story. Visit them.

I apologize for any inconsistency in the spacing of photos and captions. Blogger is being ornery.

Originally posted by Thomas Armstrong on 70.8%