Editor's note: This a corrected version of this story. The Adventure will be leading the Parade of Sail in this year's festival.
For the first time in 20 years, one of Cape Ann’s historic schooners will race under sail in this weekend’s Schooner Festival.
The 122-foot historic wooden dory fishing schooner Adventure will be challenged in the Mayor’s Cup Race by a record number of vessels, including the 80-foot Adirondack III, captained by Timothy Lord.
The spice of the challenge between these two boats may be that the 60-year-old Lord was the last captain to helm the working Adventure, when it was a passenger sailing vessel and education facility for school groups from 1988 to 1994.
“This is a very exciting time for the Adventure and her supporters as she returns to her place among the historic tall ships” says Schooner Adventure Executive Director Joanne Souza. “She will be racing for the Mayor’s Cup on Sunday of Gloucester Schooner Festival, but in the near future, she will be sailing so supporters and visitors will be able to experience the life of a Gloucester fisherman at the beginning of the 21st century.”
The Adventure was built in 1926 in Essex, is a National Historic Landmark, an official project of Save America’s Treasures, and the flagship for the city of Gloucester.
“I spent a portion of my childhood growing up on the schooner and specifically remember one of the best fireworks shows of my life being aboard the Adventure,” said Lord’s daughter, Sarah Lord.
She said her father, a heart attack survivor, works his heart out on the Adirondack III, much as he did on the Adventure.
“I know this weekend will be the icing on the cake, even if he doesn’t win,” she said.
While several schooners have already arrived, the majority of the vessels should arrive today.
Besides the Adventure, the Virginia, Roseway, American Eagle and Liberty Clipper, all over 80 feet, will be sailing in the festival. Additionally, at least six schooners, including the Adironack III, will be offering spots to paying passengers to sail over the weekend and during the race. Go to www.gloucesterschoonerfestival.net for further information about booking a sail on a schooner.
Other Cape Ann schooners will also participate in the weekend festival. The Adventure will be the leading schooner in the Parade of Sail at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, and will be joined by the Lewis H. Story, flagship for the Essex Shipbuilding Museum; Ardelle, flagship for Maritime Gloucester; Thomas E. Lannon, The Bald Eagle and Sugar Babe, all of Gloucester; and Green Dragon from Manchester; among the other vessels participating.
Assisting with this year’s festival will be the Sea Scout Ship 5 out of Maritime Gloucester. It has been more than 25 years since a Sea Scout group was operating out of Gloucester and the newly formed Gloucester Ship is the only Massachusetts ship north of Boston. The group is part of the Boy Scouts’ Yankee Clipper Council, and a national, co-ed outdoor program for 14- to 20-year-olds that promotes knowledge of the nation’s maritime heritage and provides hands-on maritime education, training and experiences.
“It is exciting to be part of the new Sea Scout program and to carry on the lost traditions of North Shore Ship 5. We will do our best to help promote maritime heritage at Maritime Gloucester and at the upcoming Schooner Festival” said Julian Murray-Brown, a 15-year-old member. Teens from Gloucester High School Sailing and The Museum School/Project Adventure will also be assisting.
In addition to the sailing, Maritime Heritage Day takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Area environmental groups and maritime heritage organizations will be set up with interactive exhibits along side of local crafters demonstrating their art. Sunny Fishcakes Music Review will perform during the afternoon. Lunch will be available on the pier.
Finally, this year’s festival sees the return of a public food event. On Saturday afternoon, a Lobster Bake from 4 to 7 p.m. at Maritime Gloucester and Fitz Henry Lane Park will offer a lobster, corn on the cob and Virgilio’s roll for $12. Beer, wine, soda and water as well as hot dogs and hamburgers will also be available. Music will be provided by Old Cold Tater. Advanced tickets can be purchased online at http://maritimegloucester.org/visit/events.php (scroll down to the bottom of the page), or at the Maritime Gloucester museum, or other local spots including the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.
Schooners participate in the festival 1. Adirondack III 2. Adventure 3. Adventurer 4. American Eagle 5. Ardelle 6. Bald Eagle 7. Brilliant 8. Estrela 9. Fame 10. Green Dragon 11. Humble 12. Irena 13. Lewis Story 14. Light Reign 15. Liberty Clipper 16. Morning Light 17. Perception 18. Roseway 19. Sugar Babe 20. Thomas Lannon 21. Tillicum I 22. Tyrone 23. Virginia