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Ben Spivak, crew member of the Pride of Baltimore II, works on tarring the rigging of the schooner, a traditional way of preserving it, yesterday afternoon. The Pride of Baltimore II is docked at Harbor Loop for the Parade of Sail and The Mayor's Cup race tomorrow. For related story, festival and race schedule, please see Page A3.

The guided missile destroyer USS Nitze, with more than 300 sailors aboard, cut through the fog yesterday and entered the harbor for the weekend Schooner Festival.

The ship, almost as long as two football fields, recently returned from a six-month deployment conducting operations in the Arabian Sea and around the Horn of Africa.

The Nitze will be open for free tours today from 1 to 4 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour groups will depart by motor vessel from the Gloucester Redevelopment Authority Pier next to the Gloucester House restaurant on Main Street.

Tours are on a first-come, first-served basis; no reservations will be accepted. Passengers, who must be at least 6 years old, may carry small purses and cameras, but no bags of any kind, weapons or drinking containers. Because the tour involves negotiating a number of steep ladders, it is not open to people with heart conditions, breathing difficulties or similar medical conditions.

During the ship’s stay, the Nitze’s crew will join in a variety of activities, including a community service project on Sunday painting the railing along Stacy Boulevard. The ship’s color guard will participate in the playing of the national anthem at Saturday’s game between the Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.



Schooner Festival schedule



TODAY

r 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Public tours aboard the schooner Adventure at Cruiseport Gloucester.

r 10 a.m.: Skippers meeting for all traditional small craft at Solomon Jacobs Park, immediately adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard station on Harbor Loop.

r 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.: Fifth annual Gloucester Maritime Heritage Day at Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center on Harbor Loop. Free to all.

r 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Cape Ann Historical Museum and Essex Shipbuilding Museum visiting hours.

r 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.: Public tours aboard the visiting schooner Alabama at Cruiseport Gloucester. Free.

r Noon-4:30 p.m.: Open house at U.S. Coast Guard station, Harbor Loop.

r 1-4 p.m.: Public tours aboard the USS Nitze, departing from Gloucester Redevelopment Authority Pier next to the Gloucester House restaurant.

r 1- 2 p.m.: Start of sailing races for traditional small craft, off Eastern Point Light.

r 1 p.m.: Dory rowing demonstration, off Harbor Loop.

r 2-4 p.m.: Secret Service Concert, Harbor Loop.

r 7:30 p.m.: Boat Parade of Lights.

r 9:15 p.m.: Fireworks over Gloucester Harbor.

TOMORROW

r 8 a.m.: Skippers meeting for all schooners sailing in Mayor’s Race at Solomon Jacobs Park,adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard station on Harbor Loop.

9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.: Shuttle bus to Eastern Point Light, from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Avenue) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free.

r 9-10:30 a.m.: Parade of Sail as large schooner classes proceed from Inner Harbor, past the Fishermen’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the starting area off Eastern Point.

r 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.: Public tours aboard the schooner Adventure at Cruiseport Gloucester.

r 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Essex Shipbuilding Museum and Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center visiting hours.

r 11 a.m.: Start of Mayor’s Race for Esperanto Cup, Ned Cameron Trophy and Betty Ramsey Trophy off Eastern Point.

r 1 -4 p.m.: Cape Ann Historical Museum visiting hours.

MONDAY

“Rain Day” for postponements caused by inclement weather, if required.

r 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.: Public tours aboard the USS Nitze departing from Gloucester Redevelopment Pier, next to the Gloucester House Restaurant.

r 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center visiting hours.



Participating schooners

Vessel, skipper, home port

Class 1 — Large schooners (80 feet and over)

r Alabama, Jamie Douglas, Vineyard Haven

r American Eagle, Capt. John C. Foss, Rockland, Maine

r Lettie G. Howard, Jonathan Kabak, New York City

r Liberty Clipper, Gregory Muzzy, Boston

r Pride of Baltimore, Dave Bradley, Baltimore

r Spirit of Massachusetts, Capt. Christopher Flansburg, Boston

r Virginia, Denise M. Muncher, Norfolk, Va.

Class 2 — Small schooners, 45 to 80 feet

r Appledore III, Vaughan Hawley, Rockport

r Fame, Mike Rutstein, Salem

r Maine, Harold Burnham, Gloucester

r Muñequita, Mike Lawrence, St. Petersburg, Fla.

r Perception, James Weisman, Vineyard Haven

r Rachel B. Jackson, Andrew Keblinsky, Rockland, Maine

r Summertime, Bill Brown, Brooksville, Maine

r Thomas E. Lannon, Tom Ellis, Gloucester

r Voyager, Peter Phillips, New York City

Class 9 — “Little” schooners, under 45 feet

r Bald Eagle, Paul Cole, Gloucester

r Estrela, Bruce Davies, Prudence Island, R.I.

r Green Dragon, Allan Bezanson, Manchester-by-the-Sea

r Lewis H. Story, Catherine Ageloff, Essex

r Renegade, David Coller, Branford, Conn.

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