Sea History 125 - Winter 2008-2009

Page 56

TALL SHIPS CHALLENGEÂŽEducation Center and Programs by Otto Loggers and Jennifer Spring, ASTA


his past summer, families up and down the Pacific Coast explored and celebrated the magnificent tall ships during the American Sail Training Association's (ASTA) 2008 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE" Race Series. The ships and shoreside programs attracted an estimated 1.6 million visitors to the waterfronts of this summer's host ports: Victo ria, BC; Tacoma, WA; Port Alberni, BC; San Francisco; Oxnard; Los Angeles; and San Diego, CA. In partnership with ASTA members, national organizations, and port event organizers, ASTA created the Tall Ships" Education Center. This ve nue provided festival-goers a central location to interact with tall ship captains, environmentalists, and maritime heritage educators. Representatives from the National Maritime Historical Society, N OAA, Oceana, and the International G uild of Knot Tyers were on hand to share their expertise and resources


International Guild ofKnot TJers taught participants some useful sailors' knots at the Tall Ships " Education Center in San Francisco.

regarding America's maritime history and conservation . Visitors to the Tall Ships" Education Center learned how to become involved in sail training and about the adventures of shipboard life. Young children excitedly interacted with several hands-on demonstrations designed to infuse fascination and fun into the activities, while sail trai ning DVD s captured the public's attention and inspired some to sign up for sail ing voyages.


H awaiian Chieftan and Lady Washington sail in company across Trevor Channel, British Columbia, last July. In an other new initiative, ASTA and the US Coast G uard worked together to implement the Eagle Seamanship Program aboard the USCG Barque Eagle. Living side-by-side with Coast G uard crew members, 24 trainees (ages 16-19) experienced all aspects of sailing "America's Tall Ship," while cruising from San Pedro to San Diego, CA, over the course of three days. M any of the trainees, hailing from West Coast port cities, had little New shipmates work together to overcome even or no prior exposure the largest tasks aboard USCG Barque Eagle. to sailing vessels, tall or small. One 16-year-old wro te of her experience: "I learned that, when you are in a team , it is not all fun and games. When yo u have a job that needs to be done, the expectation is that yo u get that job done." After living in close quarters with other trainees of differing backgro unds and depending upon each other to complete tasks, each young person found ways to transcend personal and cultural boundaries. Looking ahead, the 2009 Tall Ships" Atlantic Challenge will provide ample sail training opportunities for people of all ages. With more than 7,000 nautical miles between seven ports on the Atlantic Ocean , trainees will be needed to ensure foc's'les are full of willing sailors. Visit ASTA online at for more info rmation. (left) Two schooners in a stiff breeze as they pass p ort-to-port on San Francisco Bay. Californian, a reconstruction of an 1851 US Revenue Cutter, is close-hauled on a starboard tack. Lynx (right) was designed along the lines of a ~r of 1812 privateer. Both USCG-certified vessels were designed by M elbourne Smith, chairman ofNMH S advisors. Californian, the official tall ship of California, was built on the San D iego waterfront in 1984 and is owned by the M aritime M useum of San D iego ( Woodson K Woods commissioned Rockport Marine of Maine to build Lynx for the Lynx Educational Foundation ofNewport Beach, CA, in 2 001 (www.p



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