On July 3, 2009, Melanie and I treated our daughter, Sally, and her husband, Matt, to a day sail adventure aboard the Flagship Niagara, based here in her home port of Erie, Pennsylvania. The day was perfect, with winds at around 10 knots on Lake Erie, temperatures were in the mid 70s, and an overcast sky that kept the sweat factor to a minimum. We set sail from Dobbins Landing, which is next-door to the Brig Niagara's home dock at the Erie Maritime Museum. Pictures of our adventure are below, and a nice overview video produced by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania is at the bottom. There is also a video I made of an actual cannon firing demonstration. Captain Walter Rybka was in command.
From the ship's website: "Flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Flagship Niagara is also a major museum “exhibit” when in homeport. The Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania, is a reproduction of the relief flagship of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry in a major naval battle of the War of 1812. On September 10, 1813, nine small ships – six of them, including Niagara, constructed in Erie – defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. A pivotal event in the War of 1812, it secured the Northwest Territory, opened supply lines and lifted the nation’s morale. The Flagship Niagara is a two-masted, square-rigged sailing vessel. In 1813 she had a crew of 155 men who manned her sails, 18 carronades and 2 long guns. Today’s Niagara sails with a crew of 40 (16 professional, 24 volunteer), and carries two 32-pounder carronades. Original 1813 timbers, which were recovered from the 1913 and 1933 reconstructions, are incorporated into her construction. "
Brig Niagara docked at Dobbins Landing
Kirt, Melanie, Sally & Matt ready to set sail on the Brig Niagara
15 stars on the U.S. flag during the 1812 era
Preparing to fire the cannon
Crew unfurling the sails
View looking up the main mast
Setting the mainsail Kirt, Sally & Matt doing the heavy lifting
Captain Walter Rybka gives instruction prior to setting sail
A masterpiece of rigging
Chicken stew dinner being served - boy was it good!
Taking it easy during dinner
Melanie and Sally below decks - Melanie is always cold
Melanie, Sally, and Matt at the pier
Matt testing the hammock
On a tack - note the angle of the horizon
Brig Niagara Video Tour Produced by Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
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