Schooners on the Bay

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Schooners have a strange air of
dignity, power and lyricism,
and it's all their own.

No other sailing boat has lines quite as majestic, as reminiscent of dancers, racehorses, whippets -- that special category of living things that triumph
over our normal gravity and inertia.

No other sailing boat has her long sweep of hull echoed and amplified by the series of fore-and-aft-rigged sails lying close to it, repeating in the many curves of the canvas - the curves of its wood.

With all her sails and topsails set, her shoulder to the wind on a close reach, she has the look not just of a gull, but of a whole company of gulls riding high on the wind.

Quickstep

Quickstep is a 45 foot topsail schooner built in 1955 on the Chesapeake Bay.

After a multi-year restoration that included a new motor and house, Quickstep was launched for the second time in 1996.

Huloa

Zeeto

Huloa is a 36'  Bluenose Junior owned by the author/editor/compiler of this highly entertaining site.

Built in 1939, she is said to be the oldest pleasure sailing vessel on Lake Superior. You may learn more about the
history & restoration of Huloa here.
Zeeto is a massive 54 foot three mast schooner built in Sarasota, FL in 1957. Now  privately owned.
"Bluenose" is the best known schooner in the world. She was designed by William Roue, who also designed the Bluenose Junior. Just three of these much smaller versions of the Bluenose were built, including Huloa shown above left, and
all still survive.

Pick up a Canadian dime. On one side of the coin is Queen Elizabeth - on the other side is the schooner Bluenose.

Want to learn more about the Bluenose? Go to this site. - and to this one.

The Great Bayfield Schooner Races

Each year from 1994 to 2001 two or three schooners came to the Bayfield harbor the Saturday before Apple Fest for a "not so serious" race.

The article below was written by Darrell Pendergrass, reporter for the County Journal, after watching the first race.
The Great Bayfield Schooner Race was socked in with heavy fog on Saturday, the grayness of the background adding a seafaring flavor to the pageantry and spectacle at hand.

With tall masts rising high toward the heavens the three elegant ships cut through the thick, moist mist, heading toward deeper waters and open space, moving like giant fish, steady and certain. The sound of bagpipes rode the fog, cruising out off the Bayfield Pier, along the shoreline, down the sandy beaches and rocky banks, before eventually cutting out across Lake Superior to echo off the dark green pines of Madeline Island.

Young girls skipped in step with the haunting tune of the bagpipes as Scottish guards marched along the length of the pier.

Young boys stared skyward, looking through squinted eyes in an effort to focus on the tips of the tall masts. Older men dreamed of younger days, the joy of riding the waves and the thrill of racing.

Older women kept a keen watch on older men, to make sure they didn't jump aboard the outgoing ships.

When the sound of the cannon sliced resoundingly through the fog near the marina's entrance the race had begun. And though the lack of wind left the boats to compete in something more than a schooner parade and something less than a sailing race, the thrill of tall mast ships rushing headlong through through the coolness of the big lake left a line of spectators along the length of the seawall.

Saturday's race was the first leg of a day long effort to raise money to support the lakeside pavilion revamping that will eventually take place in Bayfield. Close to $5,000 was raised over the weekend for the restoration effort.

Captains Lew Miller of the Huloa; Mike Caswell of the Ananda; and Dave Strzok of the Zeeto, assuredly had wanted a stiff breeze in which to compete and put ships' crews through the rigors of a tough day afloat. They settled for the recognition and celebrity of being at the helm and in charge of the fine ships.

Organizers hope that the future holds plenty of schooner races for the future of Bayfield. Time will tell.

And while the year slowly passes to a time when the schooners will once again grace the pier of the Bayfield marina, young boys will dream about sturdy wooden ships, young girls will hear the sounds of Scots in their slumber, old men will dream of sailing, and old women will still be keeping an eye on old men.

 

For an index of over 480 schooners click here.

 

Copyright 1998 - 2008   by Lew Miller, DBA Marlew Publishing.
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Image copy granted for personal use. Please credit source.

 

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