3 Tall Ships. And 1 Ghost Story.

Last month, I promised to blog about these tall ships:

1.) The U.S. Brig Niagara

The U.S. Brig Niagara “resides” in Pennsylvania: The Niagara’s home port is Erie, PA.

However, one morning in July 2016 I watched the Niagara cruise past the house that my family rented in St. Ignace, Michigan.  The ship docked in the bay, surrounded by St. Ignace.

My husband and I walked to the dock for “Niagara at Lake Huron” photos.

We already had in our possession “Niagara at Lake Erie” photos.

You see, in fall 2015 we sat at the North Pier at Presque Isle State Park (in Erie, PA) to watch boats. The Niagara sailed off of Lake Erie toward its home dock. It sailed past us.  Under FULL sail. See my below photo from Erie:

2.) The S/V Peacemaker

See here for Jonathan’s story about his experience on the Peacemaker.  My husband might have sailed away as a community’s ship crew that afternoon!

3.) Le Griffon, A Ghost Story

This history of New Kensington, Pennsylvania notes that the explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle boated down the Allegheny River.  He traveled past the future site of Parnassus. Presumably toward the river confluence that we now call “Pittsburgh.”

La Salle journeyed on several boats in his travels. In the 1679, La Salle took off from his ship Le Griffon on Lake Michigan’s Green Bay.

After La Salle left Le Griffon, his crew mutinied. The ship disappeared on Lake Michigan.

To my knowledge, the ship’s whereabouts remain a mystery.

Folklore claims that Le Griffon still sails as a ghost ship.

La Salle himself perished in a mutiny and ambush in Texas in 1687.

What is your favorite tall ship?

2 thoughts on “3 Tall Ships. And 1 Ghost Story.”

  1. The Tall Ships Challenge series returns to the Great Lakes in 2019! With a series of races between ports, and tall ships festivals in select ports across the Great Lakes, there will be a lot of large sailing vessel activities on the lakes next year. Closest to us, Tall Ships Erie is scheduled for August 22 – 25, 2019. Bay City, Michigan, hosts their Tall Ships Celebration July 18 – 21, 2019. There are several other ports of call for the festival, including some on the Canadian side. These are great opportunities to come out to see some of these large vessels up close and in person, while also supporting the organizations that work hard to keep them on the water.

    My favorite tall ship? The Niagara gets an automatic vote, of course, being from our home state (and also so close to home!). The Pride of Baltimore is probably near the top of my list, though. She was built to fast and beautiful lines, and I love to watch her sail.

    Also pretty high on the list is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle. The current incarnation of the Eagle has an interesting history. Originally built as the Horst Wessel in Germany before World War II as a military sail training vessel, she was surrendered to the British by her German captain and crew at the end of the war. She was won by the U.S. Navy as war reparations, and requested by the U.S. Coast Guard. A USCG captain and crew boarded her and, assisted by the German captain and crew still on board, she was sailed across the Atlantic (through a hurricane, according to Wikipedia!) to the U.S. She currently serves as a sail training barque for USCG cadets, and is one of only two U.S. military commissioned sailing vessels.

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