The Tall Ship Lynx, America’s Privateer, docks in St. Petersburg, Florida during the winter months. If you remember, just a few weeks ago our Managing Editor, Brian Whiddon, found a stray cat in the bilge of his sailboat. We then learned it belonged to the captain of the Lynx. You can read that funny story HERE.
Since Brian found their cat, they invited us be honorary crew members for the day. Whoo hoo!!
Here is Brian onboard the Lynx:
We had a GREAT time! Max and Mason, who are home-schooled, got to help raise sails, and help in other ways on the ship, too.
We learned their galley is even smaller than ours!
We also got to see the salon, and talk with several crew members, who were all very knowledgeable, not only about sailing, but also about the history of the ship as well. It was fascinating! They do science and math lessons for children onboard the boat. We’re going to see if other parents from the boys’ homeschooling group might want to participate.
Here are more photos:
The boys’ favorite part was when they shot the cannon at the end of the trip!
They’re leaving in March for Galveston, New Orleans, and other stops before heading back up to New England for the summer. If you have a chance to take a ride on this beautiful ship, we definitely recommend it!
A NOTE FROM OUR MANAGING EDITOR, BRIAN WHIDDON – As a sailing nut, I’d like to offer a quick history of the Lynx. Besides being a really cool sailing ship, the original Lynx was considered the first of her kind. When the War of 1812 broke out, the American Navy had around 12 warships. Britain, whom we went to war against, had 85 war ships deployed in US territorial waters. There was no way our fledgling navy could take on the British juggernaut in a straight on fight. Part of the British strategy was to blockade the entire East coast to choke off supplies coming to the US from European countries.
Back then, war ships were huge and had square sails. They were relatively slow and could only sail directly downwind or on a broad angle to the wind. The Lynx introduced several new concepts, not only to naval warfare, but sailing in general. The masts were raked back at an angle rather than standing straight up. She flew a combination of “gaff rigged” sails on her two masts as her chief propulsion, combined with several square and triangular sails to give her more “oomph” and maneuverability. She was also smaller. All of this made the “schooner” a fast ship that could sail at a tighter angle to the wind, and could turn quicker than the huge Galleons and Man-O-War ships blockading the coasts. Therefore, schooners could either serve as “blockade runners,” using their speed to simply avoid and outrun the war ships. Or, they could be used to fight in a “hit and run” style – using their small size, speed and nimble handling to run up on the big ships from odd angles, fire some cannonballs their way, then turn and run before the big ships could get turned around and their cannons on line.
So, in effect, the Lynx (and ships like her) helped bring the guerrilla warfare style, which the American colonists were famous for in the Revolutionary War, to the seas during the War of 1812, and introduced a much more efficient way to propel sailing ships.
- A Severed Achilles Tendon and a Stray Cat Stuck in the Bilge! NON-STOP CHAOS!!
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- Vacation in Key West with…the Flu!
- Seizure on the Boat!
- GotNoTanLines – Jump on board with the Hoy Family as they move their children, pets, and business onto a 52-foot sailboat!
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