By Bryan Boyhan
On the heels of a visit from a group re-enacting the historic Revolutionary War Meig’s Raid this past weekend, the tall ship Lynx will sail into Sag Harbor this coming weekend, recalling the vessels that plied the coast during the War of 1812. The Lynx, a re-creation of a vessel of the same name that served as a privateer in the Chesapeake in the early 1800s has traveled the West Coast for the past ten years helping to teach America’s role in the War of 1812, and specifically the importance of these ships in the days before there was a United States Navy. This is the first time the ship has returned to the Atlantic since being launched in Rockport, Me., in 2001.
“The need for the awareness of what all these tall ships did, and their history, is enormous,” said Jeffrey Woods, director of operations for the Lynx.
The ship, which will arrive about 3 p.m. on Friday, measures 122-feet, stem to stern, and 78-feet on deck, with a main mast that stretches 94-feet in the air. It is a square topsail schooner that will take up to 40 people on board for three-hour adventure sails on Saturday and Sunday. The ship, whose crew dresses in period costume, will also welcome visitors on board while it is docked at the Sag Harbor Yacht Club over the weekend.
The Lynx has returned to the East Coast in preparation for the 200th anniversary celebration of the War of 1812, when tall ships from around the country will sail the waterways of the East Coast and up into the Great Lakes. It’s owners plan to keep the Lynx on the East Coast for about five years, and want to establish the same relationships with schools and organizations it did while on the West Coast, where its curriculum meets the standards of the California Department of Education.
“We give the experience of the life of a sailor in 1812 and teach America’s involvement in the War of 1812,” said Woods, adding the Lynx is outfitted much the same way vessels of the period would be, including a collection of carronades which will be fired as she arrives in Sag Harbor. In fact, the ship regularly participates in competition battles with other similar period ships.
It’s arrival here may also herald a future of Sag Harbor being home port to a couple of tall ships, said Alan Rice, one of the people responsible for attracting the Lynx’s visit.
“Sailing ships like these are a great opportunity to teach science, math and history and considering Sag Harbor’s heritage we feel it would be very appropriate to have them here,” said Rice.
The Lynx will be available for dockside tours on Friday from 4 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (contributions welcome). Adventure sails will be held Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (adults $65, children under 12, $35). Tickets can be bought at the boat or by visiting www.privateerlynx.org.