NARRATIVE / SCRIPT FOR PARADE OF SAIL
For use May 23, 2012
Prepared by William G. Armstrong Jr.
Communications Director, Operation Sail, Inc.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 2012 Operation Sail Parade of Sail and U.S. Navy Parade of Ships.
You are in for an extraordinary experience today as we view the Parade of Sail featuring some of the most magnificent sailing vessels in the world, and a parade of military ships representing the U.S. Navy and coalition navies from four countries.
All of these ships have all come to the United States and to New York to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the penning of The Star-Spangled Banner, our national anthem that was written at the conclusion of one of the most famous engagements of that war.
What happened in the War of 1812 is not taught much in elementary school history books anymore.
As we now know, the three of combatants in that conflict have become the closest of allies. The United States and Canada share the longest unprotected national boundary in the world.
Great Britain and the U.S. have become trading partners, military and political allies, in addition to sharing so much of our culture and traditions.
At first, it didn’t seem like things would turn out that way.
In the early 1800s the Royal Navy was were stopping American ships and searching them for sailors born in England -- and then forcibly pressing them into service of the Crown.
The U.S. on three separate tries invaded British North America -- which we now know as Canada.
The Army of Great Britain marched into Washington DC, and we know what happened there. There are still scorch marks on the White House to prove it.
We have some enduring memories of that war:
-- Dolly Madison, alone with her servants in the White House, saving the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington by carting it off in a wagon to Georgetown.
-- Oliver Hazard Perry -- having been dispatched from Newport, Rhode Island -- constructing ships on the shores of Lake Erie that would defeat a large British armada also assembled there. A monument at Put-in-Bay commemorates his victory.
-- The battle cry, “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” were the last words of Captain James Lawrence of the U.S. frigate CHESAPEAKE, as his ship was taken by HMS SHANNON. Oliver Hazard Perry had those immortal words sewn into his personal flag as he fought on Lake Erie.
-- The folk song Battle of New Orleans, popularized by Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash and others. Remember singing those words:
They ran through the briars / and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes / where the rabbit couldn’t go
But of course, the heroic forces led by Andrew Jackson defeated the British AFTER the Treaty of Ghent was signed. We didn’t have text messages back then.
-- Legend has it that the origin of our national icon Uncle Sam dates from the War of 1812, when a Troy, New York, meat merchant named Samuel Wilson sold supplies to the American Army, writing the letters “U.S.” on the barrels. More than 100 years passed before image of Uncle Sam that we know today was drawn for a recruiting poster James Montgomery Flagg.
There are other stories but you get the idea that this was an era that gave us some enduring legacies.
-- Did I mention The Star-Spangled Banner?
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JOHN J. HARVEY FIREBOAT
The first boat in the parade of sail is the revered and restored antique fireboat JOHN J. HARVEY. She has participated in many OpSail events and in welcoming special ships to New York harbor.
Built in 1931, JOHN J. HARVEY is one of the most powerful fireboats ever built, capable of pumping up to 18,000 gallons of water a minute. How powerful is she? When the George Washington Bridge was brand new, she shot water over the bridge's roadway.
In traditional New York parades of sail, she provides the red-white-and-blue welcoming spray that signals the beginning of a parade of ships.
JOHN J. HARVEY had a distinguished career in the Fire Department of New York until her retirement in 1994. She was named for marine fireman John J. Harvey, who was killed when a ship exploded during a fire.
Now fully restored in private service, she is listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places.
Harvey was a featured vessel at the July 4, 2000 OpSail and International Naval Review. Anchored near the President’s viewing station, she gave dramatic water displays throughout the day.
The next year, she was suddenly called back to active service to help in the evacuation of Lower Manhattan following the terrorist attacks of September 11, then returned and pumped water onto the fires at the World Trade Center for 80 continuous hours.
John J. Harvey has been the subject of books, news articles and network television shows.
Now for the tall ships . . .
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JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO
Leading the parade of sail is the four-masted topsail, steel-hulled schooner JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO from Spain. With an overall length of 364 feet - 303 feet on the waterline - she is the third-longest tall ship in the world
JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO sails as the training ship for the Spanish Navy. She was built in 1927 and has sailed around the world six times during her career
Her captain is Alfonso Gomez Fernandez De Cordoba. She sails with 251 people onboard -- 23 officers, 156 enlisted crew, and 69 cadets of the Spanish Navy.
It takes the crew about 22 minutes to set her 21 sails.
JUAN SEBASTIAN DE ELCANO is named for the Spanish explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano, the captain of Ferdinand Magellan’s last exploratory fleet. The ship carries the Elcano coat of arms, which was granted to the family by Emperor Charles I following Elcano's return in 1522 from Magellan's global expedition.
The coat of arms is a terraqueous globe with the motto "Tu Primus Circumdedisti Me" (say: TWO PREEMUS SIR-COME-DAY-DEST’EE ME”) (meaning: "First to circumnavigate me").
She was built in 1927 in Cadiz, Spain - and 25 years later her plans were also used to construct her Chilean sail training vessel sister ship Esmeralda in 1952-1954.
The goddess "Minerva" appears on the figurehead.
Each of the four masts has a name, which honors Spain’s previous sail training ships. The names are Bianca, Almansa, Asturias and Nautilus.
Here’s a cocktail party tidbit: Juan Sebastian's masts are made of hollow cast iron. The foremast doubles as smokestack, carrying sooty fumes high above the deck, which sometimes dirty the staysails. Since the smoke comes from the galley stove it often smells like food and is not hard to endure, the men who work aloft report.
The ship has two water purifiers and a fuel tank of 265,000 liters which feeds both engines drive their electricity generators. With a fuel capacity of just over 600 tons this sailing ship can be at sea for more than 20 days without having to go to port to refuel.
The training cruise takes about 22 days to get to America. She can sail around the world in about nine months, and has done that ten times.
This ship has participated in every previous OpSail event in New York: 1964, 1976, 1986, 1992 and 2000. It is great to have her back for this one.
You can visit her this week at Pier 7 in Brooklyn.
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Sailing on the starboard side is GAZELA PRIMEIRO, a privately owned 177-foot long barquentine based in Philadelphia.
GAZELA PRIMEIRO was built in 1901 in Portugal. Her registration for the Grand Banks fishing fleet was transferred from an earlier vessel named Gazella, built in 1883.
Fort most of her career, she has worked in the fishing grounds of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Every spring she would leave Lisbon laden with as many as 35 dories stacked on deck like drinking cups, a crew of 40 men (35 fishermen/sailors, two cooks, two mates and the captain), and a couple of apprentices. In her hold would be 90 tons of salt, which would be used for the cod fish that were caught, preserving them for the long trip home.
After a remarkably long career, GAZELA made her last voyage to the Banks as a commercial fishing ship in 1969. At about the same time, the Philadelphia Maritime Museum was searching for an historic sailing vessel. The museum purchased GAZELA and in 1971, with a crew of Americans, the ship left for its new home in Philadelphia, tracing Columbus' route via the Canary Islands and San Juan, Puerto Rico and on Thursday, July 8th, made her first entrance into Philadelphia.
In 1985, GAZELA was transferred to the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, the not-for-profit corporation that now maintains and operates the vessel with the help of donors and volunteers, sending her as Philadelphia's ambassador to Tall Ship to events up and down the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
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Next up is DEWARUCI, (“DAY-WAH-ROO’-CHEE”) the magnificent 195-foot long barquentine tall ship that serves as the sail training vessel of the Indonesian Navy.
Construction of DEWARUCI began in Germany prior to World War II, but was not completed until 1952.
She is named for an Indonesian deity and character in the Mahabbarata, a major Sanskrit epic of ancient India. The name and the figurehead represent courage and sincerity.
DEWARUCI is the ambassador of goodwill from the world’s largest Muslim country.
Her masts are swathed in intricately hand-carved wood panels and the warrior-god Bhima flying dauntless at her bow.
DEWARUCI is being sailed by a crew of 155 men: 21 officers, 63 enlisted men, and 9 cadets of the Indonesian Navy.
Captain Harris Bima is taking DEWARUCI on her last voyage - a nine-month long trip. She set sail from Surabaya in East Java, on January 15. DEWARUCI agreed to participate with OpSail in five ports as part of her circumnavigation of the world.
Throughout this long journey the ship and crew will promote the marketing theme “Wonderful Indonesia” through cultural performances, parades, and meet the locals.
When she returns home in October, the ship will be retired.
DEWARUCI participated in the first OpSail event in 1964, and again in 2000.
She will be berthed at Staten Island this week.
If you have the opportunity to attend a reception onboard you may find yourself being entertained by the ship’s marching band, or at the traditional colorful ceremonial dance that welcomes visitors, known as the Inang Badingding (IN-ANG BA-DING-DING). You will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs onboard, such as the popular bamboo instrument known as the anklong (“ONG-LONK”)
After New York, her travel plans will take DEWARUCI to Norfolk, Baltimore, Boston, St. John, Canada; Porto, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Malta; Port Said, Egypt; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Salalah, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka, then back home to Jakarta and Surabaya.
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Flanking DEWARUCI are two tall ships that should be familiar to New Yorkers who spend time on the waterfront.
On the port side is SHEARWATER and on the starboard side is CLIPPER CITY. Both are charter tall ships operated by Manhattan-by-Sail
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SHEARWATER was hand-built in 1929 from native hardwoods. This 82-foot schooner harkens back to a bygone era of yachting. As a floating designated landmark, Shearwater has been taking New Yorkers and the city’s visitors sailing in the harbor since 2001.
In her racing days, she participated in many Ancient Mariner and Classic yacht races in U.S. waters as well as racing in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand while on her circumnavigation in the early 1980s.
Celebrating her 80th birthday last year and still going strong and sailing gracefully, the Gatsby-era yacht comfortably accommodates up to 48 passengers, and departs daily from lower Manhattan’s North Cove Marina on public sails and private charters.
CLIPPER CITY is the company’s newest and biggest addition to its fleet. A 158-foot long topsail schooner Clipper City’s masts and rigging reach up 120 feet from the deck. New York’s largest and most elegant sailing vessel can accommodate up to 150 passengers.
She is a replica of the lumber-hauling schooners that drove America’s industry more than a century ago. Clipper City was built in the mid-1980s using plans purchased from the Smithsonian Institution. Designed with passengers in mind, her decks are spacious and comfortable, with ample seating, a full bar amidships and a raised quarter deck back aft that allows for unparalleled views of the city and its harbor.
The Clipper City departs daily from Pier 17, South Street Seaport
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The people of France gave the people of the United States the Statue of Liberty in 1886. And the anniversary of that gift provided an opportunity to stage one of the most magnificent sailing events in history -- OpSail 1986.
A famous New York Daily News headline claimed that six million people witnessed OpSail 1986.
This year the people of France have sent two gifts -- gifts on loan, that is. The French Navy trains its cadets on the sister topsail schooners LA BELLE POULE (“LA BELL POOL-AY”) and ETOILE (“E-TWAL-AY”).
Designed with the hull shape and rigging of fishing vessels from Breton, the French twins were built in 1932 in the fishing port city of Fecamp in Normandy.
Their overall length on the waterline is 124 feet.
During World War Two, both vessels relocated to Portsmouth, England, where they served the Free France forces. They fly the French ensign with the imposed Cross of Lorraine in recognition of their service during the war.
The two schooners have been participating in tall ship races since 1958. In 2009, the ETOILE and the BELLE POULE crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
In command of the 25 crew member of ETOILLE is Captain Vincent Largeteau.
In command of LA BELLE POULE is Captain Olivier Linke
They are making their first appearance in an OpSail event.
During OpSail, the French tall ships will be berthed in Brooklyn.
The crew will take time out from their activities this week to lay a wreath at a monument in Cyprus Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn that honors the memory of 25 French sailors who died in American waters during World War 1.
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Next in line is a modern replica schooner with notably raked masts. She takes her name from a racing ship that won what has become the most famous trophy in sailing.
AMERICA -- as many of you know -- was a 19th century racing yacht and first winner of the eponymous America's Cup international sailing trophy. In 1851, following construction in New York harbor, the original America crossed the Atlantic and on August 22, 1851, won the trophy, known initially as the "One Hundred Guinea Cup" by sailing against the Royal Yacht Squadron in a 53-mile regatta around the Isle of Wight.
The Cup was later renamed after the original winning yacht.
The trophy was held by the New York Yacht Club from 1857 (when the syndicate that won the Cup donated the trophy) until 1983 when the Cup was won by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, represented by the yacht Australia II, ending the longest winning streak in the history of sport.
Today you can sail on this 105-foot replica -- known as America 2.0 -- from May through October in New York, and from November through April in Key West. Look for her at Chelsea Piers near West 22nd Street in New York.
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The 250-foot full-rigged ship behind America has sailed here from Brazil. She is the CISNE BRANCO, one of the newest Class A tall ships in the world. She was built in 1999 in the Damen shipyard in Amsterdam, and started her maiden voyage from Lisbon in 2000, when she commemorated the 500th anniversary of mercantile and maritime trade between Brazil and Portugal.
CISNE BRANCO -- her name means “white swan”, a phrase drawn from the lyrics of the national anthem of Brazil that compares a navy vessel to the grace of a white swan.
She trains her country’s future naval officers. Onboard are 60 men -- 10 officers and 50 enlisted cadets, under command of Captain Nelson Nunes da Rosa.
CISNE BRANCO is normally used in national and international representation activities to showcase the Brazilian Navy and Brazilian culture. As well, she is used as an instructional sailing ship by the cadets of the Brazilian Naval School, Academy of Merchant Marine, and other naval schools
CISNE BRANCO participated in OpSail 2000 in New York and in New London, CT.
Listen carefully when you visit her pierside in Staten Island and you may hear a magnificent jazz band aboard.
From New York she will participate in OpSail 2012 Virginia, Star-Spangled 200 in Baltimore, Harborfest in Boston in July, and OpSail 2012CT in New London.
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Following on the starboard side of CISNE BRANCO is the New York-based schooner ADIRONDACK.
This elegant, 80-foot long, 1890’s-style pilot schooner is a gem in New York Harbor. Schooner Adirondack has been sailing in the New York City Harbor since the fall of 1999. Every year she entertains thousands of New York visitors and residents who can’t stop coming back for more.
Many New Yorkers consider multiple trips aboard the Adirondack to be a regular and highly anticipated part of their warm-weather seasons. The Schooner Adirondack features plenty of seating, teak decks and impressive mahogany trim. Guests enjoy fine, friendly service, and are treated to complimentary beverages on all trips.
Schooner Adirondack has been the fastest resident sail vessel in the New York Harbor for the past decade. She held the record finishes in the Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race for 12 consecutive seasons.
The Schooner Adirondack runs an eight-month season from Chelsea Piers starting in late April and ending in late November.
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Now we welcome the 270-foot long barque from Mexico.
The training tall ship CUAUHTEMOC was built in 1982 for the Mexican Navy in the Celaya shipyards in Bilbao, Spain.
She was launched in July 1982. She was the last of four windjammers built by Bilbaol shipyards for Latin American nations. Her sister ships include GLORIA of Colombia, GUYAYAS of Ecuador, and SIMON BOLIVAR of Venezuela.
CUAUHTEMOC is named for the last Aztec emperor who was imprisoned and executed by the conquistador, Herman Cortes, in 1525. The CUAUHTEMOC is used by the Mexican Navy to train its officer cadets.
She has been training Mexican navy officers for 20 years, and has participated in important regattas around the world.
CUAUHTEMOC completed a round-the-world cruise in 1990.
She is homeported in Acapulco, Mexico -- but you can visit her this week at Pier 8 in Brooklyn.
The 266 men on board -- 44 officers, 120 enlisted members and 102 cadets -- are under command of Captain Marco Antonio Vila Vivaldo.
CUAUHTEMOC participated in OpSail in 1986, and will participate in Norfolk and several other OpSail events during 2012.
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APPLEDORE AND PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II
On the port side of the channel we see APPLEDORE V (“FIVE”), a 65-foot-long, two-masted schooner that operates out of Bay City, Michigan, in the fair weather months, and from Fort Myers, Florida, from November through April. During the summer months the schooner is used primarily for overnight voyaging all over the Great Lakes.
In the Great Lakes, APPLEDORE V sails from ports ranging from Bay City, Mackinaw City, Detroit and Cleveland. While in port the ship is available for Science under Sail, group tours, private charters, and a regular schedule of public sails in Mackinaw City. Between port visits the APPLEDORE V sails with up to 9 trainees on Windward Bound and Lake Bound, its week-long youth voyaging programs.
All of the Appledore schooners are owned and operated by Bay Sail, a private, non-profit organization.
Flanking CUAUHTEMOC on the starboard side is PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.
If any ship belongs in this Parade of Sail this year, given what we are commemorating, this one does. PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II is a 157-foot long reproduction of an 1812-era topsail schooner privateer.
During the War of 1812, America's Second War of Independence, President James Madison attempted to overcome the small size of the US Navy by issuing Letters of Marquee and Reprisal to private ship owners. This document allowed its holder to arm his vessel and act as a privateer, or, in essence, a legal pirate, representing the United States.
Privateers were permitted to prey upon the merchant fleet of the belligerent nation, Great Britain, and take captured cargo and vessels as prizes.
American privateers, many of them sailing out of Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore Clippers built in Fells Point, captured or sank some 1,700 British merchant vessels during the two and a half year war. Other Baltimore Clippers served as cargo vessels to bring needed munitions and other armaments through the naval blockade that the British imposed on the US coastline, including Chesapeake Bay.
Today, this ship is Maryland’s working symbol of the great natural resources and spectacular beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region, and a reminder of America’s rich maritime heritage.
As one of the world’s most traveled historic tall ships, PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II promotes historical education regarding Baltimore-built topsail schooners and their crucial role in naval innovation, the War of 1812, and the penning of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She also serves as a unique learning platform to build math, engineering, science, technology and social studies programs; and she is a visual representative of American history and entrepreneurship in every port she visits.
PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II was commissioned in 1988 as a sailing memorial to her immediate predecessor, the original PRIDE OF BALTIMORE, which was tragically sunk by a white squall off Puerto Rico in 1986, taking her captain and three crew members down with her. Both ships were built in the Inner Harbor as reproductions of 1812-era topsail schooners, the type of vessels called Baltimore Clippers that helped America protect its interests during the War of 1812 and finally secure our lasting freedom.
She can blast off her shipboard cannons or skim majestically over the waves with all sails aloft. This ship makes a proud statement about her sponsors and her colorful maritime history. As the goodwill ambassador of the State of Maryland and the Port of Baltimore, PRIDE II represents the business, tourism, and educational interests of the state with unmistakable flair and panache.
She is captained today by Jan Miles, one of three rotating Captains on the original PRIDE OF BALTIMORE. He is a tall ship master with more than 35 years of experience as a professional sailor.
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GLORIA OF COLOMBIA
The next great international tall ship here represents the people of Colombia -- the official flagship and sail training vessel.
This 249-foot barque with 23 sails -- GLORIA -- was one of many ships built in Bilboa, Spain for South American countries. She was completed in 1968 and proudly trains midshipmen of the Colombian Navy in seamanship, navigation and teamwork.
She represents Colombia at maritime festivals and has logged more than 500,000 nautical miles.
Contrary to popular belief, she is not named for the rock-and-roll heroine who stood about five-feet-four and came around her at just about midnight. Apologies to Van Morrison.
Rather, this magnificent tall ship GLORIA honors the wife of a general and defense minister of Colombia who was instrumental in getting this ship built. General Gabriel Rebeiz Pizarro passed away before the ship was commissioned. As a tribute to his efforts, the vessel was named for his wife, Gloria Zawadsky (“ZA-WAD-SKI”) de Rebeiz.
The unique figurehead is a winged woman called Maria Salud after the carver’s daughter; she carries a laurel bow in one hand and the tablet of immortality in the other.
Once aboard, you will notice that there is plenty of polished wood and brass beneath her four masts which give her an appearance of being older than she is.
In the officer's mess there is a beautifully polished wooden bar, set into glass display cabinets like museum exhibits.
Inside the cabinets are scores of pre-Colombian gold and ceramic artifacts. Since the ship is often invited to Tall Ship regattas around the world, the Colombian Government uses the ship to showcase its history to the foreign dignitaries who step aboard.
GLORIA carries a crew of 14 officers, 15 enlisted members and 84 cadets. She is under the command of Captain Jose Guillermo Rodriguez Ceballos.
GLORIA is homeported in Cartagena. While she is in New York she will be berthed for a few days at Pier 86 in Manhattan -- the Intrepid pier.
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SUMMERWIND AND VENTURA
Trailing GLORIA on the port side is SUMMERWIND, the only Chinese Jun-rigged schooner available for public sails in North America.
SUMMER WIND is a steel-hulled, Junk-rigged ocean cruising schooner designed by noted naval architect Thomas E. Colvin.
She is homeported in Philadelphia and sails regularly along the Delaware River at Philadelphia in addition to private charters to the Chesapeake Bay.
Built in 1979, she is 48 feet long on the waterline.
A junk rig is extremely versatile. With its fully battened sails, it can be easily reefed for different wind conditions. The sails can be set to any size and at any point on the masts the crew wishes, making it very easy to handle in rough weather at sea.
The ship can be single-handed, although in fact it never sails with fewer than two crew. The forward cabin contains the Saloon, the Galley, the Head and the Forward Bunks. The aft cabin is reserved for the Captain and is off-limits to passengers. These cabins are separated by the Engine Room. On deck there is seating for 20 with padded seats on the cabin-tops on the main deck and the quarterdeck.
Now take a look at VENTURA on the starboard side.
A true wooden ship, VENTURA's hull is solid mahogany plank, her decks are Indian teak and her mast made of Northern Spruce. VENTURA is 72 feet long and carries 35 guests. Her original owner was millionaire banker and philanthropist George Baker, the founder of today's Citibank. She sails out of New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island during the summer months.
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The next magnificent sailing ship in the Parade of Sail has come here from Ecuador.
The facts are that The GUAYAS is a sail training ship of the Ecuadoran Navy. She was launched in 1976 and named jointly in honor of Chief Guayas, the Guayas river, and Guayas, the first steamship constructed in South America in 1841.The ship’s home base is Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The GUAYAS is a three-masted barque with a steel hull that can display a sailing area of 15,200 sq ft. The main mast extends nearly 125 feet over the deck. The ship carries a crew of about 120 sailors as well as eighty cadets under the leadership of about 35 officers. GUAYAS is one of four Latin American sailing ships that were built by the same maker. The others are GLORIA, which we saw a few minutes ago, and the other two sister ships are the Simón Bolívar Venezuela, and the Cuauhtémoc of Mexico.
The figurehead of a giant condor distinguishes GUAYAS from her sister ship GLORIA.
Another unique feature of GUAYAS derives from the piracy problem in South American waters. Each new captain of GUAYAS is allowed to design his own "Jolly Roger" flag and fly it on his ship.
GUAYAS is under command of Captain Amilcar Villavicencio. If you engage him in conversation, one of the first things he will suggest is that you visit the Galapagos Islands, of which Ecuador is so proud.
On board GUAYAS are 23 officers, 99 enlisted crew and 60 cadets.
While you are onboard for a tour, look for the whimsical Popeye the Sailor Man carved into the base of the mainmast.
GUAYAS will be berthed at Pier 86 near the Intrepid.
Tomorrow, May 24, is a very important holiday day in Ecuador. It is a day when Ecuadorians celebrate the Battle of Pichinca.
The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador.
The encounter, fought in the context of the Spanish American wars of independence, pitted a Patriot army under General Antonio José de Sucre against a Royalist army commanded by Field Marshal Melchor Aymerich. The defeat of the Royalist forces loyal to Spain brought about the liberation of Quito, and secured the independence of the provinces belonging to the Real Audiencia de Quito, or Presidencia de Quito, the Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which the Republic of Ecuador would eventually emerge.
The occasion is so special that the Ambassador of Ecuador will speak at a special ceremony aboard the ship at noon on Thursday.
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Following GUAYAS is Pioneer, a restored nineteenth century schooner sailing out of South Street Seaport in New York, New York.
PIONEER, a 102-foot schooner, was built in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania in 1885 as a cargo sloop to carry raw materials on the coastal waters of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She transported coal, lumber, bricks, lumber and eventually oil. She was the first of only two American cargo sloops ever built with a wrought iron hull. After ten years of service in the Delaware Bay, she was re-rigged as a schooner for easier handling.
In 1930, PIONEER was sold to a buyer in Massachusetts. By this point, she had been fitted with an engine and no longer being used as a sailing vessel. She was sold again in 1966 for use in his dock building business. The new owner restored PIONEER's schooner rig and rebuilt her hull in steel plating, leaving the iron frame intact. Upon his death in 1970, he donated PIONEER to the South Street Seaport Museum.
The PIONEER sails seasonally from South Street Seaport in Manhattan, offering daily sails to the public as well as charter sails and educational programs for children.
The crew is a combination of professionals and volunteers.
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The military PARADE OF SHIPS is led by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE, which usually leads the Parade of Sail.
Known as “America’s Tall Ship”, EAGLE is the flagship of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and serves as an international goodwill ambassador for the United States.
EAGLE’s primary mission is training Coast Guard cadets in the fundamental disciplines of seamanship. The cadets you see onboard right now are learning navigation, engineering and ship maneuvering.
Commissioned as Horst Wessel, EAGLE was originally operated by Nazi Germany to train cadets for the German Navy. The ship was taken by the United States as a war prize after World War II.
In 1946, a U.S. Coast Guard crew - aided by the German crew still on board - sailed the tall ship from Bremerhaven to its new homeport in New London, Connecticut. EAGLE returned to Bremerhaven for the first time since World War II in the summer of 2005, to an enthusiastic welcome.
EAGLE’s hull is steel four-tenths of an inch thick. There are two full-length steel decks with a platform deck below. The raised forecastle and quarterdeck are made of three-inch thick teak over steel, as are the weather decks.
EAGLE eagerly takes to the elements for which she was designed. Effortlessly and gracefully, she drives under full sail in the open ocean at speeds up to 17 knots. She has served as America’s tall ship ambassador in ports all over the world.
Having command of the prestigious EAGLE is a career-enhancing assignment. The current Commandant of the Coast, Admiral Joseph Papp, is a former skipper of EAGLE.
EAGLE calls the Coast Guard Academy at New London her homeport.
Now under the command of Coast Guard Captain Eric Jones, EAGLE has on board many distinguished guests riding in this Parade.
Among them are two very lucky high school students who have won the OpSail Essay and Art contest. OpSail sponsored the contest in conjunction with the USS CONSTITUTION Museum, the Coast Guard and the National Maritime Historical Society. The goal was to get high school students thinking about the role of the Revenue Cutters in the War of 1812, the role of USS Constitution, and what The Star-Spangled Banner means to them.
The winning students -- who are riding on EAGLE today -- are Forrest Simpson, a 14-year-old Larchmont resident and his father -- and Matthew Singleton of Islip, New York. Both are high-achievement Sea Scouts in their respective communities -- and both have invited their fathers to sail on EAGLE as their special guests.
EAGLE is crewed by 15 officers, 80 enlisted crew and 135 cadets. She will be berthed at Pier 90 in Manhattan during Fleet Week
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The next two ships you see look very much alike. They are guided missile destroyers of the United States Navy.
First in line is USS ROOSEVELT (DDG 80) and then USS MITSCHER (DDG 57).
ROOSEVELT is the 30th ship in the series of Arleigh Burke Class of Aegis Guided Missile Destroyers.
Named in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor, this ship and her entire class represents the best of American shipbuilding and the most advanced combat systems capability that has ever gone to sea.
The heart of the ship is the Aegis Weapons System, a seamlessly integrated radar and missile system capable of simultaneous operations defending against advanced air, surface, and subsurface threats. ROOSEVELT is capable of operating independently or as part of a Naval, Joint or Coalition Force.
ROOSEVELT is under command of Commander Rob Thompson, who was born in Herrin, Illinois and raised in a Navy family. He is a 1993 graduate of the United States Naval Academy where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.
ROOSEVELT will be berthed during Fleet Week at The Sullivans Pier in Staten Island.
Next in the Military Parade of Ships is USS MITSCHER (DDG 57)
USS MITSCHER (DDG-57) is the second United States Navy warship named to honor Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, the famed naval aviator and World War II aircraft carrier task group commander. He was one of one of the most storied and capable heroes of World War II.
Commander Monika Washington Stoker is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina, is the commanding officer.
MITSCHER will also be berthed during Fleet Week at The Sullivans Pier in Staten Island.
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As a tribute to the bicentennial that we are jointly commemorating, Canada has sent to this series of port visits one of her most important warships.
IROQUOIS is the lead ship of her class which is sometimes referred to as the Tribal-class or simply as the 280-class.
She is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and is homeported in Halifax.
She is also the unofficial flagship of the Royal Canadian Navy.
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USS GONZALES, (DDG 66), another U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer, is the fourth ship in the Parade of Ships.
The ship is named for Sergeant Freddy Gonzales, a Hispanic Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor as a result of his heroic actions in Hue City, Vietnam, in 1968.
GONZALES is under command of Commander Steven Lee, the first Korean American graduate of the United States Naval Academy to command at sea.
GONZALES calls Norfolk her homeport, and will be berthed during Fleet Week at Staten Island.
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The government of Japan has sent to Fleet Week the destroyer J S SHIRANE.
She is part of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force.
SHIRANE is the first of the series of destroyers, and she is the lead ship in her class.
The Shirane class destroyers are a class of Japanese warship originally built during the late 1970s and still in active service. They are built around a large central hangar which houses up to three helicopters and they are the natural successor of the Haruna-class destroyers.
They were the first ships in Japanese service to be fitted with 3D radars.
SHIRANE has been a lucky ship. On December 15, 2007, a fire broke out on board the SHIRANE near the rudder house as it was anchored at Yokosuka. It took seven hours to extinguish but only four crew members were injured.
SHIRANE is expected to be decommissioned in 2014, two years from now.
During Fleet Week she will be berthed in Brooklyn.
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The US Coast Guard Cutter SENECA (WMEC 906) appears next in the Parade of Ships.
SENECA is a United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter. Her keel was laid on September 16, 1982 at Robert Derecktor Shipyard Incorporated, Middletown, Rhode Island. She was formally commissioned in 1987. Her namesake is the first revenue cutter USCGC Seneca which was in active from 1908-1936.
SENECA is the sixth of thirteen 270-foot famous class cutters designed to take the Coast Guard past the year 2000. The advanced technology used in her construction gives her the potential of being an effective Search and rescue (SAR) and Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) platform.
Advanced technology is only one way to describe SENECA’s primary operating computer system, SCCS (Shipboard Command and Control System). SCCS allows operators to view or act upon information from any of the ship's sensors, radar sources, or radio transceivers. Also included in SCCS is a Low Level Light TV (LLLTV) camera and an optical sight. Images from both the LLLTV and optical sight, can be displayed to any of SCCS position or the ship's entertainment system.
The Seneca serves as a platform for Operation New Frontier; the Coast Guard's operation to employ armed helicopters and non-lethal use of force technology to stop drug laden go-fast vessels.
Commander Charles Fosse is the captain. A native of Southern Illinois, he is a 1992 graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.
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USS SAN JACINTO
The U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser SAN JACINTO (CG 56) is under command of Captain Douglas M. Nashold.
Like all US Navy cruisers, the ship is named for a significant battle. This ship is named for the battle at San Jacinto, which helped to establish "The Republic of Texas" that flourished for a decade.
The Republic eventually added over one million square miles of territory to the United States. From this vast territory came the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma.
It’s the third U.S. Navy ship named for this battle. The second SAN JACINTO was the light aircraft carrier that became famous for having been the ship from which an 18-year-old Navy pilot named George H.W. Bush took off in World War II before he was shot down.
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Next in line is a mine-laying ship from Finland, the FNS POHJANMMA. We have received assurances that she is not working in her design capacity today.
There is currently only one POHJANMAA class vessel in service in the Finnish Navy. She is the flagship of the navy. The ship has an ice operating classification of ICE-1A so she can operate all year round.
During a crisis the main task for POHJANMAA is mine laying and acting as a command ship. She also acts as a school ship for the Naval Academy cadets. Part of their training includes an annual cruise abroad -- which is why they have joined the parade of ships at Fleet Week this year.
Who knows how to say “Welcome” in Finnish?
If you learn, you may visit this very interesting ship in Brooklyn.
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DONALD COOK (DDG 75)
Here now is the fourth U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer visiting Fleet Week.
She is named for Donald Cook, a Vietnam War prisoner of war and Medal of Honor recipient who died in captivity.
The destroyer was commissioned in 1998, and it has a special history in the war on terrorism. DONALD COOK was one of the first U.S. warships to come to the aid of the USS COLE after it was damaged by suicide bombers on 12 October 2000 in Yemen.
In 2003, the ship fired Tomahawk missiles during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
USS DONALD COOK is under command of CDR James R. Kenny, who was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He received his commission after graduating from the United States Naval Academy in May, 1996.
The destroyer COOK will also be berthed at Pier 90 in Manhattan, near America’s tall ship EAGLE.
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RFA ARGUS is a ship of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, part of the Royal Navy. She is essentially a hospital ship akin to the USS MERCY and USS COMFORT.
Italian-built, ARGUS was formerly the container ship MV Contender Bezant. The ship was requisitioned in 1982 for service in the Falklands War and purchased outright in 1984 for use as an Aviation Training Ship.
In 1991, during the Gulf War, she was fitted with an extensive and fully functional hospital to assume the additional role of Primary Casualty Receiving Ship, which has become her primary function.
Being a former container ship, ARGUS does not have a traditional aircraft carrier layout - the ship's superstructure is located forward, with a long flight deck aft. The ship has a small secondary superstructure approximately two-thirds of the way down the flight deck, containing the ship's exhaust funnel. This is used by small helicopters to simulate landing on the flight deck of a destroyer or frigate.
ARGUS was fitted with a fully functional hospital for the 1991 Gulf crisis, which has since been modified and extensively added to with specialist equipment, providing 100 beds. It is equipped with the best of equipment: x-ray facilities, CAT scanner, and Intensive Care Unit ward. Casualties can be quickly transferred from the deck directly into the assessment area.
In recent years the ship's role as a Primary Casualty Receiving Ship (referred to as such rather than a hospital ship as the vessel is armed, thus not meeting the Geneva Convention definition of a hospital ship) has been considered her primary role rather than its aviation training duties.
In 2007 the ship was refitted with upgraded hospital and is soon is due to receive an upgrade to its night-vision capabilities enabling the use of Apache helicopters to give an operational life until 2020.
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Next in the parade is a vessel from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, the Training Vessel LIBERATOR, with her distinctive blue hull.
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Now comes the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter WILLOW -- Hull number WLB-202
The 225-foot WILLOW is equipped with a single controllable pitch propeller and a bow and a stern thruster which gives the cutter maneuverability to tend buoys offshore and in restricted waters.
A sophisticated Machinery Plant Control and Monitoring System and an Electronic Chart Display and Information System enable the cutter to operate safely with an optimally sized crew. Using Dynamic Positioning System WILLOW can hold the vessel station within a ten meter circle.
This technology has improved the precision and capability of the crew to service and position floating aids to navigation in winds up to thirty knots and eight foot seas.
She has a crew of 8 officers and 34 enlisted members.
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The finale of the Parade of Ships is the large-deck Navy Ship, USS WASP.
USS WASP with hull number 1, is a multipurpose amphibious assault ship, the tenth to bear the name.
Previous U.S. Navy ships named Wasp include:
a schooner (1775-1777),
a sloop of war (1806-1813),
another schooner (1810-1814),
a tender sloop (1813-1814),
a ship-rigged sloop of war (1814),
an iron-hulled side wheel steamer (1865-1876),
a steam yacht (1898-1921),
and the most famous of the nine, two aircraft carriers, CV-7 (1940-1942) and CV-18 (1943-1972).
The eighth WASP was a 14,700 ton, 741-foot aircraft carrier that earned two battle stars during World War II. Wasp's sterling performance evoked British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's famous quote, "Who said a Wasp couldn't sting twice?"
The current WASP is the flagship of the Second Fleet and the lead ship of her class.
WASP was built by the Ingalls Shipbuilding division of Litton in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Navy-Marine Corps team's newest amphibious warship has as its primary mission the support of a Marine Landing Force.
USS WASP and her sister ships are the first specifically designed to accommodate new Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC) for fast troop movement over the beach. She also carries the AV-8B Harrier II Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing jets, which provide close air support for the assault force.
WASP is 843 ft long with a beam of 105 feet, also accommodates the full range of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, conventional landing craft, and amphibious vehicles.
WASP is under command of Captain Gary Boardman, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a 1985 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he received his commission in the Naval Reserve, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nautical Science.
There are a lot of sailors on board this big-deck ship. While you are wandering around Manhattan this week, look for 73 WASP officers, and 1,000 enlisted sailors. She can also embark as many as 1,800 U.S. Marines and their full equipment.
WASP is the largest ship in Fleet Week this year, and will be berthed in Manhattan, Pier 90.
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All in all, OpSail and Fleet Week are off to a great start today.
Once again, we encourage you to visit these ships, meet their sailors, and understand the meaning of the phrase, “the brotherhood of the sea.”
Fine young men and women are embarked on these magnificent ships, and we are grateful to them for putting on such a spectacular show on the Hudson River today.
For more information, please visit www.OpSail.org