JUNE 14-16: Book Day Sail Tickets for Tall Ships Festival

Ever dream about running away to a life of adventure and excitement aboard a tall-masted ship? Those romantic days are gone but you can re-imagine them with a two-hour day or sunset sail on the Chesapeake Bay June 14-16 at the second annual Tall Ships At Cape Charles festival.

Schooner Sultana in full sail

Schooner Sultana in full sail

Haul a yard-arm! Sing a rollicking sea chanty with renowned troubadour, Bob Zentz, whose songs, old and new, tell about people, places and times gone by.

This year’s festival delivers three tall ships over three days of fun for all ages, with deck tours and day sails aboard the historic schooners Alliance, Sultana and Virginia. Last year’s day sails sold out, so visitors are encouraged to book early at www.tallshipscapecharles.com.

Two more historic ships have been added to the Tall Ships At Cape Charles Festival.  The buyboat F.D. Crockett and the sailboat Apostle both document long, colorful histories on the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

Together with the three schooners SultanaAlliance and Virginia, they will be open for deck tours throughout the three-day festival.

FD Crockett buyboat

FD Crockett buyboat

Built in 1924, the nearly 63-foot F.D. Crockett is one of only two log-bottom buyboats built exclusively for power now existing on the bay, and represents the apex of log boat building on the Chesapeake.

Built by the same techniques as the early sailing “canoes,” her nine-log hull was made specifically for a gasoline engine by Alex Gaines of Dare and finished off across the creek by John Franklin Smith at Smith Marine Railway. The vessel was donated to the Deltaville Maritime Museum in 2005 by Ron Turner, a descendant of the Smiths, and towed up the bay from Poquoson.

Originally built to haul freight for Ferdinand Desota Crockett of Seaford, The F.D. Crockett had many uses throughout her lifetime. After her sale to Marvin Lindsay in the late 1930s, she was converted to dredge oysters and crabs by “Captain Pretty” Green, who operated her for over 50 years.

Log built deck boats were low to the water, which made them more stable for both dredging and off-loading produce. The F.D. Crockett was actively worked until 1994 when she was converted to a pleasure craft.

Sailboat Apostle was built by Thomas E. (Tom) Colvin in 1959 in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.  Originally an open cockpit centerboard sailboat, Apostle drew 22 inches with centerboard up and six feet with centerboard down.  Throughout her history, she made many excursions in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Colvin reconstructed Apostle in 1969 adding a fixed keel along with a new interior.  Tom’s son, Kevin, who took ownership of Apostle in 2005, retrofitted her with new electric and hardware.  She was re-christened in 2007 at her new home port of Hampton, Virginia.

Colvin, a world renowned boat builder, Naval architect and designer, has designed hundreds of boats including the tall ship Schooner Alliance, which will also be open for tours and day sails during the Tall Ships At Cape Charles festival. Many of Colvin’s boats still sail the Chesapeake Bay and the world.

Cape Charles, the Eastern Shore’s deep water Harbor To Hospitality, is small town America the way it used to be, with charming, tree-lined avenues, restaurants, galleries and boutiques. Festival-goers can interact with costumed re-enactors, purchase imaginative and beautiful wares from arts and crafts vendors, belt out ballads alongside live entertainers, and enjoy succulent seafood and spectacular sunsets. Children may make and sail a model boat, take a ride on a pony, carriage or hay ride, create their own candy and LOL to the antics of a clown magician.

A town-wide pirate festival sponsored by Citizens For Central Park on Saturday, June 15, features cannons, carts and costumes, plus a treasure hunt and, from 6-10 pm, a Pirate & Wenches Ball.

Tall Ships At Cape Charles festival hours are Friday, June 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. followed by a Welcome Ceremony at 7 p.m; Saturday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All events are rain or shine.



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