Category Archives: Schooner


schooner-lynx-gloucester-boston-skyline-copyright-kim-smithExciting news–the Schooner Lynx will be returning to Gloucester next year for the Schooner fest! The captain of the Lynx, Donald Peacock, wrote the following, “Thank you for noticing Lynx in your harbor. Gloucester Marine Railways have been most hospitable and we look forward to returning for Lynx 2017 yard period and the 2017 Gloucester Schooner Race and Festival.”

A magnificent ship under sail, she was a joy to watch and to photograph as she moved through the Harbor, setting course for Saint Petersburg, Florida, via Portland, Maine. You can see in the last photo that by the time she was passing Brace Cove she was under full sail with her square sail hoisted too. Safe travels Schooner Lynx and crew!

schooner-lynx-gloucester-mast-crane-piling-copyright-kim-smithAt the Railways this morning with crew members Casey and Hunter

schooner-lynx-gloucester-ten-pound-island-copyright-kim-smithPassing Ten Pound Island -note how much taller the Schooner is to the Lighthouse


Along the backshore with Boston in the distanceschooner-lynx-brace-rock-copyright-kim-smith

schooner-lynx-gloucester-brace-cove-copyright-kim-smithBrace Cove


tall-ship-lynx-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-kim-smithPerhaps you’ve noticed the towering masts and proportionately large flag of the ship currently docked at Rocky Neck Marine Railways. They caught my attention this morning when at the Fish Pier taking photos as the masts are almost as tall as those of the Schooner Columbia. The flag and masts belong to the tall ship Lynx, a privateer inspired by the original tall ship that battled the British during the War of 1812. That war ship was named the Privateer Lynx.tall-ship-lynx-2-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-ki

The Lynx is a square topsail schooner. Her port of registry is Portsmouth, New Hampshire and her homeports are Nantucket during warmer months and Saint Petersburg, Florida during wintertime. She is on her way to Portland and is scheduled to depart Gloucester on Monday. The Lynx is an educational organization devoted to hands-on programs that teach the history of America’s struggle to preserve its independence during the War of 1812. You can read more about the ship on the Lynx website here.

hunter-tall-ship-lynx-copyright-kim-smithHunter, the Lynx’s cook (left) and Jonathan, from the Liberty Star. The Liberty Star is undergoing some repairs at the Railways, on her way to the Virgin Islands for the winter.schooner-liberty-star-copyright-kim-smith

tall-ship-lynx-flag-portsmouth-gloucester-copyright-kiThe fifteen stars and stripes flag flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and is the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the “Star Spangled Banner.”

This was the only U.S. flag to have fifteen stripes. Two stripes and two stars were added for Vermont and Kentucky when they became states. Congress had a change of heart and in 1818, proclaimed that one star for each new state would be added on the 4th of July following the state’s admission to the union and there would be thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies.

lynx12012_lynxPhotos of the Lynx under sail courtesy Google image search

tall-ship-lynx-rocky-neck-marine-railways-gloucester-harbor-copyright-kim-smithThe Harbor this morning at daybreak, with the Lynx on the far left, docked at the Marine Railwaystall-ship-lynx-rocky-neck-marine-railways-gloucester-harbor-2-copyright-kim-smithLiberty Star at the Railways

From wiki – A privateer was a private person or ship that engaged in maritime warfare under a commission of war. The commission, also known as a letter of marque, empowered the person to carry on all forms of hostility permissible at sea by the usages of war, including attacking foreign vessels during wartime and taking them as prizes. Captured ships were subject to condemnation and sale under prize law, with the proceeds divided between the privateer sponsors, shipowners, captains and crew. A percentage share usually went to the issuer of the commission. Since robbery under arms was common to seaborne trade, all merchant ships were already armed. During war, naval resources were auxiliary to operations on land so privateering was a way of subsidizing state power by mobilizing armed ships and sailors.

NEW FILM: Scenes and Vignettes from the 32nd Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival

2016 Gloucester Schooner Festival – Dedicated to Kay Ellis

Highlights from Gloucester’s magnificent Schooner Festival, including the schooner welcome, Parade of Sail, the schooner race from a rocky cliff outpost, awards ceremony where Fly Amero and Daisy Nell honor Kay with a song, Daisy tells a funny joke, Adventure Captain Stefan Edick wins a special award, fireworks from Stage Fort Park, and more. The film opens with scenes of Cape Ann schooners, participating schooners, and Gloucester fishing boats, shot all around Gloucester Harbor during the weekend of the festival.

With special thanks to Al Bezanson, Daisy Nell, and Schooner Welcome Committee members Brett Ramsey, Max Ramsey, and Nick Ramsey.

The Gloucester Schooner Festival is held each year over Labor Day weekend and organized by Maritime Gloucester and the Gloucester Schooner Festival Committee. The Schooner Festival celebrates the role the fishing schooner has played in the maritime heritage of the east coast, especially Cape Ann.

Race Results

2016 Particpating Schooners and Captains

Adventure – Stefan Edick

Ardelle – Harold Burnham

American Eagle – John Foss

Apella – Dan Hall

Bald Eagle – Paul Cole/Judith Nast

Blackbird – Peter Thompson

Columbia – Karl Joyner

Eileen Marie – Peter Houston

Fame – Mike Rutstein (not raccing)

Green Dragon – Andy Bezanson

Hindu – Josh Rowan

Ishmael – Fred and Sarah Murphy

Istar – Josiah Mayo

Lettie Howard – Colin Graham

Liberty Clipper – Dylan Saltzman

Light Reign – Mike Lawrence

Malabar II – James Lobdell

Narwhal – Bob Bernert

Principles – Derek Durling

Redbird – Daisy Nell/Stan Collinson

Roseway – Tom Ryan

Sugar Babe – Ed Boynton

Thomas Lannon – Heath Ellis

Tree of Life – Paul Morse

Tyrone – Matt Sutphin


gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooners-with-schooner-eileen-marie-in-the-foreground-copyright-kim-smithGloucester Harbor Schooner Festival 2016

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-redbird-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Redbird and Gloucester City Hall

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-green-dragon-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Green Dragon and UU Church

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-ardelle-schooner-istar-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Ardelle and Schooner Istar


Schooner Eileen Marie and Gloucester City Hall


Schooner Light Reign and Schooner Narwahl

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-narwhal-schooner-fame-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Narwahl and Schooner Fame 

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-istar-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Istar

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-eileen-marie-our-lady-of-good-voyage-church-copyright-kim-smithSchooner Eileen Marie and Our Lady of Good Voyage


Schooners Paint Factory

ten-pound-island-gloucester-schooner-race-2016Schooners Ten Pound Island

All photos in the gallery are labeled with the Schooner name; click the image for the caption. If any of the labels are amiss, please let me know. Thank you!


Snapshots taken on race day, at the morning meeting of the captains and the evening’s closing ceremony, and a few the day before. So many thanks to Al Bezanson for introductions, his much appreciated knowledge and advice generously shared, and for being an all around great guy. I’ve tried to accurately caption; click on the photo to read the captain’s names and their schooners.

Gloucester Schooner Festival 2016 Ardelle Captain Harold Burnham, Malabar Captain James Lobdell copyright Kim Smith

Captain Harold Burnham, Schooner Ardelle, and Captain James Lobdell, Schooner Malabar II


Captain Matt Sutphin, Schooner Tyrone and Captain Al Bezanson, Schooner Green Dragon

Gloucester Schooner Festival 2016 Captain Al Bezanson Schooner Green Dragon Captain Peter Houston Schooner Eileen Marie copyright Kim SmithMike McManus, Captain Al Bezanson Schooner Green Dragon and Captain Peter Houston, Schooner Eileen Marie

Gloucester Schooner Festival 2016 Adventure Captain Stefan Edick, Captain Matt Sutphin Tyrone copyright Kim SmithCaptain Stefan Edick, Schooner Adventure, receiving the George Nichols Cup from the Schooner Committee Chair Daisy Nell

gloucester-schooner-festival-2016-schooner-tyrone-captain-matt-sutphin-2-copyright-kim-smithCaptain Matt Sutphin the day before the race painting the hull of the Schooner Tyrone


Such a pretty lobster boat, don’t you just love the crisp clear contrasting colors of the Stanley Thomas?

Stanley Thomas lobster boat Maritime Gloucester - Gloucester Schooner Festival copyright Kim Smith

Stanley Thomas lobster boat Gloucester City Hall Schooner Festival copyright Kim Smith




Congratulations to all the schooner Captains and their crews for an exciting race. The winning times were very close, especially in the category of the older large schooners where they are only about five minutes apart (Columbia is not included as she is a two year old schooner). Captain Karl Joyner graciously accepted the Mayor’s Trophy for the Columbia.

The highlight of the ceremony came when Captain Stefan Edick was awarded not only the Esperanto Cup, but also the George Nichols Cup. The Nichols Cup is awarded for seamanship and to an individual contributing to the maritime community. It is not given every year.Captain Stefan Edick and crew Esperanto Cup Schooner Festival race 2016 copyright Kim Smith

Captain Stefan Edick and the Adventure Crew holding the Esperanto Cup at Sunday night’s 32nd Gloucester Schooner Festival race award ceremony

A Windy and Wet Parade of Sails…Beautiful as Ever

The boys and I were lucky enough to catch a ride with some friends yesterday to get up close and personal with some of the schooners that paraded in the harbor yesterday afternoon.  The other side of the breakwater was a bit unforgiving in regards to photo ops, but it is always…regardless of the weather…wonderful to be in the midst of those gorgeous ships.

Another wonderful Saturday during Schooner Festival

Rick and I had a great day on Saturday visiting the Rocky Neck Railway and seeing the Columbia, The Ardelle going by and then we went Maritime Gloucester where this event was hopping with all sorts of great vendors and lots of people. After that we went kayaking in Gloucester Harbor. The Schooners were in full sail. It was an amazing day. Look forward to the parade of sail on Sunday morning.

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Snapshots from the Schooner Festival Mayor’s Reception held Friday night on the grounds of the Coast Guard station. After the reception guests headed over to the Maritime Gloucester gala, An Evening Under the Spars, this year held at the Beauport Hotel. The gala sold out early and was a grand success. Proceeds from this event directly support Maritime Gloucester’s Ocean Explorers program and educational marine science outreach to all Cape Ann public schools.

Schooner Festival Mayor's Reception Schooner Lannon copyright Kim Smith



DSCF1499Erik and Neil measuring fishDSCF1515

DSCF1495Phyllis Bezanson and daughter Amy at the Boston Malacological Club display

DSCF1487Michele Del Vecchio’s beautiful block prints of the Schooners Ardelle and Adventure that she made for the Maritme center


DSCF1519Lotus Marsh making trunnels, the wooden nails used to build schooners

DSCF1539Amanda Cook’s gorgeous Salty Island Yarns, with hundreds and hundreds of handmade goods

DSCF1537Sam Cook making a schooner print

DSCF1535Katie Dench

DSCF1534Maritime Gloucester executive director Sam Balf and development director Sue Ann Pearson





During last evening’s Schooner Festival Mayor’s Reception opening festivities, a moving song of tribute to Kay Ellis was sung by Allen Estes. The Schooner Lannon wended past during the performance.

Schooner Thomas Lannon Gloucester MA copyright Kim Smith

Schooner Thomas Lannon Paint Factory Gloucester MA copyright Kim Smith


Brett Nick Max Ramsey Gloucester Schooner Fest welcome 2016 copyright Kim SmithWhat a treat to tag along with Gloucester’s own Schooner Festival welcoming committee Brett Ramsey and his sons Max and Nick. Each year Brett purchases and assembles baskets of fresh fruit. Along with loaves of yummy bread still warm from Virgilio’s ovens (donated by Joe Virgilio), Brett and his family welcome each and every participating schooner. You could tell that the recipients were really grateful and touched by the gesture.

Special shout out to GMG FOB Schooner Green Dragon’s captain Al Bezanson. I was out filming early this morning and stopped by Rocky Neck Accommodations to say hello to Al and his wife Phyllis. This was Al’s idea to cover the Schooner Fest welcome for GMG, so thank you Al Bezanson!!

Gloucester Schooner Fest welcome 2016 Heat Ellis copyright Kim Smith Schooner Lannon’s Captain Heath EllisGloucester Schooner Fest welcome 2016 -2 copyright Kim Smith

Gloucester Schooner Fest welcome 2016 -7 copyright Kim Smith

Schooner Fest welcome 2016 Al Bezanson, Matt Sutphin, Fred Murphy copyright Kim SmithCaptains Al Bezanson (Green Dragon), Fred Murphy (Ishmael), and Matt Sutphin (Tyrone) Gloucester Schooner Fest welcome -1 2016 copyright Kim Smith


THE FIREWORKS ARE A GO!!! Hold onto your hats, we’re going to be treated to an extra fantabulous spectacular display!

Barry Pett shares that the response for requests for assistance with the Schooner Festival/Labor Day Weekend fireworks show has been tremendous. He gives a heartfelt thanks to everyone for their contributions. He’d also like folks to be aware that the City contributes greatly, with support from Mayor Romeo Theken’s administration, the Police and Fire Departments, and the DPW.

Barry provided some history about the fireworks, which have been annually displayed from Stage Fort Park since at least 1880. This beautifully poetic Winslow Homer watercolor titled Sailboat and Fourth of July Fireworks, dated July 4th, 1880, was painted during the year that Homer lived on Ten Pound Island. Unfortunately, the painting is currently hidden away in storage at the Fogg Art Museum. It is Barry’s hope that for Gloucester’s quadricentennial the painting will travel to Gloucester and be displayed at the Cape Ann Museum.

Barry Pett has been creating Gloucester’s fireworks shows for over twenty five years.


Winslow Homer: Poet of the Sea

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