On attitude:

We preserve only what we appreciate, appreciate only what we understand, and that understanding is incomplete without experience. […]

How does this perspective contribute to the goal of fostering good citizenship? One of the outstanding lessons of seafaring is not only how self-reliant we must be, but also how interdependent the members of a ship’s company are. The highest value of sail training is for participants to learn through experience that the greatest resource they have inboard is each other. It is through mutual trust, carefully nurtured competence, and unceasing vigilance that a ship’s company survives in a small fragile structure, suspended over an abyss of water, isolated in the immensity of a hazardous environment. Each ship contains its own society, but at sea the need for it is starkly apparent. Trust by the officers that the crew will do their duty. Trust by the crew that the officers know what they are about. Trust by all in ancient tradition of skills and responsibilities. […]

The most important of sea experience under sail is not arcane technical knowledge, it is an understanding of social skills and attitudes which were vital to survival then and to us now. […]

The learning is not so much about the ship as from the ship.

Source: from Linda B. and Nelson C.’s presentation on Rybka, Walter, Keynote speech at TSA conference in Erie, 6 February 2013

For more information about the Tall Ships America (TSA) and how to participate: Go here http://www.sailtraining.org/

1913 Newspaper Article: The Raising of the Flagship Niagara from Misery Bay

Ward County Independent April 3, 1913:


Craft Turned Defeat into Victory on Lake Erie

Erie, PA-Working in one of the worst blizzards of the winter, a contractor and his men raised the Niagara, the ship which turned defeat into victory for Oliver Hazard Perry in the Battle of Lake Erie, Sept. 10, 1813.

A crowd of half frozen curiosity seekers were held back with difficulty when the gun ports became visible as they established beyond a doubt that the battered bulk was that of the Niagara.

The blinding snow and cracking ice halted the work and the old craft was lifted only four feet above the water.  She extends 110 feet, has a 30-foot beam and is about 10 feet deep.  The keel is off the lake bottom for the first time in nearly a century.  Four pontoons are located amidship and at the stern and bow, from which chains hold the Niagara up six feet.

Skeptics who asserted that the bulk was that of an ancient canal boat were convinced when they saw the gun ports from which Perry’s crew fired broadside into the British fleet.

Captain W. L. Morrison of the United States training ship Wolverine, who is an official of the Perry Centennial Committee here and an authority on historical facts relating to the Niagara, predicts that old buckles and revolvers will be discovered in the hold when she is lifted completely.

It has taken three months to lift the Niagara while the original contract promised completion in thirty days.  Bad weather conditions caused the delay.