On June 10, 2000, I left Miami, FL aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE headed for Norfolk and Opsail Virginia. With 130 guests, parents and media aboard, EAGLE led the Parade of Sail out of the harbor.
As this Grand vessel made its way out of the channel under power, the EAGLE crew, cadets and some of the guests set all the sails. We then sailed up the coast close to shore.
As EAGLE healed over, this Tallship was cruising at better than ten knots leaving behind the other Tallships that were following us in the Parade. We sailed into Fort Lauderdale and dropped off the 130 guests then got back underway headed for Lynnhaven anchorage.
Before leaving port and while underway, safety was the first order of business. After instruction and training, we were encouraged to go out on the bowsprit, climb the rig and participate in small boat operations.
During the day crew and 1st class cadets trained the 3rd class in sail handling & fire drills. At night Captain Luke, Executive Officer Bell, the crew and the cadets competed in a celestial navigation contest.
It was on my third day aboard that I joined a small boat operation. What an incredible sight - This magnificent white Tallship with the orange stripe, sails set against the light blue sky and the dark blue water of the gulf stream - nothing else for as far as you can see - WOW!
We had days of good sailing and excellent weather throughout the trip. I experienced first hand the hard work and dedication of our Coast Guard and as a bonus enjoyed plenty of delicious food. We even saw a school of Rays!
Everyone aboard the Captain, Officers, Crew and Cadets were always courteous and professional. I have never felt safer or slept better anywhere.
Having the opportunity to sail on "AMERICAS' TALL SHIP" was a great experience.
Thank you to all personnel aboard the U. S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE during that week.
It was an honor and a privilege to sail with you.
©2000 Chris Queeney Photography