Cuba and Arctic Among Upcoming Opportunities
After a successful first season of programs in New England, the brand new 200-foot Tall Ship, Sailing School Vessel (SSV) Oliver Hazard Perry, plans to set sail for the open ocean in 2017, heading first to Bermuda, then to Florida where she will be based through March, when she will offer opportunities for explorers of all ages to participate in one of two round-trip voyages to Cuba (March 10-18 and March 18-26); a passage from Ft. Lauderdale to Bermuda (April 2-12); or a passage from Bermuda to Newport, RI (April 14-22).
Trainees practice setting sail at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI. © Mark Russell
The voyages to Cuba are targeted towards high school and college students, with a limited number of berths available for adventurous adults as well. The Bermuda and Newport passages are hosted in partnership with Ocean Navigator magazine for any adults wanting to learn the skill of offshore celestial navigation and marine meteorology.
“2017 is going to be a historical year for OHPRI; we are so proud of how far our programs have come and the exciting schedule ahead of us,” said Jessica Wurzbacher, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) Executive Director. “Simply visiting somewhere like Cuba or the Arctic is exciting in itself, but it’s quite another thing to arrive on a Tall Ship where you have been fully immersed in the adventure and responsible for actually getting yourself there.”
Wurzbacher explained that Perry is a USCG-approved Sailing School Vessel, and all who participate in her sailing programs become part of the crew. “No one is a passenger. Instead, everyone lives aboard and works side-by-side with professional crew to learn square-rig seamanship, including bracing the yards, steering the ship and even going aloft if they wish to do so.”
With a 2017 route covering an impressive 14,000 nautical miles, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will also sail north to the Arctic and into the Northwest Passage on a groundbreaking ocean science research expedition in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography and funded by the National Science Foundation. She will be the first full-rigged ship to sail the Northwest passage in 100 years.
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry has set its 2017 schedule after a successful first season of summer programs in New England. © OHPRI
While the students for this one leg of the voyage will be selected by the University, there are opportunities for students to participate as trainees for one week as the ship makes the passage north from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to St. John’s, Newfoundland (June 25-July 1) or for three weeks from St. John’s, Newfoundland across the Arctic Circle, with a stop in Greenland and then to Pond Inlet (July 7-28). Berths are also available for adult adventurers on four legs of the return passage from the Arctic: Cambridge Bay to Resolute Bay (Aug. 27-Sept. 10), Resolute Bay to Pond Inlet (Sept. 10-20), Pond Inlet to St. Johns (Sept. 20-Oct. 11), and St. John’s to Newport (Oct. 17-26).
OHPRI’s mission is to provide innovative, empowering education-at-sea programs that promote personal and professional growth. This is achieved by partnering with schools, organizations, and universities for unique experiential learning opportunities that incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) educational concepts. The non-profit organization offers a variety of on-board learning experiences to program partners as well as the broader public and also participates at festivals and other events to reinforce the importance of and interest in Rhode Island’s and America’s maritime history.
Named for U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the Rhode Island war hero who defeated the British in the Battle of Lake Eire, Perry is the first ocean-going full-rigged Tall Ship to be built in America in over a hundred years. Eight years in the making, she is a brand new 21st Century Tall Ship that was completed with $17 million in private funds. Perry is not a replica, but instead a modern, steelhulled vessel purpose-built for training and education to the highest modern safety standards. She accommodates 49 people overnight (including 17 professional crew) and is wheelchair accessible.