Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Great Welcome to Ardelle, A Great Sail

Mass. State Senator Bruce Tarr of Gloucester and Harold Burnham
Sailing past Pigeon Cove above and Senator Bruce Tarr and Maritime Gloucester President Geoff Richon greet the Ardelle
The Ardelle Sails into Gloucester harbor. Photo by Barry O'Brien
Happy Harold. Photo by Barry O'Brien
Schooner Ardelle enters the harbor. Photo by Barry O'Brien
Ardelle Under Sail. Photo by Barry O'Brien
Schooner Ardelle Meets the Thomas E. Lannon. Photo by Bill O'Connor

Schooner Ardelle Arrives at Maritime Gloucester

Gloucester, MA - Maritime Gloucester and Senator Bruce Tarr welcomed the Pinky Schooner Ardelle to Gloucester on Wednesday night marking the beginning of a new era for the center, the harbor and the city.

With two Essex-built schooners – the Thomas E. Lannon and the Schooner Ardelle now calling Gloucester their homeport, the Ardelle will enhance and add to the cultural and historic importance of this port.

Sen. Bruce Tarr and Maritime Gloucester president Geoffrey Richon were on the docks to greet the Ardelle after her maiden voyage from Essex on Wednesday. The schooner pulled into the dock with most of the building crew aboard, and with family, supporters and friends on shore to greet her, there was a sense of excitement that a traditionally-built and designed Essex schooner will be seen – and likely – remembered by generations of Cape Ann residents now and in the future.

“This schooner is really about our heritage, about who we are,” said Sen. Tarr (R) at Maritime Gloucester – formerly called the Maritime Heritage Center. “We do have to continue to fight to preserve our fishing legacy and our maritime past, present and future. Having a schooner here at Maritime Gloucester, for our young people to see and learn on, is a very important moment for our city and for us.”

Burnham, 44, also addressed the crowd at Maritime Gloucester when he said that, “having both the Thomas E. Lannon and the Schooner Ardelle in Gloucester – both Essex-built boats – is very important to our heritage and our legacy,  in that in order to have authentic cultural tourism we must first and foremost preserve out unique culture.   

The Ardelle’s arrival on Wednesday evening marked the end of an 11-month building project that took place at the Burnham Boatyard in Essex. The crew of shipwrights came from all over the North Shore and worked as volunteers, lending their skills and time tirelessly. After both a long year of boatbuilding and a long day of sailing around from the Essex River to Gloucester with a stop over in Rockport the crew were greeted by a grateful and supportive crowd. The crew includes Justin Ingersoll of Essex, Zach Teal of Essex, Frances Cleary of Essex, Bernie Powers of Beverly, Chuck Redman of North Andover, Chad Gadbois of Beverly, Henry Szosta of Beverly, Steve Willard of Marblehead, Bruce Slifer of Gloucester, Andy Spinney of Hamilton, Pierre Erhard of Wenham– among others – were aboard for the sail.

With winds gusting to 20-knots, the Ardelle handled beautifully and sailed with speeds of up to 8 knots.  Dr. Robin Tattersoll, a special member of the Ardelle crew and former Olympic sailor helmed much of the way. “She sails beautifully,” he was heard to say to Harold, and Ardelle reached 8 knots on a broad reach off Eastern Point. And, the sentiment was shared on shore as the Ardelle arrived at Maritime Gloucester a fan held up a sign that said simply “Absolutely Perfect.”

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