Residents Welcome Lynx to Harbor
A crowd of local residents braved wet and windy weather Wednesday afternoon to welcome the tall ship Lynx into Marblehead Harbor.
In the hours before the Lynx was scheduled to arrive in Marblehead, a dense fog and steady rain began falling over the harbor and residents, one-by-one, began lining up along the shoreline with their cameras and binoculars, each hoping the weather would clear in time for her arrival.
As 4 o'clock approached, more and more local residents, many donning slickers and raincoats, arrived for their chance to see the 122-foot square top sail schooner make her grand entrance into the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. As they pressed their hands to their foreheads, squinting to see through the fog, those with the best seats shouted to the crowd when they first saw the ship's white sails emerge from behind a row of nearby islands.
At Chandler Hovey Park, the ship was first seen by some brave children who had nimbly made their way out onto the rocks lining the shoreline. Escorted into the harbor by the town's harbor master, the Lynx signaled her arrival by firing her canons six times. Along the shore near Fort Sewall, the Marblehead Glovers Regiment responded with a volley of gunfire.
The View From Fort Sewall
As Lew Livermore put it perfectly, the weather "made it very Marbleheady." Lew and his friend Ed Morris, both Marblehead residents, made their way to the fort in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Lynx despite the rainy and foggy conditions.
When asked what their thoughts were about the tall ship's arrival they blurted out, in unison, "Wonderful!"
"Wonderful" seemed to be the popular word to describe the feeling surrounding the shores of Old Town today and that's exactly how Barbara and Tom Day of Marblehead, described it.
"It was great, we love stuff like this. We were both here for the Constitution too," Barbara said.
Another Marblehead resident, Parker Maddox, was delighted at the chance to view the Lynx up close and personal.
Douglas Bates, a true Header who was born at Mary Alley, was also dockside to witness this grand occasion. He had tickets to sail aboard Lynx, but due to a prior heart condition, he was asked to refrain. He was very delighted and showed pride as he was viewing from the dockside.
Fort Sewall was lined with residents a few rows deep, armed with cameras, phones and umbrellas.
Also sitting on the rocks Thursday were two young boys, Henry (10) and Oliver(11), both students at Charter School.
At one point, when the Lynx passed directly in front of them, a shot from it's cannon sent Henry to the ground, prompting him to play dead.
It may have been a raw and nasty Northeast kind of day, but to see the Lynx come through the fog and into the harbor made many of those in attendance wonder what this town was like hundreds of years ago.
Through the end of the weekend, The Lynx will offer a host of activities, including ship tours, harbor sails and a special event hosted by the town's Chamber of Commerce.
History of the Lynx
From the uniforms of the members of the ship's crew to the cannons that line her deck, every detail of The Lynx has been recreated to mirror a tall ship that was among the first to defend our country.
According to The Lynx Educational Foundation's website, The Lynx is an interpretation of an actual privateer named Lynx that was built by Thomas Kemp in 1812 in Fell's Point, Maryland. The Lynx was among the first ships to defend American freedom by evading the British naval fleet then blockading American ports and serving in the important privateering efforts.
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, the American Navy consisted of only 17 ships - eight frigates, two brigs, and seven assorted smaller vessels including a few schooners which saw service in the Barbary Wars.
In those days, when a nation went to war, owners of private vessels were granted special permissions, called "letters of marque," to prey upon the enemy's shipping; thus, "privateers." While rarely engaging enemy warships, their impact was felt by English merchants who insisted on warship escorts for their vessels.
To perform this duty, warships were drawn away from engaging the scant American Navy and blockading our coast, and thus did the privateers, motivated by profit, assist in our national defense.
Schedule of events:
Thursday, May 19: Ship Tours – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Public Adventure Sail from 2 to 4 p.m.
Friday, May 20 – Ship Tours – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Public Adventure Sail – 2 to 4 p.m.
Friday, May 20 – Chamber Night on the Lynx
Join event organizers, the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce and the Landing Restaurant for a special reception and evening sail.
5 pm – Reception at the Landing Restaurant – includes appetizers and a glass of wine or mug of beer
6 pm – Sail on the Lynx for an hour and a half.
$75 per person, Tickets and Information: 781-631-2868. Tickets are limited, First come-first serve.
Saturday, May 21 – Ship Tours – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Public Adventure Sail from 2 to 4 p.m.
Glover’s Regiment to sing sea shanties at the dock in the evening.
Sunday, May 22 – Ship Tours – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Public Adventure Sail from 2 to 4 p.m.
General Ticketing Information:
Ship Tours - Adults $5 , children 12 and under are free but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Sailing Adventures - Adults $55