My friend Mary McLoud reminded me of this time lapse video of the Parade of Sail from several years ago (eight actually!).
Parade of Sails Through Gloucester Inner Harbor Time Lapse
The tall ships start appearing around 1:50, but I liked seeing all the smaller boats, too. Look for the Stanley Thomas lobster boat closer to the beginning. After the Parade I walked out onto the rocky ledge near the Eastern Point Lighthouse, but as you can see in the second-to-last clip, a thunderstorm was on the way and I had to skeedadle.
Al Bezanson’s list of schooner’s, in order of appearance: Sugar Babe, Adventure, Thomas E Lannon, Adirondack III, Brilliant, Virginia, Tillicum I, Lewis H Story, Liberty Clipper, Perception, Light Reign, American Eagle, Morning Light, Green Dragon.
At the top of my husband Tom’s birthday wish list was a schooner ride aboard the Thomas Lannon. His birthday is still a week away so we had a pre-bday celebration last night. My kids and I treated and we met our friends Jade and Will, and their adorable kids, for the Schooner Challenge.
Although not much of challenge with super calm seas, it was a gorgeous night to be sailing around the harbor with family, friends and the wonderful Captain Heath Ellis and his topnotch crew. Former Lannon Captain Tom Ellis was aboard, making the sail even more perfect.
The night could not have been more magical and I think my husband is super pleased. What a way to start off the 37th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend and husband’s birthday week!!
GLOUCESTER 37th ANNUAL SCHOONER FESTIVAL SCHEDULE!
Thursday, Sept 2
SCHOONER CHALLENGE – 6:00 to 7:30pm – Gloucester Harbor
Join our local Schooner Captains as they participate in a friendly competition putting their seamanship to the test over an “obstacle” course. Passengers will be given their own set of tasks to win the coveted Rum Bottle Award. Visiting schooners already arrived will join the event. The public is invited to purchase tickets aboard participating schooners. Check various schooner websites for ticketing details.
Friday, Sept 3
All Day – The SCHOONERS ARRIVE – Gloucester Harbor with shoreside viewing
Historic Gloucester Harbor sets the scene for the arrival of over 2 dozen schooners throughout the day and. Spend the day viewing these wonderful vessels filling our harbor. Details of schooner arrival times will be provided as possible via social media.
6:00 to 10:00pm – Gloucester Block Party – Main Street, Gloucester
Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and local businesses roll out the red carpet on Main Street for Gloucester Schooner Festival with a street party! Shopping, food, entertainment, and fun are on the agenda all evening.
Maritime Heritage Day – 10:00am to 4:00pm – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop
The heart of land-based activities is Maritime Heritage Day! Maritime Gloucester opens its campus for a day of maritime heritage, live demonstrations, schooner sails, family fun, and food. Plan your day at Maritime Gloucester to be part of this historic year. See the full Maritime Heritage Day schedule
International Dory Committee Exhibition – 9:00 to 11:00am – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop –
*NEW THIS YEAR!*
We are excited to have the International Dory Race Committee be part of our 37th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival in 2021. As we celebrate the 101st anniversary of the International Fisherman’s Race, we honor the heritage of the International Dory Races that coincided with the IFR since 1923. At 9:00am, the committee will run an exhibition race from Maritime Gloucester Pier toward the historic Tarr & Wonson Paint Factory and back. At 10:00am, visiting schooner crews will join for a second round of exhibition races. Solomon Jacobs Park will be a great viewing location.
Schooner Viewing and Deck Tours! – 10:00am to 4:00pm –
Thanks to generous support from our sponsors, we are again able to provide a visitor-based dockside experience that puts the public on schooners for deck tours. Public viewing will take place at Maritime Gloucester’s pier and at I4C2. This is a free option for the public, but donations for Gloucester Schooner Festival are appreciated to support this experience.
Gertrude L. Thebaud Pennant Viewing – 10:00am to 4:00pm – Maritime Gloucester, 23 Harbor Loop
*NEW THIS YEAR ONLY!*
For the first time in over 50 years, the Gertrude L. Thebaud Pennant will be displayed live at Maritime Gloucester’s Gorton’s Seafoods Gallery. This 25ft by 11ft pennant was proudly flown on the Gertrude L. Thebaud and is a site to behold in pure scale. After a small amount of work, we are once more able to hang this priceless piece of history for a limited time for public viewing.
Schooner Tour by Water – SOLD OUT – Gloucester Harbor Tours, Solomon Jacobs Park
Gloucester Harbor Tours teams up with Gloucester Schooner Festival to provide a narrated tour of the Schooners at the dock and on their moorings. This water-based tour will give ticketed customers a chance to hear about local maritime history and view these vessels from a unique perspective. This is a fun way for groups to experience the Gloucester Schooner Festival.
6:30 to 10:30pm – Concert on Stacy Boulevard
Live music and light effects light up the night overlooking the harbor on Stacy Boulevard.
The night sky lights up with the annual fireworks display over Stage Fort Park. Get on a schooner charter, watch from your boat, or enjoy from nearly anywhere in the city, this spectacle is a great way to enjoy Schooner Festival.
Parade of Sail – 10:00am to 12:00pm – Gloucester Harbor, Stacey Boulevard and Eastern Point viewing
The entire fleet of schooners joins together for a Parade of Sail not to be missed! Whether you get aboard a schooner or watch from the shore, this is a memorable experience for all. Prime viewing areas are Stacy Boulevard, Stage Fort Park, and Eastern Point. On the Boulevard, our Festival Chair Daisy Nell Collinson, Michael Costello, and Maritime Gloucester Historian Justin Demetri will provide live commentary. Schooners proceed from the Inner Harbor, past the Fisherman’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point.
11:00 am to 1:30pm – Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light
Catch the CATA shuttle from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Ave) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free of charge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation Authority
Mayor’s Cup Race – 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Massachusetts Bay off Gloucester
The Premier Event – The Mayor’s Races! This year’s schooners match up in small, medium, and large categories for a reach-reach competition viewing for the Esperanto Cup, The Ned Cameron Trophy, and The Betty Ramsey Award.
Monday, Sept 6 – Labor Day
Rain Date for Heritage Day or Race. Maritime Gloucester open from 10 to 4pm
Schooner Challenge aboard the Thomas Lannon with Redbird, Thomas Story, and Ardelle
Six schooners sailed about Gloucester Harbor Sunday morning. Oh how we all missed this year’s Schooner Festival! But it was glorious to see these sailing beauties out in the harbor together at the same time. I was at Niles Beach Sunday morning and raced home to get my camera. The parade was coming to an end by the time I returned, but how lucky to catch a glimpse of Cape Ann Schooners Redbird, Thomas E. Lannon, and Ardelle lined up.
These beautiful baskets are donated by the Schooner Festival Committee and include not only fresh fruit, but freshly baked bread from Virgilios and handmade chocolates from Turtle Alley. The Ramsey’s deliver each basket, via boat, to every participating schooner on Friday afternoon. It’s no wonder schooners from around the globe love to come to Gloucester.
Brett Ramsey readying to deliver schooner welcome baskets (Ellen Ramsey adds this is a 1967 Chevy truck, in case any one was wondering).
While at Gloucester Maritime during the Schooner Festival Maritime Heritage Day I learned that Massachusetts has a state sea shell! We have a state bird, the Black-capped Chickadee; a state flower, the Mayflower (Epigaea repens); a state tree, the American Elm (Ulmus americana); we’ll soon be voting on a state butterfly, and how exciting to learn from a member of the Boston Malacological Club that our state flower is the New England Neptune (Neptunea lyrata domcemcostata).
The shell is found from the Grand Banks off Newfoundland to North Carolina. According to the BMC, the shell is rarely found on beaches but is commonly taken in lobster traps. Next time when beach combing I’ll be on the lookout and am wondering if any of our Cape Ann lobstermen find them in their traps. Please write if you do. And if you have any spare shells to share, that would be wonderful 🙂
Neptunea lyrata has many common names including wrinkled whelk, ribbed Neptune, inflated whelk, and lyre whelk. The New England Neptune is a marine gastropod mollusk, a type of large sea snail.
The BMC is a not-for-profit, all-volunteer group, whose charter is to promote the study of land, freshwater, and marine mollusks, related creatures and their environments. The BMC participates in basic research (through local field trips), welcomes guests to its monthly meetings, and sponsors educational programs such as shell shows. In 2005, the Club donated $10,000 to malacological research through the grants program of the Conchologists of America.
Photos from the Schooner Festival Mayor’s Reception held Friday night on the grounds of the Coast Guard station. After the reception guests headed over to the Maritime Gloucester gala, An Evening Under the Spars, this year held at the Beauport Hotel. The gala sold out early and was a grand success. Proceeds from this event directly support Maritime Gloucester’s Ocean Explorers program and educational marine science outreach to all Cape Ann public schools.