All tall ships are awesome to behold, but there’s something extraa special about the Eagle. The 295’ training ship for the U.S. Coast Guard is the largest sailing ship flying the American flag — and next year it’s going to be all over the East Coast.
Beginning in April in New Orleans, the ship will join the OpSail tour commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812. It’ll make its way east and then north, stopping in Florida, Georgia, and New York before backtracking a bit and visiting Virginia and Maryland. By July Eagle will be back in its home waters of New England and will make stops in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and even as far north and east as Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The tall ship, originally commissioned in 1936 as Horst Wessel by the German Navy but later taken by the U.S. as reparations for World War II, is currently in drydock in Baltimore, Maryland. She is expected to be relaunched later this year and will spend the winter at her homeport of New London, Connecticut. Eagle, which flies 23,500 square feet of sail and is rigged as a barque, has served as a floating classroom for future Coast Guard officers since 1946. It has a permanent crew of six officers and 50 enlisted personnel and takes up to 150 trainees on its annual cruise.
The Eagle’s full 2012 schedule is as follows:
April 17 – April 20, New Orleans, Louisiana
April 26 – April 29, Jacksonville, Florida
April 29 – May 3, Mayport, Florida
May 4 – May 7, Savannah, Georgia
May 23 – May 28, New York, New York
June 8 – June 11, Norfolk, Virginia
June 14 – June 17, Baltimore, Maryland
June 30 – July 3, Boston, Massachusetts
July 6 – July 10, New London, Connecticut
July 20 – July 23, Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 27 – July 30, Portland, Maine
Aug. 3 – Aug. 6, Newport, Rhode Island