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Tall Ships Returning to Boston in 2012

U.S.S Constitution One of the Stars of This Summer's Event

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Tall Ships in Boston
Photo by Eric Wilbur
The Tall Ships return to Boston this summer in order to mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the “Star-Spangled Banner.” This, part of what is being termed “OpSail 2012,” will be the first time such a fleet has graced Boston’s waters since 2009, when the popular “Sail Boston” event drew thousands daily to the waterfront, where the majestic vessels docked over a stretch that included Independence Day.

Same thing this time around, as the ships are due to arrive in Boston Harbor on June 30, staying until July 6, which should give the tens of thousands who are in town for both Boston Harborfest and the annual Fourth of July Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular ample opportunity to visit these historic ships.

Some of the ships scheduled to appear this year are:

USCGC Eagle (U.S)
USS Constitutions (U.S.)
Cisne Branco (Brazil)
Gloria (Columbia)
Guayas (Ecuador)
Dewarucci (Indonesia)

The Eagle and Constitution will be docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard, as the latter always is. The Branco, Gloria, Guayas, and Dewarucci can be found at Boston’s Fish Pier. The Constitution’s inclusion makes perfect sense, as the ship played a large role in the War of 1812, capturing the crew of the British’s HMS Guerriere in August of the year.

All public ship tours are free to the public. Other stops for OpSail 2012 include New Orleans (April 17-24), New York (May 23-30), Norfolk, Virginia (June 7-12), Baltimore (June 13-19), and New London, Conn. (July 6-8).

In addition, OpSail has announced a special War of 1812 and Star-Spangled Banner essayand art contest aimed at high schoolers, who are being asked to share a 1,000-word essay on the role of the Constitution in the War of 1812, their feelings on the Banner, the role of the revenue cutter in action during the war. Each entrant must also submit an accompanying watercolor, oil or pencil drawing illustrating his or her essay. The winner from each division will receive a ride aboard the Coast Guard’s Eagle Tall Ship. The deadline for Boston is May 25. See the OpSail website for complete details.

As for the Tall Ships schedule over the Independence Day holiday week, here’s how OpSail breaks it down:

Saturday, June 30
8 a.m. - Noon - Ships arrive in Boston Harbor, proceed to assigned berths
4- 10 p.m. - Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier

Sunday, July 1
Noon - 10 p.m. - Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier
Blessing of the Sails ceremony - Old North Church

Monday, July 2
4 - 10 p.m. - Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier

Tuesday, July 3
4 - 10 p.m. - Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier

Wednesday, July 4 - Independence Day
11 a.m. - 1 p.m . - Blue Angels and other military aircraft fly over
Noon - 10 p.m. - Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier

Thursday, July 5
4 p.m. - 10 p.m.- Tall Ship public visiting - Fish Pier

Friday, July 6
Ships depart

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