Sunset on the deck of the A.J. Meerwald
Yonkers, NY — Enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour Hudson River sail on the A. J. Meerwald, a beautifully restored turn-of-the-century schooner and New Jersey’s official tall ship, Thursday, July 15, at 6:00 – 8:30 PM. Tickets are $50 per person and support the work of Beczak Environmental Education Center. There are limited spots available: register at BeczakNews@beczak.org / (914) 377-1900, ext. 13. Children are welcome with parents. Bring your own refreshments; beer and wine are permitted on board. Parking is at Beczak Environmental Education Center, 35 Alexander Street, Yonkers, NY. The ship departs from the Yonkers Pier.
“The ship brings people back to a simpler time,” says Captain Jesse Briggs, a native of Virginia who has been working on boats since he was ten years old. “There’s no engine sound, and you travel at a leisurely pace. People relax and enjoy the scenery. How far we go depends on the wind and tide.”
Sailing on the A. J. Meerwald is an authentic living history experience. Once underway, all are invited to learn hands-on navigation and seamanship skills from the captain and crew, including raising the sails, standing bow watch and taking a turn at the ship’s helm. Participants can choose to participate in a discussion about the New York Harbor’s rich maritime heritage and the history of the A. J. Meerwald and the oyster industry. Or just relax on the Meerwald’s spacious deck and enjoy scenery of the majestic Palisades and New York skyline.
The A. J. Meerwald is a 115-foot schooner with over 3,500 square feet of sail. Launched in 1928, the Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey's Delaware Bayshore for oystering and clamming. Governor Christine Whitman added the A. J. Meerwald to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, and on Earth Day 1998 the Meerwald was designated New Jersey’s official tall ship. Since 1989, the A. J. Meerwald has been owned by the Bayshore Discovery Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to motivating people to take care of the environment, history, and culture of New Jersey's Bayshore region through education, preservation, and example.
Sailing aboard the A. J. Meerwald will also be a featured activity of Beczak’s Summer Adventures in mid-July in which children ages 10 – 12 will hoist the Meerwald’s sails and learn about navigation, the region’s oyster industry, working together and the Hudson River on the oyster schooner.
Beczak Environmental Education Center is a non-profit organization that presents exhibits and programs for all ages to raise environmental awareness and to encourage informed stewardship of rivers. They celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2010. www.beczak.org.