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Tall ship in port at Picton Harbour

The Brigantine St. Lawrence II was in port at Picton Harbour Thursday to the delight of passersby.
The tall ship’s trainees, crew and officers were welcomed by County CAO Merlin Dewing.  The 12 trainees were dispatched on a scavenger hunt in town. Volunteer David More stayed behind to answer questions.

The tall ship’s home is at Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston,  where the not-for-profit Brigantine Incorporated operates a sail training program where youth between 12 to 18 learn the fundamental skills of sailing.

“The program has been running since 1954,” said More. “All they need is a love of adventure. We take away their cell phones,” he laughs. Training cruises range from 6 to 10 days and no sailing experience is required.

“She was built in 1952 to teach teenagers how to sail a square rigger and since there’s been about 30,000 on board. Some move on to related careers.”

Living aboard a traditionally rigged tall ship teaches participants discipline, self-esteem, self-reliance and responsibility. Duties range from meal preparation and cleanup, to manipulating the massive sails and steering the ship.

“Most of our new crew members have never sailed before,” said More. “Picton’s is a lovely harbour. We were also at Waupoos. We came in late last night and we’ll be moving along shortly.”

In 60 years afloat, St. Lawrence II has shown her flag from Lake Huron to the north-east Atlantic seaboard in what has become the longest running youth sail training organization in the world. Her sister ships, Pathfinder and Playfair, of Toronto, have also frequently visited County waters over the years.

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  1. Capt Chris Holder says:

    I hope the CAO had time to look at the less than ideal facilities we have in the harbor

  2. Doris Lane says:

    The CAO welcomed the Brig–why–where was the mayor or Picton councillors

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