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On The Bay: April 24, 2012

Nautical Center’s ‘Come Play on Manhasset Bay’ On April 26

Ever thought of kayaking, fishing, sailing, rowing, swimming, motor boating or just walking around Manhasset Bay and wondered how to do it? The Nautical Council of the Port Washington Library is holding an informational meeting to answer the question of how to have more fun on Manhasset Bay.

Fifteen local organizations will be joining forces to answer all of your questions about Manhasset Bay and where and how to play on Manhasset Bay. Expected participants are Atlantic Outfitters, Port Sailing, North Shore Kayak Club, Rowing Club, Mill Pond Yacht Club and their remote-controlled sailboats, Power Squadron, Manorhaven Park, Marine Police, Manhasset Bay Protection Committee, Bay Walk, Port Water Taxi, North Shore Yacht Club, Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Port Washington Yacht Club, the Frostbite Club, and more. You can see by this list that no matter what your sport, hobby or exercise there will be someone at the Lapham Meeting Room on April 26 from 7 – 9 p.m. to help you have more fun.

There will be a raffle with opportunities to try out a new sport or hobby. There will be demonstrations involving a kayak, rowboat and a sailboat. All are welcome to have more fun by learning how to play on Manhasset Bay. This evening is open to the public and free of charge. So, why not come by the library and learn about having fun right in your own backyard – our beautiful bay.

A quick walk – or leisurely stroll – down by the bay shows that Manhasset Bay is coming to life after a somewhat dormant winter… except for the frostbiters, of course. Last Saturday, a trimaran was seen heading out to Long Island Sound as was a sailboat heading downwind under a bright red spinnaker. It was a perfect day for sailing, with bright blue skies, and good wind.

There are other signs that the spring and summer season is near. Last week alone saw more activity in local boatyards, invitations to yacht club commissioning celebrations were in the mail, Thirsty Thursday’s organizational meeting (big boat racing every Thursday evening) was held at Manhasset Bay YC, and the Frostbite Long Distance Race and Clam Bake took place last Saturday. This last event is the red flag that the winter is over and it’s time to be launching your boat. Even though the past winter was mild, it is always good to say good-bye to winter and look forward to enjoying our bay, be it racing, day sailing, cruising, kayaking, or strolling along her shores. Here’s to a great new season of enjoying what our peninsula does best – beckon people to enjoy the waterfront.

With the onset of spring and anticipation of a wonderful summer at a peak level, it may be time to start planning your schedule to include some trips away from home. According to a press release that became available recently, one event out on the east end of Long Island might appeal to readers. To celebrate the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, more than 25 tall ships will make their way up the Eastern Seaboard this summer to participate in the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2012 series of races and public maritime festivals. Coordinated by Tall Ships America and in collaboration with local organizers, the Tall Ships Challenge fleet will be hosted at festivals in four major ports of call: Savannah, Ga. (May 3-7); Greenport, N.Y. (May 24-28); Newport, R.I. (July 6-9) and Halifax, Nova Scotia (July 19-23). Among the international ships planning to participate in the events are the 191-foot Indonesian Naval barquentine Dewaruci; the French Naval tall ships La Belle Poule and Etoile; and the 179-foot barque Picton Castle from the Cook Islands. U.S. vessels include the majestic 295-foot U.S. Coast Guard barque Eagle, HMS Bounty, Gazela, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore II, and many more.

“The member vessels of Tall Ships America help young people – who are referred to as students or trainees – develop confidence, competency and courage through the authentic challenges and adventures of seafaring,” said Tall Ships America executive director Bert Rogers. “The Tall Ships Challenge series is a celebration of our maritime heritage and these fundamental values that define us as Americans.”

While in port, the ships will be open to the public for viewing, and many will feature dockside exhibits and lively interactions with crew. Each ship has its own educational mission and style, providing the American public with a rich selection of programs, all conforming to Tall Ships America’s credo: Adventure and Education Under Sail. Between ports, the vessels can compete in four offshore races: from Savannah to Cape Fear, N.C.; Greenport to the Chesapeake Bay Entrance; Newport to Cape Ann, Mass.; and Sable Island, Canada, to Halifax.

“Students and trainees will sail the ships just as was done during the great Age of Sail,” added Rogers. “These races follow long-distance courses on the open ocean, and the ships sail without using engines. It’s all to promote international goodwill through friendly competition.”

Tall Ships America’s Tall Ships Challenge is an annual series that rotates on a three-year cycle between the Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, and Pacific Coast. Over the past decade, the Tall Ships Challenge has coordinated more than 60 events in 32 cities, stimulating strong tourism and economic development though these family-friendly festivals. In 2013, all eyes will be on the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes, when the ships will visit over 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada to continue the commemoration of the events of the War of 1812, including a recreation of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.

For a list of participating tall ships, visit http://www.sailtraining.org/tallships/2012atlantic/vessels.php.