May 29, 2013

My Trip on the Amistad: Independence Seaport Museum

For our birthdays, Andy and I decided to spoil each other and go on a trip to Philadelphia to take a sail on the schooner, Amistad which was only docking there for a few days.

Before our sail, we checked out the Independence Seaport Museum and were able to tour the 344 foot Olympia, which fought in the Spanish American War and the Submarine Becuna, a WWII and Cold War vessel.

The Independence Seaport Museum was very interesting. There were a lot of unique artifacts that document a part of history that tends to stay isolated from other museums. Boats played a huge role throughout history from wars and exploration to shipping and travel.


The museum was surprisingly easy to get to and had a nice parking garage, a rarity in Philly. I'd recommend a visit, if you have the chance. It's very picturesque and close to the water.  I might write more about the Amistad and the other vessels in the coming days, but for now I'll just write about the sail.

 
The Freedom Schooner Amistad isn't exactly a reproduction of the schooner that caused a big stir in 1839. The historic vessel was illegally ferrying kidnapped Mende people from Sierra Leone who were brought to Cuba to be sold as slaves. As the slave trade had been abolished, the ship's owner falsified documents claiming that the enslaved Mende people were born in Cuba. During the voyage the prisoners were able to escape their chains and used harvesting machetes to take control of the vessel.They were eventually brought to court in the United States and with the help of abolitionists, were allowed to return to Africa.

We were extremely lucky that it turned out to be a beautiful day. This was the only day Andy and I were both off from work. The two sails before us were cancelled and rescheduled. We feared that happening to us as we wouldn't be able to reschedule. 

The crew was entertaining and the boat is part of an interesting program that teaches students at sea, called Ocean Classroom. The crew encouraged passengers to help with the deck tasks while we were sailing.   

   














Overall it was a beautiful trip and we had a lot of fun relaxing on the water. It's nice to be on the water without having to hear loud motors downing out the tranquil sound of the water.  

6 comments:

  1. That was the coolest trip. I sooo want to be a sailor now. :D

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  2. I almost went last Saturday, but it was too cold. Wish I would have went. :(

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    1. It's good you didn't, actually. The 2 days before we went ended up being cancelled! We were scarred because we couldn't reschedule if they cancelled again.

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  3. I didn't know about that museum. We studied about that ship and would have had fun riding on it.
    Laurie

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    1. We were fortunate to get to see it. It was only in our port here for a few days. It is typically in Connecticut.

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