Four Hours Before the Mast

Earlier this week, U.S. Brig Niagara senior captain Walter Rybka assembled a meeting-weary group of colleagues on the dock behind the Erie Maritime Museum for some brief instructions. We were hosted by staff and board members of the Flagship Niagara League, who joined us for a late-afternoon sail on Lake Erie and a chance to shake off the dust of our day jobs.

Before we boarded the ship, Walter shared these words from Richard Henry Dana’s account of life as a sailor, Two Years Before the Mast: “There is not so helpless and pitiable an object in the world as a landsman beginning a sailor’s life.” No further comment is necessary, so I’ll just share some of my favorite photos of the evening. If you ever have the chance to take a day sail on Niagara and can work with the crew hauling on lines and learning a bit about how the ship functions, do it.

Still on dry land/photo courtesy Barbara Zolli

Learning the ropes

Getting our sea legs

Art shot of sunset on Lake Erie (am keeping the day job)

Making for port

A member of the professional crew, of course


Anonymous said...

Great pictures, looks like a great experience as well.

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