PERTH AMBOY — New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship, the AJ Meerwald, will be making its first visit to the Raritan Bay area in mid-June. The 115-foot fully-restored oyster schooner will be docked at the Perth Amboy Marina.
Three New Jersey nonprofits are sponsoring a series of public sails on the ship over Fathers Day weekend, June 14 – 16. The cruises will last approximately 2 ½ hours, and each one features unique entertainment. Two evening cruises will have live music, one offers a guided tour of the bay area, one cruise is for children (sailing with adult companion), and two are Father’s Day specials – a morning sail that includes a pancake breakfast onboard, and an afternoon sail with speaker who will talk about the history of pirates and privateering on the Raritan.
- Friday, June 14, 5pm “Music on the Bay” – Folk singer/ songwriter Christine DeLeon will play the guitar and sing sailing songs and other familiar tunes. $65 donation
- Saturday, June 15, 9am “Children’s Sail” – Meerwald’s crew will provide a kid-friendly presentation about the ship, and even let the children help to raise or lower the massive sail. Children must be accompanied by an adult, maximum two children per adult. $25 (child) $50 (adult) donation.
- Saturday, June 15, 1pm “Bay Tour” – Raritan Riverkeeper Bill Schultz will share his personal knowledge of the Bay area, pointing out historic, industrial, marine, and ecological features. $50 donation
- Saturday, June 15, 5pm “Spook Handy Sings” –Troubador and local folk icon Spook Handy will sing songs of the sea and other tunes. $70 donation
- Sunday, June 16, 10am “Fathers’ Day Pancake Breakfast Cruise” – Instead of breakfast in bed, surprise Dad with ‘breakfast on board’ cooked by the Meerwald crew. $25 (child) $50 (adult) donation
- Sunday, June 16, 2pm “Pirates and Privateering on the Raritan” – Another great gift idea for Dad. Bring him along to hear Douglas Aumack, Assistant Curator of NJ and Local History, Middlesex County, talk about the days of yore when some not-so-wholesome sailors plied their “trade” along the Raritan. $50 donation
Reservations are being taken by the three sponsoring organizations: the Assn. of NJ Environmental Commissions (973-539-7547), NY/NJ Baykeeper (732-888-9870) and Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area (609-633-2060).
The ship is operated by the Discovery Project, a nonprofit that restored the ship and operates it as a sailing classroom to promote ecological and historical awareness of the Delaware Bay area.
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