Sunday, July 13, 2014

Schooner Australia

Mystic Seaport

Followers of this blog know that I spend a lot of time at Mystic Seaport and have featured many images on this blog from the seaport.  I always find something new there to photograph and to share here.  Such was the case the weekend of the annual Wooden Boat Show, one of my favorite weekends at Mystic Seaport.  On this weekend I spent some time learning about the Coasting Schooner Australia which is exhibited up on blocks and protected from the elements.  Originally named Ella Alida, it was built in New York in 1862.  It was sold to British interests, moved to Nassau, renamed   the Alma and was used during the Civil War to run blockades.  On one such mission she ran a ground and was captured by the US Navy.  She was then auctioned off and renamed the Australia and then sailed the Chesapeake Bay for more than 60 years carrying all sorts of cargo.  She then served as a yacht  for the du Pont family, who donated it to the Seaport in 1951 to be used for education.  In 1961 she was hauled out of the water for restoration, and it was determined that decay was so bad that she couldn't be resorted.  So now she sits as an exhibit illustrating the ship's construction.

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