In lieu of wages, crew gets chance to relive history
A crew member for the Pride of Baltimore II was asked why that ship hasn't been to Antarctica while other ships have. "There's no money there," she said. Indeed, tall ship festivals wouldn't be possible without money, but most of the crew members...
A crew member for the Pride of Baltimore II was asked why that ship hasn't been to Antarctica while other ships have.
"There's no money there," she said.
Indeed, tall ship festivals wouldn't be possible without money, but most of the crew members in Duluth this week do it for more than money. Case in point: Robin Schaer, a college professor from New York City, has volunteered the past two summers to be on the HMS Bounty.
The crew of about 22 is half women, with most in their younger 20s. Of the 22, about 15 are paid.
"This is an opportunity to learn and experience things you otherwise would never be able to experience," said Schaer, 38. "It's part of history. I wanted to learn to sail and have a better understanding of the past."
The ship's captain, Robin Walbridge, agreed.
"People are forgetting about this era, so part of the motivation in what we're doing is educational," Walbridge said. "Even though we're not going to take everyone out sailing with us, people are still going to walk away talking about it. These are the kind of ships that discovered the New World. This is the Space Shuttle of its time, and when kids come on board, it brings to life what they've been reading about in their text books, about Captain Cook and Magellan."
Walbridge said there are more square-rigged ships in Duluth right now than anywhere else in the U.S., and wherever the fleet goes, the crowds follow. Now those ships are part of Duluth history.
"The best part about being in port?" Walbridge paused, then said, "The people. I've met a lot of good people I would have never met otherwise. Really, we're entertainers, and think of an entertainer if the crowd never clapped or showed any enthusiasm, versus one like this that really gets into it."