Privateer Lynx tall ship considering making Greenport home

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | The American Privateer Schooner Lynx fires a cannon during its grand arrival in Greenport Harbor on Tuesday afternoon.

The Privateer Lynx, a replica of a historic ship from the War of 1812, is visiting Greenport again this summer and is considering making the waterfront village its new home port.

Lynx was one of six vessels that sailed into Greenport Harbor over Memorial Day weekend in this year’s Tall Ships Challenge. It is also visiting ports along the East Coast to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Lynx Educational Foundation executive director Jeff Woods said the ship’s crew has decided to return to Greenport because of the warm welcome and hospitality it received.

“We’ve grown very fond of Greenport,” Mr. Woods said. “We thought Labor Day weekend would be a great time to come back.”

Lynx’s affection for Greenport is so strong that when Mr. Woods was asked if it might become the ship’s home port, he said, “It’s a possibility. Her home port is on the West Coast, but she’s a traveling vessel now.”

The 114-ton Lynx, launched in 2001 in Rockport, Maine, is an interpretation of the original, built in 1812 by Thomas Kemp in Fell’s Point, Md. — the same place the ship that inspired Pride of Baltimore II was launched.

Privateers built during wartime were used to prey on enemy ships and their cargo. That required special permission, known as “letters of marque.”

The original Lynx was commissioned less than a month before the War of 1812 began, making it one of the first American ships to set sail. Lynx was captured by the British the following spring at the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Virginia and renamed the HMS Mosquidobit.

The current Lynx is operated by a not-for-profit educational foundation based in Newport Beach, Calif. It spent the winter in Mystic, Conn., undergoing extensive maintenance, including work on its engine, spars and rigging.

A 122-foot square top-sail schooner, Lynx will sail from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., into Greenport on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.

In addition to ship tours, a “sailaway” through the harbor will take place where visitors can experience sailing on a tall ship, and help the crew hoist the sails and steer the ship.

Tickets for ship tours are $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 12. Sailaway tickets are $65 for adults, $55 for seniors and active military and $35 for children ages 4 to 12.

Lynx is expected to depart Greenport Sept. 4 for a five-day stay in Jamestown, R.I. The ship will return to Greenport Sept. 20 and stay until Sept. 24.

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