Norwegian Tall Ship sails Great Lakes
An 86-year-old Norwegian ship, the SS Sørlandet, is sailing the Great Lakes as the largest participant in the summer Tall Ships Challenge. A merchant marine school ship, it is presently on hire to Class Afloat, a Canadian sail training institution.
The Tall Ships Challenge fleet of 15 ships started June 4 in Nova Scotia and will conclude September 15 in Montreal. During the three-month journey, they docked in all five Great Lakes at ports such as Toronto, Cleveland, Sault Ste. Marie, Duluth, Green Bay and Chicago.
September visits are scheduled September 2 at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, where the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie will be commemorated, and September 6 to 8 at Erie, Pennsylvania.
Built in 1927, and personally inspected by King Haakon VII, the Sørlandet is the oldest full-rigged ship still in operation. It first crossed the Atlantic in 1933 to represent Norway during Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition, and later took part in the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986 in New York City.
At 210 feet long, from bowsprit to stern, the Sørlandet sports 27 sails on three masts rising to 112 feet above the deck. With a crew of 20, it can accommodate 70 trainees.
By Stephen Anderson, to learn more, access www.sorlandet.org.