he MMA training vessel, the Spirit of Massachusetts, will dock at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay on Friday for MassSail's Cape Cod Bay & Canal Community Days. An open house offering tours of the vessel is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.
MassSail is a joint venture of the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) and the Ocean Classroom Foundation (OCF). Its mission is to foster stewardship and understanding of Massachusetts’ marine coastal environment.
MassSail offers students the opportunity to study marine ecosystems, marine mammals, and seafaring skills beyond the traditional classroom. The overnight sail with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands departed from and arrived back at Provincetown on Tuesday. TDBanknorth sponsored the sail. Students from Big Brothers Big Sisters were full participants in the operation of the ship, working with the vessel’s professional crew to learn the skills and arts of traditional seafaring.
Prior to her arrival at Buzzards Bay, students from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands sailed aboard Spirit for an overnight marine science education program.
In addition to the programs held earlier this week, Spirit of Massachusetts will be open for free public tours from 10:30 am until 4:30 pm on Saturday, August 12th and Sunday, August 13th at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay.
Visitors can meet the Spirit crew and learn about traditional seafaring skills, maritime history, and contemporary issues and concerns about the marine ecosystem. Limited parking is available.
Constructed in 1984 at the Charlestown Navy Shipyard, Spirit of Massachusetts is a 125-foot-long schooner modeled after the late 19th-century fishing vessel, Fredonia (in the oil painting on right with fishing dory in foreground), designed by Edward Burgess, which sailed to the North Atlantic fishing grounds for cod.
Since MassSail’s inaugural season launched in May 2005, hundreds of students have crossed the Spirit’s decks for an odyssey in experiential education.