Our sea legs are looking good!! Yours?

Since the kick off of our new “Earn Your Sea Legs” marketing campaign, thousands of visitors, young and old, have visited the Museum to participate in any number of opportunities throughout campus to do just that — earn their sea legs. Have you noticed the bumper stickers around town? These days as members and new visitors come aboard, we give them a chance to experience Mystic Seaport in a more participatory manner by engaging them in all the various activities that provide a combination of skills and knowledge which ultimately help them to acquire what all mariners crave — good sea legs.

And what an enjoyable summer it has been as these landlubbers have learned firsthand what it takes and means to earn one’s sea legs. The younger mariners increase their skills in the Discovery Barn, learning their knots and how to set sail. Some dream of naval architecture as they build unique one-offs in Toy Boats or study the sturdy design of the Charles W. Morgan. Over in the Mallory Building, earth and water engineers try to create the best canals that will help to improve the ease of transportation and the delivery of goods to America. Perhaps the most practical skill these new mariners can acquire is at the TUGS! exhibit where the simulator gives young captains a chance to “drive” their own tug and negotiate the challenges that navigating in tight quarters present. The skills learned on the simulator can then be applied to the remote control tugs outside the G. W. Blunt White Building in the activity pool.

Speaking of navigation, one can’t truly earn those coveted sea legs without a lesson or two in navigation. The Treworgy Planetarium shows each participant the stars to follow and exposes them to the tools of true maritime navigation. No mariner should go to sea without being fully equipped with the knowledge of the heavens from the planetarium staff.

For those who wish to get their feet wet, things begin in the Boathouse as lessons are learned about rowing or the basics of rigging and sailing a little sloop, such as a Beetle Cat. Usually these lessons are taught by a parent or partner with encouragement from the shore. Others seeking greater adventure will spend a week sleeping on the Joseph Conrad and learning to sail on the Mystic River. Some venture well beyond the comforts of Fisher’s Sound on Brilliant to earn their sea legs in the most comprehensive manner possible — at sea! A lucky few this summer even journeyed all the way to Maine – a trip of a young mariner’s lifetime. Finally, there is nothing quite like a down river trip on Sabino.

There is clearly no shortage of opportunities to earn one’s sea legs at Mystic Seaport, and I can attest to the fact that no matter how good those sea legs may be, there is always something new to learn at the Museum, whether it be about engines, repairing an old hull, mending a sail, provisioning a boat or making rope. Our museum offers all this in a most interesting and compelling manner from veterans who relish the chance to share their knowledge with any who will listen. Spread the word. There is no better place for all generations to earn their sea legs than at Mystic Seaport – The Museum of America and the Sea.

Steve