The US Coast Guard Cutter EAGLE is returning to the Ocean Gateway, Portland, on Friday, August 6 through Monday, August 9th, the Bicentennial Committee announced today.
The EAGLE, a 295-foot seagoing classroom from the US Coast Guard Academy New London, Connecticut has a crew of about 60 and will have more than 100 Academy cadets on board. EAGLE is a 3-masted barque that tours the world, as a goodwill ambassador of the USA, while training cadets and officer candidates for future assignments in America’s smallest military branch.
Each summer EAGLE conducts port visits in different parts of the world, having sailed to Europe and Australia in previous years. This summer, Portland will be the sixth stop on a tour that will include the Azores, Iceland and Bermuda.
EAGLE will arrive in Portland at about 8:00 am on August 6. As in past years, the public is expected to turn out in large numbers on the water and along the shore to welcome the square rigger into port. EAGLE will be open for public tours which are free, on Saturday and Sunday. Exact tour times will be published as the visit draws nearer.
The wooden 131 ft. Maine built Schooner Harvey Gamage will accompany the EAGLE into Portland Harbor on the 6th. There is not room for both boats at Oceangate Way, so the Harvey Gamage will return to its current berth at Portland Yacht Services, 140 West Commercial Street according to Captain Pamela Coughlin. The Harvey Gamage was launched late this morning at Portland Yacht Services.
“What an exciting occasion it is for the EAGLE to arrive in Portland to help celebrate our state’s 200th birthday,” said Senator Bill Diamond, Chairman of the Maine Bicentennial Commission. “We are so honored to be the hosting organization for this visit and to work closely with the city and our local Coast Guard commend. We want everyone to come and tour this piece of maritime history.”
“To be disconnected from electronics, to stand a watch and be responsible for the lives of your shipments, to co-exist with different personalities in close quarters for many days are experiences that provide some really important life lessons,” said SSMP Alex Agnew. “Since 2015 our mission has been to provide access to the ocean to any high school student and we’ve taken nearly 500 kids to sea on overnight voyages. Now we see many of those students pursuing high-paying careers in the maritime trades.”
The EAGLE was built as the German training ship HORST WESSEL in 1936 to train German sailors until it was decommissioned at the start of World War 11. At the end of the War, the ship was taken by the US as war reparations.
Please visit www.maine200org., www.uscga.edu and www.sailingshipsmaine.org for more information.