USCG Eagle

The U.S. Coast Guard Eagle is used as a training ship for Coast Guard cadets.   The ship offers future officers the opportunity to put into practice the navigation, engineering and professional theory learned in the classroom. Upper-class trainees exercise leadership and perform the duties normally handled by junior officers, while under-class trainees fill the positions of junior enlisted crewmembers. The experience builds character and helps future officers develop leadership and teamwork skills that prove valuable throughout their careers. A permanent crew of eight officers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship year round and provide a strong base of knowledge and seamanship for the training of up to 150 cadets or officer candidates at a time.
 Known as “America’s Tall Ship”, Eagle is the seventh U.S. Coast Guard cutter to bear the name in a proud line dating back to one of the original Revenue Cutters built in 1792. The square-rigged barque was built by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as Horst Wessel in 1936. The steel-hulled ship was taken as a war reparation after World War II, and a U.S. Coast Guard crew – aided by the German crew still on board – sailed the tall ship from Bremerhaven to New London. To maneuver Eagle under sail, the crew must handle more than 22,000 square feet of sail and five miles of rigging. Built during the twilight era of sail, the design and construction of Eagle embody centuries of development in the shipbuilder’s art.
Think you’ve seen the Eagle before?  Eagle was recently outfitted with a new figurehead. The job took 3 years resulting in a new 2,000 pound, 15 foot bald eagle in gleaming gold made, for the first time, of fibergalss, its wings lifted on either side of the bow.

USCG Cutter Coho

Friday, for the opening ceremony only

The Marine Protector class is a class of coastal patrol boats of the United States Coast Guard. The 87-foot-long vessels are based on the Stan 2600 design by Damen Group, and were built by Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. Each boat is named after sea creatures which fly or swim. Missions include combating drug smuggling, illegal immigration, marine fisheries enforcement and search and rescue support. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks many have a homeland security mission in the form of ports waterways and coastal security (PWCS) patrols.



The Connecticut River Museum hosts the Onrust, a re-creation of the vessel Adriaen Block built in 1614.  Built over several years in upstate New York using traditional plans and means, the Onrust is a wholly unique ship that serves to educate and entertain visitors curious about the age of exploration, the fur trade, and our early colonial history.

The Onrust (Dutch for “unrest” or “restless” ) was a Dutch Ship built by captain and explorer Adriaen Block and the crew of his ship, the Tyger, which had been destroyed by fire during the winter of 1613 in New York Bay.  Block was immortalized as namesake of the small island in Long Island Sound that is perennially popular with modern visitors to these waters. His voyage was used as the basis for the Dutch claim to the territory of New Netherland, an area that included parts of what are now the states of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

Onrust’s construction took place near Manhattan during the winter of 1614. She was about 45 feet long, 12 feet in beam and had a load capacity of 16 tons. The ship was America’s first yacht.

Onrust was launched into upper New York Bay in April of 1614. She explored the New York coast and rivers, and sailed through the treacherous passage called ‘Hellegat’ (Dutch for ‘Hell’s hole’, later anglicized to Hell Gate) in the East River. She then went on to explore the harbors of Long Island and Connecticut, “discovering” the Housatonic and Thames Rivers. She sailed up the Connecticut River past the future site of Hartford. The Onrust continued on to Narragansett and Buzzards Bays, and from there to Cape Cod.

The last historical account of the Onrust describes her 1616 expedition to explore the Delaware River under the command of Captain Cornelius Hendrickson.


Fishing Vessel Jeanette

The fishing vessel Jeanette deploys lobster traps to catch legal-sized lobsters that are then sent to market.  She will be open for tours during the festival so that people can see the gear that is used and talk to a local lobsterman about this unique fishery.

USCGC Ida Lewis

Commissioned April 12, 1997 and homeported in Newport, Rhode Island, USCGC IDA LEWIS’s area of responsibility spans from Long Island Sound, New York to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. USCGC IDA LEWIS is responsible for a total of 374 aids to navigation. In addition to her primary mission of aids to navigation, USCGC IDA LEWIS also conducts search and rescue, domestic icebreaking, and ports, waterways, and coastal security.

The Coast Guard Cutter Ida Lewis is a 175-foot “Keeper Class” coastal buoy tender. She is the first of 14 ships of her class named in honor of famous lighthouse keepers from the U.S. Lighthouse Service, which became part of the Coast Guard in 1939.

Ida Lewis was named for Idawalley Zorada Lewis, one of a number of women lighthouse keepers in the Lighthouse Service. Her father, Capt. Hosea Lewis, was appointed the keeper of Lime Rock Light, near Newport, Rhode Island. After Capt. Lewis had a stroke, responsibilities fell to Ida and her mother. Ida made her first rescue at the age of 16, and went on to carry out as many as 24 documented rescues. After her death, the Lime Rock Lighthouse was renamed Ida Lewis Lighthouse, the only such honor ever given to a lighthouse keeper.…/tenant…/uscgc_ida_lewis.html

R/V Enviro Lab

R/V Enviro Lab is equipped to sample local fish and lobsters from Long Island Sound, collect water quality data and sample the plankton.  They will have a live touch-tank available during the Festival!

Project Oceanology is a non-profit education and research facility dedicated to nurturing student and public interest and enthusiasm for marine sciences. Their mission since 1972 has been to nurture interest and inspire enthusiasm for science and for our planet’s marine environment. Project Oceanology is a year-round, marine science educational organization, based out of Groton, CT, governed by local school districts and in collaboration with universities and other educational institutions.