see below for link to sailing schedule, more photos (click to enlarge)
Sailing on the A.J. Meerwald
The aroma of wood and natural fiber ropes, the sight of huge canvas sails, and the sound of water rushing by the sleek hull: this is the experience of sailing on an authentic tall ship. When the wind is brisk the sensation is unforgettable.
Passengers and crew participate in the seagoing ritual of raising the heavy gaff rigged sails. The mate calls out the cadence as the sail is hoisted hand over hand to the top of the mast, which is as thick as the trunk of a medium tree. Soon the sail fills and powers the ship ahead. The drone of the engine ceases, as the sails take over the work. It is a memorable moment. If you are on board at dawn or sunset, the tall ship experience is magnified by the play of light and shadows on the sails, the rigging, and the deck.
Sailing on this historic schooner is the legacy
of our New Jersey seafaring ancestors from Delaware Bay to Sandy Hook.
The sense of history that it evokes is as real as the wind and spray on
your face. And the reminder that the pristine beauty of the
sea and bay can not be taken for granted, but must be actively preserved,
is the lesson which rings as true as the ship's brass bell.
With a length of 110' and a draft of 7', the A.J. Meerwald was built in 1928 as an oyster dredger suited to the waters of the Delaware Bay. After the decline of oystering in New Jersey, and after a stint as a Coast Guard vessel during World War II, the ship fell into disrepair. Starting in 1988, the schooner was restored through the efforts and contributions of many individuals, corporations, and foundations. The vessel was put back into service in 1996, and became the official tall ship of New Jersey in 1998.
The A.J. Meerwald is becoming a familiar sight
along the Delaware Bay and River and the coastal ports of New Jersey.
In addition to providing educational services to school groups, the schooner
has a public sail schedule for anyone who wants the experience of sailing
on a beautiful classic sailing craft. The sleepy historic town of
Bivalve on the Maurice (pronounced Morris) River is home port to the schooner,
and is the site of related activities and facilities, including a museum.
Sponsorship and Further Information
The Schooner Project was founded in 1988 to provide education to conserve and enrich the culture, history, and natural resources of the Delaware Bay Estuary and coastal waters of New Jersey.
The initiatives of the Schooner Project include:
View public sail schedule:
(go to Meerwald official site
for schedule) return to Edcon pages by clicking "back" on your browser
For Sail Charters
aboard Explorer, for Captain Training, for Sailing Lessons,
Click on this link: (Return to) Home Page of Capt. Edwards/Edcon Marine Services (click here).