Nov. 3, 2004
H.M.S. Bounty Will Stop in Oswego and Travel NYS Canal System
OSWEGO - Film buffs and tall ship enthusiasts will have a rare opportunity to see the H.M.S. Bounty sail into the port of Oswego on its way through the New York State Canal System.
The H.M.S. Bounty will stop in Oswego on or around Wednesday, Nov.10. The ship will be down-rigged in a process where the 115-foot tall masts and the miles of lines anchoring them will be removed with a crane provided by the Port of Oswego Authority. This procedure will allow the Bounty passage under the low bridges and overhead obstructions that cross the canal. While in Oswego, spectators are welcome to watch the unique sight of a tall ship being down-rigged at the Port of Oswego Authority on East First Street.
The ship will be heading for her winter homeport in St. Petersburg, Florida via the New York State Canal System to the Hudson River, and continue down the Atlantic eastern seaboard.
The Bounty, a 180-foot wooden square rigger, was built by MGM Studios for the 1962 movie "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando. The ship and crew spent the summer touring more than 10 cities across all five Great Lakes, ending up in Chicago at Navy Pier decked out as a haunted ghost ship through the month of October. The ship led by Captain Robin Walbridge and a crew of 18, will transit the canal from Oswego beginning on or about Friday, Nov. 12.
Two Oswego area residents will be members of the crew. Lindsay Schaefer, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Schaefer of Oswego, joined the Bounty crew in Chicago after serving the past three summers aboard the tall ship Windy. Lindsay has a six-month commitment to continue on south with the Bounty.
Capt. Dick Pfund of Oswego will join the crew when the ship arrives in Oswego. Capt. Pfund, vice president of the Oswego Maritime Alliance, has been coordinating the Bounty canal transit with the Port of Oswego and the NYS Canal Corporation engineers. He will serve as Capt. Walbridge's canal advisor and guide for the 186 miles and 29 locks between Oswego and Waterford on the Hudson.
Departing the Great Lakes this late in the season, Captain Walbridge felt it a safer alternative to use the canal, bypassing the cold, stormy waters of the North Atlantic, said Capt. Pfund. The ship was scheduled to leave Chicago Nov. 2, and arrive in Oswego on or about Nov. 10. The down-rigging should take about two days, starting as soon as the ship arrives at the port of Oswego. The exact day and time will depend on weather and sailing conditions across the lakes.
The Bounty will be re-rigged in Albany at Scarano Shipyard before sailing down the Hudson River on Nov. 19, heading for Manhattan.
The down-rigging is also a learning exercise for the crew in preparation for the Bounty's planned 2006-2007 voyage through the entire length of the Mississippi River. During that trip, the ship will have to be down-rigged and re-rigged numerous times at various ports to pass under the many bridges that cross the Mississippi.
The Bounty is one of a handful of tall ships to ever go through the New York State Canal System.
For more information about the Bounty's voyages and background, visit the website, www.tallshipbounty.org, or call 866-HMS-BOUNTY.
In 2004, the Bounty visited ten cities and five states starting in Sandusky, OH and ending in Chicago, Illinois. "The Bounty is one of the most well-known ships in the world. She is greeted by thousands of people everywhere she goes as well as being a media magnet," said Margaret Ramsey, Executive Director, Tall Ship Bounty Organization LLC.
The Bounty returned to the sea in 2002 after undergoing over $1.5 million in renovations in Boothbay Harbor, Maine in the first phase of a three-phase renovation. The H.M.S. Bounty is not yet complete and restored to the grandeur of her Hollywood days. "We first made her safe and seaworthy below the waterline, but she is still a work in progress," said Margaret Ramsey continued, adding, "the ship's beautification will take place over the next two phases, with another $1.5 million in restoration above the waterline planned. Today, the Bounty is the only wooden square-rigger in North America still sailing."
The Bounty has also returned to her Hollywood roots. Originally built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty," as a replica of the ship in the famous 1789 mutiny against Captain William Bligh, she is now being used for many types of film productions. The Bounty was used for the DVD release of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" for Disney in Key West Florida, a documentary on Captain Bligh for the History Channel, and the new "Sponge Bob Square Pants" movie due for release in November 2004.
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