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April 29, 2005

Great Lakes Schooner Travels the Erie and Oswego Canals To Home Port

OSWEGO - The Great Lakes schooner Denis Sullivan will be traveling along the Erie and Oswego canals next week on its way to its homeport of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Denis Sullivan is a three-masted wooden replica Great Lakes schooner that is a floating classroom and goodwill ambassador for the state of Wisconsin. It is 138 feet long and 24 feet wide and was launched in 2000.

The ship has left its winter home of Miami, Florida and will reach Albany, New York over the weekend. In Albany, the masts will be removed and the ship prepared to travel under the low bridges of the Erie Canal, said Capt. J. Richard Pfund of the Oswego Maritime Alliance. Capt. Pfund is serving as navigational consultant to the ship's captain, Senior Captain John Lorenz. Capt. Pfund has assisted with transits of several tall ships such as the Bounty and Amistad through the Erie and Oswego canals.

The New York State Canal Corporation is working with Capt. Pfund and the ship to coordinate the logistics of travel along the NYS Canal system, along with providing in-kind services.

Leaving Waterford (New York) Canal Park on Tuesday, May 3, the ship will dock at Little Falls, and Sylvan Beach along the canal. Upon leaving Sylvan Beach, the ship will travel across Oneida Lake (a part of the Erie Canal) and enter the Oswego Canal on Friday, May 6. Upon reaching the historic port of Oswego, the masts will be restored to the ship by the Port of Oswego Authority and the ship's crew.

"Last fall, when the tall ship Bounty traveled the Erie and Oswego canals, we were greeted by area residents at each lock along the canal. At several locks, there were over 100 people waiting to welcome the ship to their community," said Capt. Pfund.

Because of time constraints, the ship will not be able to offer deck tours.

However, interested sailors will have the opportunity ride on the ship as it travels from Oswego to Sodus Point for a one-way trip at a cost of $60 per person. Return ground transportation to Oswego is the passengers' responsibility. For reservations, please call the Oswego Maritime Alliance at (315) 343-1628. The trip to Sodus Point is sponsored by the Oswego Maritime Alliance and the Sodus Bay Maritime Captains Association.

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