Erie, Pennsylvania (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Visitors to Dobbins Landing in downtown Erie have several choices to enjoy maritime fun during the summer months from the historic US Brig Niagara to the Victorian Princess to Scallywags Pirate Adventures.
Today, we’re setting sail on the Lettie G. Howard.
As the crew prepared to set sail, the first mate educated passengers on setting the sails, “We have here the mainsail, the foresail, jumbo, and all the way out at the end is the jib.”
And to our surprise, passengers were encouraged to assist the crew, giving them a unique sailing experience; before they could relax and enjoy the cruise, they had some work to do.
Before they knew it, the sails were up and they were cruising Presque Isle Bay in the 129-year-old schooner.
The view from the deck is breathtaking for the crew and passengers alike. “I just think the view is amazing, the wind feels so nice. The boat is amazing, it’s history,” said Kane Volk, visitor from Nampa, Idaho.
“Everybody knows what the city looks like from their neighborhood and the surroundings, but the city looks pretty amazing from the water. The perspective that you have, it’s maritime history. I mean this is the city that is steeped in maritime history,” said Pat Frederici, crew member, Lettie G. Howard.
For the crew, it’s all about being a part of living history.
“We’re really trying to give people the sense of enjoying this historic vessel and being part of living history,” said Christopher Sutton, captain, Lettie G. Howard.
But for guests, just being out on the water was a delight.
“Raising the sails was my favorite part, but it’s just great being on the water,” said Bethany Noel, visitor from Fayetteville, N.C.
After an hour and a half sail around the Bay, the Lettie G. Howard returned to Dobbins Landing as the next group of passengers anxiously awaited their voyage.
“I’m always delighted to see that people are coming here to really enjoy this, because most of the time they had no idea. Many of them are people who just walk up onto the waterfront, see the vessels here, and then go for a boat ride,” said Captain Sutton.