Square topsail schooner Lynx leaving Gloucester, MA


Schooner Lynx pictured leaving Gloucester harbor Tuesday Dec. 3rd.   Photo by Len Burgess
America's Privateer Lynx is a square topsail schooner based in Newport Beach, California. She is an interpretation of an American letter of marque vessel of the same name from 1812. The original Lynx completed one voyage, running the Royal Navy blockade; the British captured her in 1813 at the start of her second voyage and took her into service as HMS Mosquidobit.
The replica of Lynx sailing today was designed by Melbourne Smith - International Historical Watercraft Society, based on historical data, and built by Taylor Allen and Eric Sewell of Rockport Marine at Rockport, Maine. She was launched on July 28, 2001 at Rockport, making her a new addition to the tall ship community. Her port of registry is Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Today, instead of fighting the British like her original counterpart, she serves as a sailing classroom. Lynx offers an early American history program as well as a life, earth and physical science program to schools. She teaches seamanship and history to those who step on her deck. Notably, Lynx is known for her summer program where she sails to Hawaii with students. Along the way students learn about sail handling, navigation, seamanship, leadership and learning to face unforeseen challenges.
Her four carronades and two swivel guns usually get their exercise during weekends when another tallship is in port, such as Californian or Lady Washington, where the tall ships engage in "Battle sails", using actual battle tactics. Although the battling tall ships use actual black powder, they shoot blanks, not cannonballs. Members of the public are able to book passages on these three-hour battle sails.
Lynx is guided by the maxim "be excellent to each other and to your ship."
The Lynx Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America's struggle to preserve its independence.
Information from Wikipedia

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That's a great portrait and story of a beautiful boat Len.  Something about that view on her quarter is just right for a schooner in my mind.  Thanks for posting.

Lynx stopped over at Maritime Gloucester last May when she was bound for the Great Lakes via Lunenburg.  I happened to be around when she docked and got this photo.


Al Bezanson

Lynx progress south - 12/20/2013 update, arrival at Ft. Myers

Noon Saturday December 7th Facebook post from Lynx __ 

"The Lynx is currently 38.06.3 x 074.55.3 c220m, s7kts. Breeze has picked up this morning from f4 to f5 and backed a point, so we have struck the foretops'l and are proceeding at a comfortable 7 kts, having made 7's and 8's all night under foretops'l alone. This puts our arrival in Norfolk ahead a bit. At this rate we should be there early tomorrow morning. All's well aboard, though the weather has been cold and rainy since Thursday night, so i think the crew is ready to have a day in town to get showered, thawed, and dried. I plan on giving an updated eta for Norfolk once we come 'round Cape Charles, start heading up the bay, and get an idea of what kind of time we'll be able to make under the prevailing conditions.

Captain Andrew Peterson & the Lynx Crew"

New Facebook post December 9, 2013
Hello All,LYNX is currently moored port side to at ocean marine services in Portsmouth, VA, just inside the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. We arrived here sunday morning having made the passage from Sandy Hook, NJ in about 40 hours. The ship is quick and comfortable under sail, a fact that all hands appreciated especially since the temperature on the way down ranged from 36 to 42F, and... it was raining most of the way. We got alongside about 1000 yesterday morning, and having the ship's immediate business completed by noon, I took over ship's duty and stood the rest of the hands down for a chance to get hot showers, dry clothes, and clean laundry. Chief Mate Allison Taylor took the crew out for refreshment teutonic style at one of portsmouth's well loved local spots, the biergarten. All hands were back aboard by 2030, being too warm, dry, clean, and contented to want to take the town by storm, or really do anything other than take advantage of the chance for an early evening in and a chance to sleep the night through.              

To continue in this kind of sybaritic vein, I allowed all hands to sleep in an extra hour this morning, with 0815 wake up, 0830 breakfast, and all hands turned to ship's duty at 0900. everyone was pretty cold and tired, and all have been working very hard through the last of the shipyard session in Gloucester, rigging, tuning, sea trials, coast guard under way drills and inspections, stowing for sea, getting underway, and making a quick passage from Gloucester to here via long island sound and New York City. Now that we're finally on the way, the need to stop for a bit in tidewater Virginia and wait for good weather for our trip around cape hatteras is not unwelcome, and the bit of rest and clean laundry leaves shipboard morale high today, despite that all hands are turned to on deck in the cold rain again, tuning and re-tensioning standing rigging, and making sure that all is laid along for a safe, quick passage down the coast to the straits of Florida, up into the Gulf of Mexico, and on to Ft Myers. The fact that flying fish weather is only about 4 days sailing from here is a powerful motivator.

We had a visit today from Capt. Erik Lohse and friends, and are also very grateful to Capt. Hank Mosley for rolling out the red carpet for us here. it was Hank that has arranged dockage for us, as well as putting together other pieces of the shoreside logistics puzzle, like loaning us his truck so we can go grocery shopping. i'd also like to thank talented deckhand and excellent shipmate Gabe St. Denis, who volunteered for galley duty today so that the cook could have the day off. I can't overstate the value of this service, as it is not possible to have a happy ship without a happy cook, and ship's cook Tina Sanders has been doing a heroic job to keep us all provisioned and fed during yard period in Gloucester, and on the voyage down. Thanks to her efforts there are very few people in this world who eat as well as we do aboard LYNX, not that our diet aboard is outrageously fancy, but we had a fantastic ham and cheese frittata for breakfast the other day, salad, sandwiches, and hot, home-made chicken soup for lunch, and lasagna for supper. All this from a small galley that is constantly rolling when at sea, and with the aid of a small, diesel fired cook-stove that takes a good bit of savoire-faire and coaxing. I'm very much looking forward to seeing what's for supper tonight...

We'll top off fuel and groceries tomorrow, with an eye towards not stopping again until Ft. Myers, weather permitting. We'll lay by here today and Tuesday, with hands turned to ships work daily, and get underway first thing Wednesday morning to catch our weather around Cape Hatteras. That's the news from here. Many thanks to you there at the office that make all this possible. The folks on board want you to know how much they appreciate your efforts on their behalf. That's all for now.

Captain Andrew Peterson & The Lynx Crew.

New Facebook post Dec 10, 2013

The Lynx is still alongside here in Portsmouth, VA, waiting for our chance along. We just topped off with 184.5 gallons of diesel, and filled the water tanks for free. The crew is turned to tensioning the standing rigging, again in the cold rain, but they continue to work at a good pace, so everything will be tight and seized by early afternoon, and folks will be stood down early to get dried and rested before we depart again first thing tomorrow morning. Our window around Hatteras continues to look good, but there is more adverse weather forecast for the Saturday / Sunday timeframe, which would put us in Charleston or vicinity.

Captain Andrew Peterson & The Lynx Crew. 

New Facebook post Dec 12, 2013

 We have motor sailed around cape Hatteras last night under fore and forestays ‘l in relatively light air, and as the breeze has continued to veer and fill in this early morning we set the main and jib, secured the main engine and have been doing comfortable 8's and 9's, reaching with the wind 1pt free. At this rate we should be in Charleston by tomorrow afternoon, and wait there for the southwesterly weather forecast for Saturday, then on our way again Sunday as s...oon as the breeze comes fair again. We continue on the very western of the gulf stream, so the water is now deep blue, the air remarkably warmer, and we have had Atlantic white-sided dolphins come check us out. Both the crew and the boat are very happy to be sailing now, and making the best possible time on our way to the straits of Florida and on up to Ft Myers Beach.


Captain Andrew Peterson & The Lynx Crew

New Facebook post Dec 13, 2013

Good Morning from 33.21n x 078.10w, or about 27 nm sw of Cape Fear. We had wonderful sailing yesterday, making comfortable 7's and 8's under the four lowers, the boat balancing nicely with #1 reef in the main in winds nw f4-5. The breeze began to drop out around midnight, and wanting to get to Charleston ahead of forecasted southerly weather, we have been motor-sailing since then. The temperature gets a bit warmer for every mile we make further south, though the c...rew must still bundle up in sweaters, jackets, watch-caps, scarves, gloves other winter gear in order to comfortably stand watch. Tonight's calm and starry weather is a great consolation compared to the 36f rainy weather we had from New York to Norfolk. We continue to be escorted by dolphins, though at night we can only see the bioluminescent ghosts of them as they dart alongside the ship. Our current eta at the Charleston Sea Buoy is about 1700 tomorrow, so we should be alongside at the Maritime Center there by about 1830, n'shala. I'll give them a call to make arrangements when I get in cell-phone range, otherwise, we'll head to City Marina, on the Ashley. The sky is clear now, and there are many falling stars in the northern hemisphere. best wishes to you all.

Captain Andrew Peterson & The Lynx Crew

New Facebook post Dec 14, 2013

Here we are, alongside at the Charleston Maritime Center Pier in Charleston, SC. We arrived here just at dusk last evening and are tied up snugly and portside here on the south dock. We had a good passage down from Norfolk, broad reaching mostly under reefed main, fore, forestays'l, and jib, and were very glad to have comfortable weather around Cape Hatteras, and past Cape Lookout and Cape Fear. Clearing those capes put us just on the western edge of the gul...f stream, which means warm water, and consequently slightly warmer temperatures on deck. Yesterday afternoon was the first time during this voyage that the crew have been able to be comfortable on deck in shirt sleeves. the phenomenon only lasted for a few hours, but even tired, off-watch sailors roused themselves and came out on deck to trade sleep for sunshine.

I'd like here to particularly thank deck-hand Gabe St. Denis for providing us all with a moment of existential pulchritude on Thursday morning. As the wind had got up a bit and the helm was starting to get a bit cranky, we put #1 reef in the main. This was the first time that this crew had performed this particular task together, so while all went pretty smoothly and the end result was what we wanted, the evolution took a bit more time and effort than usual, and, of course, a few hours after we were so neatly reefed, the wind began to drop out, and I was thinking of shaking the reef out. I commented to the mate on that thought, and what a shame it would be to undo such a tidy and hard-won effort when Gabe put in a cheery "yes captain, but that's why we're here," which, of course, is exactly the case, but also a good reminder of how sailing a ship like this is largely a performance art. We leave a wake behind us; it's the memory of that wake that pushes us ahead, and you, the audience, that give real value to the performance and ensure that it does not happen in a vacuum. So thanks to Gabe for that reminder.

The wind comes fair again here tomorrow morning, and the forecast looks good for us to make it from here to Ft. Myers in one jump. Weather, as always, being the key to that plan. It looks as if we'll have a fair breeze through the straits of Florida, and that if all goes well, we'll roll into Nervous Nellies sometime next Friday. I'll be updating as we go along, so stay tuned.

LYNX Captain
Andrew Peterson.

New Facebook post Dec 15, 2013

The Lynx and her crew left Charleston just after 8 this morning, and now in position 32.09 x 079.44, about 45 nm east of Hilton Head Island. It is still pretty lumpy out here from last night's weather, and the wind is more west than northwest, so we are ranging along at about 5 knots under fore and forestays'l, steering about 190 and making about 5 kts while waiting for the breeze to veer a bit more and the seas to become a bit more orderly before we can add any speed to the mix. We anticipate keeping this sailplan overnight, then setting #1 reefed main plus jib at change of watch tomorrow.
All's well.

Captain Andrew Peterson

New Facebook post Dec 16, 2013

We are currently in position 30.41.9n x 080.57.4 w, or about 24 miles east of Dungeness on Cumberland Island, where we are motor-sailing in light air that makes the emphasis more on motor and less on sailing, but we are making about 7 knots down the Rhumb Line and keeping on schedule.
We are currently on track for arrival in Ft Myers about mid-day on the 20th.

Captain Andrew Peterson.

New Facebook post Dec 17, 2013

Lynx is in position 28.36n x 080.17w, or about 14nm east of Cape Canaveral.
All's well, motor sailing, much as before, under main, fore, forestays'l, and foretops'l. Every day gets a little warmer and nicer. The second mate Christine McCormick cut the legs off her old carhartt pants yesterday. Now that the weather is sunny and calm the chief mate Allison Taylor is setting up day work for the crew, so that the ship will be looking her best when we get to Ft Myers. We should sail by Jupiter Island sometime tomorrow mid-afternoon.

Captain Andrew Peterson

New Facebook post Dec 19, 2013

 We are in position 24.47.8n x 082.01.8w, or about 18 nm nw of Key West, and 95nm ssw of our waypoint off of Ft. Myers beach. Yesterday's sailing was fantastic. We set the starboard fore-course for the first time this trip, and were broad reaching along the Florida Keys in 20 kts of ne breeze and fairly flat seas, rolling off effortless 8's for almost 24 hours. Took in sail about 2230 l...ast night, and rounded up into the Key West entrance channel, and anchored in Key West's Man of War Harbor just a few minutes after midnight, as we needed to stop there to put our friend and shipmate Bri Partridge ashore there. We got our anchor back at 0800 and headed out the northwest channel and into the Gulf of Mexico for the last leg of our trip from Gloucester to find that the forecast 20 kt east to south-easterlies have not yet arrived. We are currently steering about 20 degrees left of the Rhumb Line, making 4 knots over the bottom, and looking for the forecast shift in the wind so that we can make our noon eta at Fort Myers Beach, and expecting that the last hundred miles of the trip will be the hardest won. Still, we are looking for the wind shift, and expect to be on time to Ft Myers Beach.


Captain Andrew Peterson & The Lynx Crew.

New Facebook post Dec 19, 2013

 The Lynx is currently at25.07 x 82.14 c005 s5.5. The wind has veered a few points, so we are starting to get the lift we were looking for, though in addition to fore and forestays'l we need to motor, and the focs'le is now experiencing what I imagine is a fairly unpleasant object lesson in newtonian physics. Eta's now in the 15 hr range, so we might slow up a bit as we get closer, but for now we're making the best reasonable speed and won't give up an inch 'till we know we have it in the bag.


Captain Andrew Peterson

Facebook post Dec 20, 2013 from Lynx website

After a long and sometimes cold transit from Gloucester the majestic Lynx and her sails can be seen in the horizon beginning to make her arrival into her winter home Ft Myers Beach. As we all anticipate her arrival we are still in awe of her beauty and what she represents to this wonderful country of ours. For those in Ft Myers Beach we look forward to seeing everyone soon and to our crew a big thank you for all that you have done in maintaining the beauty of the "Privateer Lynx"