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New Jersey’s Tall Ship, the AJ Meerwald, Offers Sailings From Perth Amboy

The AJ Meerwald *Photo Submitted

The AJ Meerwald
*Photo Submitted

Press Release 6/6/15

PERTH AMBOY – The AJ Meerwald, New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship, will be coming to Perth Amboy’s municipal marina on Thursday, June 18th, to kick off a Father’s Day weekend of public sails along the Arthur Kill and Raritan Bay. The series will start with a public open-deck reception on Thursday afternoon, June 18, where people can learn more about the 115-foot restored oyster schooner, tour its deck and talk with the ship’s crew.

Beginning on Friday, a series of 3-hour morning, afternoon and evening cruises with various themes will depart from the marina:

  • Friday, June 19 – 1pm sail narrated by the Raritan Riverkeeper, Bill Schultz; 5pm sail with NJ singer-songwriter Christine DeLeon
  • Saturday, June 20 – 9am children’s sail; 1pm sail with speaker Dr. Beth Ravitt on efforts to reestablish the oyster fishery in the estuary; 5pm sail with local folk singer Spook Handy
  • Sunday, June 21 – 9am sail featuring a Father’s Day pancake breakfast served by the crew; 1pm sail with historian Douglas Aumack telling the story of pirates that once roamed the Raritan Bay area.

The sails are hosted by three New Jersey nonprofit organizations in collaboration with the City of Perth Amboy: The Association of NJ Environmental Commissions (ANJEC), Crossroads of the American Revolution, and NY/NJ Baykeeper. For fee information and to register for a sail, call ANJEC at 973-539-7547, or Crossroads at 609-341-3246.

Meerwald Background

The AJ Meerwald was launched in 1928 as an oyster fishing vessel, operated along the Delaware Bay. In 1942, she was commandeered by the Coast Guard to serve in the World War II effort as a fireboat. Returned to her owners in 1947, the ship was sold to a new owner who adapted the vessel for dredging, and renamed it the Clyde A. Phillips. The ship was sold again in 1959, operated for a time as a clam dredge, and then left idle. The Bayshore Center at Bivalve (bayshorecenter.org), a nonprofit organization established in 1988, acquired the ship as a donation. They transported the vessel to Bivalve, NJ, and began the process of restoration. In 1995, the restored schooner was re-christened and launched as the AJ Meerwald, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The organization now offers public sails, charters, family and youth camps, and other educational events around the Delaware River and Bay, and along the Atlantic coast.

ANJEC Background

ANJEC (www.anjec.org) was established in 1969 to support New Jersey’s many municipal environmental commissions and other local boards and officials as they work to protect natural resources and environmental health in their communities. The organization provides training, networking sessions, publications, grants, a staffed resource center, and a comprehensive website tailored directly to the needs of the state’s local environmental commissions, which number about 350.

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