Retiree Edd Hale writes in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about surrendering his status as an armchair sailor to sail the Great Lakes in the Brig Niagara, a replica of the Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry‘s flagship on which he won the Battle of Lake Erie, one of the most important naval battles in the War of 1812.
Edd writes: My childhood dreams of sailing in tall ships were pretty much unknown to my parents and friends. After all, tall ships were something from a time long, long ago and sailing on them seemed only a boy’s fantasy. But above my bed were several small prints of sailing ships, and I once built a huge model of the clipper ship Cutty Sark. I did tell people from time to time that had I been born in the last century (which at that time meant the 19th century), I probably would have gone to sea.
Instead, I became a history teacher and spent most of my 35-year career in the eighth grade, where my curriculum included the golden age of exploration and sail. My students heard about ships and navigation and great voyages of discovery — all from a teacher who had never set foot on a sailing ship. I was the quintessential armchair sailor.
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