Maritime history is one of the foundation stones of Hawaiian history. Whether the focus of that remarkable heritage spotlights ancient Hawaiian’s navigating the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean by the stars, the 19th century whaling industry, ocean liners arriving at Aloha Tower and Boat Days, Hawaii has a unique maritime past –especially pertinent as America’s only state totally surrounded by the ocean.
Young Men and the Sea: Yankee Seafarers in the Age of Sail is a superb book authored by Daniel Vickers with Vince Walsh. “The ocean is a hostile environment,” writes Vickers, “and the decision to live and work upon it strikes most of us as something that ought to be explained.” He continues his introductory words by pointing out that, “Most history that is ‘maritime,’ especially in the United States, follows one particular meaning of the word by restricting itself to matters “connected, associated, or dealing with shipping, naval matters, navigation, seaborne trade, etc.” Such a definition encompasses seaborne commerce, naval power, fisheries, piracy, and life afloat, and it promotes an understanding of the sailor’s world as something unique, formed primarily by the social, cultural, and economic relations that oceanic voyaging in the age of sail created.”
In today’s Honolulu Advertiser comes news of the visit to Hawaiian waters by the square topsail schooner the Lynx, a 122-foot two-masted reproduction of a War of 1812 privateer homeported in Newport Beach, California. The ship operates as part of the Lynx Education Foundation, a California nonprofit.
“Education officer Connie Allen, who became interested in sailing when she worked for the San Diego Maritime Museum and has crewed four tall ships, said the ship works with 70 to 100 schools a year, sailing up and down the West Coast and occasionally to Hawai'i. This is Lynx's fourth voyage to the Islands.”
“Capt. Craig Chipman, commander of the crew of eight, said the vessel, which arrived July 17 after competing in the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Hawai'i, has about 18,000 to 20,000 visitors a year.”
The Lynx will be at Kewalo Basin through Thursday and at Ko Olina Saturday through Aug. 9. Then it sails for Kaua'i. For more information on the Lynx and its visit to Hawai'i, see www.privateerlynx.org or call 866-446-5969. Click here for the Advertiser’s photo gallery.