AJ Meerwald

AJ Meerwald

BRISTOL BOROUGH >> Is sailing aboard a tall ship on your bucket list? Would you like to see how the Delaware River shoreline looks from the water? Have you ever wanted to help hoist a huge sail?

The tall ship A.J. Meerwald, one of the hundreds of oyster schooners that graced the Delaware Bay in the 1920s, will offer afternoon and evening public excursions launching from the Historic Bristol Wharf Docks from May 6 to 12.

According to Allison Place, the marine operations manager at the Bayshore Center where the Meerwald is home-ported, during the two hour cruises guests will experience history by helping the crew hoist the sails and learn about sailing and the local environment. A ticket is required for all passengers. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

As the ship travels south, Burlington Island, the scenic waterfront of the town of Burlington, NJ, and the Burlington-Bristol Bridge will come into view. The crew will invite volunteers to help hoist the Meerwald’s sails.

Coming about, the A. J. Meerwald will sail along the Bristol Borough shoreline, which has often been likened to a picturesque New England village. If you’ve thought the buildings along Radcliffe Street are impressive from the land, wait until you see them from the water.

While sailing, the crew will share the history of the A. J. Meerwald. She is a restored oyster dredging schooner. Launched in 1928, she was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey’s Delaware Bay before the decline of the shipbuilding industry during the Great Depression. Her commercial use evolved over the years, ending in the late 1970’s with clam dredging.

Today, the A. J. Meerwald‘s home port is Bivalve, NJ. After extensive restoration, she now is used by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve for onboard educational programs in the Delaware Bay and River and Atlantic Coast. She was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Afternoon sails are scheduled for May 11 and 12 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $37.50 for adults, $27.50 for seniors and $17.50 for children. Evening sails are scheduled for May 9, 10 and 11 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $37.50 for adults, $27.50 for seniors and $17.50 for children.

In addition, a special Mother’s Day evening sail is scheduled for May 11 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $47.50 for adults, $37.50 for seniors and $27.50 for children.

Visit Bayshorecenter.org to reserve tickets.

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