Tall ship Lynx provides a look back at forgotten history - WFLA News Channel 8

Tall ship Lynx provides a look back at forgotten piece of history

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ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) -

The tall ship Lynx is a step back in time. This week, the 122-foot sailing vessel has been docked at the Harborage Marina in St. Petersburg.

The wooden hulled ship is based on the design of a privateer that sailed in defense of America during the War of 1812.

Jeffrey Woods, the Executive Director of the Lynx Educational Foundation says the primary mission of the ship is to teach about an era of history that many people know little about. Woods says, "It's a forgotten war, and so what you have here is a piece of history. This is a floating museum."

The Lynx is also a fully functional sailing vessel. With all of her sails unfurled, Woods says the ship is equipped with five thousand feet of canvas.

Captain Bob Nelson commands of crew of volunteers. He is proud of his crew and his ship. Nelson says, "The modern vessels around here, around the harbor, will sail better and point better than we do. But, for a traditionally rigged ship and a fully wooded ship, this ship really sails nicely."

The modern Lynx is slightly different from the original. The modern ship has bunks for the crew. The original was a cargo ship -- the truck of its day.

First Mate Sara Martin is more than happy to educate visitors about the history of the privateers and the Lynx roll in the war of 1812.  Martin says, "Educating folks about the history of these vessels is a labor of love for us. So, it is a lot of work. A wooden boat is always a lot of upkeep and it's a lot of time away from home as well. But, it's an opportunity to travel and it's a really special opportunity to live in a community that's unique in our modern world."

The Lynx sets sail for Ft. Myers on Thursday. The crew hopes to return to St. Petersburg in March.

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