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Privateer Lynx

01/10/2013 at 3:25pm

Privteer LynxLynx to Call Fort Myers Beach Home

Don Peacock, Chairman of the Lynx Educational Foundation spoke to the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce on Thursday afternoon, bringing welcome news to area business leaders.

Peacock expressed appreciation for the hospitality shown to the Lynx and her crew since their arrival on January 3.

"From the entire community, it’s evident the commitment they’ve made to announce our arrival and stand with us while we’re here,” he said. "It’s really been a great welcoming!”

"The Lynx has decided to stay in Fort Myers Beach as our winter home port,” he continued. "The welcome we’ve received here has been truthful, sincere and honest. Fort Myers Beach has the facilities and access to the Gulf we need. We are in safe hands here. We’d be foolish to think that we could recreate what we have right here.”

"We will proudly fly the flag of Fort Myers Beach on our travels.”

The Privateer Lynx was originally set to dock at Nervous Nellie’s Snug Harbor dock from January 3-23 and then set sail for St. Petersburg on January 24th.On Thursday, Peacock told the Chamber that they will be returning to Fort Myers Beach on February 1 and will hold a Grand Opening on February 2. They plan to spend the rest of the winter in the port of Fort Myers Beach, giving local residents and visitors the chance to visit and sail on the 1812 Clipper Schooner recreation throughout the winter.

Capt. Beebe-Center of the Lynx told Chamber members a bit of the Lynx’s history, explaining that it was on the West Coast for 8 years before coming to the East Coast in 2009. Since then, they’ve sailed to the Great Lakes and all along the East Coast. This summer they will sail up the East Coast to Mystic, CT, then on to Nova Scotia and into the Great Lakes making stops at Duluth, MN and Chicago. They’ll also take part in the recreation of the Battle of Lake Erie.

Serving as the winter home port will mean that the Lynx will fly the Fort Myers Beach flag during their summer travels. They’ll also carry and share information about our community to the towns and seaports they visit when away from Fort Myers Beach. In the last two years alone, they have visited twelve states in the U.S. and three provinces in Canada.

Jeffrey Woods, Executive Director, Lynx Educational Foundation said. "Lynx "America’s Privateer” is scheduled for a five-year mission along the East Coast of the United States, The Gulf Coast, The Great Lakes and Canada celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner.”

The daily deck tours available from 10am-2pm each day have been well attended. Cost is $6 for adults with children 12 and under free. The Public Sailaways have also been a big hit, with some dates selling out already. Sailaways are offered from 3-5pm each day. Adults $65, children 12 and under $35. The Lynx is closed on January 14 for the crew’s day off.The sailaway on January 11th is sold out.

The fully armed schooner is a 2/3 sized replica of an actual privateer named Lynx built in 1812 in Fell’s Point, Maryland.She was among the first ships to defend American freedom during the War of 1812 by evading the British naval fleet then blockading American ports. The Lynx served as an important privateer utilizing her superior sailing abilities to evade blockades and slower British ships.

The 76-foot Baltimore Clipper schooner is the primary teaching tool of the Lynx Educational Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America’s struggle to preserve its independence.

Onboard the Lynx, the maritime history and challenges of the War of 1812 are taught using an interactive program that engages students in the teamwork and discipline of sailing.

Built in 2001, the Lynx has traveled the world with its crew, covering over 13,000 miles in the last year alone. The ship’s crew is outfitted in period naval uniforms. She flies pennants and flags of the 1812 era.

The Lynx carries full armament, including a four six-pound carronade and four swivel guns. The ship also has a stand of historic small arms, for demonstration and instructional purposes aboard, including muskets, pistols, cutlasses, boarding pikes and axes.

The Lynx is a sailing living history museum, offering plenty of historical tidbits and a fascinating glimpse into the world of the early 19th century.

Peacock explained the importance of the educational mission of the Lynx.

"The message the Lynx teaches is not necessarily what is being taught in schools today-that of American exceptionalism,” he said.

"We look forward to being part of your community.”

Missy Layfield