Story and Select photos by DinaRella / Additional images courtesy of the USCG

A 295-foot Eagle landed in Lower Manhattan the last weekend in July stealing the summertime thunder on Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. Of course, we're talking about the USCG Eagle Cutter Barque... which inherits the name cutter considering it denotes a commissioned craft 65 feet or more in length with a permanent crew, and barque since it's a sailing vessel with three or more masts.

Originally constructed in 1936 at the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg for the Germany Navy, when World War II ended, the Horst Wessel was then acquired by the United States as a reparations payment and re-commissioned as the Eagle.

1 Eagle arrival.jpg
3 Eagle at SS Seaport credit USCG.jpg
2 Eagle landing.jpg
4 Eagle 190 lines.jpg
5 USCG Eagle at South St Seaport.JPG

For the last 75 years, the 23-sail ship has supplemented engineering and military schooling providing an at-sea leadership and professional development experience as part of the Coast Guard Academy curriculum. The "classroom at sea's" secondary mission is to educate the public on the USCG history and the techniques behind sailing a Tall Ship. It was for this reason, the Eagle soared into the city offering free tours to visitors. Portland, ME, was its next and final port of call before returning to home base in New London, CT, following a three-month world voyage visiting the Netherlands, Madeira, Scandinavia and Bermuda.

6 Golden Eagle.JPG
7 Eagle deck.jpg

8 Triple sail cutter credit USCG.jpg
9 Pier 17 from above credit USCG.jpg

10 High in the sky credit USCG.jpg
11 East River view.jpg

12 Eagle at Pier 17.JPG

Encompassing 22,300 square feet of sail, 6 miles of rigging, and just under 200 lines, the USCGC Eagle remains the sole active square-rigger serving the USA and holds the distinction of being "America's largest Tall Ship proudly flying the Stars and Stripes. The first ship by the name “Eagle” to serve the United States was a cutter commissioned in 1792 to serve in the Revenue Marine, the predecessor of today’s Coast Guard; five others have since held the name.

13 295 ft Eagle.JPG

14 Burst pipe practice credit USCG.jpg

15 President Kennedy credit USCG.jpg

16 Eagle at Lady Liberty credit USCG.jpg

The South Street Seaport Museum was established in 1967 to preserve New York's storied past as a great port city, and houses a collection of artworks and artifacts, a reference library, galleries, and much more to help understand it's role in United States history.

For anyone not familiar with the maritime hub transporting you back in time with its cobble stone streets and quaint old-world appeal... the area as a whole, its surrounding skyline, and its views of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River., features a mind-boggling amount of entertainment options, waterway excursions, exhibitions and eateries to enjoy. More to come on that next!

17 South St Seaport Museum.JPG

18 Wavertree.JPG
19 Pier 16.jpg

20 Pier 16 Ambrose.JPG

RDP is especially thankful to the United States Coast Guard for giving us permission to post some of their photos!
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