21st Annual Sailors’ Series Lectures Launch Feb. 22

Schooner Niña during the 1958 New York Yacht Club cruise, photographed by Norman Fortier.

Now in its 21st year, the Sailors’ Series illustrated lectures begin on Tuesday, February 22 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. This year’s four lectures feature both historical and contemporary topics on sailing, boats, and the sea. The Tuesday evening programs begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater, with a pre-lecture reception at 6:30 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery. The Sailors’ Series continues on March 22, April 26 and May 24.

Tuesday, February 22:  Voyage to Greenland

Bill Cook is a yacht designer living in Barnstable. His designs range from a 10’ frostbite dinghy to an 85’ world champion maxi; in recent years his office has focused on blue water cruising boats. Bill has sailed over most of the North Atlantic, including one year living aboard his boat while cruising in Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Caribbean. He currently sails a Bristol 56, which he has taken to Labrador three times, Baffin Island once, and Greenland twice. He will show a 30-minute video of his 2010 cruise to South Greenland, home of some of the world’s most dramatic fjords, as well as the Norse settlements of the Middle Ages.

Tuesday, March 22:  Modern Piracy

Commander Andrew J. Norris, USCG, is a member of the faculty of the U.S. Naval War College, serving as the United States Coast Guard representative to the International Law Department staff. He reported to the College in August 2010 after completing a four-year tour in Honolulu, as the Staff Judge Advocate for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, which encompasses 12.2 million square miles of the western and central Pacific Ocean. Prior to that, from 2002-2006, Commander Norris was an assistant professor of law at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. From 1998-2002, Commander Norris was a marine casualty investigator at Marine Safety Office New Orleans. His first tour of duty in the Coast Guard, from 1994-1998, was as a staff attorney at the Coast Guard Maintenance and Logistics Command, Norfolk, Virginia.

He also served a four-year tour as a Navy division officer from 1985-1989 aboard the USS KIDD (DDG 993). During that tour, he qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. Commander Norris is also a collateral-duty Coast Guard military judge. As such, he presides over special courts-martial of Coast Guard personnel throughout the country.

He received a BA in biology from the University of Virginia in 1984, and a JD from the University of Florida in 1993.

Commander Norris will talk about modern piracy issues including statistics and problem areas. He will also discuss the international response and the U.S. response, including self-defense rules that apply to U.S. flagged merchant vessels.

Tuesday, April 26: Ready About: The Business and Pleasure of Yachting on Buzzards Bay

A native of South Dartmouth, where his uncle Waldo Howland operated the Concordia Company boatyard, Llewellyn Howland III is an editor, yachting historian, and antiquarian bookseller. He served as historical consultant to the New Bedford Whaling Museum for its current exhibit Charmed by the Sea: 150 Years and More of Yachting on Buzzards Bay. Mr. Howland will talk about some of the major figures in the sport of yachting on Buzzards Bay – designers, builders, sail makers, and sailing professionals, as well as owners and amateur skippers and crew. He will also discuss the ways in which economics, technology, and social and political change have influenced the sport and the shape and function of yachts themselves.

Tuesday, May 24:  History of the Cape Verdean/Brava Packet Trade

Laura Pires-Hester, Ph.D. and Michael K. H. Platzer, J.D.

From the latter part of the 19th century to 1970, sailing ships owned by Cape Verdeans plied the waters between Cape Verde (Brava and Fogo) and New Bedford/Providence almost annually, carrying people and cargo back and forth. The Schooner Ernestina/ex Effie M. Morrissey was one of these last ships. The historic schooner sailed in a 41-day voyage in the summer of 1982, as a gift from newly-independent Cape Verde to the people of the United States, and is berthed in New Bedford. Laura Pires-Hester and Michael K. H. Platzer worked closely together in the national campaign led by Friends of Ernestina/Morrissey to return and repatriate the historic Schooner, launched originally in Essex, MA in 1894.

Dr. Pires-Hester is an anthropologist and was most recently Vice President of the New York Theological Seminary. She has a B.A. from Smith College, M.S.W. from Columbia University School of Social Work, and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia University. A Wareham native, she is a champion of the Schooner Ernestina and has worked with the Friends of the Ernestina for decades.

Dr. Platzer worked for many years for the United Nations and was its first Program Officer for Cape Verde. Now living in Vienna, co-author with Michael Cohn of Black Men of the Sea (1978), and a sailor himself, he is currently active in international human rights and criminal justice issues. He received his B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees from Cornell University. He and Pires-Hester co-authored Ernestina/Effie M. Morrissey Commemorative Edition (1982).

They will discuss the Cape Verdean/Brava Packet Trade, and also Schooner Ernestina as a living representative of that trade. Members of the 1982 transatlantic voyage will also be present, including Stefan Platzer, whose slides of the voyage will be shown.

Admission to all four lectures: $50 for members, $75 for non-members. For individual lectures: $15 for members, $20 for non-members. To reserve tickets, please call 508-997-0046 ext. 100. The Museum is fully accessible.

The 2011 Sailors’ Series is sponsored by C.E. Beckman Co. and Citizens~Union Savings Bank.

Tweet these lectures with #SailorsSeries

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