Tall ship Amistad to dock in Greenport next month

Amistad will dock in Greenport on Father's Day weekend. (Discovering Amistad courtesy photo)

Amistad will dock in Greenport on Father’s Day weekend. (Credit: Discovering Amistad)

Another tall ship is charting a course for the North Fork.

Amistad, a replica of the historic 19th century Spanish schooner that made history off the coast of Long Island, is expected to dock at the Greenport Marina from Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17. The deep water harbor has played host to a number of historic tall ships through the years, but this is the first voyage Amistad is making to the village.

Public tours of the tall ship will begin that Saturday with a morning sail. The two-and-a-half hour outing is $15. There are also two more sailing tours scheduled for Sunday.

Visitors can take a free self-guided tour of the vessel when it’s docked at the marina from 2 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Crewmembers will also be on hand with additional information about the ship’s history.

In 1839, Mende captives from Sierra Leone took control of the ship in an attempt to sail back to Africa, but were eventually captured in the Long Island Sound and towed into the port of New London Harbor. The story became the subject of 1997 Oscar-nominated movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Anthony Hopkins and Morgan Freeman.

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The Connecticut-based non-profit Discovering Amistad now operates the replica ship and offers educational programs about its history. Friends of Mitchell Park — in conjunction with the Village of Greenport — is sponsoring Amistad’s visit. Discovering Amistad’s educators will visit fifth, sixth and seventh grade classes at the Greenport school as a part of the history curriculum prior to the public tours. The curriculum includes a history lesson and aims to teach students about concepts of power, freedom and justice.

“Maritime history is important to Greenport, said Friends of Mitchell Park president Christine Kelly. “The educational aspect is an important lesson for anyone. It is a great opportunity to go on an impressive sailboat.”

Visit friendsofmitchellpark.com to purchase tickets for the sailing tours.