Coolest northforker stories of 2018: Tall Ships sail into Greenport

The deep waters of Greenport Harbor welcomed two historically significant Tall Ships this summer. 

Amistad, a replica of the historic 19th century Spanish schooner that made history off the coast of Long Island, docked at the Greenport Marina on Father’s Day weekend, drawing hundreds for free self-guided tours of the vessel. 

You may recognize its name from the movies. 

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.

The Connecticut-based non-profit Discovering Amistad now operates the replica ship and offers educational programs about its history. 

A 115-foot-long Viking ship, The Draken Harald Hårfagre, also made the voyage to Greenport this summer. The vessel, considered the “largest Viking ship sailing in modern times,” docked in August for a weekend of events, including a Draken exhibit, deck tours and a lecture with Capt. Björn Ahlander.