Saturday, April 19, 2014

Denis Sullivan leaves winter harbor, heads for Lake Michigan

"Wisconsin's official flagship," the Denis Sullivan left its winter berth on the Menomonee River yesterday. Owned and operated by Discovery World, the Denis Sullivan is "the world’s only re-creation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner," according to the Discovery World website. It's mission is "To provide programming that is an introduction to field science with an emphasis on environmental issues, Great Lakes concerns and stewardship of our natural world."

Preparation for the short voyage from the Menomonee Valley to its active berth on the Discovery World pier has been going on all week. The ship has been shrouded all winter in a motley collection of tarps recycled from discarded canvas billboards. These were removed and carefully folded for future reuse. Crew members and volunteers worked diligently to prepare the vessel for sailing. 

The passage downriver was made without raising the sails, using the ships engines. An inflatable dingy helped turn and guide the big ship. The crew was joined by eager Discovery World staff. Everyone was bundled up against a biting east wind that brought cold temperatures off Lake Michigan.

Here's my photo essay of the event.

Crew member Kristian folding tarps
Crew member Johnny bearing tatoos of tall ships
A volunteer scrapes paint
A ship shape deck

Debris in the water
Staffers waiting to sail
Johhny on deck
Casting off
The bow
Captain Tiffany Krihwan at the helm
Underway in reverse
Menomonee River
Making the turn
Passing the post office
Enjoying the ride
Bridge up at the confluence with Milwaukee River

This post is one in a series that relates to my Menomonee Valley Artist in Residency. For more information about the residency and links to previous posts and photographs, go to MV AiR.

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