Surviving historic Schooner pays first visit to Port St. Joe

Governor Stone

It wasn’t all rest and relaxation during Friday’s sunset cruise. Guests had to help raise the sails of the historic schooner.

Wes Locher
Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 01:03 PM.

Marina Day last Saturday was a historic one for a historic ship as the schooner Governor Stone docked at the Port St. Joe Marina for the first time.

While the vessel had made numerous appearances in Carrabelle, Apalachicola and Panama City, over the years and the Gulf Coast Tourist Development Council approved funding to bring the ship to town in order to help celebrate the national event.

“We felt bringing the vessel to the Marina was a great way of showing our support for the marina and would enhance visitor experience while in Port St. Joe,’ said TDC director Jennifer Jenkins.

The Governor Stone docked mid-week and hosted a sunset cruise on Friday for local guests who helped bring the ship to town. During the Marina Day festivities on Saturday, locals boarded the vessel for a guided tour and history lesson.

While on board, guests learned a bit more about the ship, its history and how it came to be in Port St. Joe.

The first schooners were built in Gloucester, Massachusetts inthe 1700s. Designed to be sleek and fast they were used to carry fish from port to port and often as fishing ships. Crews would be able to fill their hull with fish, race back to port to sell at market and then quickly get back to prime fishing areas.

The word schooner comes from the Scottish word “scoon,” which means, “to skim.” During the American Revolution, most schooners survived attacks from British warships due to their speed and maneuverability. After the war, they became cargo vessels and could be found across the Great Lakes.

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