Tall ships are a part of our shared human history, and everyone knows that sailors tell the best stories. Join Erin Short and Nic Hardisty of Tall Ships America as they discover the people and the history behind these iconic vessels and what it truly means to be a traditional sailor in a modern world. Sit down with us and get to know each other over a pint of beer or a cup of tea – subscribe and share wherever you get your podcasts. Sea stories, inspiration, and a little bit of everything else.
Just no shanties, please. (OK, sometimes there might be shanties.)
Season 2, episode 7: It’s a fantastic time to be a meteorologist: Joe Sienkiewicz
Join Erin as she talks to our favorite weather guy, Mr. Joe Siekiewicz, Chief of the Ocean Applications Branch of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean Prediction Center (OPC). Joe and his team are responsible for weather warnings and forecasts for large portions of the North Atlantic and North Pacific.
Season 2, episode 6: Look Down and See: Amali Knobloch aboard Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
This week, Erin talks to Amali Knobloch with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. We discover how the ship was part of the environmental awakening of the 1960s and how the founder, Peter Seeger’s, participation in the Civil Rights movement of that time is still reflected in their programming today. We talk about the importance of seeing people that look like you in leadership roles and how a three week trip aboard Tole Mour at age 18 changed Amali’s life.
Season 2, episode 5: Whaling Captains of Color with Skip Finley
In pre-emancipation America there were few, if any, industries where African heritage and indigenous men could rise to positions of power. In this episode, historian Skip Finley explains how America’s whaling ships served as the country’s first meritocracies. Skin color and ethnicity were secondary to one’s ability to safely pilot a ship and effectively kill whales. Whalers who demonstrated these abilities had opportunities to learn navigation, financial literacy, commerce, and reading and writing- skills virtually unavailable to their land-based brethren. Skip provides a detailed, fascinating look at whaling ships and the whalers of color that operated them.
You can find Skip Finley at https://www.skipfinley.com
Season 2, episode 4: Diversity on Tall Ships: An Historic Perspective
In the past, tall ship sailors and maritime workers transcended race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality and, until relatively recently, the American maritime workforce was remarkably diverse. This week, historian Nic Hardisty highlights some experiences, contributions, and facts about African heritage, indigenous American, female, and LGBT+ populations in America’s maritime workforce.
Season 2, episode 3: Great Lakes Whale Watching with Captain Tom Kastle
Let’s get our shanty on! We are rounding out shanty month with a super fun interview with the always game Captain Tom Kastle, historian, author, singer, actor, captain of Great Lakes schooners, and raconteur.
In this interview, we cover the history and different types of shanties that are sung around the world, with examples! Tom tells us how to train like a shanty singer, why you should always pack a book, and how everyone needs to have a party piece. Oh, and Tugboat is a great nickname.
You can find Tom at www.tomkastle.com
Season 2, episode 2: Give us a Shanty!: Seán Dagher and Bénédicte Ouimet
Nic kicks off our shanty-themed month by talking with Seán Dagher and Bénédicte Ouimet. Seán is a singer known for his masterful renditions of folk songs and shanties, for his iconic shanty and tavern performances in the Assassin’s Creed video game series, and his Shanty of the Week YouTube series, which has amassed over 300,000 views. Bénédicte is the accomplished music supervisor for Ubisoft Montreal and she was critical to the inclusion and recording of shanties in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, which have sold over 25 million copies and spawned multiple shanty-specific soundtracks. This episode is closed out with Seán’s brilliant version of “Roll, Boys, Roll.”
Seán can be found at:
Welcome to season two!
Season 2, episode 1:A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Captain Jamie Trost aboard Lady Washington
We survived season one and the minisodes and are excited to kick off this season with Captain Jamie Trost, Port Captain for Grays Harbor Historical Seaport in Aberdeen, Washington. While he had a less than auspicious start as a sailor, tall ships eventually proved too strong of a calling. We spend time in Japan, visit an algae graveyard in the Great Lakes, and learn that there is no better place to be a sailor than in Baltimore, Ireland.
Minisodes are here! Erin and Nic will be alternating interviews and history in these bite-sized episodes to tide you over until Season Two premieres on March 19, 2021.
Mini-sode #8: Erin talks with Captain Andy Ellers who makes the case for Mary Poppins, modern hero.
Mini-sode #7: Amali Knobloch from Hudson River Sloop Clearwater blindsides Erin with what person or thing she would come back as
Mini-sode #6: Caroline Mayhew? She’s Got This: Whalers’ Wives with Nicolas Hardisty
Mini-sode #5: Steve Kielar from Call of the Sea finds happiness on a deserted beach
Mini-sode #4: Nic Hardisty revisits Rhode Island’s arsenous history in the years leading up to the American Revolution
Minisode #3: MJ Fernandez’ greatest achievement makes Erin cry.
Minisode #2: The US Navy’s Africa Squadron with Nic Hardisty
Minisode 1: Happiness is a cabin in the woods for Captain Jamie Trost
Season One – April to December 2020
Episode 16: A Very Perry Christmas: Nicolas Hardisty and Shane Allen on Christopher Raymond Perry
Join Erin as she explores the incredible life of Christopher Raymond Perry (father of naval heroes Oliver Hazard Perry and Matthew Calbraith Perry) with historians Shane Allen and Nic Hardisty in our season finale. Christopher’s story has it all: murder, piracy, prison breaks, and a trans-Atlantic love tale- all before he turned 25 years old! Ships mentioned in this episode: USS, Trumbull, USS General Mifflin, USS General Greene, USS Alfred, USS/HMS Raleigh, HMS Jersey, HMS Iris, HMS General Monk.
Episode 15: Lean forward into Life: Nancy Richardson aboard 104 Tall Ships
Join Erin as she sails the seven seas with Nancy Richardson, Mariner Girl Scout, perpetual sailor, and keeper of our sail training legacy. We learn about her journey from art teacher to Marine Education Program Specialist with the Girl Scouts, and her family connection to Orville Wright. Nancy shares her practical advice for new (and seasoned!) sailors, and talks about her lifelong friendship with her heroes, Irving and Exy Johnson. Movies mentioned: Around Cape Horn, Unfurling the World, Windjammer. Ships mentioned: Adventuress, Amistad, Brilliant, Christian Radich, Exy Johnson, Irving Johnson, Joseph Conrad, Lord Nelson, Peking, Sea Cloud, Tabor Boy, Yankee, Zodiac. Programs mentioned: Girls at the Helm, Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Mystic Seaport, South Street Seaport Museum.
Episode 14 – The Church of Elissa: Mark Scibinico aboard 1877 Tall Ship Elissa
Join Erin as she tries to scramble eggs in the Drake Passage with Mark Scibinico, Port Captain and Director of Maritime Operations at Galveston Historical Foundation. We talk about his journey from the kitchen of the Culinary Institute of America to how a tattoo convinced him to give ships a chance, kind of. We learn all about the tall ship Elissa, a ship that is as old as the Statue of Liberty, the unbelievable passion of her volunteers, and that Erin gets really excited talking about astronauts. Ships/programs mentioned: Alliance, Californian, Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, Kaisei, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore II, Wavertree
Episode 13 – A Glowing Magician of Awesome: Hali Boyd with The Seafarer Collective
Join Erin as she dives into the life and times of Hali Boyd, director of The Seafarer Collective, a program with Gray’s Harbor Historical Seaport, and founder of SEE BEE Consulting. She talks about leaving school at the age of 15 to train horses and how a random conversation at a party started her journey in the tall ships community. We learn the challenges of navigating the commercial world as a woman in the maritime workforce and to never underestimate a woman wearing a pink polo shirt holding a wrench. This also marks the third time Erin doesn’t remember meeting the interviewee at an earlier TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® event. Ships/programs mentioned: Grays Harbor Historical Seaport, Lady Washington, Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Mary Day, Sea Sisters, Tole Mour, Virginia, Unicorn
Since this was recorded back in August, Hali did want to add the following update: “With Grays Harbor Historical Seaport operating at reduced capacity, The Seafarer Collective is running maritime education courses as registration numbers allow. Keep an eye out for the 2021 course calendar to be released later this year.” Also, for those tall ships looking for some marketing/brand narrative and business development, reach out to Hali at www.seebeepdx.com
Episode 12 – I’m just your typical small town sailor: Captain Alex Peacock aboard Spirit of Bermuda (and sometimes Lynx)
Join Erin as she talks to Captain Alex Peacock, current captain with Spirit of Bermuda and sometime captain with Tall Ship Lynx. We discuss sailing to Cuba, where the barter system is alive and well, a furry first mate that spoke to dolphins, and the joy of watching students have their eureka moment. For those keeping track, this is the fifth time Erin mentions the Welland Canal. Ships mentioned in this episode: Schooner Adventure, Bagheera, Bounty, C.W. Morgan, Eagle, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore II, Spirit of Bermuda, Timberwind, Wendameen.
Episode 11 – I absolutely love the first day: Captain Jill Hughes aboard Geronimo
Join Erin as she talks to Captain Jill Hughes with the tall ship Geronimo of St. Georges School in Middletown, RI. We start in Buffalo, New York, and sail to Greenland, the Caribbean, South Pacific and the Mediterranean. Along the way, we discover that Captain Hughes does not have an aptitude for being a galley cook but will always give 100%. She discusses working with high school students on a 70′ vessel and what we can learn from the Danish tall ships. I also mention the Welland Canal, again, and tell a story about a bear on board a tall ship. Ships mentioned: Bowdoin, Corwith Cramer, Danmark, USCGC Barque EAGLE, George Stage, Gulden Leeuw, Harvey Gamage, U.S. Brig Niagara, Sloop Providence, Pride of Baltimore II, Sorlandet, Westward, The Boat Company. Programs mentioned: A+ World Academy, Ocean Classroom Foundation, Sea Education Association, Sail Training International, URI Marine Affairs Department
Episode 10 – Our lives matter. Our history matters: Keith Stokes with 1696 Heritage Group
Join Nic as he talks to Keith Stokes about African heritage in colonial and early American maritime colonies, with a focus on Newport, Rhode Island. Keith explains how free and enslaved Africans contributed to the Atlantic maritime world, and the major differences between what slavery looked like in northern and southern colonies & states. Keith also addresses how Africans viewed fellow Africans, free and enslaved, that participated in the slave trade. You can view more of Keith’s work at 1696 Heritage Group.
Episode 9 – Ships and the sea are a wonderful thing: Simon Colley with TRUSTLabs
Join Erin as she talks to Simon Colley, founder of TRUSTLabs, providing leadership training and professional development and coaching services to law firms. From Sydney, Australia to the island of Bermuda, we’d be hard pressed to name a tall ship he hasn’t sailed aboard. We dive into the small world of working with at risk youth aboard tall ships, how to go to the bathroom on Outward Bound open boat expeditions (spoiler alert, there is no toilet on board), and the unique rig of the sloop Spirit of Bermuda. Tall ships mentioned: Bill of Rights, Bounty (AUS), Californian, Pride of Baltimore II, Spirit of Bermuda, Spirit of Massachusetts, Tecla, Tole Mour, Urania. Programs mentioned in this episode: Sea Education Association (SEA), VisionQuest, Outward Bound (outwardbound.org), and Ocean Classroom.
Episode 8 – I’m too curious, it’s a real problem: Bronwen Livingston with Class Afloat and Barque Picton Castle
Join Erin as she speaks with Bronwen Livingston of Class Afloat, Barque Picton Castle, and the Nova Scotia Seamanship Education Society. We start her journey with a midnight phone call, sail around the South Pacific, make a detour to the Northwest Territories of Canada, and rediscover hope. Organizations mentioned: Class Afloat, Barque Picton Castle, Nova Scotia Seamanship Education Society, Bark Europa.
Episode 7 – We are not a vacation destination: Joe Lengieza aboard U.S. Brig Niagara
Listen in on Erin’s quiet conversation with Joe Lengieza of the U.S. Brig Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania (flagshipniagara.org). We start in the fields of Ohio, head to Europe (twice), and meander our way back to Pennsylvania. Along the way we talk about what life is like aboard Niagara, mid-Atlantic doldrums, and what U.S.S. Constellation smells like. Ships mentioned in this episode: U.S.S. Constellation, U.S.S. Constitution, Highlander Sea, Pride of Baltimore II
Episode 6 – I Love Rowdy Science! Captain Rachael Miller with Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean
Join Erin as she learns everything there is to know about microplastics and marine debris with Captain Rachael Miller, co-founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean (rozaliaproject.org), captain aboard American Promise and founder/CEO of the Cora Ball (coraball.com). We dive into Rachael’s research, her passion for the ocean, a top-hat wearing ROV, and a deeply disturbing fact about beer. Ships mentioned in this episode: Adventuress, AJ Meerwald, Tole Mour, Westward and Sea Education Association.
This was recorded back in April and was the second interview we conducted due to technical issues the first time around. This interview has been edited to include both conversations.
Episode 5 – I’m a bit of a romantic: Corey Roy aboard Schooner Virginia
Join Erin as she gets to know Corey Roy with Schooner Virginia and the Nauticus Foundation in Norfolk, VA. From small boats in the middle of Oregon to tall ships in Virginia, Corey shares his journey to first mate aboard Virginia. We talk about the romance of sailing and adventure, have really nice things to say about the volunteers, and be sure to listen for the lame Total Recall joke. Ships mentioned in this episode: Alliance, American Rover, Lynx, Norfolk Rebel.
Episode 4 – I’m a pollywog: Captain Jen Haddock with SEA
Join Erin as she chats it up with Captain Jen Haddock with Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, MA. We journey through Jen’s career as she recounts her start in the tall ships world . . . washing dishes. We talk about sporty weather in New Zealand, the joy of a really big salad and crossing the equator for the first time. Mentioned in this episode: Corwith Cramer, Robert C. Seamans, Ocean Star, Westward, Bowdoin, and Hurricane Island Outward Bound.
Episode 3 – We Protest and We Burn Stuff: The Gaspee Affair with Nic Hardisty and Shane Allen
America has a centuries-old tradition of radical protests and on this episode, historian and Tall Ships America program coordinator Nic Hardisty and historian Shane Allen discuss one of the earliest ones- the 1772 burning of the HMS Gaspee. We’ve got tall ships, smuggling, a chase through Narragansett Bay, and an uncomfortable musket shot!
Episode 2 – A Little Bathtubby: Captain Mike Fiorentino aboard Schooner Sultana
Join Erin as she chats with Mike Fiorentino, captain aboard Schooner Sultana in Chestertown, Maryland. They discuss sailing to Antarctica, the summer of short shorts, and Sultana’s weird sail plan. Mentioned in this episode: Europa, Pride of Baltimore II, Rock the Boat, Living Classroom Foundation, International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS), South Street Seaport Museum.
Episode 1 – Tea Sets for Elves: Ian Bova aboard U.S. Brig Niagara
It’s our first episode! Erin chats with Ian Bova, head cook aboard U.S. Brig Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania (www.flagshipniagara.org). They talk about the unifying nature of Taco Tuesday, the Dutch love of chocolate sprinkles, and tea sets for elves. Ships mentioned in this episode: Nina and Pinta, Lettie G. Howard, Oosterschelde, Blue Clipper and Draken Harald Hårfagre.
Trailer – April 8, 2020 – Talking Ship: Meet Erin Short and A Barque, a Brig, and a Schooner . . .
We love tall ships! We love talking about them, we love being around them, and we love talking to people who sail them. So, while life has slowed down a wee bit during self-quarantining, Tall Ships America’s Erin Short decided that this would be the perfect time to call up some sailor friends and talk ship. Just, please, no shanties.