Shallop launched to honor exploration - Soundings Online

Shallop launched to honor exploration

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A 30-foot replica shallop was launched during November’s Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, Md.

A 30-foot replica shallop was launched during November’s Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, Md. The shallop was built as part of the Captain John Smith Four Hundred Project, a multiyear educational effort to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Smith’s 1,500-mile exploration of the Chesapeake Bay in 1608.

A fleet of historic vessels, including Delaware’s tall ship, Kalmar Nyckel; the schooner Virginia; the schooner Lady Maryland; and skipjack Stanley Norman were on hand for the launching. The shallop was “sawn in half” with help from Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, to demonstrate the unique design of the original boat, which was built in England and then broken into two pieces for transport to the New World.

The launch marks the beginning of a two-year odyssey for the boat, which will travel as part of an educational exhibit to museums around the Chesapeake region.

In 2007, the shallop and a crew of 14 will embark on a 127-day, 1,500-mile reenactment of Smith’s original expedition. Propelled by oar and sail, the shallop’s crew will visit communities around the region while their progress is followed by a Web site and video documentary for students.

Sultana Projects Inc., an educational program featuring the reproduction 1768 schooner, Sultana, is developing the Smith project for the Friends of the Chesapeake National Water Trail.

For information contact Sultana Projects at (410) 778-5954.