Southampton had a special visitor on Wednesday when the tall ship, St. Lawrence II. put into harbour for the night.
The ship is part of the ‘Youth at Sea’ summer camp program for teens 13 – 18. The St. Lawrence II, based out of Kingston, was on her way to Parry Sound from Bayfield, Michigan with a crew of 13, when it was decided to overnight in Southampton Harbour at the mouth of the Saugeen River on Lake Huron.
“We’ll be meeting up with our sister ship, The Playfair tomorrow,” said Captain Alex McCraw. “She’s up in the North Channel near Tobermory and then we’ll sail to Parry Sound and end up in Midland for the TALL SHIPS Challenge Ontario Festival in Midland.
For some of the crew, it was their first time sailing on a tall ship but for others, such as Simon Dickens, it has become a regular way to spend summer. “I’ve been doing this since I was 14,” says Dickens, “so it’s almost five years.”
For students Josie Singoorie and Lane Onalik of Nunavut, Canada’s most northerly territory in the Arctic, it is the “… experience of a lifetime”.
The program is designed for youth who are looking for adventure, fun, friendship, and to explore the world while empowering and inspiring them through the challenges of sailing a traditionally rigged ship. The youth development summer camp experience helps to build confidence, strength, and leadership while the unique shipboard environment encourages teamwork and a sense of responsibility and, at the same time, inspires youth to be a positive force in the world.
The St. Lawrence is only in berth until tomorrow morning (Thursday) when she departs for Parry Sound.