Brian Jacobson

Aboard the SV Denis Sullivan for the first sail of 2011

By - May 30th, 2011 04:00 am

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, it felt like spring had not yet announced itself to Lake Michigan. By 10 a.m. when the S/V Denis Sullivan embarked from the Discovery World docks for the first public voyage of its 10th season, there was a heavy fog over the city of Milwaukee. Once the crew worked with guest passengers to navigate past the breakwaters and raise the massive three sails of the 19th-century model schooner, the winds and cold really picked up and the skyline of buildings fell away in dark relief.  The two-hour tour began and the mood became both elegiac and ebullient.

It was the official homecoming for the storied vessel, which has hosted hundreds of thousands of school groups and adult sailing enthusiasts alike, met by various fishing and sailing boats along with crews from Fire, Police, and Coast Guard boats outside the Sullivan Pilot House. Passengers from ages 4 to 74 helped pull ropes and listened to historical stories about sailing the Great Lakes.

It was a haunting and beautiful journey that we attempt here to convey in our photo gallery, and if you get the chance we highly encourage taking a tour aboard the “flagship of Wisconsin,”  which is parked for the summer season at Discovery World dock and available for educational lessons and scheduled sailing. During the summer, it will make stops in Manitowoc on the last weekend in June, Sturgeon Bay during the July 4th weekend and Racine by August.  For more information, visit or visit the S/V Denis Sullivan facebook page here.

You can view our slideshow below or visit the full set at our page here.

Categories: Photo Gallery

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