NEWPORT BEACH, CA – The 1812 Privateer Lynx was welcomed to Newport Beach, California today in a gala event hosted by the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum and the Newport Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce. The American schooner entered Newport Harbor at 2 PM and was escorted by the Newport Harbor fireboat and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Narwhal leading a flotilla of local yachts and watercraft to the museum dock for a 3 p.m. welcoming ceremony. Historic reenactors, martial music, cannon fire and loud huzzahs! were part of the festivities. Among participating dignitaries were Orange County Treasurer John Moorlach, Orange County Harbormaster Capt. Marty Kasules and Mike Novick, president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. They were joined on the dais by J.E.T. Rutter, president of the nautical museum; Woodson K. Woods, executive director of Woods Maritime LLC, owner and operator of Lynx; and Lynx Captain Douglas Leasure.
Lynx is the featured attraction of the museum’s “First Defense of Freedom” weekend which incorporated the ship’s mission as the theme of the two-day event. Joining with the Boy Scout Sea Base and other Orange County civic and patriotic organizations, Lynx, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum and Newport Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce have dedicated Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 as a time to honor America’s guarantee of freedom for all.
Many weekend events are free to the whole family and featured music from the colorful Port Royal Privateers, sword fights and period reenactments incorporating a British boarding party from the HMS Surprise jolly boat. The Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution offer themselves as living history characters among the wood carvers, model makers and merry gamesters. In addition, the Orange County Coastkeepers divers with live audio/visual transmissions explore underwater natural treasures beneath the floating museum.
Also, the weekend marks the opening of a significant museum exhibit, “First Defense of Freedom: Privateers and Patriots in the War of 1812,” on the history and importance of privateers in defending America’s freedom. Organized and designed by museum curator Marcus De Chevrieux, it runs until September 15.
During her visit to Newport Beach, guided dockside tours of Lynx are scheduled for a nominal fee. She is also available to student, camp, corporate and other groups for charters, tours and sunset cruises until June 30.