By MELISSA SCHNEIDER
Returning to her well-maintained winter port after such a phenomenal experience last year, the Lynx privateer ship will dock at Nervous Nellies' and Snug Harbor's dockside retreat Friday, offering trips and tours for 1.5 months.
The Lynx will dock at Nervous Nellies’ and Snug Harbor’s dockside retreat today. The privateer will call Fort Myers Beach home for six weeks. Tours are available.
In celebration of her grand arrival, Nervous Nellie's is hosting a very special welcome ceremony at noon, Friday, Dec. 20, featuring a wealth of local high school band members, along with Cypress Lake High School's JROTC Color Guard.
"We're happy to welcome the Lynx back to her winter fort for her second year," said Stephen DeAngelis, manager of Nervous Nellie's. "We've been following the progress of the ship and all of the repairs and extensive maintenance work that has been done to her. She's a beautiful ship and we're happy to have her back."
During her six-week visit along Fort Myers Beach, the crew of the Lynx is offering special sailaway trips through the bay daily, as well as tours aboard the vessel.
About the Lynx
In 1997, Woodson K. Woods embarked on a journey to build a privateer inspired by the original historic tall ship from the War of 1812 The Privateer Lynx.
His goal was to create a living history museum to educate children and adults alike about American history through active sail training aboard a real wooden sailing ship.
What went into the ship was not just wood, rope, brass and canvas. It was not just sweat, blood, heartache and laughter, either. What went into her goes far beyond history, ambition, inspiration, determination and commitment.
On July 28, 2001 in Rockport, Maine, Woodson's vision was realized. Past and present converged as the Lynx was launched in a gala event ordaining a magnificent future on the high seas.
Since then, the Privateer and 1812-styled war ship Lynx was hired to train the cast and crew of the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean, among several other very special nautical events.
During the grand welcoming ceremony along the shores of Nervous Nellie's Friday, Stephen said the Lynx will make a glorious entrance, firing off her cannons as she sails through the back bay channel.
"Spectators should come down to the docks around 11 to prepare for the arrival," he said. "Once she docks, the Town of Fort Myers Beach will present her with a new flag of Fort Myers Beach, to fly high on the mast."
The Lynx will depart after her month-and-a-half visit, sailing to Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg to teach children about a range of nautical history up there, returning March 16, and staying as long as possibly Easter, Stephen said.
Tours and sailaways aboard the ship will begin Saturday, Dec. 21.
"Help us welcome this great addition to nautical culture on Fort Myers Beach," Stephen concluded.
Lynx sailaways are open for children ages 4 and up. Children ages 4 to 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Reservations are required, and tickets range from $35 to $65. Visit PrivateerLynx.com for tickets and a full schedule, or call The Lynx Educational Foundation, 866-446-5969. Be sure to arrive at thee ship 30 minutes prior to departure.
On-board ship tours are $8 per adult and free for children 12 and under (must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). No reservations are required, and tickets are valid anytime during the posted ship tour times.
Ship tours are subject to closure during school educational programs. Also, a very special Spirit of Christmas sail will be offered Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Boarding takes place at Nervous Nellie's Waterfront Eatery at Snug Harbor Marina, 1131 First St., Fort Myers Beach.