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Educational Opportunities on the Water

by Rob Carlson

“I want to stress that we’re not reenactors,” Joe Lengieza, the Director of Marine Operations at the Flagship Niagara League in Erie, Pennsylvania said.

The US Brig Niagara is a nineteenth century warship based out of Presque Isle Bay. It’s a certified sailing school vessel, and the two or three week programs are run throughout the sailing season-May through October-for people ages fourteen and older. The ship operates solely on the Great Lakes.

There’s no specific type of person suited for these programs, fields of study and experience don’t matter. If a person has interest, they are welcomed and taught how to sail the ship through teamwork.

The US Brigs Niagara, a nineteenth century warship. Photo via Rob Carlson

The US Brigs Niagara, a nineteenth century warship.
Photo via Rob Carlson

What’s the point? What’s so important about sailing a two-hundred-year-old ship around the Great Lakes? From an academic standpoint, you can get college credit for it. It also looks great on a resume. You can also get official certificates of sea time, which can help you if you’re venturing down the maritime path. Those are reasons you start one of these programs. The reasons you’ll remember it have nothing to do with your transcript. It’s the experience, the people, the splendor of sailing one of the last square-rigged ships on the continent.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the ship and its programs at, and contact Joe Lengieza at to get involved.

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