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ASTA Regional Meeting and Thad Koza Presentation
March 29, 2003


The 2003 American Sail Training Association (ASTA) Atlantic Regional Meeting took place on Saturday, March 29, 2003 from 9 AM to 5 PM.  Hosted by the Schooner Ernestina Commission, the meeting was held in New Bedford in the ‘Green Room’ on second floor above the Ernestina offices at 89 North Water Street (corner of Elm and Water Streets across from the Standard-Times) with representatives from sail training organizations and maritime museums from throughout New England gathering for an annual meeting.

The meeting began with a greeting by ASTA executive director and Mattapoisett resident, Peter Mello and a report on the 2004 Tall Ships Challenge Race Series by ASTA race director, Steve Baker. Tall Ships will gather along the Eastern Seaboard to visit ports throughout the summer next year. The last time the ships came through was during Tall Ships 2000.

Next on the agenda was an interactive discussion on the development of a New England Maritime Initiative for building capacity of ships, museums, waterfronts and ports through a collaborative effort.

After lunch participants shared information about their ships, museums and programs during an interactive sharing session.

After an afternoon break, Mike Van Leesten and Tim Love representing the United Nations International Children’s Conference discussed an international event for 2004 that will bring children from around the world together for an environmental and educational event in New London, CT. Many ships, including New Bedford’s Schooner Ernestina, will offer dockside programs and underway experiences.

The regional meeting adjourned at 5 PM.

As a special incentive for participants, each received a pass for a lecture and slide presentation by Thad Koza, tall ship photographer, entitled Tall Ships: The Fleet for the 21st Century followed by a reception to benefit the Schooner Ernestina from 7 to 9 PM hosted by ASTA and the Schooner Ernestina Commission in partnership with the New Bedford Whaling Museum in the Whaling Museum Theatre and Jacobs Family Gallery.

The cost to register for the meeting was $25 per person and included coffee breaks and lunch. Dinner was “on your own” in one of the many great restaurants in New Bedford.

The American Sail Training Association is an international youth education and leadership development non-profit with a strong interest in preserving the maritime history and traditions of North America. ASTA is an association of more than 250 tall ships and traditional sailing vessels which hail from more than 25 countries and sail all of the world oceans.

ASTA's mission is to encourage character building through sail training, to promote sail training to the North American public, and to support education under sail.
The mission is accomplished in the following ways:

  • Raising funds for and administering scholarship programs to make sail training experiences affordable for young people.

  • Raising funds for and administering grants programs to allow professional sail trainers and marine educators to further their education and advance their licenses,

  • Publishing Sail Tall Ships! the definitive guide to sail training and adventure under sail,

  • Hosting an annual conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships along with three alternating biennial forums on Education Under Sail, Safety and Maritime Heritage which are attended by hundreds of professional sail trainers, sail trainees, marine educators, port organizers, tall ships enthusiasts and others,

  • Holding annual regional meetings for members on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts and in the Great Lakes.

  • Organizing Tall Ships® events like the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series to increase awareness of opportunities and benefits from sailing aboard these beautiful and powerful ships.

"While it is generally believed that young people between the ages of 15 and 25 are the primary beneficiaries of traditional sail training, that is living aboard a deep water sailing ship for an extended period of time akin to a summer camp like experience, we like to say that sail training experiences are valuable for “youth of all ages” and voyages of any duration and distance. A middle school student on a field trip for the day, a college junior away for a semester at sea, a couple celebrating an anniversary on an adventure-travel sailing expedition, a family on a weekend excursion on a Maine windjammer, older adults on an Elderhostel Adventures Afloat program: these are just some of the diverse opportunities available to sail aboard these beautiful tall ships and to create memories that will last for a lifetime."

By the way... ASTA is celebrating its 30th year this year!




Writer and photographer Thad Koza discussed Tall Ships: The Fleet for the 21st Century at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on Saturday, March 29, 2003 at 7 PM followed by a reception in the Jacobs Family Gallery. The lecture and slide show were co-hosted by the Schooner Ernestina Commission and American Sail Training Association in partnership with the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

We are thankful for sponsorship by Baker Books, Richard Cardoza & Cardoza's Wine & Spirits and Sam Adams. Food was provided by Cerulli's Gourmet Foods. The proceeds benefited the Schooner Ernestina.

Thad Koza, a native Rhode Islander, has photographed and taken part in sailing excursions on tall ships for more than 20 years. Mr. Koza has written many magazine articles on ships with an emphasis on their historical significance. "Thad Koza is one of the world’s most prolific tall ship photographers and experts and his slide shows are very informative and entertaining."

Tall Ships: The Fleet for the 21st Century includes photos and detailed descriptions of more than 175 ships, including class "A" ships and classes "B" and "C" vessels from many countries of the world. A large photograph of each vessel, photos of details particular to each ship, technical specifications, and notable occurrences for each vessel are included. Copies of the book and limited edition signed and numbered framed prints of Ernestina will be available for sale following this lecture with proceeds benefiting the Schooner Ernestina.

By the way, books of local and regional interest can be found in the Baker Books on-line café in the local interest section. On these shelves, you will find an extensive array of titles with a distinctly local flavor. From the cultural history of area towns and cities, to the celebration of our region's ethnic diversity, to books highlighting our intimate and varied relationship to the sea, the books on these shelves cover every aspect of local and regional history.

Stop by and visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum at 18 Johnny Cake Hill near the waterfront in New Bedford. There is a film produced by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park that runs regularly in the Museum Theatre, you can see a rare skeleton of a Blue Whale and explore the Museum. The Museum is the largest museum in America devoted to the history of the American whaling industry and its greatest port. Through exhibits, publications, and programs, the Museum brings to life the whaling era and the history of the local area. It houses the most extensive collection of art, artifacts, and manuscripts pertaining to American whaling in the age of sail - late eighteenth century to the early twentieth, when sailing ships dominated merchant trade and whaling.

Schooner Ernestina under sail off Greenport

Maria Pantages, Museum Marketing, PR and Advertising Manager, welcomes all to the New Bedford Whaling Museum
with Gregg Swanzey, Ernestina Director, looking on.

Everyone gathers in the Jacobs Family Gallery after Thad's presentation.

Thad Koza signs books.
Schooner Ernestina numbered prints available after the slide presentation.
Lori Aguiar of ASTA was instrumental in putting together the ASTA regional meeting and the evening presentation.

The Jacobs Family Gallery is a great setting for a reception.

The New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus sings during the reception.



We would like to thank Lotus and IBM for donation of software, hardware and funding to enable regular electronic updates from the ship.

NOAA Chart is provided courtesy of Maptech using Cruising Navigator 4.3 and grabbing the image using Grabit Pro 6.02.

Click on a month to view the complete schedule:

Copyright 1997-2003
Schooner Ernestina
89 North Water Street, P.O. Box 2010, New Bedford, MA 02741-2010
phone 508.992.4900 -- fax 508.984.7719

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