While the sloop Clearwater spends most of her time on the Hudson River, she occasionally ventures east of Hell Gate into the waters of Long Island Sound. Making an appearance at random waterfront festivals, this vanguard of waterway restoration has from time to time, brought her message to the shores of Connecticut and Long Island.
With an overall length of 106' and a mast height of 108', she is modeled after the 18th and 19th century Dutch ships that worked the waters of New York Harbor and the Hudson River. The brainchild of Pete and Toshi Seeger, the Clearwater was launched in 1969 with the intent to bring awareness and appreciation to the Hudson's beauty, heritage, and frailty. According to their website, the message was always simple yet powerful:
"To the people who see her broad sails from the shore, the message is a poignant reminder of the potential beauty and wealth of our region’s much-abused and neglected waterways."
Clearwater's primary focus has always been the Hudson, but her influence has been far reaching. The Quinnipiac, Save The Sound, Oyster Bay Waterfront Center, and numerous other organizations along the Sound are following in the wake of The Great Hudson River Revival.
When I read Monday that she was hauled for some short-term hull maintenance, I made a quick visit to Norwalk Cove Marina to get a closer view. Under threatening skies, it appeared the work was nearly finished and she was awaiting to be splashed once again. Never one to sit idle for too long, she was berthed at the 79th Street Boat Basin by Tuesday evening.
New York Times: A Sloop Named Clearwater
Maritime Systems: Clearwater Location
Tugster: Clearwater Related Posts
YouTube: Making History Again