The AdventureThe Project
The Blackbeard Adventure Alliance (BAA), a tax-exempt maritime education organization, is seeking contingent geographical groups of maritime heritage enthusiasts in eastern North Carolina to become partners in the building, operation and port visitations of sloop ADVENTURE. She will provide daytime sailing excursions, overnight voyages between ports, participation in historical reenactment events and offer guests roles as crew members. She will be a floating classroom, using interactive lesson plans that link sciences with sailing the Ship, mastery of seamanship skills and team building, as crew muster to the Captain commands. ADVENTURE offers sailing programs for adults, teens and community organizations.
The ship is envisioned as a working seagoing replica of a quintessential 18th century armed merchant sloop. She will be built to 21st century Coast Guard specifications and certified for conducting educational programs at sea. From the inception, BAA plans to utilize ADVENTURE as an educational vessel. Learning opportunities will include the ship's design and construction. The vessel's designer of choice is internationally recognized naval architect, Melbourne Smith who has designed remarkable educational replica vessels including the LYNX, U.S. Brig NIAGARA, CALIFORNIAN, SPIRIT OF MASSACHUSETTS, and PRIDE OF BALTIMORE and FEDERALIST. Preliminary Lines Drawings and Dimensions (scantlings) have been prepared for BAA by Mr. Smith.
The sloop was a popular sloop that was common in its time - fast, nimble, with a shoal draft. These ships functioned as merchant vessels, then as pirate ships and privateers. ADVENTURE will be a replica of Blackbeard's favored design as portrayed in the painting "Return of the Pamlico Pirates." Later the ship served as a privateer, pressed into service during the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Sloops sailed between North Carolina ports and trading designations along the eastern coast, the Caribbean and the West Indies.
Recreations of the voyages of ADVENTURE sailing to North Carolina's ports will enhance students' understanding of our coastal waters and the interface of transportation, trade, and economic development. These are the primary reasons that the ports of eastern North Carolina and with the maritime heritage of the region were established. Waterways were the cornerstone of eastern North Carolina's economic development and profoundly shaped politics and society, even dictating location and origins of settlements in the region. North Carolina's estuaries were the historic highways, and are now the scenic byways, in the Region.
Early economic development was dependent upon waterborne commerce flowing through port districts - Currituck, Albemarle and designated seaport towns of Bath, Beaufort, Brunswick, New Bern, Edenton, Elizabeth City and Washington. The coastal islands of Ocracoke, Portsmouth/ Shell Castle and Bald Head are noteworthy in the fascinating story of entrepreneurs devising transportation systems that utilized the sounds and their estuaries, while overcoming the challenges of shallow waters and shifting sands. These waterways were essential to connecting Carolina's Coasts, Sound Country to Seaside.
The water continues to direct growth and contribute to the region's economic foundation. The historical shifting of sands and shallow inlets continues to pose economic challenges to North Carolina's present-day Ports. Interpreting this dynamic maritime heritage can not only create a magnetic draw for cultural tourism but also develop an empathetic public to current economics of maritime transportation. Sloop ADVENTURE is an icon of North Carolina's historical development of transportation and commerce and a dynamic link to today's ports of Morehead City and Wilmington.
Organization and Operations
The Blackbeard Adventure Alliance, Inc. filed Articles of Incorporation in 2008 with the NC Department of the Secretary of State. A feasibility study was completed for the Blackbeard Adventure Alliance by Winslow Group, Inc. 2010. In Nov. 2014 the Blackbeard Adventure Alliance Inc. received notification from the Internal Revenue Service that it is a tax- exempt organization with Public Charity Status with an effective date of exemption: May15, 2011.
The BAA has published a business plan. The budget is centered on building the ship, funding its use, supporting its programming, and operations. A professional feasibility study indicated the need for a much broader regional coalition for economies of scale in funding and operations. The plan, We're Charting a New Course for the Future, will be revised to reflect the participation of regional partners, and a broader interpretation to reflect the historic vessel's planned multiple uses. The Plan does provide specific pertinent information, including details of staffing, expense, and voyaging.
Regional partners will form the Blackbeard Adventure Alliance. The BAA will own, operate, schedule, and maintain the vessel ADVENTURE. The proposed eight regional partners are cited on the attached map and correspond to the historic port districts and seaport towns. The Alliance will share both costs and benefits of ADVENTURE sailing to their destination ports.
Upon commissioning, ADVENTURE will sail to the Ports of North Carolina, offering on board programming, including a variety of sailing opportunities, overnight voyages from port to port and participation in historical reenactment events. ADVENTURE can "sail into the classroom" using interactive lesson plans that electronically link the on board, and enable others to watch demonstrations performed by the crew, or interview the Captain.
Each Alliance Group will promote their respective geographic areas as destinations for maritime heritage tourism. Each group is responsible for planning the use of "their ship" when visiting "their port". This includes providing an appropriate waterfront for docking and berthing ADVENTURE, coordinating and planning events in advance of the ship's arrival in port, promoting the visit, compliance with local ordinances and safety issues, and managing ticketing and boarding arrangements.
The voyages of ADVENTURE to North Carolina's ports can evoke timeless memories for all mariners at heart whether the experience occurs aboard the tall ship as passenger and deckhand or as an observer shore side.
"We preserve only what we appreciate, appreciate only what we understand, and that understanding is incomplete without experience.” (Senior Captain of US Brig Niagara)