Spirit Of South Carolina
Spirit Of South Carolina

Spirit of South Carolina, a 140-foot-long, two-masted topsail schooner designed to take groups of novices to sea on sailing adventures, has arrived at Mystic Seaport — “The Museum of America and the Sea” — in Connecticut, and will be spending the summer in New England waters. Spirit is a pilot schooner reminiscent of the famed schooner America, a vessel that made our nation world-famous as a maritime power in 1851 by winning the British trophy that would become known as the America’s Cup.

This is the first active summer for the schooner in several years. Two Charleston businessmen, Tommy Baker and Michael Bennett, bought Spirit at auction in 2014 and funded a top-to-bottom overhaul. Baker and Bennett have returned the vessel to its original nonprofit status and will operate the vessel as an expeditionary education project.

Spirit of South Carolina will be the focus of three teen (13 – 18 years of age) summer camps, each costs $1,200.

  • CAMP #3: 2016 PORTSMOUTH NH TO NEWPORT
    • Board Sunday August 14th (afternoon)
    • End Newport Saturday August 20th(morning 10-11) Newport
  • 2016 NEWPORT TO BOSTON –
    • Board Sunday August 21st (afternoon 2-4)
    • Whales on Stellwagen Bank, an interesting port or two
  • BOSTON TO NEWPORT
    • Board Sunday September 11th (afternoon 2-4)
    • Disembark Newport Saturday September 17th(morning 10-11)

Spirit is inspected and certified by the U.S. Coast Guard, and recently passed a thorough review of all the new construction. “The ship was inspected and found in excellent shape,” said lead Coast Guard inspector John Doughten. “The crew performed well and displayed a high level of competency during all drills.” The crew is led by the award-winning Captain Richard Bailey, who was the founding captain of Rhode Island’s as-yet-unfinished Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry. 

Among other ships, Captain Bailey has commanded the schooners Spirit of MassachusettsWestward, and Harvey Gamage; the three-masted barkentine Gazela Primeiro, and the full-rigged ship “HMS” Rose, with which he made the Russel Crowe film Master and Commander. Captain Bailey’s efforts have been recognized by the American Sail Training Association (dba Tall Ships America) for “Sail training Program of the Year,” “Sail Trainer of the Year” and “Sail Training Ship of the Year.”

From Mystic, Spirit sails for a berth in downtown Boston, where it will launch educational adventure sails for young people and, later in the season, adults. Anyone interested in sailing or partnering with Spirit may contact Ashley Bridges at director@spiritofsc.com or 843-696-0406.

A schedule of summer programs is posted at:  http://www.spiritofsc.org/camp-schedule/

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.