Sign of spring: Sloop Clearwater back on Hudson

The sloop Clearwater. (Photo by Dion Ogust)

America’s environmental flagship, the iconic sloop Clearwater, has returned to the river to embark on its 52nd season of environmental education and inspirational sails on the Hudson River. The season kicked off from Beacon on May 17 with a Clearwater member sail. May 17 also marks the anniversary of the sloop’s launch from the Harvey Gamage Shipyard in South Bristol, Maine in 1969.

Captain Nick Rogers recalls, many spring seasons ago, “overhearing two tugboats on the VHF radio, one tug saying to another, ‘Nothing behind me…Clearwater is sailing by the bridges in Poughkeepsie…That’s a sure sign of spring: Clearwater and the crocuses.’”

The sloop will sail this year with a reduced passenger capacity, taking into account New York State and CDC COVID safety protocols. Upcoming public sail dates include: New York City on May 29, May 30 and June 5; Piermont on June 12; Haverstraw on June 13; Beacon on June 19 and 20; Kingston on June 26 and 27; and Poughkeepsie on July 4. More dates will be added as the season progresses. Tickets for these two-to-three-hour sails are available at www.clearwater.org.

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Clearwater will sail from docks up and down the Hudson River through September 6, at which time the sloop will prepare to undergo a major restoration project. The sloop Clearwater is also available for private charters and educational programming. Visit www.clearwater.org for more information and to become a Clearwater member.

Clearwater is also welcoming the virtual return of its annual music festival, the Great Hudson River Revival, on June 19 at www.clearwaterfestival.org.