The best ship is Friendship!

The tall ships Friendship and Roseway visit Portsmouth

Jim Cerny, reporting and photographs

This year's tall ship visitors were the Friendship and Roseway, here from August 15-17, continuing a recent Portsmouth tradition of summer visits by tall ships. In 2007 there were the Prince William, Spirit of Bermuda 2, Pride of Baltimore II, and the Urania. In 2006 there were the Eagle and Bluenose II. In 2005 there was the Gazela. And in 2004  there was an earlier visit by the Friendship.


The Sagamore, a fire boat that was part of the parade of ships and boats on arrival.


This is a photo tour of the ships, a look at the details you can't readily see from shore. For example, I'm sure many never noticed the Friendship's figurehead on its arrival, myself included.

But a photo tour can't convey the impression when actually standing on board the ship, of how small the 171-foot nominal length feels. An enjoyable sail under good conditions would be a nightmare in a severe storm, even with excellent seamanship by captain and crew. The history of wrecks around the world in the days of sail, suggests that such a fear would be well-founded. And going below decks, the amount of space for crew and cargo is very small, a reminder that only the most valuable cargoes would be carried and, indeed, the original Friendship traded for spices, sugar, and coffee, from China to Sumatra.

The Friendship

The Friendship is a reproduction of the original ship that sailed in 1797 as a 171-foot, square-rigged East Indiaman. The Peabody Essex Museum has a contemporaneous painting of the original ship.

The original was built in Essex, Massachusetts, and the reproduction at Scarano Boat Building in Albany, New York.


The Friendship arriving in the Piscataqua River.



A life ring on the Friendship.



Friendship rigging with flag



Friendship's bowsprit.



Friendship's figurehead.



Rigging and maintop on the Friendship's mainmast.



Ratlines and shrouds on the Friendship's mainmast, standing on the deck and looking up at the maintop.



Deadeyes on the standing rigging on the port side of the Friendship's mainmast.



Detail of a deadeye on the Friendship.



The New Hampshire state flag against the rigging.



Hatch grate on the Friendship.



Hatch grate on the Friendship, seen from below deck.



Bunks below deck on the Friendship. This is illuminated by camera flash in reality it is very dimly lit below deck, with the only natural light from the hatches and stern windows.



Friendship's decorated stern.


The Roseway

The Roseway is a 112-foot gaff-rigged schooner operated by the World Ocean School in Camden, Maine. It was originally built in 1925 in Essex, Massachusetts, with international fisherman's races in mind.


The Roseway on the Piscataqua River under power, with sails set.



Roseway's bowsprit.



Roseway's stern.



Roseway crew member preparing to dock.

Roseway's mast, with sail gooseneck and hoops.



Passengers, Glenn and Joan Hammond, disembarking from a cruise on the Roseway.


Piscataqua Gundalow

Lurking beside the tall ships was a short cargo ship, a reproduction of an original Piscataqua gundalow named the Edward H. Adams. The gundalow was in shadow, so I limited myself to one sunlit photograph of the sail. For more details see the Gundalow Company's Web site.


Looking skyward at the gundalow's triangular (lateen) sail.


Other articles in our occasional coverage of marine events include


Pennant flying on the Roseway.



September, 2008



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