Check Out Those Vessels, Matey

Posted: June 24, 2000

The parade is over, but OpSail 2000 continues through the weekend, with a chance for spectators to check out a variety of tall ships along the Delaware River.

Also on tap: free fireworks tonight at 9:45 and a laser show at 9:30 p.m. tomorrow, south of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

The tall ships will be open free to visitors in three locations - Penn's Landing, the Camden waterfront and the Naval Business Center (former Philadelphia Navy Base) - from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Tuesday.

Vessels at Penn's Landing and Camden will be open again Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Here are some highlights at each spot.

PENN'S LANDING

N.E. Sagres, 293-foot Portuguese naval training ship with each square sail marked with red Maltese cross.

Niagara, 123-foot brig that represents Pennsylvania. Relief flagship to Commodore Oliver Perry on Lake Erie during War of 1812.

America, re-creation of famed schooner America, the 139-foot yacht that won trophy now called America's Cup in 1851.

Amerigo Vespucci (arrives Tuesday), 330-foot training vessel for the Italian Naval Academy. Full-rigged ship, with three masts of square sails.

CAMDEN WATERFRONT

USS Stout, 505-foot Navy destroyer equipped with Tomahawk missiles, advanced AEGIS combat system. At Beckett Street terminal.

Gazela Philadelphia, 107-foot barkentine, Philadelphia's official Tall Ship, crewed by volunteers. World's oldest (1883) and largest wooden square-rigged ship still sailing. Former Portuguese codfishing vessel. At RCA Pier.

NAVAL BUSINESS CENTER

Libertad, 356-foot training ship for the Argentine navy; one of longest sailing ships in world. Full-rigged and spectacular under sail; figurehead depicts Liberty.

Dar Mlodziezy, 370-foot full-rigged flagship of merchant marine academy in Gdynia, Poland. (Arrives Monday.)

The Naval Business Center is closed to motorists. SEPTA will run free shuttle buses there from Broad Street and Pattison Avenue for people using a paid lot at Veterans Stadium or riding the Broad Street Subway.

Shuttle service runs from 9 a.m. todaythrough Tuesday, with the last trip to the center leaving Pattison Avenue at 4:30 p.m.

Send e-mail to smithra@phillynews.com

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