Brigantine Irving Johnson
Eleven years of planning, three years in the
making--Jim Gladson’s triumph comes to San Francisco Bay
By Mary Swift-Swan & Ariane Paul
Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s
newest Brigantine will be open for tours at Pacific Sail Expo, plus
lead the parade for Opening Day on the Bay. This is part of
the Irving Johnson’s 11-day stay and 5-day sail training to Morro
Bay on its way home to San Pedro Harbor.
The first finished of a pair of 90’
Brigantine youth sail training vessels are both named after the
pioneer youth sail trainers Irving and Electra (Exy) Johnson. Irving
Johnson is coming to San Francisco Bay on its first long distance
voyage from April 24-May 4!!! The twin Brigantine vessels are the
result of three years of hard work bringing to life vessels like the
Yankee used by Irving and Exy. In the 1930s, they
began to teach youth and encourage women to take the helm. These
vessels were designed by naval architect W.I.B. Crealock for the
nonprofit Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) in its
multi-award-winning TopSail Youth program. The mission of LAMIs
Topsail is "not to train youths for lives at sea, but uses the
sea to educate youth for life."
and Irving a few years ago
Irving was a farmer who never saw
the ocean until he was 17. After one trip down the coast with his
brother Arthur, he choose a life at sea instead of land. Sailing all
sorts of boats he came to know what he wanted in a ship of his own.
As for Electra, her first experience onthe sea was after college
when she joined the former pilot boat Wander Bird on a
cruise for three months. She joined with her former college
classmate, Mrs. Warwick Thompson, wife of the Wander
Bird’s skipper. It was aboard that pilot vessel where she
met Irving, who was a boat mate who became her life’s mate in
1933. Obtaining the former pilot boat Yankee was
Irving’s dream; training youth afloat was Exy’s idea. They
circumnavigated seven times.
LAMI’s program was started in
1992 by former teacher Jim Gladson. TopSail’s mission is common to
the Johnsons’, offering sail training that provides youth with
real-life challenges to develop knowledge, skills. and attitudes
needed to live healthy, productive lives. With a small, professional
crew and hundreds of volunteers, LAMI provides over 5,600 youth sail
days to over 70 different schools and youth organizations annually.
Irving Johnson’s visit to San Francisco is a coordinated effort of
Sail San Francisco tallship hosting agency, Pacific Sail Expo,
Hawaiian Chieftaon. and San Francisco State’s Tall Ship Semester
At press time, primary location in
San Francisco Bay was not yet finalized. Captain Todd Burgman made
arrangements to berth at Pier 40 and Sail San Francisco is working
to bring her to Hyde Street Pier for at least part of her visit. For
location, call 415-447-9822 or www.SailSanFrancisco.com.
(at press time)
Arriving in Oakland (5:30-7:30pm evening dockside reception) .
Jack London Square public tours via Pacific Sail Expo (10am-7pm).
April 26, Sailing San Francisco
Bay with the Tall Ship Society and media.
Opening Day on the Bay Parade(10-2pm) & Battle Sail with
Open for half- or full-day youth sails and evening dockside
All Women Afternoon Sail supporting Tall Ship Semester for Girls.
April 30 & May 2,
Available for morning public sails.
Open for half-day sails and evening dockside receptions.
AVAILABLE ON REQUEST WHILE IN SAN
Hands-on kids educational sails -
Private charters - Private dockside receptions
SAIL TRAINING AT SEA
All Women’s Afternoon Sail
to benefit the Tall Ship Semester for Girls (TSSG)
4 to 7pm Wednesday, $55 per
person; 50 person maximum.
and Exy in the center with girl scouts on training sail
The sail benefits San
Francisco-based Tall Ship Semester for Girls Program. Ladies who
sail help make it possible for deserving girls to take part in TSSG.
A Tall Ship Week for Women on the Irving Johnson is available the
first week in September. The trip gives adult women a chance to
experience the world of a tallship also serving as a fundraiser for
the girls’ program. No experience is necessary! TSSG begins
January 2004. Applications are available starting March 30th, and
are due at the end of May. Contact Nettie Kelly c/o CHHS 1600
Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132-4161 Phone:(415) 405-3703
May 5-9, Hands-on sail-training
cruise, open to kids and adults, 22 berths, from San Francisco
to Morro Bay. $125 per day for adults, $100 for students, for 2-,
3-, or 5-day adventures.
The Program includes safety
orientation and square rig seamanship training in the following
areas: terminology, sail handling, helmsman ship, sailing ship
maneuvers, and square rig sail theory and trim. Participants will be
split into watches and become an integral part of the crew helping
to steer, navigate, and sail the vessel and pitch in with general
ship chores. Individual instruction in marlinspike seamanship will
be provided to interested participants. The Irving Johnson is a sail
training ship and not a passenger vessel. Everyone is encouraged to
participate in sailing the vessel. Contact Los Angeles Maritime
Institute, Berth 84, Foot of Sixth Street, San Pedro, California
90731. James Gladson can be reached at: (310)-833-6055.
Call Claire Raffel at Sail San Francisco for
details on her San Francisco visit and pricing 415-447-9822.