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Elissa Sailing Again After Ike

After surviving Hurricane Ike last summer, the tall ship “Elissa” is getting

ready to begin training a fresh crop of volunteer crewmembers at the Texas

Seaport Museum in Galveston this weekend. Jim Bell reports.


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Seaport Museum Director John Schaumburg says even with all the destruction Ike caused in and around Galveston, he wasn’t surprised that the Elissa came through it with only minor damage.

“Elissa, as a tall ship, she was built to take it. She was designed to go around Cape Horn, and was built to handle bad weather.”   

Even so, Elissa needed help to survive Ike’s storm surge. Schaumburg says she has a custom made hurricane berth at the Seaport Museum, and she rode out the storm tethered loosely fore and aft to a pair of heavy steel pilings.

“And so as the tide rises it’s designed to able to slide up these pilings, and so we can handle a pretty big storm surge.”

image of tall ship Elissa

Unfortunately, Schaumburg says the Seaport Museum workshop and everything around it on the dock had major damage. The good news is that with help from hundreds of volunteers, all the damage has been repaired and the Elissa was ready for her annual day sails into the Gulf of Mexico back in March. Schaumburg says they start training volunteer crews for next year’s day sails this Saturday.

“And we teach the average person off the street, regardless of their amount of sailing experience, we teach how to sail and how to care for a 19th century square rigger.”

Schaumburg says they’re always recruiting volunteers, and anyone interested in being a crewmember on the Elissa can call the Texas Seaport Museum to find out how or visit their website

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

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