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The Captain's Journal

Alabama Hi and Dry – Gift Certificates

Its that time again…happy hauling ! Happy Holidays ! Gift certificates to sail may be purchased at our website or just call the office 508-693-1699 Another great sailing season on Martha’s Vineyard has passed.  So many guests enjoyed our day sails and sunset sails…proving that sailing on the Alabama is one of ‘the best things…

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December 5, 2023

Private events on Martha’s Vineyard’s historic tallship. Reserve your date…make a great memory.

Available for Weddings, Birthday Parties, Ceremonies, Corporate Events, Bachelorette Parties, Family Gatherings on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s forecast for the coldest temperatures of the season….meanwhile, we are busy processing private charters for 2023. Make your Martha’s Vineyard trip a fantastic memory….sail aboard our real tallship. Catering available! We carry up to (49) guests. We are happy…

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February 3, 2023

Happy Holidays to All !!!! Looking ahead to great sailing in 2023

  Schooner Alabama secured to her mooring in her homeport of Vineyard Haven. The Black Dog Tallships Schooner Alabama wishes everyone a great new year. We are looking forward to many great sailing experiences in 2023. Our homeport of Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard offers great sailing weather in season….we hope to meet many new…

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January 4, 2023

Martha’s Vineyard’s Tallship – Alabama Season Review…

The Schooner Alabama had a lovely 2022 sailing season on Martha’s Vineyard. As Martha’s Vineyard’s historic tallship, Alabama hosted hundreds of guests including many happy families on their summer vacations. The sailing weather was mostly delightful with consistent breezes and minimal fog or stormy conditions. The Alabama hosted many private charters including family gatherings, wedding…

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November 8, 2022

Update 3/15/22

Alabama is undergoing maintenance items including: New topside plank, 671Detroit maintenance and adding new marine toilets. Of course she is getting new antifouling bottom paint to help protect her nearly 100 year old hull. She is currently located in Fairhaven, MA. at the Fairhaven Shipyard South Terminal. She weathered the winter on “the hard” and…

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March 15, 2022

Shenandoah 2020 Update

We tried and fought as long as we could but today we are announcing the cancellation of the SHENANDOAH’s 2020 season.  Since the middle of March we have tried to gather information on the virus, piece together various possible schedules that would allow her to operate safely and responsibly, honor our commitments to customers, and keep her hopes of a 57th season alive.  But as the cancellations from understandably unsure customers and groups continued, combined with unclear advance guidelines as to how life onboard would take shape, a sailing season is no longer an option… By nature SHENANDOAH requires her captain to be a conservative operator.  A 152’ ship without power or radar don’t allow him to set sail with a variable wind forecast and restricted visibility.  He must have a plan, the conditions to carry it out, and then three back-up plans for when…

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June 8, 2020

“Creator’s Week” ~ July 7th – 13th, 2019!

The Black Dog Tall Ships is once again excited to collaborate with a team of talented educators and writers for the 8th year as the “Creator’s Week” program returns aboard the schooner Shenandoah in 2019. “Creator’s Week” brings together our popular and one-of-a-kind “Kids Cruise” camp program with daily writing workshops, creative activities, and personal…

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February 1, 2017

Thankful notes from the BDTS…

November 29, 2016 – From the desk of the BDTS HQ… Aside from the live blue spruce Christmas tree, some crows and seagulls the Black Dog Wharf is empty today.  No snow yet but winter weather arrived a little over a week ago with a prolonged cold west wind.  Once again its the “off season”…

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December 1, 2016

2014 Season Wrap-Up

Its been one month since the final customers of the season stepped back ashore from the last sail of the 2014.  Since then, the ships have been “laid up”, undergone important maintenance projects, the crews have all departed, and daylight savings has ended.  Evenings come quick to the Vineyard Haven waterfront these days… Reflecting on…

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November 12, 2014

Winter 2014 Down the Homestretch…

Ice coats the waterlines of the schooners Shenandoah and Alabama out on their moorings on a calm and clear winter afternoon.  We’ve got a nice window between the steady parade of storms and arctic blasts that have been routine this winter.  The ferries and tugs servicing the island make steady runs, but generally it is…

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March 4, 2014

Winter Weather & Summer Camps

Vineyard Haven, MA – A coastal storm passes through New England today and as I’m typing here at the Black Dog Tall Ships HQ wind and gusts from the SW are shaking the building, howling and blowing spray downwind across Vineyard Haven harbor… Shenandoah and Alabama are secure on their moorings. The New England fishing…

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January 12, 2013

Support the Tall Ships

Welcome Since the day of her launching on February 15th, 1964 the Shenandoah has sailed the waters of Southeastern New England continuing the traditions and telling the stories of American seagoing excellence. Currently, there is no better example available as Shenandoah remains the world’s only non-auxiliary square-topsail schooner, sailing as one would during the mid-19th…

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January 8, 2013