Every responsible individual and organization entrusted with
the care of an historic vessel must continually grapple with certain fundamental questions: What is the best use for this vessel today?
How can we best preserve her for tomorrow? How can we give her meaning for present and future generations?
Our few remaining historic vessels stand as tribute to the vision of the designers and craftsmen who created them
How an Old Wooden Ship Earns Her Living and the indomitable spirit of the crews who sailed them.
They were sailed by ordinary people who, in the improved light and perspective of history, lived extraordinary Lives.
Endangered, the survival of the few remaining vessels now depends on our extraordinary resourcefulness,
our ability to adapt, our ability to integrate them back into the fabric of American consciousness.
There is no single answer. And, clearly, not every vessel can be saved.
Today, quite simply, America is no longer the seafaring country we were in the past.
While we span a continent that borders two great oceans, as a nation we have lost touch with our waters, our vessels, our ancestors and their spirit.
Unless we can reverse this trend and reconnect these vital links, these ships will never again have relevance in America’s collective consciousness.
It is a tremendous challenge, but unless we are able to develop a strong community capable of direct support and vigorous lobbying efforts, many more will be lost.
The Orange County Marine Institute in Dana Point, California, has developed a unique approach to these challenges.
How an Old Wooden Ship Earns Her Living Established in 1977, OCMI has attained.
national recognition as a model of a successful experimental teaching laboratory.
Annually, more than 100,000 students from preschool through college participate in the Institute’s 42 awardwi nning programs in maritime history, science and environmental studies.
The most successful of the Institute’s offerings are the living history educational programs.
Modeled after the concept pioneered by Dave Netell at the San FranciscoMaritimeNationalHistoricPark in the 1970s.
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