One of the authentic and inspirational aspects of the craziness of Gasparilla this year was the surprising appearance of the tallship, Lynx. Unfortunately, not many Gasparilla viewers were able to see this great ship because her deep draft restricted her passage to the deeper waters of the Bay. During Saturday’s invasion, on January 26, she departed from St. Petersburg with a complement of very lucky passengers.
Lynx is a re-creation (completed in 2001) of an actual privateer named Lynx, built originally in 1812 in Fell’s Point, Maryland. During the War of 1812 she was among the first ships to defend American freedom from the invading British naval fleet which blockaded American ports.
At the outbreak of the War of 1812, the American Navy consisted of only 17 ships – the British Navy was the most powerful in the world. When America went to war, President Washington granted owners of private vessels special permissions, called “letters of marque,” to prey upon the enemy’s shipping – thus the name, “privateers.”
The Lynx is owned and operated by the Lynx Educational Foundation, which is a non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization, dedicated to hands-on educational programs that teach the history of America’s struggle to preserve its independence.
Check out this excellent video about this majestic ship. Also see additional photos of the invasion on our Pinterest page.