Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bounty Sails into City Officials Hope Tall Ship Attracts Tourists Downtown

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bounty Sails into City Officials Hope Tall Ship Attracts Tourists Downtown

Article excerpt

The spectator turnout wasn't what city officials hoped for, but

the arrival of the tall ship Bounty yesterday marked the

beginning of a relationship many hope will result in the boat's

permanent winter docking in Jacksonville.

Accompanied by the Fernandina Beach-based schooner Voyager and

a fleet of 22 smaller boats, the Bounty reached the City Hall

pier at noon yesterday, right on time. A crowd that swelled to

about 500 at one time greeted the ship and its crew.

Many people, mostly boating enthusiasts, arrived early to catch

sight of the Bounty sailing into the city, where it will stay

for 2 1/2 months before leaving for its winter port of St.

Petersburg.

"It's going to be a good tourist attraction for the city, just

like the Star of India in San Diego," said Dick Leatherman of

Middleburg. "I think they should support it."

Audrey Moran, chairwoman of the Downtown Development Authority,

said the Bounty is another attraction she hopes will bring more

people downtown.

"It's a great opportunity for the city," she said. "It will

bring a lot of people who haven't been downtown in a long time.

We want them to see how it's changed. It's safe and fun."

The Bounty will be docked on Coast Line Drive, where visitors

can tour the boat. The Voyager, which accompanied the Bounty on

the last night of the trip, will stay until Nov. 2, then return

to Fernandina Beach. The Voyager will be open for tours and will

make daily sails up the St. Johns River.

Robin Wallbridge, captain of the Bounty, said the ship returned

to Jacksonville because of the warm welcome it received in the

spring, when it took part in a Ronald McDonald House fund-raiser

in Jacksonville.

"I can see it becoming a regular fall stop," Wallbridge said of

Jacksonville. "We're looking at the potential of making it a

permanent winter home."

The Bounty, a 169-foot replica of the British Royal Navy ship

HMAT (Her Majesty's Armed Transport) Bounty, famous for a

mutiny, is home-ported in Fall River, Mass. …

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